Two years ago, my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Pulling out one of my tool catalogs (also known as “tool porn”), I picked out a Kreg Joinery Master System. It wasn’t something I was particulary wanting, but it looked kinda interesting, and really, I couldn’t find anything else, so I asked for that, and got it.
Well, I never cracked it open until a few months ago. I thought I’d try it for a project in which I really didn’t want to go through a bunch of joinery contortions, yet wanted a decently strong joint of course, so recalling the Kreg set, I cracked it open and practiced on a couple of pieces of scrap to get the hang of how to use it, and the joints seem impressively strong, even without glue.
Well, I used it for a few different projects, and yes, I am very impressed. You can assemble a joint very quickly, and more importantly, get a very tight and clean joint. Glue is not really required, in most cases, but if you are REALLY needing an ultimate joint, of course you can “glue and screw” if you like. The system is very easy to use, once you figure it out; Kreg includes a short DVD. The components of the system are very good quality. The jig is plastic, but heavy duty, and nothing to worry about, in terms of durabilty. The special drill is top quality, and the screws are very tough; I haven’t snapped one off yet, and I really don’t think I will. Screws self tap, so you don’t split wood, and are very sharp, and come in many sizes and lengths. They use a square bit drive, and it works great.
I really don’t have a bad word to say about the Kreg Joinery; it’s not for every joint, or course, but it can work in many cases, especially butt-jointed joints, or joints where the screw hole is hidden (you can buy wood plugs of 7 types to match your project, which are virtually invisible when done right). Cabinet makers love this system for face frames, and I can understand why; but it can be used for much more than just that, such as legs and Rails, Edgejoining, Edgebanding, Picture Frames, and 90 degree Panel Joints.
If you’re looking for a way to solve joint drudgery, if you want quick tight joints without the mess of glue (goodbye, squeeze out), give the Kreg Joinery a try.