Making Joints and Drawers with Kreg Screws

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Forum topic by Redoak49 posted 03-24-2014 03:57 PM 2107 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Redoak49's profile


3397 posts in 2070 days

03-24-2014 03:57 PM

A recent thread described the difficulty that one poster was having with making joints with the Kreg screws. I am certain that most of us who have used them have also encountered problems. I recently make some drawers that were about 16” x 22” x 6” using ½” plywood and the Kreg Micro Screws. I am hoping that some others will provide how they clamp parts to use the Kregs Screws and offer suggestions.

I had a number of drawers to make so I made 48” long drawer side stock with a bottom groove and then finished them. I was then able to cut all the sides, fronts and bottoms at one time to make certain that they were all the same size.

I drilled the pocket holes in each end of the front and back pieces.

I built a clamping jig with 8” wide piece of ¾” plywood and attached to the table I was using for assembly.
I used 3 clamps to hold the pieces together. One was to push the long side piece very tightly against the clamping block. The second was to push the front piece rigidly against the clamping block with a piece of ¾” plywood to hold it tighly and the third clamp to hold the pieces down.

It was then pretty easy to drive the screws for the joint. With the micro Kreg screws, they are not the washer head screws and it is easy to overdrive the screws. I used the clutch on my drill turned down almost all the way to drive them.

The back part of the drawer had the groove cut off so I could put in the ¼” MDF bottom and this is the finished drawer.

6 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


4917 posts in 3325 days

#1 posted 03-24-2014 05:25 PM

I assume you used glue. My preference would be to rabbet the sides and nail through the sides into the end and front pieces (with glue naturally). 18 ga 1-1/2” brads work great.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3794 days

#2 posted 03-24-2014 05:25 PM

Since its the back end if the drawer where it won’t normally be seen couldn’t you have just screwed them in from the side? Two screw heads are maybe a lot less noticeable than the big elliptical holes and then two screws anyway, admittedly on a surface even less likely to be seen. It seems like a lot if extra jiggering around just to use the tool instead of matching the tool to the job.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2658 days

#3 posted 03-24-2014 05:57 PM

I like pocket hole joinery a lot, but for drawers, a tongue and dado is extremely fast to set up and cut, and much stronger than pocket screws.

Just my preference.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3312 days

#4 posted 03-24-2014 06:19 PM

I use pocket screw construction for a lot of items, but not drawers.
Those do look good. Thanks for sharing the photos and construction techniques.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Redoak49's profile


3397 posts in 2070 days

#5 posted 03-24-2014 06:57 PM

I did not use glue as it is essentially on end grain with a but joint.

The pocket screws are not visible unless you pull the drawer all the way out. The drawers have false front so you do not see the pockets.

Why not just use screws from the side? Good question and the answer is that driving screws into the edge of plywood especially half inch plywood will typically end up making it split. In addition, putting screws into the edge of plywood will at times cause issues as the screw will partially hit different layers and not go in exactly where you want it. The same goes for a tongue and dado into 1/2” plywood…you end up with not a lot of good wood for the joint. If is was 3/4” plywood, it would be a different matter.

I think that the tool matches the job. Since I ended up making a lot of drawers (15 drawers) at one time, making a jig was more efficient. If I was only making one drawer, it would be a different matter.

The great thing is that there is so many ways to construct a drawer. This was just an example of one. The drawers are strong and I enjoyed making some drawers with a different method than I have used before. I hate making everything the same way every time.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3794 days

#6 posted 03-24-2014 10:42 PM

Good point about the screws going into the end of the plywood. You are right there are many ways to build a drawer, thanks for posting this approach.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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