I have mixed feelings about home-made woodworking machinery. On the one hand, I admire the inventiveness of the people who build them, while on the other, I sometimes wonder if the time spent making such machines could have paid for the purchase of the “real thing”. But then who am I to argue with the things others choose to do to amuse themselves? I once built wooden trash cans because I was bored, and regularly repair broken items that could be cheaply and easily replaced.
In the videos below you can see five home-made pocket screw devices. Three are quick clamping mechanisms that work with Kreg jigs or incorporate parts of them, and two are entirely home-made pocket hole machines. Aside from the coolness factor, the thing they have going for them is speed of operation. At an earlier point in my life I’d have been tempted to build one of these; now I’d probably buy a Kreg Foreman or adapt a less expensive pocket hole jig to a quick clamping device.
In the video above, Gene Lonergan turns an older pocket hole jig (K3) into a manually operated “pocket hole machine”. See it in action early on; watch all the way through to see how to make one.
Roy from Bellevue Woodshop takes a very old Kreg Jig and replaces the clamp with the type of pneumatic piston used to clamp material in production machines.
This rough and ready pocket hole machine is an “early model” from the Wooden Tool Man. It’s pretty clever—a home-made version of the Kreg Foreman machine. The most recent version of the home-made machine includes a better clamp for the stock. I included the earlier video because the later one is more talk than action.
Trevor Green is an amateur woodworker in Southern California—and from the looks of this machine I’d say he’s good at his craft. I like the vertical design and method for adjusting the table for different thickness material, though I’d have probably gone with commercially produced clamp.
Here’s another from the Wooden Tool Man, a pocket hole machine that reminds me of the kind of multi-spindle boring machines used in cabinet shops and furniture factories. It’s extreme, but cool. I hope the builder has some spares of the same model drill because if one of the drills in this machine dies he’ll be able to drill 5 rather than 6 holes at once.