An interesting blog about pocket-hole screws - Router Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Default An interesting blog about pocket-hole screws

https://www.queenbeeofhoneydos.com/w...t-hole-screws/

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 08:19 AM
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I use pocket holes all the time and wonder why anyone would use a more complicated joint if a pocket hole would do. That goes for a lot of fancy or complicated joinery. I cannot imagine making kitchen cuboards without pocket holes. As far as holding up I see a lot of furniture from the 50's that is still in use and assembled with pocket hole screws.She is right about when to use them and it's a good read especially if someone is new to woodworking.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 08:56 AM
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I rarely use pocket screws. When I tighten the screws it often pulls the joint slightly out of alignment. I also don't trust their ability to hold over time with anything that is subject to movement. Plus in the time it takes me to set up the pocket hole jig and my step drill I can whip together a drilling jig for dowels using these: Bushings and Inserts - Lee Valley Tools Using dowels is stronger than screws and I don't have to worry about them pulling my joint or pieces out of alignment.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 09:37 AM
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Interesting about not using them to join pieces together for a panel. I recently helped a neighbor build some doors for a closet that was on a rolling track. We used 6" wide 54" long oak. Closet was over a raised foyer ceiling from foyer below so the doors were not to the floor.
We used the pocket hole screws to hold the 6' boards together to build the panel. It will be interesting to see if the use of screws near the edge of those boards cause issues with movement. The boards can expand and contract except the very edge maybe 3/8". I don't think it will cause an issue. the screws would only be seen by someone that climbed up into this closet area or stuck there head in and looked at the back, not likely.
They are handy!

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 10:42 AM
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If the panel is inside a frame and the outer edges are locked into place then it will likely have problems. When Norm Abrams of New Yankee Workshop built panel and frame doors he would glue the center one inch of panel just to keep it from rattling when being opened and closed. This allowed the rest of the panel on either side to move.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 12:06 PM
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I am with you Chuck. I rarely use pocket screws. I use biscuits more than dowels though.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roxanne562001 View Post
I am with you Chuck. I rarely use pocket screws. I use biscuits more than dowels though.
But remember, not too long ago, biscuits were the hallmark of 'amateur woodworkers'. I think everyone should just use what they have, what they are comfortable with, and what works for them!


pocketholes, dowels, splines, biscuits, loose tenons all have there merits, and I use them all. Dowels for me were my original go to joint, because that's all I could afford at the time.. I am amazed at how much hate there is for pocket hole screws, however!

They are probably the best 'gateway drug' to get people started in woodworking. Being able to put a project together with a circular saw and a drill without a lot of initial cash outlay is a great way to get people hooked on the hobby. Afterwards they can learn some of the more traditional joinery skills if they desire.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 02:29 PM
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They all have their place, it's just that pocket screws are my least favorite. Biscuits are a good way to attach an apron to a flat panel when the panel is ply, particle board, or mdf. They can also reinforce joints of a frame or make it easier to join the two sides of a mitered leg. They may seem amateurish to some but they work well in those circumstances. In some cases they can be replaced with a spline which is even better.

A biscuit, spline, dowel, or floating tenon are all versions of the same idea, namely a pocket in both of two pieces with a piece of wood that fits in both and joins them. A spline and a T & G joint are two of the same thing too. The spline is just a floating tongue that fits in two grooves.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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I too have never used pocket hole screws, in the early days it was dowels but then I discovered biscuits which needed no jigs or even measurements.
I simply thought that because so many members DO use pocket hole screws the post would be of interest.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 01:00 AM
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Proving once again that there are usually a few ways to skin the cat as the saying goes. Some people do love pocket screws. Stick and I promote splines but they seem to be a hard sell sometimes. I, like you, quite readily pull out my biscuit joiner because it's so quick and easy to use.
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Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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