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pocket holes in hickory

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Forum topic by Guss posted 675 days ago 1389 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Guss

94 posts in 939 days


675 days ago

Hi Im doing a face frame for a aquarium stand and im making it out of hickory. I wanted to do pocket holes for the joinery but im having problems with the wood splitting when i put the screw in is there a good pocket hole screw for woods that split easy? Im using the Kreg screws. If i cant get that to work ill probably use loose tenons.


17 replies so far

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Alexandre

1417 posts in 689 days


#1 posted 675 days ago

Predrill?

-- My terrible signature...

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chrisstef

9336 posts in 1505 days


#2 posted 675 days ago

Try a little beeswax?

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

302 posts in 1300 days


#3 posted 674 days ago

Use the Kreg fine thread screws with hardwoods and the coarse screws with soft woods. The wax and a fine thread should get good results without splitting.

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3185 posts in 2459 days


#4 posted 674 days ago

Just remember that you’re workin’ with a very hard wood, and do all the above mentioned. You ARE gonna glue as well?
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Knothead62

2157 posts in 1459 days


#5 posted 674 days ago

What Bobmedic said.

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Doss

779 posts in 763 days


#6 posted 674 days ago

Are you pre-drilling properly? What screws are you using?

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1001 posts in 785 days


#7 posted 674 days ago

For hickory you should be using the FINE thread screws. Rub a little wax on them (like from an old candle) and when you put the screws in run them up to speed with only very light pressure on them. As soon as they start cutting back off on the speed and just seat them in short bursts. ALSO I like to use my cordless for driving the screws and have the clutch set so you don’t overdrive the screw. If you over drive it, you’ll almost always split it out.

I just did some hard maple face frames. I used a corded drill to drill the pocket holes and a cordless to drive the screws. For face frames I also clamp the faces of the joint. The screws cut threads, so if you drive them too fast, they’ll act like a wedge instead of cutting their threads.

View Loren's profile

Loren

6738 posts in 2146 days


#8 posted 674 days ago

Sometimes it helps to leave a horn on stiles and cut it off
after assembly. In the old days this was done in mortised
parts and still is by craftspeople mortising by hand.

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AlaskaGuy

486 posts in 808 days


#9 posted 674 days ago

Deleted

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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AlaskaGuy

486 posts in 808 days


#10 posted 674 days ago

I did a Hickory kitchen and had the same problems with splitting as you have. After trying a number of things I ended up pre-drilling. I had my neighbor (he has a metal lathe) make the device below.

The other thing that helps is watch is your grain orientation.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Scot's profile

Scot

344 posts in 1895 days


#11 posted 674 days ago

Is the bottom side of your screw heads flat or beveled ? Screws with a head that have a bevel will act like a wedge and split the wood when the head seats.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View Guss's profile

Guss

94 posts in 939 days


#12 posted 673 days ago

Im using the Fine Thred Kreg Screws. Its the style that is cracking. I dont think ill be able to pree drill that easy and keep everything lined up. Im going to give the wax and the drill speed a try with making sure of the grain direction. Im not even getting the screw in half way in the style before it cracks. thanks for your input ill let you know how it goes.

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 763 days


#13 posted 673 days ago

If that fails, either modify some clamps to hold it steady or build a clamping jig… and get a really long drill bit (it may have to be one size larger than what you’re using now.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View AlanBienlein's profile

AlanBienlein

132 posts in 1173 days


#14 posted 673 days ago

I made my kitchen cabinets out of pecan and had no problems using the pocket screws to fasten the rails to the stiles on the face frames.

View Dano46's profile

Dano46

70 posts in 1668 days


#15 posted 673 days ago

Since hickory is one of my favorite woods, I thought I might add something. Should have figured LumberJocks always have a solution to any problem.
My reply would have been: predrill, fine threads, beeswax. Same as the first three.

-- You can't trust a dog to guard your food.

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