pocket hole drill

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I am building some under-the-counter drawers for my kitchen bar. I have a pocket drill kit, but never used one. My question: can I use this to secure the drawer fronts & backs to the sides ? I plan to do a test set-up, but any info on this by the group would be most welcome.
Smitty
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<can I use this to secure the drawer fronts & backs to the sides ?>
I wouldn't. Unless you have some unusually thick drawer sides, there isn't much meat for the screws to grab on to. And because the drawers will presumably be opened and closed a lot there will be more stress on that joint than on one that just sits there and doesn't move.
Lee
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Of course, you could just use the pocket hole screws to hold the parts together until the glue dries. I would not use pocket screws by themselves. Jim
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<<Of course, you could just use the pocket hole screws to hold the parts together until the glue dries. I would not use pocket screws by themselves.>>
It would still be a weak joint for something that gets stressed as much as a drawer front.
Lee
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Yes, end grain does not take to glue very well.
Jim
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Jim wrote:

Well, that's why you dovetail the joint before you put in the pocket screws. :-)
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If you do the dovetail right, why do you need the screws?
I made a set of drawers for an existing kitchen island for a friend. The dovetails were snug enough to hold, and the drawer extensions kept the sides from coming apart far enough to let go anyway. I told her, if it ever loosened up, *then* I'd glue it. That was a couple years ago, there's still no glue in them, and she uses them every day.
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DJ Delorie wrote:

Joke!
Kind of like pulling a M&T together with cam locks.
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Actually, I *have* used pocket screws with M&T joints. Just one or two to hold the piece together while I'm building it; in this case, it had to be assembled and disassembled many times (it was custom fitted, then shipped to a pro finisher, etc) before committing to glue.
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I would have said to just use a dovetail joint, but my brain short circuited for a while. Jim
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Ever since I was a kid, the first thing I do when I look at a piece of furniture is open the drawers to see how they're joined, and in all that ime, I've never seen pocket screws. I'm not saying it wouldn't work. But there must be a reason why it's not done. Probably what the other poster said: There's not enough thickness in the long-grain piece. Drawers get a hell of a workout. A setup like that would probably rack and twist, and eventually, the front would just come off. But not before you hated the drawer for sticking all the time.
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I seriously doubt you would have those problems, so long as the drawer parts are at least 1/2" you have enough thickness for pocket screws. And they are very strong. And the drawer bottom, properly sized, keeps the whole thing square.
-Leuf
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Leuf wrote:

That sounds logical, but what I'm wondering is, how come nobody does it that way?
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With production machinery, they would never slow down for any screw applications. That can cut a box joint or dovetail so fast, it makes no sense to do it any other way.
Most DIY folks like the process of making joints and pocket holes don't fill that need.
boorite wrote:

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That and the fact that the pockets would normally need to be filled for a finished look.
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Only in certain situations where the joints are easily seen.
I admit that you can't use them "all of the time" but they sure beat nails for attaching face frames and I use them at every chance.
Upscale wrote:

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Here's some pocket-hole information and diagrams. http://www.rusticwoodworking.com/Info%20Pages/free_info_main_page.htm
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Yes...
http://www.kregtool.com/education_center/index.php
But they will need a glue joint also.
Build the basic box with pocket hole screws and cover the face with the "finished" front.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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(from Pat Barber ) Yes... http://www.kregtool.com/education_center/index.php But they will need a glue joint also. Build the basic box with pocket hole screws and cover the face with the "finished" front. ~~~~~~~ (From Trevor) When building false front drawers you can build a basic box where the sides are the full length of the drawer and the front and back pieces fit between the sides. You then drill pocket holes through the front of the front piece and then attach it to the sides... The back is done that same way... by pocket holing the back of the back to the two sides... Then you add the false front which covers the pocket holes in front. When the box is complete, no pocket holes will be visible at all except
those in the very back of the drawer, and those will only be seen when the drawer is removed. ~~~~~~~ Thanks to all with their various suggestion. I did make the drawers using the suggestions of Pat & Trevor.
I made the drawers out of 1x3s. Used the pocket hole jig to attach the ends to the sides. I grooved the sides & ends with a 1/4 inch slot for the bottoms. I bought an adjustable dado blade at Home Depot, but my saw arbor wasn't long enuff, so I didn't use it. Instead, after a lot of thinking, sandwiched another sawblade next the one one I had on the arbor, & separated both with a piece of manila folder. WALA. . . I cut a test pc. & the slot was perfect. Yesterday, I used my router & a round-over bit to get a round top edge on the ends & sides.Attached a 1/8 in. ply pc to the front end to cover the pocket holes. Will stain the pine material a darker color & varnish.
Smitty Pat Barber wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Of course it is best to use dovetail joints or other interlocking wood joints, but you can use pocket holes, and they will be strong enough even with fairly heavy loads if you are using decent drawer slide hardware.
You do need to pay attention to how you do the pocket hole joints though. As with any screwed joint, you should never screw into end grain.
When building false front drawers you can build a basic box where the sides are the full length of the drawer and the front and back pieces fit between the sides. You then drill pocket holes through the front of the front piece and then attach it to the sides... The back is done that same way... by pocket holing the back of the back to the two sides...
Then you add the false front which covers the pocket holes in front.
When the box is complete, no pocket holes will be visible at all except those in the very back of the drawer, and those will only be seen when the drawer is removed.
This method is actually described in the book "Building Kitchen Cabinets" by Udo Schmidt... It's a Taunton publication. It is a very basic box... the book goes on to tell you about better ways to drawers using drawer lock bits, lock miters, through and half-blind dovetails, etc.
Personally, I don't care for false fronts or pocket joinery in furniture. I would prefer to attach the drawer sides directly to the actual drawer front using a quality wood to wood joint and some glue.
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