Pocket Screws or not, frame and panel home chest

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Forum topic by Swyftfeet posted 09-27-2012 10:37 PM 1712 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Swyftfeet's profile


170 posts in 2168 days

09-27-2012 10:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

This is my first real project and am unsure which way to go here. Everything has been running pretty smoothly so far but I am a bit hesitant to continue.

Making a larger frame and panel hope chest. Carcass is 24×48x24, with a 26×50 top. Frame and top made out of 4/4 black walnut. I am using Whiteside Router bit kit for beaded panel construction. All the end grain on the rails will be getting grooved(routed?) to fit into the stiles, the total length of contact between the rail and stile is 4.5”. Is the surface area large enough for just glue(using titebond liquid hide), or should I go out and get a Kreg kit to put some pocket screws in, or is that overkill?

Also, the bits came with 1/4” cutter for the panels, and the Ash ply that I purchased is only 3/16ths thick, is this normal? I’m a little nervous that the panels will have too much play front to back and make the construction look a little more novice than what I would like. What can be done about that? I was thinking shimming in the inside to make sure the panels all sit towards the outside? any thoughts?



-- Brian

10 replies so far

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3316 days

#1 posted 09-27-2012 11:21 PM

Can you post some picture so we have a better idea of your project? I’m terrible at descriptions. :(

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View JSB's profile


737 posts in 2075 days

#2 posted 09-27-2012 11:33 PM

Having built 3 chests using pocket screws…I say do not use them if they will be visible. I made my blanket chests with a pocket hole skeleton and secured panels on the inside. Check them out on my project page. Some visuals may help. But again, I say no pocket holes if they will be seen.
- Jay

-- Jay -

View Bill_N's profile


235 posts in 2276 days

#3 posted 09-27-2012 11:35 PM

I love pocket holes myself, as long as they are not seen

I would suggest making the groves on the table saw

-- I have the Saw Dust Fever

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2633 days

#4 posted 09-27-2012 11:48 PM

If I’m getting it correctly, you have pretty much a door making router bit kit with the small “tenon” that fits into the groove. Instead of beefing it up with unsightly pocket screws, buy a cheap doweling jig and strengthen it with a couple of those, then it is invisible.

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 3036 days

#5 posted 09-28-2012 01:19 AM

For your loose panels in the 1/4 ” groves you can put it all togather and than caulk the panels into the groves from the inside. Use clear silicone caulk and wipe the joint smooth with a wet finger. Keep your finger wet and wipe off the excess on a shop rag.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3228 days

#6 posted 09-28-2012 03:53 AM

or you can buy a set of under size router bits made for plywood. I got my set from Woodcraft. Made by Whiteside.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Swyftfeet's profile


170 posts in 2168 days

#7 posted 09-28-2012 12:43 PM

Thanks folks! I am currently on the road, so I cant post any pics. I think I feel good enough to continue!

-- Brian

View Rb12's profile


80 posts in 2225 days

#8 posted 09-28-2012 05:14 PM

I for one, and I think many others, made their first project(s) way burlier than nescessary. I used enough screws in some of my early cabient/chests to support an elephant :) Pics would help, but generally tennoning is pretty strong and you don’t need screws as backup, but I echo the doweling if you are concerned.

If you don’t want to buy a new router bit for the panels, you can shim it, I have done that usually as a backup for not being very exact. You could also use a table saw and make a couple passes and adjust the fence one blade length to get the right size channel

View Loren's profile


10384 posts in 3645 days

#9 posted 09-28-2012 06:00 PM

Pocket screws will make the construction look novice for sure.

View BHolcombe's profile


180 posts in 2073 days

#10 posted 10-01-2012 05:11 AM

I’d pass on pocket screws in favor of tenons or dowels.

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