How to Use a Kreg Jig 320
A few weeks back, I went to my very first blogging conference. It was specifically geared toward DIY and home bloggers, and at check-in, we were all given a large bag of swag provided by the various conference sponsors. My very favorite thing in the bag? The new, not-quite-on-the-market-yet, Kreg Jig 320.
Up until this point, I'd been happily using the Kreg Jig R3. But a couple projects where I played around with the Kreg Jig 320 showed it was very much an upgraded version of the R3. The Kreg Jig 320 can do everything the R3 did, plus a little bit more. And that little bit more made it much easier to put pocket holes in a 2x4, which means it was a very important "little bit more."
I am so excited to show you all the things the Kreg Jig 320 can do!
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Part 1: The Parts
When you open the box, your Kreg Jig 320 should look something like this:
There are five pieces and a stop collar that comes off the drill bit. The largest plastic piece is the primary jig; the others are all for adjusting the jig, drilling the holes, and driving the screws. Here they all are labeled:
The Kreg Jig 320 may have also come with some sample screws, which are useful but won't be discussed here.
Part 2: The Configurations
Lets talk about the primary jig a bit more before we move on. It can be conveniently broken into three sections with a "Pull Back - Twist - Pull Sideways" motion.
The fact that the jig breaks into different pieces allows for three different configurations of the jig. A single hole jig:
Two pocket holes side by side:
And of course, the original configuration.
This is convenient in that it allows you to drill further spaced pocket holes without reclamping the material. This is a major time saver, especially when adding pocket holes to the end of 2x4s. Additionally, extra spacers can be purchased to allow for even more configurations.
Part 3: The Settings
Before drilling a thing, you need to configure your Kreg Jig 320 to match the thickness of the wood you'll be working with. To do this, start by measuring your wood (the name of the board, i.e, 2x4, doesn't match the dimensions exactly. Measure!) Kreg has helpfully designed the hex wrench to double as a measuring stick as shown below.
Then adjust the stop collar on the drill bit to match the thickness of the wood. The open circle should align with the appropriate thickness, as shown in photo below. Use the hex wrench to tighten the collar.
The primary jig needs to be adjusted as well. You'll notice that there are gray tabs on the back of the jig.
Press the end of the gray tabs to move the tabs to the appropriate setting. In my case, the gray tabs should line up with 1 1/2" because the wood I was working with was 1 1/2" thick.
Part 4: Drilling the Pocket Holes
Add the clamp adjuster pad to the Kreg Jig 320, and then line the jig up on the board where you want your pocket holes to go. Be sure that the gray tabs are pressed fully up against the edge of the board. Clamp securely to a workbench or other surface.
Then use the provided drill bit to drill the pocket holes. Be sure to push the drill bit all the way in; the stop collar should touch the primary jig.
Unscrew the clamp and admire your new pocket holes!
Part 5: Attaching the Pieces
Kreg actually has an awesome resource on their website for picking out the right screw for your project; take a look at it here. Once you've picked the screws you'll use, clamp your wood pieces into place.
Kreg also sells a number of clamps, some which are designed intentionally for pocket hole assembly. They look really cool, and I want to try them out. That being said, I've never absolutely needed them, and have always found a way to clamp my boards with normal inexpensive clamps.
Once your pieces are clamped, drive the screws using the driver bit that came with the Kreg Jig 320.
Then admire you two newly attached boards!
The Kreg Jig 320 is a definite upgrade from the Kreg Jig R3. If you often connect 2x4s, it's definitely worth the extra cost. Additionally, I somewhat expect the R3 to be phased out in the next couple months, but we'll see what happens.
If you're looking for some projects to do with your new Kreg Jig, go check out my two favorites: the Monitor Riser Desk Organizer, and the DIY TV Lift Cabinet. The monitor riser is a great project for a beginner, if you're just getting started!
Finally, if you found this helpful, go ahead and save this post to Pinterest so others can find it too!