Pocket screws in plywood? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default Pocket screws in plywood?

I know there are probably better ways to do this, but I am going to try to build a cabinet for my router tabel top (a Rockler). I have some of the sides etc. cut from 3/4" plywood. The front will have a face frame. Shelves inside and maybe a couple drawers-a major challenge since I've never MADE a drawere before.
Do you folks think pocket screws will be enough to hold the cabinet together? Solid back of course. Cabinet will be reinforced at top where the router top fits. I have the nice Kreg pocket hole system, which I have used before, and concluded since there will be no major stress on the cabinet that pocket holes will do it. What you you folks think?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 08:08 PM
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You should be just fine with plywood and Kreg pocket hole screws. I do know that MDF and the pocket holes do not get along well, but with plywood, you should be just fine. Be sure to use the course grade screws and not the fine.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 09:49 PM
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I have built entire Kitchens with Ply and pocket screws for the carcasses and it is not only good enough but as good as the highest end cabinets you could buy.

Use T&G on certain places in the carcass construction and add all wood doors and you will have the best cabinets made. Using pocket screws is made to order for ply to ply and especially ply to hardwood connections.

Pocket screws on MDF is really not good, but I have seen it done. I for one have used MDF for the panels on certain doors and thick MDF for router tables and lots of jigs, but I do not like MDF for the stiles, rails or any part of the carcass on cabinets.

I know some will jump in and say yes you can use it for these things and you can, but I don't and won't. I have used MDF long enough to know, whatever any tells me, that MDF moves and it moves more than ply. I have all MDF crown in my bedroom and every year the seams shrink and leave a gap and in the summer get tight as a drum. Just one instance of hundreds where I have seen the MDF move. And water and MDF forget it.

Stick to plywood and you are fine, but for a router table top I would consider going with MDF. It's awfully smooth and really simple to add stock laminate. Add a solid wood edge(apron) around the MDF for an excellent router table.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2008, 09:55 PM
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Hi

The only thing I like to use MDF for is, jig making.

MDF and screws don't really mix to well.

I have to agree with Nick about using T&G on certain parts. You may also find that using the method in certain area's also works well. As others have said, use the coarse threaded screws.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
 
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Okay fellas-thanks. That was pretty much what I was thinking. I will also GLUE. And speaking of MDF...I was buying my 3/4 Ply for about the same price locall!! That really surprised me. Oh...I already HAVE the router table top, the Rockler, so I just marry that to my base (cabinet). And there will be hardwood framing around the top, bottom and for drawers. This thing is a big undertaking for me, especially drawers so we'll have to see how it goes.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Oh,forgot to mention, I will be cutting dados for some of the shelves so that will help with stability too. Shallow dados, but dados neverless and for the vertical partitions too.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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MDF makes a fine top for a router table or a workbench, or just plain old jigs. It does need to have a finish that protects it from moisture. I use Watco oil, plain or colored, makes no difference. Let it dry thoroughly, add a coating of paste wax like Johnson's, and you will have an excellent top. An occasional waxing will keep it slick. Johnson's is also good to protect your cast iron saw tops, etc., and things will slide better also. Just remember to buff out the wax.

Regards, and Happy New Year to all,

Tom
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 10:42 AM
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Tom, a high pressure laminate like Formica or Laminex is the ideal surface for a router table top. It is durable, easy to build, material slides easily across it and you can make pencil marks for references and they wipe clean instantly. This is the material of choice by Bench Dog, the new improved Rockler tables and Oak Park.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 12:03 PM
 
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Mike,

Didn't mean to imply what is best, just what may be done. My current router top and all my tables have the mat'l. and finish I mentioned. They all are quite large (49 X97) on the assembly table. The finish allows me to spill glue, spray paint (lightly) and still readily remove the stuff with a simple scrape. Outfeed table (49 X48) and router table (49 X 48) have the same type of top. Have used them for years without problems.

I do tend to make things large because of the things I build.

Regards, Tom
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 01:11 PM
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If I am using MDF as a router top I always add a laminate(Formica, etc) using contact cement. It is simple and fast and the laminate is easy to clean and as smooth as the underlying MDf.
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