Face frames with pocket screws

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Forum topic by Somann posted 02-16-2016 03:05 PM 669 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Somann's profile


15 posts in 260 days

02-16-2016 03:05 PM

I am new here so I apologize if this question has been already hashed over and over. I am starting to build cabinets for my basement finish project. Is glue recommended with pocket screwed joints? Seems to me that most cabinet shops just screw and go? I have used glue in the past, just a little more tedious and potentially messy. I have also observed that even with a light film of glue, that the joint can slip slightly and no longer be flush after the clamp is removed because the glue acts almost like lubricant until it tacks up. I am not an experienced cabinet builder, but have worked with wood in some way most my life. I decided to build my own cabinets after a “reputable” (cough cough) cabinet builder failed miserably to build my cabinets, and botched the install. If ya want it done right you do it yourself right? :) Thanks in advance.

12 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4405 posts in 3379 days

#1 posted 02-16-2016 03:08 PM

How are you clamping the joint? Table? Face frame clamp like Kreg sells?
I use glue with the hand clamp without probs.


View Paul's profile


439 posts in 3008 days

#2 posted 02-16-2016 03:36 PM

I would buy the Kreig master kit and follow the directions.

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

View ShaneA's profile


6417 posts in 2017 days

#3 posted 02-16-2016 03:39 PM

Clamping the joint firmly in two directions (face and closing the joint) before screwing will decrease the potential for the joint to slip out of alignment. A small dab of glue certainly wont hurt anything. It wont add a ton of strength, but I typically do add a small amount. Make sure to check for squeeze out.

View dhazelton's profile


2283 posts in 1715 days

#4 posted 02-16-2016 03:49 PM

Technically once the face frame is attached to the carcass it ain’t going anyplace. If it’s easier for you then skip the glue. If I were doing something like a window screen or picture frame I would use glue.

View Somann's profile


15 posts in 260 days

#5 posted 02-16-2016 05:44 PM

I bought a kreg kit and will use the vise grip style face clamp. I am on board with using glue, will try not to go overboard. Is it best to remove any squeezed out glue with a damp cloth, or just scrape later? I seem to recall a cabinet class teacher years ago preaching not to use a damp cloth, I believe because it could allow the glue to seal up the grain and cause stain not to take. This cabinet is going to be built from knotty alder, and stained dark. Thanks!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3841 posts in 1912 days

#6 posted 02-16-2016 05:48 PM

I don’t glue them, just another potential mess to clean up with the squeeze out. It adds very little in terms of strength, maybe none after the FF is glued to the carcase. No sense making life more difficult.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 649 days

#7 posted 02-16-2016 06:05 PM

Yes use glue. have a can of water and rag there. Invest in a Pneumatic clamp and table mount it. Cant beat having 220lbs of force on top of the stock joint.

I have made many many face frames using this method.

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

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1770 days

#8 posted 02-16-2016 06:14 PM

If you clamp it properly, it won’t slip. I like to use glue in the joints for added strength.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View AlaskaGuy's profile


2392 posts in 1727 days

#9 posted 02-16-2016 06:52 PM

I don t glue them, just another potential mess to clean up with the squeeze out. It adds very little in terms of strength, maybe none after the FF is glued to the carcase. No sense making life more difficult.

- Fred Hargis

I’ve been making pocket hole face frames for years without glue. Of course the frame it’s self is glued to the cabinet box after it’s been finished.

Make a frame with glue and pocket screws. The take the screws out and see how easy it is to break the joint. The long grain to end grain glue joint isn’t very strong and not worth the hassle to use glue.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Somann's profile


15 posts in 260 days

#10 posted 02-16-2016 07:16 PM

Thanks for the input.

View Cooler's profile


216 posts in 262 days

#11 posted 02-16-2016 09:10 PM

I used to use glue for joining the face frames, and glue again to attach the face frame to the carcass.

I now only use glue to join the face frame in most cases. I use pocket screws to attach the face fame to the carcass except where I cannot hide the fasteners. In that case I use biscuits for the side that I cannot hide the fasteners on.

If you are running a row of cabinets, you only have to worry about the fasteners showing on the end cabinet. The others can have the fasteners on the outside and they will be hidden by the next cabinet.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View rwe2156's profile


2111 posts in 899 days

#12 posted 02-16-2016 09:25 PM

WW’ing 101 we learn end grain does not glue well enough to strengthen a joint any appreciable amount.

Therefore, adding to a pocket screw assembly is, in all practicality, largely a waste of time not worth the clean up.

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

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