Friday, July 12, 2013

play stove diy ...my first kreg jig project

Ever dreamed of working with wood but been to scared to give it a try?  Yep me too, but not any more!  Put the Kreg pocket hole jig on your wish list and join me in a home diy wood work revolution!  If I can do it you can too!  How amazing is my first ever woodwork project (below)!!!

I have always liked the idea of woodwork but been to intimidated to try it.  The big saws frighten me, so does the need to drill perfectly straight, and I don't have the tools or skills for biscuit joins.  So when I saw my first Kreg pocket hole diy it seemed far to good to be true.  I watched more tutorials, and more, and more.  One diy project later I can confirm this little jig is as good as they say and should be your next diy tool acquisition.  I used a Kreg K4 Master System, you can buy your own one at Carba-Tec®, either online or in store.

I decided a play stove was the perfect first project, small enough to get done fairly quickly, big enough to really test the jig, and the finish doesn't have to be perfect.  I am delighted with the results, and so is Miss J.  After testing the jig on left over pieces for a while I put the stove carcass together in about an hour.  The square door frame took me about half an hour.  In fact painting and hanging the door took much longer than building the stove.  It was easy, yes easy!  There are a few finishes I would like to improve on, but I doubt you can spot them.  If you want to make one just like mine read on below.  Otherwise hop onto the Kreg website and see what else you could make.  Next up for me is a low bookshelf for the lounge, and benches for our table. perhaps a day bed for the playroom, I have big plans for my little Kreg jig.

What does the pocket drill do:
The genius of this jig is it allows you to join two pieces of wood easily and quickly, while achieving good strength and hiding your joins.  Briefly, to join pieces A and B, clamp piece A in the jig and drill pocket holes using the drill guide holes.  Line up A & B where you want to join them, put the screw in the pocket hole, and screw into place.  The drill guide & pocket make sure that drilling & screwing is perfectly straight every time.

Step 1:
Take cutting list to the hardware and get them to cut the pieces you need for your project.  I used laminated pine because it looked clean and straight and was very reasonably priced.  To get a good finish all edges must be as straight as possible, so tell the cutting person you are using a pocket hole and need a very straight finish.  My local Bunnings was very helpful when I explained what I was doing.

Step 2: 
Mark up the position of the pocket holes.  Kreg recommends the first pocket hole is 5cm from the edge, then every 15cm after that.  To make them less visible I have planned my pocket holes to be on the inside of the box sides and the bottom of the base & top.  
I found is easiest to balance the pieces together and then mark the position of the holes. 
Step 3:
Clamp pieces into the jig and drill the pocket holes where you have marked. Make sure the wood is sitting flush with the base of the jig so that the wood and holes are straight.
Step 4:  
Assemble the pieces and join with the pocket screws.  Line up two pieces as you want them joined, put the screw in the pocket hole and drill to join the two pieces.  Because the screw sits in the pocket and the driver bit is extra long the drill goes exactly where you want it too, you don't have to worry about drilling straight.  Once you feel the drill catch on the tightened screw you are done.

This is the trickiest bit as you need to hold the pieces together as straight as possible while you are tightening the screws.  Use clamps to hold the pieces stable if you have them.  It also helps to push the pieces up against a straight edge.  I found that as I drove the screw into the wood the two pieces pulled out of position just a little.  Sometimes I was able to fix this when I did the next screw, and sometimes I had to sand out the difference.  I am sure that practice will help make this better.

Does it sound easy?  Yes?  That's because it was.  An hour and a half of happy tinkering later my carcass was done!  
Once the carcass is complete simply paint, hang door, attach casters & door knobs for decoration.  
For a great demo of the how the Kreg jig works in detail have a look at this post by DIY Diva.  I was planning to show you how here but this post got to long.

It could not be easier.  Watch this space!!!  I am heading to the hardware soon for my next venture into Kreg diy territory.  Go and check them out yourself online or in store at your local Carba-Tec®

PS this post was not sponsored, all opinions are entirely my own.