9 Pocket Hole Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

1. Avoid the End Grain

Pocket holes need to be drilled into the ends of a board when creating butt joints. Let’s say we are going to build a frame. We need to drill the pocket holes into the vertical (blue) pieces not the horizontal (wood grain) pieces. basic woodworking skills woodworking skills list

Pocket holes need to be drilled into the ends of a board when creating butt joints.

We don’t want to drill pocket holes into the edge of a board (horizontal wood grain pieces) and drive pocket hole screws into end grain because this would not create a strong joint. The grain of wood runs the length of the board. The end of the board is referred to as the end grain. basic woodworking skills woodworking skills list

We don’t want to drill pocket holes into the edge of a board and drive pocket hole screws into end grain because this would not create a strong joint.

Think of the wood grain or wood fibers like a box of drinking straws. Imagine driving a screw into the end of a box of drinking straws. What would happen to the screw? That’s right, it would just spin around in the ends of the straws. Driving screws into end grain does not create a strong joint. basic woodworking skills woodworking skills list

Edge Joints

There’s an exception to every rule, so there is a time when it’s OK to drill pocket holes into the edge of the board and that’s when we are edge joining to make panels, table tops, etc. basic woodworking skills woodworking skills list

When edge joining the screw is being driven through the edge of the wood and this makes a strong joint.

Pocket holes holes should be spaced about 6" apart when edge joining

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