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Senior Contributor
clhyer345765
Posts: 621
Registered: ‎08-22-2012
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Accepted Solution

Pilot hole & pocket-hole question

Good morning folks,

Somewhere along the way, and it has been a long way..., I was taught that when using screws that I should always use the correct size pilot hole.  The next important step was to make sure my pilot hole entered the lower board.  I don't remember why, maybe it was to make sure the boards didn't end up with a gap?

 

The reason I ask is the article and diagram shown in this months Wood Magazine, issue 221, page 14., "Pocket-hole Pointers".  The diagram shows that the pocket depth should be set so that the pilot point does not go all the way through the rail.  Because of my old way of thinking I always had my pilot point just pierce through and into the stile.

 

What are your thoughts on this?

 

And, speaking of this months issue, it had several good shop tips that I hadn't seen before and will be used in my shop.  Thanks to those folks submitting them!

Cal

 

Honored Advisor
handy-dan
Posts: 4,903
Registered: ‎03-07-2010
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Re: Pilot hole & pocket-hole question

The pilot hole into the lower board helps with alignment.  Without the pilot hole in the lower board the screw may grab some grain and start in a little to the side of where you really want it.  Pocket holes are generally drilled on the jig.  I think they rely on the fact that the pieces are clamped in place and the hole for the screw is large enough that the threads do not bind the pieces up.  The screws have a very sharp self drilling point to start them and the large head pulls everything together and holds the boards in place.

 

Dan

Dan
Youngstown, Oh
Honored Advisor
RussBoyd
Posts: 7,903
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
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Re: Pilot hole & pocket-hole question

I use pocket screws a LOT and what Dan said is my take on it as well. No need for alignment when clamped together.

"If you can't hide it...advertise it!"
Honored Advisor
kmealy
Posts: 2,109
Registered: ‎10-26-2009
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Re: Pilot hole & pocket-hole question

I think the other reason is that if the narrow diameter part of the drill was longer, it might be too fragile and prone to shearing off.

Advisor
PeteM
Posts: 681
Registered: ‎10-24-2009
0

Re: Pilot hole & pocket-hole question

You will want a "hard clamp" on hard woods when screwing them together (with pocket screws).  I do a fair amount of oak, and it will move without very firm restraint.

Esteemed Advisor
Warped and Twisted
Posts: 1,847
Registered: ‎10-22-2009
0

Re: Pilot hole & pocket-hole question

[ Edited ]

The article is the correct way to set the bit. The bit should stop about an 1/8 inch short of going all the way through the piece receiving the pocket hole. In the early jigs the instruction said to lay a nickel  on the jig bottom and let the drill bit rest on it when you set your depth stop. The newer version of the jig come with drill bit depth gauge molded into the plastic case. If you set it by that, the bit will stop short of going all the way through the wood.

 

The reason for this is to keep the two meeting surfaces nice and clean so the two pieces come to sheathe tightly. When you drill all the way through the wood you risk pieces of trash or pouching out of the wood keep the two pieces coming tightly together. The other reason is if you drill the pocket to deep you risk the screw being driving to deep and coming out the other side.

 

It's best to follow the manufacture instructions. I've done it this way for years and never experienced aliment problems.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jd9Ip16iik

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Honored Advisor
ynoT
Posts: 10,587
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
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Re: Pilot hole & pocket-hole question

There is a chart to set drill hole depending on stock thickness.

 

A clamp is good to have to keep two sections together until screws are inserted.

 

Before you drill align your pieces per plan, mark where you want to drill, and than drill the holes.

 

Tony

"Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you."
Esteemed Advisor
Warped and Twisted
Posts: 1,847
Registered: ‎10-22-2009
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Re: Pilot hole & pocket-hole question

"There is a chart to set drill hole depending on stock thickness" exactly. If you use that chart or built in scale the tip of the bit will not go through the end of the stock.

 

For most situation there are marks embossed in the jig and there no need to mark your stock, especially for stuff like face frames.

 

Drill you stock first and then clamp and insert screws.

 

This is all explain in word and video on the kreg website. Should be no confusion.

 

 

 

 

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Esteemed Advisor
Warped and Twisted
Posts: 1,847
Registered: ‎10-22-2009
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Re: Pilot hole & pocket-hole question

http://www.woodsmithshop.com/download/508/pocket-hole-joinery.pdf

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Veteran Advisor
rxeagle
Posts: 1,115
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
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Re: Pilot hole & pocket-hole question

I do not drill thru as in instructions. Part of the reason is with the Kreg jig you drill without the 2 pieces being in contact and this allows placement of the piece where ever I need it. I think that drilling thru with the standard bit will weaken the joint as stated earlier and I have when I first got the jig pulled a hole out. Useing flat head screws may have contributed.

    For those who drill pilot. How do you do this and does this not slow down your assembly?

Gerald Lawrence @ The Eagles Nest
Brandon,MS

 

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