After months of watching woodworkers and DIY blog owners showing off their skills with their Kreg jigs, I was really starting to want one of my own. My problem was, while I really wanted one, I was having a hard time justifying the 100.00 plus cost of something that I may or may not use. I usually watch the local Craigslist for tools that I want or need, as there can be some deals to be had, but I had never seen a Kreg jig for sale. One day last week I was skimming through the tool section when I saw an ad that said, Wood Joining Tool 35.00.
The ad had no picture which normally I would just ignore, but for some reason I decided to contact them. As it turned out, it was a brand new Kreg K4 with a separate face clamp included. My first thought was, okay, this must be stolen and they are trying to get rid of it quickly. I don’t know about where you live, but in my area (Vancouver, BC) the thieves use Craigslist on a regular basis. I was starting to have second thoughts when the guy said, (he must have been reading my mind) and I have the receipt. That was it, all my wasted time looking through the ads had just paid off. I rushed out to get it before anyone else had the chance. Had it been advertised as a Kreg jig, I think it would have been long gone before I got to it.
What To Do Next?
Okay, so now that I had this fine piece of equipment, what was I going to do with it? I decided the first thing I needed to do, was build something to keep all the pieces together, so that I wasn’t constantly looking all over my shop for them when I needed them. This is where my Kreg jig storage base comes in. I had seen some variations online, so I kind of had an Idea of what I wanted to do. I started to get my coat on to go pick up some Baltic Birch plywood at my local supplier but then it struck me that the plywood would cost more than I paid for the jig itself. Rethinking, I started digging through my scraps in the shop and decided that it was going to get built with what I had, whatever it was.
Building the Kreg Jig Storage Base
I fired up my Craftsman table saw, which incidentally I also bought on Craigslist, and started cutting the Pieces. A 24″ piano hinge that I had purchased for another project but never used, was going to be the basis for the length of my base. Measuring the jig and some screw packages that were laying around, I decided the width would be 12″ and inside depth would be 3″. Starting to cut the sides of the base, I mitered the 5/8″ plywood corners and glued them together.
Someone on Facebook asked me why I hadn’t used the Kreg to make the joints, and to be honest, it hadn’t occurred to me. Mitering and gluing this type of thing was what I had always done, and i just did it without thinking.
I cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood for the bottom, 24″ x 12″ and fastened it to sides with glue and a few brads to hold it in place. I also added one divider to keep the tools and screws separated.
After a bit of sanding I used some clear water based varathane to seal the plywood.
The lid needed to be fairly smooth so as not to gather too much dirt and sawdust, but I never had any suitable plywood for this, so I used a piece of 3/4″ MDF that I had. After cutting the lid 24″ x 12″, the same sizes as the base, I started thinking about how the edges of the MDF are not very durable, and how was I going to lift the lid. I found some 3/8″ thick strips of oak in my pile of wood (who knows where I got them) and thought they might toughen up the edge a bit as well as give me a bit of a lip to lift the lid. I cut the strips to fit around the edge of the lid, and glued them on, adding some brads to hold them while the glue dried.
After sanding the lid a bit, I applied a coat of varathane to seal it up.
After the varathane was dry I fastened the lid on to the box with a 24″ piano hinge.
Now that the lid is on the Kreg jig storage box, I test it and realize how heavy it is, and how much it would hurt if it was to come down and slam my fingers. I dig through my hardware bins looking for a lid support, but no such luck, so off to the local Home Depot to get one. I install the lid support and a couple of handles that I found previously while searching my hardware bins.
Now that the box is finished, I can work on the top. Because I may want to use the jig for longer pieces, plywood supports will be added on both sides to bring the level up 1″ to the base of the jig. I cut four strips of 1/2″ plywood, 1-1/2″ wide by 10-1/4″ long and glue them together.
Once the glue has dried I round off one end and sand them smooth.
I mount the jig, centered onto the top of the box with four 1-1/4″ screws. I seal the workpiece supports with a coat of varathane and fasten them to the top of the box with four 1-1/2″ screws from the bottom side of the lid. The supports are lined up with the back fence on the jig so that different thicknesses will be supported.
And that’s it. The Kreg jig storage base will sit in it’s new home on the side bench, and if I need to move it for longer stock, I can easily pick it up by the handles and move it where I need it.