Predrilling When Using Pocket Hole Joinery

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Forum topic by jstewart posted 06-10-2008 07:17 PM 3923 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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141 posts in 4330 days

06-10-2008 07:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pocket hole kreg predrilling question

I think I’ll try using pocket hole joinery for one of my next projects. After looking at all of the various Kreg systems out there (and a few other brands) I still have one question. When drilling the pocket holes, do I also need to predrill in the adjoining board? Will the self tapping screws do all the work for me? I’m going to be working with red oak. I’m sure in pine I could get away with more than in a hardwood.

Any helpful thoughts are appreciated.

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

10 replies so far

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4135 days

#1 posted 06-10-2008 07:33 PM

Just use the right screws and no predrilling is necessary. That’s one of the beauties of the screws.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View bhack's profile


349 posts in 3959 days

#2 posted 06-10-2008 08:32 PM

The self tapping does all the work. Just be sure to have the butt joint tight when driving the screw and it will be a very strong joint.

-- Bill - If I knew GRANDKIDS were so much fun I would have had them first.

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 3912 days

#3 posted 06-10-2008 09:02 PM

Right Betsy. Course-thread screws for softwood, fine-thread screws for hardwood.

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3887 days

#4 posted 06-10-2008 09:09 PM

Use the self-tapping screws.

I prefer the Kreg screws. I bought some generic ones
a while back and the specs are a little different… caused

If you are joining face frames be careful, especially in hard
hardwoods. In some cases you might want to leave a
“horn” on the rail or stile that you trim off after putting
the screws in. If your screw is close to the end of a board
sometimes splitting will occur. The joint is still strong
but the split is ugly.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4062 days

#5 posted 06-10-2008 10:58 PM

As Randy stated Course tread for softwoods and Fine treads for hard woods. I use a dap of glue as well just for added stength. Blkcherry

View Huckleberry's profile


218 posts in 4092 days

#6 posted 06-10-2008 11:20 PM

As for your question on red oak, I have used them a lot on red oak and have not really had many issues with it. And as Black cherry said a little glue and its a real good joint.

-- I cut it twice and the damn thing is still too short!@#$%

View Yettiman's profile


163 posts in 3977 days

#7 posted 06-10-2008 11:56 PM


I’ve used Pocket screws quite a few times and it’s all good advice here.

Official Kreg screws are more expensive, but they are worth it, and do clamp tight before you screw together, this is most important. I have found that the screws hold the joint well, but they do not pull the joint tight, so clamp it tight first and all is well

-- Keep your tools sharp, your mind sharper and the coffee hot

View jstewart's profile


141 posts in 4330 days

#8 posted 06-11-2008 12:10 AM

Thanks to all of you for your pocket hole advice. Now I just have to decide which Kreg system to buy. I don’t think the little one-hole jig is going to be what I want since my next project will have about 24 different places where I want side-by-side pocket holes. I’m thinking about shelling out for the Master System (especially since I would get a free right angle clamp through a current Amazon promotion) at $139 or maybe just the Standard Pack at $75. Perhaps the R3 at $40 would be good enough, but I would still have to buy a face clamp.

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4227 days

#9 posted 06-11-2008 12:42 AM

Looks like you got all the answers you need.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Grumpy's profile


24823 posts in 4090 days

#10 posted 06-11-2008 01:08 AM

Josh, the pocket hole screws provide a very effective joint using the right screws. You do have the disadvantage of having the screw holes showing, but if they are in a hidden place there is no problem.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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