LumberJocks

Pocket Hole Problems

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by wmgworks posted 01-25-2016 06:40 PM 1179 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View wmgworks's profile

wmgworks

193 posts in 452 days


01-25-2016 06:40 PM

I’m trying to build a set of saw horses. All 2×4 construction. One side of the set of legs is attached to he stretcher by pocket holes.. The other leg is attached to that leg via a hinge so they can fold up. Legs are mitered at 19 deg. The problem I’m having is the pocket screws do not seem to be grabbing the material correctly. This is my first time using pocket holes so I’m sure I’m doing something wrong here. I set the depth of the drill bit to 1 1/2” (the max on the K4) and the height of the holes to 1 1/2” (the max). I’m using coarse 2 1/1” kreg screws. On the end opposite this one, I actually pushed the screw through the stretcher a tiny bit. In this picture it shows that the unthreaded part has pushed through the leg. What am I doing wrong here?

-- Butchering wood since 2015


36 replies so far

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 948 days


#1 posted 01-25-2016 06:42 PM

I’m not surprised because pocket holes are one of the weakest joinery methods.

Use construction screws with or without glue.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

844 posts in 2442 days


#2 posted 01-25-2016 07:23 PM

Looks like the hole is drilled too deep letting the unthreaded shank of screw extend past surface of wood. If the miter is on the piece you are drilling holes, the angle could be throwing everything off.

View Will Merrit's profile

Will Merrit

52 posts in 360 days


#3 posted 01-25-2016 07:25 PM

Its what rwe2156 said, pocket holes are just not strong. A mortise and Tenon or some other joint would work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apsH8eBfjVA

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

651 posts in 407 days


#4 posted 01-25-2016 08:21 PM

Are you overdriving the screws? Meaning – countersinking them past the depth stop of the pocket because the torque of the driver is set too high? Also, the joint needs to be clamped before the screw is applied or it will push the opposing member out of alignment.

I don’t agree with the assessments that pocket hole joinery is “just not strong” or “one of the weakest joinery methods”, especially coupled with glue. However, though the other methods of joinery are stronger, they too are not always appropriate just as pocket holes aren’t always appropriate. M&T doesn’t work very well with plywood and other materials, where screws and glue excel.

Edit: The video was done well. Just wondering why the person who did the testing didn’t use glue with the pocket hole joints. That would probably make for a much better comparison. No arguing the other methods aren’t stronger. That’s an accepted principle.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn :)

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 697 days


#5 posted 01-25-2016 08:34 PM

Pocket screws are neither the second coming or El Diablo.

They are great in a production environment (with a machine, not jig) for face frames.

But as stated above, with saw horses glue it and screw it and forget it. I dont see pocket screws/holes buying a thing.

Face frames are about as fast and stronger if you have a boring machine.

Sorry to get off topic there.

Steve
Who has made more than his share of pocket holes and dowel holes, and if he believed voting made any difference would cast his for dowels.
Vote Dowels: Its for the children.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View wmgworks's profile

wmgworks

193 posts in 452 days


#6 posted 01-25-2016 08:36 PM

Here is the video of Steve Ramsey making them so I know the pocket hole screws will work for this.

http://woodworking.formeremortals.net/2014/06/build-a-folding-sawhorse/

I watched Steve put these things in over and over and over. All he does is prop the leg on his shoulder for support and screw it down into the cross member. I didn’t see him use any clamps or glue.

It’s entirely possible I overdrove the screws I guess. I’m also just starting to use an impact driver for the first time. How deep into the pocket hole should the head of the screw be?

-- Butchering wood since 2015

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2698 days


#7 posted 01-25-2016 08:41 PM

For those of you that complain about poor joints with pocket hole sccews,,,I don’t think you have given them a fair shake. I use them for all sorts of stuff. The screws used by themselves hold really well.

I think the OP just needs to improve his technique. After all, it is his first time. It will get better.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View wmgworks's profile

wmgworks

193 posts in 452 days


#8 posted 01-25-2016 08:42 PM



Pocket screws are neither the second coming or El Diablo.

They are great in a production environment (with a machine, not jig) for face frames.

But as stated above, with saw horses glue it and screw it and forget it. I dont see pocket screws/holes buying a thing.

...

- SirIrb

I think the reason he used Pocket holes maybe was to hide the screws underneath so you have less of a chance of hitting them with a saw blade. Not necessarily for a stronger joint (my guess). I saw this video a long time ago and was planning on just countersinking screws from the cross member into the legs instead of the other way around because I didn’t have a pocket hole jig at the time. Then one was generously gifted to me so I moved forward with the original concept.

-- Butchering wood since 2015

View Reaperwoodworks's profile

Reaperwoodworks

94 posts in 401 days


#9 posted 01-25-2016 08:45 PM

I disagree with pocket holes not being strong also. Different joinery works for different projects. It looks like maybe to much torque is being applied and the screws are being driven in too far. If you have the holes set 1-1/2” from from the edge and you are seeing that much of the smooth shank, that has to be whats happening.

On a side note, and I know you are pressed for space in your shop, but these are some quick, down and dirty sawhorses that work great. I just built a pair this morning: Sawhorses

-- Website: www.reaperwoodworks.com, Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_ognomZyK6V0VwdokBcixw

View wmgworks's profile

wmgworks

193 posts in 452 days


#10 posted 01-25-2016 08:45 PM



For those of you that complain about poor joints with pocket hole sccews,,,I don t think you have given them a fair shake. I use them for all sorts of stuff. The screws used by themselves hold really well.

I think the OP just needs to improve his technique. After all, it is his first time. It will get better.

- MT_Stringer

Thanks, Mike. That’s my thought, too. After I had this failure I went back to the Mere Mortals community threads on the build and saw no one else having this complaint. So I was pretty sure it was something I was doing. I’m not going to go to pocket hole screws every time Just Because. I’d like to make this work because i know it should, though.

-- Butchering wood since 2015

View wmgworks's profile

wmgworks

193 posts in 452 days


#11 posted 01-25-2016 08:51 PM



I disagree with pocket holes not being strong also. Different joinery works for different projects. It looks like maybe to much torque is being applied and the screws are being driven in too far. If you have the holes set 1-1/2” from from the edge and you are seeing that much of the smooth shank, that has to be whats happening.

On a side note, and I know you are pressed for space in your shop, but these are some quick, down and dirty sawhorses that work great. I just built a pair this morning: Sawhorses

- Reaperwoodworks

I think I ended up pushing them too far, too. But I kept pushing them because they didn’t feel like they were grabbing the cross member. There was always a little gap there. How far should the head of the screw be inside of the pocket hole?

I watched Jay’s video as well. Those are probably much easier to build than these. I really dig the way the one’s I am doing fold up, though.

-- Butchering wood since 2015

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

844 posts in 2442 days


#12 posted 01-25-2016 09:13 PM


I think I ended up pushing them too far, too. But I kept pushing them because they didn t feel like they were grabbing the cross member. There was always a little gap there. How far should the head of the screw be inside of the pocket hole?

I watched Jay s video as well. Those are probably much easier to build than these. I really dig the way the one s I am doing fold up, though.

- wmgworks


When using pocket holes, the two pieces need to be clamped/held together before driving the screw. They do not pull the joint together.

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

6476 posts in 2065 days


#13 posted 01-25-2016 09:18 PM

Yeah, clamping them together will do wonders for keeping them aligned, flush, and setting the screws properly. Used properly… pocket holes can make strong joints. Maybe not heirloom or extra points for being fancy, but easy and certainly have a place.

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

892 posts in 2419 days


#14 posted 01-25-2016 10:18 PM

My thoughts were the same as the two above me; you need to clamp the joint together (firmly) before driving the screws in. If you fail to do that, the result will be a separated joint as seen in the OP’s picture. Clamp them together and try again.

-- Mike

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1959 posts in 1455 days


#15 posted 01-25-2016 10:24 PM

I am not a fan of using the impact driver for pocket hole screws. I am better with a drill driver as I can better feel how far they are going in. I tend to over drive them with an impact driver.

showing 1 through 15 of 36 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com