This project shows how the Kreg Jig HD is used to drill pocket holes for fastening 4×4 headers and sills between the posts to install Eze-Breeze windows on the screened porch. Pocket hole screws have the advantage of being recessed in the lumber so it won’t interfere with the window installation.
I hired a deck builder to build a porch on my wood deck with no screens or windows:
I saved about $2000 by purchasing and installing the Eze-Breeze windows myself. But first I needed to install the 4×4 headers and sills between the porch posts with pocket screws then measure, order and mount the Eze-Breeze windows:
Interior view of the Eze-Breeze windows on the screened porch. The 4×4 headers (horizontal cross members between the 4×4 posts) for the upper and lower rows of windows were installed using pocket hole screws. The 4×4 cross members had the extra benefit of greatly stiffening the vertical support posts:
Screen Porch Window Framing with Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
The porch structural framing used Simpson Strong-Tie metal wood connectors and structural screws which are excellent products but I wanted a concealed fasteners for the Eze-Breeze window framing. Toe-nailing the 4×4 window headers and sills was out of the question for me because I don’t like nails, they tend to split the wood, are often set at haphazard angles and make for weaker connections compared to structural wood screws. (Builders prefer nails because nail guns are fast and let’s them race through a job.)
Kreg Pocket Hole Jig HD
My solution for fastening the 4×4 window framing is the Kreg Jig HD and Kreg Heavy Duty 2-1/2 inch pocket hole screws:
The pocket hole jig is easy and quick to assemble per the instruction manual. The stop collar is set 4-3/4 inches back on the drill bit from step shoulder, then the set screw is tightened with the included hex wrench:
The stop block is slipped onto the jig then the gap between the drill bit tip and stop block is checked for a ~3/8 inch gap:
Now the pocket hole jig is ready for use:
The jig has hardened-steel drill guides and the two guides are ideally space for making pocket holes in 4 inch wide lumber (e.g. 2×4, 4×4, etc.) with no measuring, although the jig can be used to make pocket holes in any width of lumber:
Learning how to use the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig HD
I’d never used pocket hole joinery before and practiced on scraps of 4×4 pressure treated lumber. The Kreg Jig HD stop block is set against the end of the 4×4, centered (I just eyeballed it) and clamped tight with the Kreg Large Face Clamp:
Insert the drill bit into the jig drill guide, then drill the pocket two pocket holes without removing the clamp. Notice the wood chips rising out of the relief hole near the center of the jig. Work the drill bit in & out if necessary to clear the wood chips:
I found drilling the pocket holes to be quick and perfect every time:
My plan for mounting the 4×4 window headers and sills between the 4×4 porch posts is to drill two pocket holes on once side, then a single hole on the opposite for a total of three pocket holes and screws. I’ve set the first Kreg Heavy Duty 2-1/2 inch pocket hole screw in the practice workpiece here:
Next the two screws are set in the opposite side of the 4×4. A long square drive bit is included with the Kreg Jig HD kit for setting the pocket hole screws:
I set the T-joint on the deck, stood on it and tried pushing and pulling with two screws set in the near side and a single screw centered on the opposite side – it wouldn’t budge!
I carefully aligned a screw with the pocket hole shoulder to get an idea of how far the 2-1/2 inch long screw penetrated the second 4×4. The jig and screws are designed such that all or nearly all of the threads are set into the mating member. There’s no chance of two screws colliding if driven in from opposite sides:
The three (3) pocket hole screws are removed to examine the hole pattern in the 4×4:
This project is continued in How to Install 4×4 Porch Framing for Eze-Breeze Windows.
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