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Thread: Pocket Holes...How many is too many?

  1. #1
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    Pocket Holes...How many is too many?

    Was watching an episode of "The American Woodshop this evening and they were building a kitchen cabinet. I believe if I heard it right the dimensions were 12" deep 24" wide and 48 tall (3/4 birch ply). My question comes in when he started to explain assembly of the carcass with pocket holes. Top and bottoms were connected with 6 holes on each side and 10 across the back, then 16 on each side to connect the back for a total of 76 pocket holes on one cabinet. Am I crazy or is this overkill? I realize Kreg is a sponsor and I can respect that but I cant see needing any more than 30-35 at the most..

    oh and he used another 32 to attach the face frame...
    Last edited by trevor adair; 04-22-2012 at 11:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    Trevor -

    I know they recommend every 6 inches when screwing panels together. I used that same theory on my last project. I built an aquarium stand, but just used pocket holes to attach the trim to the ply top the then top to the apron. It was a standard 2'x4' piece and I used almost 40 screws. I put one a couple inches from the edge then 6" after that.

    At $4 for 100, why not
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  3. #3
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    My take is that using 3/4" plywood box parts - NO POCKET HOLES are necessary. I have never used them for that application. I do us the pocket screws for assembling the face frame parts to each other, but that is the limit of my Kreg use for cabinet construction. I use biscuits to attach the face frames to the boxes. Many others on this forum will tell you that they use pocket screws for that purpose. No right or wrong - just different techniques. I can't imagine needing pocket screws spaced closer than 6" to 8" for the applications you describe.
    Sam

    ~ Hard to take a guy who looks like this seriously but his 2 is worth all of that ~

  4. #4
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    i would hate to MANUALLY bore all of those holes for just ONE cab... i'd use three on each side for wall cabinets and five for base cabinets to connect the top and bottom and probably four or five on each face frame but i'm using a PC pocket cutter which makes the boring process a lot less tedious.

  5. #5
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    I watched the same episode and noted the same situation. Although it looks like it was strafed by an F22 Raptor, they were all in unseen locations, so Scott went pocket happy.

    My own method is to use a combination of biscuits and pocket screws, they really are mutually complimentary. The biscuits aiding in assembly alignment, the screws obviating the need for clamps, the whole thus being greater than the sum of its parts.


    - Beachside Hank
    Do not use remaining fingers as push sticks.

  6. #6
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    Ho many pocket holes are too many?

    For me it would be one.

    For a plywood cabinet I would dado/rebate and glue the carcass.

    If I put a face frame on it it would be with a biscuit and glue or just glue...............Regards, Rod.

  7. #7
    To answer yr original question, if Kreg recommends one screw every 6-8", then you have yr answer based on the size of the cabinet.

    The appropriateness of pocket screws AT ALL can be debated, but I don't believe that's what you've asked...

  8. #8
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    To me that's to many, but I don't build with pocket screws alone.

    Hey where is that you tube vid of the guy who built a dewalt powered pocket hole jig with like 12 screw guns? (or something)

    Drill 12 holes at once, get-r-done lol
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank shic View Post
    i'm using a PC pocket cutter which makes the boring process a lot less tedious.
    Frank, could you expand on this? I have the Kreg system and it's OK but has a flimsy feel to it. One thing I don't like about the Kreg system: If I'm putting 2 pocket holes in narrow stock (e.g., 1-1/4" wide), the hold down clamp only covers half the board and doesn't pull the piece all the way hard up to the jig face....it's a funky design. I'd like to get something more substantial and better designed....maybe the PC?
    Scott Vroom

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

    Bernard Baruch

  10. #10
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    the PC pocket cutter which utilizes a router and a laminate trimmer is no longer being manufactured by porter cable - the rights i believe have gone back to castle which builds industrial tools. the hold down on the PC is rock solid, and with just a simple push and pull of the lever, the pocket is routed and bored. it's a lot faster although noisier than it's kreg counterpart. to deal with routing narrow pieces, i push a piece of plywood all the way to the front to serve as a temporary fence. they show up occasionally on craigslist. the greatest part of the PC pocket cutter is that the joints are much more often flush than the kreg.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott vroom View Post
    Frank, could you expand on this? I have the Kreg system and it's OK but has a flimsy feel to it. One thing I don't like about the Kreg system: If I'm putting 2 pocket holes in narrow stock (e.g., 1-1/4" wide), the hold down clamp only covers half the board and doesn't pull the piece all the way hard up to the jig face....it's a funky design. I'd like to get something more substantial and better designed....maybe the PC?
    You may not need 2 screws in such narrow stock as 1-1/4 anyway. When I get to stock that narrow, I go with one centered, and flank it with brads driven and snipped at an angle so as to form small, sharp steel dowels. To supplement, I butter the end grain with glue, let capillary action do its thing and hit it again before assembly. The combined elements are more than sufficient for an edge grain to end grain joint.

    - Beachside Hank
    Do not use remaining fingers as push sticks.

  12. #12
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    Question: Pocket Holes...How many is too many?

    Answer: One.

    Larry

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