Particle Board and Kreg Pocket Fastening - Page 3 - Router Forums
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 09:15 AM
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Let us know how that works out...with photos please.

i was thinking last night to be sure im getting the screws in new meat im going to have plywood on the sides and put pocket holes in the old stuff for shelves and dividers. the original was basically a smaller lower box with a bigger box stacked on top of it then screwed together. im not sure if i'll do that. lol between the mix of the two woods this wont be much to look at so i dont plan on photos. for a visual think of what you could build with some bent nails and a big muddy rock. that pretty much sums up my carpenter skills.
if its really ugly i might paint it. the previous owner left a 6ft long 2x4 bench with shelves above it both painted gray. this will sit next to that.

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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 12:27 PM
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Let us know how that works out...with photos please.
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you asked for it. it aint good but here it is. i dont know what this stuff is but i dont think its strong enough for pocket screws. this stuff was made in the late 60 early 70s. it sure clumps up after drilling pocket holes. i tried connecting 2 mystery boards using a pocket screw. it split badly. i tried to go slow but it split trying to get tight. i tried mystery board to plywood and it was better but still split. those boards will now just be shelves that will slide in on 1x2s that are glued and screwed to the sides and back. wont be pretty but functional. i added 2x4 feet under the bottom shelf so the sides arent bearing all the weight. my mom gave me this thing so i wanted to just cut it enough to make it fit where it had to go but now its more of a frankencabinet.
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Tim, Thanks for the try. I have always felt particle board had little use.
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 07:25 PM
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Gmercer, There is nothing inherently wrong with using particle board for your proposed cabinet. I've run a commercial casework company for 30+ years and almost all of the commercial work we have done has been using particle board. It is the standard material for commercial work but it is almost always either melamine paper coated or HPL laminated for appearance. That work is almost always done using 3/4". The cost difference to use 5/8" is minimal and the strength difference is large. Our methods of construction are outside of the home shop's capabilities but there is no reason you can't get good results also. If you plan on painting your cabinet MDF will finish better. To get a better finish do a seal coat with a lacquer primer or a shellac seal coat. You may be able to buy a sheet or two of industrial board from a large casework shop in your area. There is an outside chance you could find high density fiber board, an excellent material but hard to come by.

If your cabinet may be subject to getting wet elevate it a bit to keep it off the wet floor. No wood based work takes well to water.
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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Gmercer, There is nothing inherently wrong with using particle board for your proposed cabinet. I've run a commercial casework company for 30+ years and almost all of the commercial work we have done has been using particle board. It is the standard material for commercial work but it is almost always either melamine paper coated or HPL laminated for appearance. That work is almost always done using 3/4". The cost difference to use 5/8" is minimal and the strength difference is large. Our methods of construction are outside of the home shop's capabilities but there is no reason you can't get good results also. If you plan on painting your cabinet MDF will finish better. To get a better finish do a seal coat with a lacquer primer or a shellac seal coat. You may be able to buy a sheet or two of industrial board from a large casework shop in your area. There is an outside chance you could find high density fiber board, an excellent material but hard to come by.

If your cabinet may be subject to getting wet elevate it a bit to keep it off the wet floor. No wood based work takes well to water.
Larry, Are you saying that the Kreg pocket hole system will work as well compared to plywood? Have you personal experience?
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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 07:26 PM
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For the record, IKEA’s cabs cases are all made of HPL particleboard, not MDF, not plywood, so while it is particleboard, it is not at all the same as what you are planning:

1. The HPL protects and strengthens the particleboard
2. They use a special fastening system designed for that very application, which includes specific particleboard screws in pinned AND pre-drilled holes and these mating holes are precisely drilled in the mating pieces by using special 32mm cab system jigs. They also utilize rabbeted and screwed joints
3. I always glue my IKEA cases together as I screw them tight
4. You’ll notice that IKEA does NOT use particleboard for doors (they use lighter solid/plywood combinations) and your doors are big; too big for this.

Believe it or not, this is what particleboard is made for (in factory settings), but the added effort and specialized fasteners and jigging just don’t seem worth it for a one-off project. This is especially true because if you can pull it off, the best you’ll have is a cheap-ass crap cabinet that is not robust.

It’s true, we get what we pay for in this world. What are you going to do if you crack or break or blow out something? You’ll get to go buy some 3/4” shop grade plywood 🙁 and start over. What’s your time worth to ya? Pocket screws in 3/4” plywood is a slam dunk, even though I would make it all dadoed and rabbeted/finish nail or staple + glue construction.

Good luck.
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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Bradley, My reason for posting the original question about pocket hole and particle board was because I felt the two didn't go well together. I will not be using particle board for this at all. Kreg's… "yes it will work" attitude towards this question does nothing to further knowledge about particle board. It shows me what is wrong with industry today. It would have been a feather in their cap to have told me why it should not be used. By admitting the Kreg pocket hole system is not the "do all", in this application would have been the HONEST reply.

I will be making two cabinets in the near future from 3/4" plywood, which will be easier to make, more durable, easier on my tools and lighter. Considering the cost is 3 times more to make... it still comes in at around $180 for two cabinets with hardware and finish.
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 05:17 PM
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My advice: do not use particle board for anything that has to bear weight or might be moved (even a little). Screws just don't hold in it (especially if they are short and/or angled). They also don't age well - any humidity or temperature change will make them crumble. I had a horrible experience moving store-bought and self-assembled cabinets (not IKEA), which lived in my garage and I had to re-enforce twice over a 5-year period just so they don't fall apart. Nevertheless, 6 started the trip, none made it whole to the destination. I managed to salvage 3 and scrap the other 3, but I'd rather not have had to spend the time on this.
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One year of experience repeated 10 times is not 10 years of experience.
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 05:41 PM
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When my daughter opened her business, I helped her make counter tops and some computer tables using 3/4" MDF and a Kreg pocket hole jig. I did glue the edges before using the pocket hole screws. After several years of use, they still look good. Keep in mind that the Kreg screws self thread when they are used. I also set the torque setting on my cordless screwdriver to make sure that the screws stop before stripping the wood. I put a back on the tables and counter tops to give them some extra strength.
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 03:38 PM
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Gmercer, As for experience I have run a commercial shop for 30+ years. We've had a Castle pocket screw machine for many years. It occasionally gets used on plywood but I'm not a fan of the stuff. 80% of what we build is made with Industrial grade particle with melamine or HPL (not the crap sold at the big box stores.) 8% MDF, 2% ply. Oldcrumudgeon has been tainted by having used/ bought stuff that used the cheap cheap board. We ship our store fixtures all over the country and to a few off shore locations. They make the trip just fine and hold up for years in rather hostile retail environments. I don't know where the home shop guy can buy industrial board, we get it through distribution yards.
As for why I hate to use ply: The stuff has voids (usually right where a screw goes,) it is prone to not being flat, it is never true to thickness. This last point is extremely important for production use. All of our products are parametrically designed in CAD. Optimized & Coded by CAM software, sent to CNC machines from the office server (Router, beam saw, edgebander, bore and insert & case clamp.) Face dowel holes are done on the Router, edge doweling is done on the bore & insert (slick machine, 8' long working area, reads a bar code, drills, blows the dust out, injects glue, drives a dowel, moves to the next location in 1.5 seconds. At the case clamp glue is injected with a gun that measures an exact amount. Drawer guides, hinge plates etc. are installed. Case is loosely knocked together and slid into the clamp. Push button, ass'l the next case. Time in clamp, about 3-4 minutes. Occasionally there will be a screwup and the wrong size case will be made. It becomes our test victim. Virtually all commercial work is frameless construction. Properly made it is very durable. I suspect few home shops have the equipment to do it.
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