My question is about the strength of the connections made with a pocket hole
kit like the Kreg.
I'm was thinking of using my rail and stile router bits to build a
lightweight cabinet (approximately 6'h x 3'w x 2'd) using glued up 3/4" oak
rail and stile construction with inserted 1/4" paneling.
Would the project be sufficiently strong to stand under it's own weight if I
just used a 1/4" slot cutter for the paneling and joined everything instead
with pocket joints?
I've seen many suggestions for using pocket joints when creating face
frames, but I don't remember seeing anyone talking about full cabinet
construction using pocket joints.
I have used them I used to make fish tank stands and realy like the pocket
hole jig from Kregg. It is strong and with a little glue works great.. I
know where 3 of the stand are holding 50 gallon tanks still standing 3 years
later no wiggle or jiggle :) I think it all comes down to preference.
As always opinions are just that take from what you here and make an
informed desicion. :)
You will use glue? Problem with fastener joints is that the fasteners work
loose. Remember the recent discussion about whether a tenon should rest on
the lowest portion of the mortise? As long as your fasteners maintain the
end grain firmly against the face, just as the glued or pinned tenon does,
you're all right. Bend the fastener, and Katie bar the door. Load to the
end grain, of course, lest the fastener pull out from deflection.
I just use a few pocket hole screws to hold things together until the glue
Essentially the joint is not a "Pocket Joint" You make what ever traditional
joint you want and use "pocket hole screws" to reinforce it. Typically
however pocket hole screws are used to strengthen Butt Joints. I would
advise that you use glue in addition to the screws to strengthen the joint.
With that said, the pocket hole screw can add tremendous strength to a
joint. As far as your question about the cabinet, as long as the screw
threads end up in solid wood, and the harder the better, the joint should be
quite strong. Naturally the wider the material the better as this allows
the use of more screws in a given joint.
The screw and glue reinforced joints would most likely be strong enough for
the rail and stile joints of the panels given the width of the rails and
stiles are wide enough to be strong. You may give more consideration as to
what kind of joints to use when attaching the sides to the tops and bottoms
and front of the cabinet.
If the material is too wide there can be problems with crossgrain
movement. More fasteners won't prevent the movement, they'll just
create weaknesses in the grain and a starting point for splitting in
the end grain board of the butt joint.
Another problem is related to the fastener spacing. If the spacing is
too close, that will cause weakness and possibly splitting in the face
grain board of the butt joint. Unless the pocket holes are staggered
all of the holes will be lined up creating a line of weakness.
It's not a good idea to go too wide or too close.
Well if the pieces in the face frame are quite wide this may become a
problem however the screws normally fit loosely enough as to allow some
movement. The hole for the shank potion of the screw ia probably 25-30%
wider than the shank.
Having used literally thousands of pocket hole screws I have never had a
problem of too many screws causing a problem. The glue in the joint is more
likely to cause a problem.
Well normally I would agree and to an extent this is true. However "Pocket
Hole" screws self drill and do not encourage splitting. There is not as
much chance of splitting as with normal screws. With a #7 Pocket Hole screw
you can put the screw in to an Oak board 1/8" from the end of the board and
normally not see any splitting even when not using the stepped bit for a
Well, it's another woodworking toy whose time has come. Nosing around Home
Depot today and talking to two of their tools salesmen, they'd never heard
of Kreg. I had to stifle a snicker. I'll be picking up a Kreg 3 kit at the
opening of the new Lee Valley store in Toronto at the beginning of April.
Thanks for the information.
No Lowe's that I know of up here in Canada. Besides, considering some of the
customer service benefits I've received over the years from Lee Valley
Tools, I sort of feel like I owe them my business. And at the very least,
when I buy something from one of their salespeople and ask an opinion on a
product, there's a damned good chance I'm going to get an honest opinion as
well as a person that's experienced with it.
I have built "MANY" cabinet boxes using butt joints, glue, and
my Kreg jig. This a dead simple method and unless the glue fails,
the cabinets will work just fine for many years.
This same method is used in "many" commercial cabinet designs.
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