Pocket screws to attach upper bookcase to lower deck?

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Forum topic by Lee Barker posted 02-14-2013 06:03 PM 1169 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2877 days

02-14-2013 06:03 PM

Suppose you have a lower cabinet with a solid wood top and a bookcase above. You’d like to locate or attach the upper to the top.

I have used dowels (via dowel centers) and screws from below (not so good going into end grain of the face frame).

What about a pocket screw hole precut in the backside of the stile where it terminates at the solid wood top? Have you tried this?

If this would work, it would be enough to locate the bookcase, but not enough for transporting the two as one piece. In that case, if your 5.2mm back had a lower nailer, there could be pocket holes on the backside of this.

Curious what you’re thinkin’.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

4 replies so far

View greg48's profile


601 posts in 2785 days

#1 posted 02-15-2013 03:34 AM

I came up with a remedy several years ago joining a top to a solid wood topped base unit. I found at Rockler’s some tapered keyhole fittings ( Inletting the hardware into the uprights of the top and hogged out a little to fit the head of the round head screws, all I had to do was sink four screws into the top of the base unit, align the top over the pocket holes and push the top unit back until the tapers tightened against the screw heads. The screws are adjustable so that you can have the top unit draw down at the back edge of the base unit. It’s plenty strong to hold the top unit on and you only have to tap the top unit forward to remove it for.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3921 days

#2 posted 02-15-2013 04:17 AM

do it

if you can make an instrument

your gut is almost always right

: ))

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2525 days

#3 posted 02-15-2013 04:19 AM

I’ve always liked dowels (with rounded tops) as locators in two piece loose assemblies. I take the time to machine thread for bolts if I want security and a tight fit.
Transporting is better in two pieces IMO as there is always too much stress involved otherwise (wood and personnel).

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2996 days

#4 posted 02-15-2013 12:48 PM

A lot of stuff I make may have veneered mdf sides tongued into a solid face piece, with a solid timber top – so I would only fix it at the back to allow for movement.
Simple metal joining strips bridging the rear of the top and bottom pieces at each end will prevent it from moving or toppling forward.
When you are putting the top piece on, place a piece of cardboard on the top until its in position to prevent scratching the top of the base cabinet.
If this is in an earthquake zone, you may have to do something more substantial.

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