More Pocket Holes? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
  • 1 Post By epicfail48
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 Old 07-09-2020, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 1
View MacAaroni's Photo Album My Photos
More Pocket Holes?

Recently started my first ever wood project, decided on a pretty simple computer desk design. It's made from 3/4in Birch plywood.

The question i have is, should i put more pocket holes for the main legs and the shelf legs? Not really sure how much strength each pocket hole adds and what is or isn't enough depending on the size and weight. I have 4 pocket holes on each of the insides of the main legs and 2 pocket holes for the shelf legs at the top and bottom. Should i add more between the current holes? Or maybe add some on the outsides? (I have a 2in overhang on the main legs and 1in over hang on shelf legs, so the pocket holes won't be too visible on outside if i do that)

Below are some pictures of the design of the desk i made in sketch up and the current amount of pocket holes i have for the legs. If you have any other pointers or things for me to be aware of, feel free to share, thanks!

MacAaroni is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 07-10-2020, 12:29 AM
Nick2727's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: edmonton
Posts: 65
View Nick2727's Photo Album My Photos
Kreg website suggests 2" in from corners to prevent splitting, roughly 6" spacing between holes after that

Nick Johnston
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Nick2727 is online now  
post #3 of 5 Old 07-10-2020, 04:47 AM
Village Idiot
epicfail48's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Springfield MO
Posts: 4,945
View epicfail48's Photo Album My Photos
You know, i like pocket holes. I think that theyre a pretty neat solution to a problem, the jigs are an elegant sort of simplicity, and for certain tasks theyre by far the fastest way to get something done.

That said, pocket screws are a horrible method of joinery.

Pocket screws are made for cabinetry. If you need to make up a carcass, then a Kreg jig is going to be the fastest strong way to get all the sides together. The screws will hold way better than a brad nail or similar, and dont take nearly as long as a dowel. For joinery though, theyre crap, and i dont care what the manufacturers say. The problem is the joinery is completely dependent on screws. Screws dont hold well in wood. Over time, wood compresses around the screws, and the holding power vanishes. No holding power, no joint, period. If you try to use a pocket screw to secure something like a chair back, every time you put any sort of stress on that back youre going to be compressing the wood around the screw and gradually working it free, and that joint will fail very rapidly.

In the design of your desk, pocket screws are a notably horrible method. See, the problem is is with a table like that, if you happen to bump into the side of the desk youre going to be putting a huge amount of racking force on the joints, and that will rip the screws free in no time at all. Doesnt matter how many screws you put in the joint, they arent going to hold.

Now, there is one benefit to pocket screws in joints like that; they make fantastic clamps to hold the pieces together while the glue dries on an actual joinery method. In the case of your design, adding some dowels in the joint to actually take the load, then using the screws solely to keep things held together while the glue on the dowels dries, will result in a much more sturdy design. Still though, not a bad idea to add some gussets to those corners. Bit of reinforcement never hurts
terryh likes this.

I need cheaper hobby
epicfail48 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 5 Old 07-10-2020, 06:45 AM
Senior Member
johnedp34's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 155
View johnedp34's Photo Album My Photos
I regret I just used plastic blocks. Never any trouble.
johnedp34 is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 07-10-2020, 08:51 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Troy Michigan USA
Posts: 1,262
View gmercer_48083's Photo Album My Photos
Extending your drawer bottom out to the legs would greatly increase strength.


Woodworking is like wetting myself....Only I know that warm feeling!
gmercer_48083 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome