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:

Screen Porch Framing on Wood Deck

Screen Porch Framing on Wood Deck

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:

Eze-Breeze Screened Porch on Wood Deck

Eze-Breeze Screened Porch on Wood Deck

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:

Eze-Breeze Porch Windows on Wood Deck

Eze-Breeze Porch Windows on Wood Deck

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:

Kreg Jig HD Pocket Hole Drill Kit

Kreg Jig HD Pocket Hole Drill Kit

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:

Kreg Jig HD - Stop Collar Adjustment

Kreg Jig HD – Stop Collar Adjustment

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:

Kreg Jig HD - Check Bit Gap to Stop Block

Kreg Jig HD – Check Bit Gap to Stop Block

Now the pocket hole jig is ready for use:

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig HD

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig HD

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:

Kreg Jig HD Pocket Hole Drill Guide and Bit

Kreg Jig HD Pocket Hole Drill Guide and Bit

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:

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig HD with Large 6 inch Face Clamp

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig HD with Large 6 inch 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:

Drill Pocket Hole with Kreg Jig HD

Drill Pocket Hole with Kreg Jig HD

I found drilling the pocket holes to be quick and perfect every time:

Pocket Holes Drilled in 4x4 using Kreg Jig HD

Pocket Holes Drilled in 4×4 using Kreg Jig HD

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:

Kreg Jig HD and Heavy Duty Pocket Hole Screw

Kreg Jig HD and Heavy Duty Pocket Hole Screw

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:

Kreg Heavy Duty Square Drive Pocket Hole Screws

Kreg Heavy Duty Square Drive 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!

4x4 Lumber Fastened with Pocket Hole Screws

4×4 Lumber Fastened with Pocket Hole Screws

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:

Approx Position of Pocket Hole Screw in 4x4 Lumber

Approx Position of Pocket Hole Screw in 4×4 Lumber

The three (3) pocket hole screws are removed to examine the hole pattern in the 4×4:

4x4 Pocket Hole Screw Positions

4×4 Pocket Hole Screw Positions

This project is continued in How to Install 4×4 Porch Framing for Eze-Breeze Windows.

Enjoy!

Bob Jackson

Copyright © 2017 HandymanHowTo.com   Reproduction strictly prohibited.