Pocket hole joinery is all about jigs and setups. The latest entry in this growing market is an innovative tool from Porter-Cable called the QuikJig. A conveniently sized benchtop unit, the new jig is designed to address common issues related to pocket hole joinery, such as workpiece clamping, working on long pieces, and pocket hole spacing.
Secure work holding
Set up in sort of an L-shaped configuration, the QuikJig is designed for secure and precise work holding. Pieces to be machined go up against a textured aluminum alloy work surface that helps keep them from slipping and sliding. A three-step clamping system securely holds the work in place but is fast and simple to actuate and release. An adjustable stop screw makes for precise, repeatable positioning.
And one of the best things about the clamping setup is that it automatically adjusts for different wood thicknesses from ½-inch to 1-1/2 inches. If you are doing work all of the same size repeatedly, you can release only one clamp handle, and all the settings stay the same. For different size work, there is even a convenient screw length guide on the side of the machine that measures the workpiece and recommends the correct screw length.
Versatility in use
Porter-Cable was definitely looking to make this jig a problem solver. One solution it provides is for dealing with long work. Most pocket hole jigs are designed to hold the workpiece vertically, and so does the QuikJig, but that can be a problem if you have low ceilings and long workpieces. The QuikJig is designed so it can be turned over to use horizontally. The work-holding base is the same thickness as a common 2x4 so long work can be machined horizontally, securely clamped in the jig and supported by a 2x4 on the workbench. The only negative about working horizontally is that you have to remove the dust collection port to do that.
You can vary the spacing of the pocket holes by instantly adjusting the distance between a fixed drill bushing and one that is adjusted by a screw knob.
Actual drilling is done with a stepped pocket hole drill bit with a bronze stop collar and any electric drill. There is a convenient setup built into the jig to set the stop collar to the right distance, and the same setup location provides convenient storage for the bit. There is also storage built into the unit for two square drive screw bits that come with the kit.
Priced at about $230, the jig is designed to present a production alternative to dedicated pocket hole machines or a sophisticated alternative to simple jigs. You can get more information at www.portercable.com.
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