Kreg Custom Pocket-Hole Plug Cutter

tooltest_kregby Megan Fitzpatrick
pg. 16

The Kreg pocket-hole jig is the workhorse joinery method in our beginner woodworking “I Can Do That” series of articles, videos and books. When we design those pieces, we’re careful to hide the pocket holes, because we don’t want them to show.

Sure, one can buy ready-made plugs, but only in “paint grade” and select hardwoods (and plastic); the available choices might not match your species, plus it requires a trip to the store. You can also fill the pocket holes with some sort of putty – but it will eventually shrink or crack with wood movement; putty is not a permanent solution.

Now, Kreg has come up with a “Custom Pocket-Hole Plug Cutter” jig and bit that enables you to cut perfectly sized plugs from your project stock so that the plugged joint is less noticeable. (Still, I’d recommend placing your pocket holes in unobtrusive locations as much as possible.)
The plug-cutter jig fits into any standard Kreg jig (K3, K4 or K5), and comes with a bit that matches the standard size of Kreg pocket holes (HD and Micro bits are available separately for $39.99 each, and work in the same jig).

The plug-cutter jig fits into any standard Kreg jig (K3, K4 or K5), and comes with a bit that matches the standard size of Kreg pocket holes (HD and Micro bits are available separately for $39.99 each, and work in the same jig).

Just like the Kreg pocket hole bit, the plug-cutting bit includes an adjustable stop collar to limit the depth of cut to match the holes. (And like the commercially available plugs, the plugs will protrude slightly from the workpiece surface after gluing them in. They’ll need to be planed or cut then sanded flush – though you can adjust the collar /cutting depth for a closer-to-perfect fit).

Like with most plug cutters, drill a series of plugs, then use a band saw or hand saw to cut them from the stock.

But it’s critical that you follow the included directions: Lower the bit into the jig until it contacts the work, pull it back about 1⁄4″ then let your drill reach full speed before slowly – very slowly – beginning the cut. Move too fast and the bit will snap.

Also, I recommend touching up the cutting edge with a fine file; after doing so, I got much cleaner plugs (though it doesn’t truly matter; those edges get sanded off as you level the plugs).

Website: Kreg Tool
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From the December 2016 issue, #229
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