pocket hole screws - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-07-2011, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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pocket hole screws

How strong and stable is this joinery?

I want to try my hand at making a pub table from plans I found at lowes.com http://www.lowescreativeideas.com/id...able_0909.aspxand it seems it uses mostly pocket hole screws for any and all joinery.

I really wouldnt want to lean on a table and have it collapse under me
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-07-2011, 10:50 PM
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I love "em!

I think they should be used on every piece of imported furniture.

Scott
OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!

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post #3 of 16 Old 09-08-2011, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mdntrdr View Post
I love "em!

I think they should be used on every piece of imported furniture.
I'm all for a new federal law!

Actually pocket screws do have their uses. What I've noticed is that even the high end custom cabinet makers are using them in face frames. They work rather well and as long as the joints are glued the face frame serves the product well.

The "Kreg" brand of screws are true clamping devices. I find myself using the Kreg screws for many things that stay in the shop. I have also used pocket joinery for places where the joinery is not visible in the final product.

As for that new entertainment center I have to build.... It will be M & T and no pocket screws. However the jigs to make the entertainment center, that's another story.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-08-2011, 08:11 AM
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I use 'em in shop cabinets and on casework where I can hide 'em.
They are just another tool to be used where appropriate. And their appropriateness depends on the user.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-08-2011, 08:25 AM
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I use them as well when necessary of possible as the joint is fast, tight and fairly strong. Some mag did a joint face off and the pocket hole faired actually very well, more so in fact than a Festool domino.

Are they for everyone, no, are they for every project, no, but trust them when they are used appropriately. I also agree the Kreg fasteners are the best.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-08-2011, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tucker43 View Post
How strong and stable is this joinery?

I want to try my hand at making a pub table from plans I found at lowes.com http://www.lowescreativeideas.com/id...able_0909.aspxand it seems it uses mostly pocket hole screws for any and all joinery.

I really wouldnt want to lean on a table and have it collapse under me


I sure as heck don't blame you. That would wreck my day if that table collapsed. How could I face my friends...my family...my pets. I guess I could try and explain that I used pocket screws, and the table collapsed. Not my fault...the plans called for pocket screws. People on forums said they used them. How did I ever go wrong???

I didn't consider using traditional joinery because it wasn't mentioned in the plans. Maybe that's the case as the store showing the plans sells the jigs and such. But I was in a rush and had little time to get the table together.

But, the table might just turn out fine. It might just take me jumping up and down on it. It is a pub table and my drinking buddies may want to rough house around it, or do some arm wrestling (I'm an arm wrestler from way back). Anyway, When I think about using traditional joinery, I'm trying to imagine if all those good fitting wood to wood joints with glue are anywhere as good as a butt joint with a pocket screw. I'm just very confused.









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post #7 of 16 Old 09-09-2011, 05:50 AM
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Pocket hole screws usually square socket and have built in washer under head. Agreed they are useful for a variety of jobs.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-09-2011, 09:52 PM
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I too find the Kreg pocket tool and screws to be superior. Pricey though. I did quite a bit of reading on different web sites before purchasing them since their dies are mostly plastic with metal sleeves for the drill bits. Users were complaining about drilling out the dies and them becoming useless; I find that they are fine so long as you treat them kindly and realize they are not made out of titanium.

Another blindingly obvious point but completely annoying when you actually start using pocket hole screws, etc.... I have also found it necessary to get some longer drive bits for my (battery powered) drill so I could actually screw in the screws. Since the holes are at an angle the short drive bits and the sockets most bits fit into will not always be small enough to enter the pocket AND the drills heads are big enough that you generally can't use something in the chuck unless the drive bit is longer. Hopefully that was clear.....

Among the secrets to success with the pocket holes is keeping the dies firmly attached to the piece of wood you are drilling out. This sounds easier than it is in the case of repairs of a large flat tabletop. Otherwise it is a simple matter of clamping the die to the piece you are drilling and making the holes in smaller pieces you assemble. I also find that having a solid place (like a wooden fence) to put the piece of work so I can push the drill in without the piece moving or dulling the drill actually helps.

Gluing the joints is still advised. I would also get more variety of the wood screws "lengths". If you use too long a screw it pops through the wood where you really do not want to see it. SO start shorter than you think and change it out if you need to on the first or second practice hole.

Chris
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-10-2011, 01:06 PM
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I just built a work bench using pocketed screws (I actually used exterior grade deck screws as opposed to actual "pocket screws"). The bench turned out very solid, though I did have plenty of bracing to ensure sturdiness. I think pocket screws can create a rather sturdy joint. Glue is definitely recommended for reinforcement in most cases and the screws act as good clamping action to allow the glue to do its thing.

In the case of the bench I just mentioned, I opted not to glue. But this is only because of the fact that the bench is rigidly mounted to the wall along the rear. So I am not concerned with the kind of flexing and abuse that may occur from leaning on it or falling against a corner of it or what not. If it was to be a free standing unit I would have glued the pocketed joints as well. On its own, without a plenty of bracing (or at least glue), pocket screwing probably isn't the most durable joint, as it is somewhat easy to break out the wood if flexed much. Think of it as toe-nailing with extra 'grab'.

I am fairly new to using pocketed screws so my opinion may not be as credible as the others. But, from an analytical standpoint, I think I'm somewhat on track in my logic.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-10-2011, 11:04 PM
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I started out using pocket screws and they do a good job. I got the general kit from HD & I'm ready to upgrade to the Kreg or the PC.
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-10-2011, 11:21 PM
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The pocket screws I have

leave holes in my pocket even though I am very careful and sometimes they pop out and tear the leather seats on my pickup
and that's when I really started to hate them. I keep them in a jar now, but occasionally forget and then I find them in the washer, and once in the dryer. I could tell by the ringing sound it was making. I do make jigs with screws but they don't have any pockets, I just pre-drill the holes in hardwood. My shop apron has pockets and that's where I find more screws. I found one in the driveway today. It must have escaped from my pocket at some point. That's all I know about pocket screws...sorry I can't be of more assistance. I do remember there is someone here that also hates them......I can't think who it was, but that Man keeps them in his Cabinet, not his pocket. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-12-2011, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Howe View Post
I use 'em in shop cabinets and on casework where I can hide 'em.
They are just another tool to be used where appropriate. And their appropriateness depends on the user.


What Gene says.

Harrison, at your service!
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-12-2011, 03:26 PM
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I have a Kreg setup and I used it along with good tight fitting joinery. I found it eliminated the need for clamps almost completely in my kitchen island project. Clamps seem cheap until you realize you need 20 but already have the kreg jig... I didn't use it everywhere but where I did use it the results were good and tight fitting joints.
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-20-2011, 04:27 PM
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I agree there are limits...I would not use pocket hole screws alone for this table but maybe combined with dowel or biscuit, hmmmm, it could just about pass I suppose. By the time you've messed about with your kreg jig and biscuit jointer or drill you could have cut a mortise and tennon.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-24-2011, 10:49 AM
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By the time you've messed about with your kreg jig and biscuit jointer or drill you could have cut a mortise and tennon.
I'm no expert, so I won't pretend to be, but I imagine you could cut MT joints in the time it takes to mess around with pocket holes. (I couldn't, but I hope to get to the point where I could some day.) If this fellow wants to become a good woodworker, then yeah, work on learning to cut MT joints. If this fellow just wants to make a pub table, then I'd say pocket holes would be just fine. Not everyone wants to become an excellent woodworker; some people just want to build something.

Mike
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-25-2011, 07:04 AM
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I made homemade bisquits for dinner last night.Takes less time to mix up than stove needs to pre-heat.....duh.Only thing was I'll move the rack in stove up one notch next time.They were a little tough because of cook time to get tops golden brown.But,oh my goodness the difference in taste from the storebought kind was dramatic!Will never buy anymore of the pre-mades.


The story above isn't about WW'ing,but shows how some things are just worth doing the old fashioned way......and not only in the taste,cheapness dept.........it can be quicker.Being able to distinquish WW methods/tools in this market'd sense is a valuable tool in itself.BW

Those who say it cannot be done shouldn't interrupt the people doing it.
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