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Thread: Why does my pocket hole joinery ?

  1. #31
    Larry, It appears you have your joints oriented correctly. I use pocket hole joints constantly, and, only occasionally have a problem with the joint holding. From your description, I'm 95% sure you're stripping the threads out driving the screws. I've learned that I need to drive them with my 12 Volt and not let it crank them down. The Dewalt 20 Volt will strip them almost every time. As others suggested, finish them by hand, if you use that type of driver.

    On a side note, when building cabinet carcases, I always drill pairs of holes in each location. That way, if I do strip a hole, there is another available.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKinney, TX
    Posts
    1,588
    Looking at your pics it appears that the stop on the drill bit isn’t set right. If you put a nickel on the jig the end of the bit should just touch it.
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  3. #33
    Thanks for that tip Lisa.
    I had a dickens of a time getting the proper size screw to go into the receiving piece far enough to hold.

    You can see that in the pic on the right

    Thanks, Steve.
    I use the markings on the jig to set the jig height as well as drill stop.
    But I have wondered the same thing when using it

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Central Missouri, U.S.
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    1,192
    Larry, in your plywood shot, the hole placement is all over the place. Why is that?

    Also, the plywood looks pretty rough. If it's delaminating or has voids, the screws will have nothing to grab and hold.

  5. #35
    It's a cheap exterior plywood.
    I don't know why the holes are all over.
    I clamp in the jig

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Central Missouri, U.S.
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    1,192
    I've only used the smaller (K3?) jig, maybe someone else can help with why the drilled holes aren't consistent, but I'm guessing that's why you're having trouble with getting your screws to engage.

  7. #37
    I was thinking, Nick, that the holes being all over may be an illusion due to camera angle.
    Possibly?

    Some screws seat well, some blow through and some don't seat at all, like in the cabinet pic

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Itapevi, SP - Brazil
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    294
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Foster View Post
    Are you creating the pocket hole on the "Right Side" of the joint. The pocket should be created along end grain, so the screw is fastened into grain that can hold the threads, and not end grain. Also, once or twice, I've used a hand driven screwdriver when the material was soft so the created threads were not stripped by power drill.

    See photo below, borrowed from a Rockler Web page

    Can you provide a photo of one of the failed joints?

    Attachment 403223
    I had forgotten to include that into my important points for successful pock hole making. From my own experience you are very right!

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Austin Texas
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    1,425
    What are you using to drill the pocket holes with? I seem to remember that someone-somewhere advised against using cordless drills for the hole drilling operation and to use a corded drill for consistency of the hole. I always used a corded drill back when I was making face frames at a dedicated pocket hole area where an outlet was right there and I did not have to deal with batteries. Or, I am I having a senior moment? Those screw heads in your photos should be buried out of view if the holes are drilled to the correct depth and you are driving them to depth. The depth stop setting instructions with the jig (while somewhat exacting) are not difficult to follow and I have to believe you have the depth set correctly. This is a situation where 3 minutes with someone else familiar with pocket hole use looking over your shoulder while you drill/drive a screw could probably solve the whole mystery. Maybe find two decent (solid) pieces of 3/4" wood, reset the depth on the drill collar and try again with a fresh attempt as a test.
    David

  10. #40
    Thanks, David.
    I am using a cordless drill.
    The only corded drill I own is a huge Bosch hammer drill.

    I agree that the screws should be buried.

    This isn't rocket surgery and I'd like to think I'm moderately intelligent.

    If it's not too cold tomorrow, I'll take your suggestion and play around.
    I have lots of scrap.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Central Missouri, U.S.
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    1,192
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Foster View Post
    I was thinking, Nick, that the holes being all over may be an illusion due to camera angle.
    Possibly?

    Some screws seat well, some blow through and some don't seat at all, like in the cabinet pic
    The perspective doesn't seem to indicate that. Starting from the left, the first two holes look about the same, then the rest kind of go uphill from there. Just take a ruler and measure each hole's distance from the edge. They should be exactly the same.

  12. #42
    I was going to put a square on it but will try a ruler

  13. #43
    It looks like the gate needs a triangular element to keep it from racking, even if the pocket holes were correctly installed.

    Regarding the other photos, at first blush it looks like the pocket hole bit might not be set correctly. In general the screws should be set in far enough that they are less visible than your photos show. Your pocket hole bit may need to be adjusted to drill a bit deeper. I've always just made sure the bit is set at a depth that prevents it from hitting the horizontal base of the jig when drilling a pocket hole. I know it's not quite according to directions, but I've never had a problem with a joint.

  14. #44
    I just did it quick and dirty on one of those real cold days a week or so ago.
    You may be right about the bit not being correct but, if it's wrong, I truly have no idea what is correct.
    I put the shoulder of the bit on the mark for the piece I'm drilling and tighten the collar.
    Lately, I've been shorting it a fine hair to make up for the smaller thicknesses

  15. #45
    What are you driving the screws with? I use a 12v Milwaukee with the torque set low, for softwood and plywood. I wouldn’t even try use my 18v makita impact driver for it, it would damage most of it.

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