Pocket-size gauge for setting pocket-hole bits
After buying a pocket-hole jig, I found that changing the depth of the stop collar was awkward because I had to hold the drill bit, a ruler, and the stop collar with one hand while I tightened the collar with the other. To simplify the task, I built this stop-collar gauge from scrap 3⁄4 " medium-density fiberboard (MDF).
Because the stepped drill bit is 3⁄8 " diameter, I drilled the gauge holes slightly oversize with a 13⁄32 " bit. The drawing above shows how deep to drill the holes to correctly set the bit for 1⁄2 ", 3⁄4 ", and 1-1⁄2 "-thick materials. I then drilled a 3⁄16 " hole in the bottom of each gauge hole to make room for the pilot bit. To use the gauge, loosen the stop collar, drop the pocket hole bit into the gauge hole, and then retighten the collar.
–Dan Jansen, Sigel, Ill.