I am building an entertainment center with a top that's 58 inches wide, and
18" deep. I want to put a 3 1/2" popular wood mitered breadboard edging on
the left & right sides and front edge of 3/4" birch plywood - (not Baltic
birch, but ply from Menard's). I am trying to decide on whether to use
biscuits or pocket screws. The screws will not show when the top is flipped
over and there will be a 1 1/4" overhang with molding under the edge. I was
wondering what you thought of using pocket screws instead of biscuits. I've
never used pocket screws with plywood, only with solid face frames. I am
concerned with the screws grabbing and holding tightly to glued plywood not
giving way when screwed in. Thanks for your help and suggestions.
For pocket screws, edge join into the solid wood, not the plywood. In other
words, put the pocket in the plywood, and screw into the edge banding. Butt
joining into the plywood face is OK; edge joining puts the screw partially
in the weak short grain plys.
You will be safe and have less work to do if you use biscuits. Put the
biscuits in the miters also. Regardless, pocket holes screws are strongest
when used on all solid wood. Whether screwing through a pocket hole in
plywood into solid wood or visa versa I have found that plywood will crush
internally as you tighten the screw.
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