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Thread: Problem with Pocket hole screws

  1. #1
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    Problem with Pocket hole screws

    I have been doing some building of shop stuff for storage and I am having a problem with the pocket hole screws coming through the other piece of plywood. I am using 3/4" plywood and the recommended screw size is 1 1/4". The tip of the screws keep popping through about 1/16 - 1/8" and I have to use my angle grinder to cut them off. I have shortened the length of the pocket hole drill, down to about 1/8" less than the recommended length for 3/4" wood with the same outcome. Should I be shortening the drill length even more or am I doing something else wrong?
    Stu
    Stuart Reid
    Fisherman in Training

  2. #2
    What kind of screws are you using? You should use the flange head screws on ply. If not, the ply can collapsing under the head, allowing it to go too deep. You also have to be especially careful with impact drivers (I don't recommend using them for pocket screws).

    With ply I use the larger flange head screws, coarse thread and never have an issue.

    That said, be sure both the guide block for and drill collar have to be set for the thickness you're drilling into

    On a Kreg jig, place the bit in the guide and set the collar so the bit is about 1/8" off the bottom.

    Hope this helps!!

  3. #3
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    Remember 3/4" ply is really approx 23/32.
    George

    Making sawdust regularly, occasionally a project is completed.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Engel View Post
    What kind of screws are you using? You should use the flange head screws on ply. If not, the ply can collapsing under the head, allowing it to go too deep. You also have to be especially careful with impact drivers (I don't recommend using them for pocket screws).

    With ply I use the larger flange head screws, coarse thread and never have an issue.

    That said, be sure both the guide block for and drill collar have to be set for the thickness you're drilling into

    On a Kreg jig, place the bit in the guide and set the collar so the bit is about 1/8" off the bottom.

    Hope this helps!!

    That may be my problem, I am using an impact driver to drive the screws. I am using the Kreg 1 1/4" pan head screws that are recommended for plywood. I will switch to a less aggressive driver and see what happens. Thanks for the tip!

    Stu
    Stuart Reid
    Fisherman in Training

  5. #5
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    I would use screws that are short enough to not penetrate the board after the joint is made.

  6. #6
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    I would never use an impact driver for pocket screws. Better choice is a driver-drill with the clutch set at a level that won't over drive the screw. On my Makita drill I typically use a clutch setting of 7 or 8.
    Scott Vroom

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Bernard Baruch

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott vroom View Post
    I would never use an impaBetter choice is a driver-drill with the clutch set at a level that won't over drive the screw. On my Makita drill I typically use a clutch setting of 7 or 8.
    Ditto...it's very likely driving the screws beyond the bottom of the pocket by shear force. Normal DD with the long driver bit and the clutch set to disengage when the screws are snug.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott vroom View Post
    I would never use an impact driver for pocket screws. Better choice is a driver-drill with the clutch set at a level that won't over drive the screw. On my Makita drill I typically use a clutch setting of 7 or 8.
    Ditto here as well .
    Buy a man a plane ticket and he’ll fly for a day.
    Push a man out of a plane
    and he’ll fly for the rest of his life.

  9. #9
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    Plus one on overtightening. I use a T handle screwdriver to do the final snug on mine, to avoid that problem.

    Just to clarify...you should be using coarse thread 'washer head' Kreg screws,which look like they have a built in small washer. Not the pan head screws, which have a smaller but thicker head. Coarse thread screws for plywood and soft woods, fine thread screws for hardwood.

    Hope this helps.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  10. #10
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    No impact driver.
    I use an electric drill and set clutch to not over drive.

  11. #11
    We run pocket screws on a daily basis all with impact. If operator error cant be dealt with then youll have to look to other means. If your tips are poking through you should just back off your drill depth by 1/16 or 3/32. A drill is an inanimate object. It is controled only by those of us with thumbs.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  12. #12
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    An 18V impact driver might be too powerful for this application, but I have no issues with my 12V. You hear the tool change it's tone when the screw has pulled the two pieces of wood together. That's your que to stop.

    John

  13. #13
    Johnny on the spot. Timing and your ear are dead on the money. A monkey will drive a screw clear through a cab back with an impact. Pay attention and you can run screws all day long far better than a non impact and your batteries will last WAY longer because your not bogging/drawing down/stalling the motor. Thats the #1 battery suck on a cordless tool. I'd be 100 years older by the time I got a cabinet out the door if I had to torque every pocket hole screw by hand or with a secondary tool.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  14. #14
    All good advice so far. I didn't notice anyone mentioning that the pocket hole dill guide block can be raised to deal with screws going through.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley Gray View Post
    All good advice so far. I didn't notice anyone mentioning that the pocket hole dill guide block can be raised to deal with screws going through.
    Or you just slide your stop collar on the drill towards the tip 1/16" and done.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

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