Particle Board and Kreg Pocket Fastening - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 07:23 AM
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Yes it will work but 5/8 doesn't give you much to screw into so if you use it use 3/4". Also use coarse screws and not fine thread. A better way to go would be to use plywood and if you go to Lowe's or HD look for a sheet that isn't perfect (very easy to find) ask them if they can reduce the price and you'll get it for 50 to 70 percent off.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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My wife loves to cook and over the years she has amassed a plethora of kitchen items (I call them tools). She has 4 storage cabinets that she uses now that are of the kmart particle variety made from 5/8" particle board, and has worked well for the last 15 years or so. They are nowhere to be found anymore to buy 2 of them. She stores things like Tupperware, stock pots, casseroles, slow cookers and the like. I realize particle board is delicate and would rather build it with plywood. I have only just recently used the Kreg pocket hole jig for a cabinet carcass (plywood) to display/store my hand planes. My preference would be to use real joinery in making the carcass but wanted to make it a cheap as possible so I called Kreg to ask about it and of coarse the said it will work with the downfalls you describe. I wanted some verification from real users and I think that is the reason no one seems to sell these cabinets anymore. The cost of making these cabinets from plywood will jump the cost to more than double to three times the price for plywood and even more for real pine lumber.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 09:41 AM
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Although not the ideal material, particle board has been around for many years and there are possibly millions of cabinets and furniture still in service in various conditions. The question was , can pocket holes be used in this, I have never tried, but I have used and recycled many particle boards and I am currently building my version of the New Yankee Workshop router table and the main carcass is particle board with a beautiful maple veneer on both sides. Let me explain why I am using this; several years ago I was at a local Home Depot and as I passed the lumber section I noticed in the liquidation bin four sheets of 3/4'' 4' x 4' particle board at $2.00/ea. Well at that price who could resist ! I was planning to make a bar with them but I am n ow in a smaller home with no room for a bar and I really don't drink much anyways. So after a couple of moves and still have the sheets, a few months ago I cut them up according to the dimensions on the plan. I will be cutting the Dados and rabbets soon and I will assemble with glue and coarse thread screws. The fact that it has the veneer I will trim out the end cuts ans apply a nice finish when it's done. I would not have purchased them had they been only 5/8'' thick. The first picture shows the sheets under the accessories before they were cut. The second shows then cut and stacked.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 12:34 PM
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There is one other option for screwing into particle board that is much more reliable (but time consuming) and that is to drill a hole for a wooden dowel and drive the screw into the dowel. You still need a pilot hole in the dowel the same size as the shank part of the screw as you donít want the dowel trying to expand under the pressure, you just want the threads to bite into it. Thatís also the best way to fix stripped holes if they are beat out and not just pulled out.

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 #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 12:52 PM
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The disadvantage of using particle board and pocket hole/screws is that you can't pre-drill the receiving end of the particle board. By not pre-drilling, you stand a chance of creating some sawdust in the joint from the screw trying to make it's hole.

I would try to find a way to clamp the pieces so the screw doesn't try to push away the receiving piece...
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 02:05 PM
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For what it's worth, a few comments about my experiences with MDF (hundreds of sheets) and particle board (only one batch of 500 shelf sized boards)

MDF is by far the primary material for building car audio speaker baffles and subwoofer cabinets, sometimes powered by thousands of watts of power, and having to withstand the pressure and vibrations, as well as the huge swing in moisture and temperature variations of the automotive / marine environment.

Notice to Reader: Newer mdf (within the last 6 or 7 years) is ostensibly water resistant due to the higher glue content and more modern manufacturing techniques. On a recent flight, I sat next to an industrial engineer who was responsible for setting up and commissioning the latest mdf production presses in the market place; he told me the new stuff is almost water proof, in part because it is so easy to produce it that way, and it helps minimize goods lost to environmental factors. The density and reference flatness and straightness of these sheet goods is the standard. Having Home Depot cut it properly on their Holzherr panel saw yields CnC level accuracy btw......

Just saying these things for reference and background.

1/2, 3/4 and 1" Mdf - always pre drilled w/ countersinks, and at a slight angle when possible so the threads bite thru the "grain"/layers to some extent....they are there, if not officially...... Then glued, stapled into position and screwed tightly. Experience tells you what size hole to drill for which screws sizes in stock. On rare occasion you might get some lift of end grain visible ; drill perpendicular countersunk hole, shoot in a screw, problem solved. Hundreds of applications, never a failure or come back, which would suggest this method works. I still have some enclosures I built 20 yrs ago that remain solid as ever.......having lived thru 3 or 4 cars and damp garage storage.

The particle board story is even better:

A customer calls me about 18 yrs ago and says I can have as many lifts of green melamine 5 sides 5/8' particle board shelving as I want - ideally all of it. 3 tractor trailers full. I managed to take 10 skids. Used it to build highly stressed garage shelving units for my neighbors friends and myself.
Same assembly process as described above. In damp garage environments......for 18 yrs......zero failures.

Have always believed in overbuilding anything functional......so it lasts and performs.
Not everyone's method nor always required, but I try my best to do my best.......even when typing out these longwinded tales, lol

That is not to say the original question has been answered directly, but I do think the level of anecdotal evidence would suggest at least trying the jig and screws and experimenting would not be a waste of time, as long as there is a desire to modify and adapt as needed.
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Tulowd, Ok...I will at least try testing using my Kreg pocket hole jig. I am presently working on another display cabinet for my hand planes. Once that is done I will test on particle board and mdf...at least give it a chance. Thank you for your insight.
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 11:31 PM
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i have an old entertainment center my mom bought me in the early 70's. my kid had been using it for years but now its out in the garage. i needed it to take about 4" off the width to make it fit the only place i have for it. it would be great to have better storage. it looks like veneered mdf but i'd say not as good as todays. i tried cutting off one side and just got tired of bracing and propping it up so i just knocked the crap out of it and now its 100% deconstructed now. tomorrow im gonna cut the last few pieces try putting it back together using pocket hole screws. as long as it holds together until i can scoot it back a few feet into the corner it should be fine.

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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 08:31 AM
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In general it’s how much abuse they get subjected to that deters what material gets used. Particle board has been the material of choice for years in euro style cabinets but the slamming of doors and drawers shut caused screw failures so plastic plugs and soft close hardware was invented to compensate. If the application won’t see much abuse then lots of materials can be suitable.

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 #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twmv86 View Post
i have an old entertainment center my mom bought me in the early 70's. my kid had been using it for years but now its out in the garage. i needed it to take about 4" off the width to make it fit the only place i have for it. it would be great to have better storage. it looks like veneered mdf but i'd say not as good as todays. i tried cutting off one side and just got tired of bracing and propping it up so i just knocked the crap out of it and now its 100% deconstructed now. tomorrow im gonna cut the last few pieces try putting it back together using pocket hole screws. as long as it holds together until i can scoot it back a few feet into the corner it should be fine.
Let us know how that works out...with photos please.
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