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Thread: Coarse or fine - pocket hole screw question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI

    Coarse or fine - pocket hole screw question

    I'm building a frame for a display booth (7.5' tall and three sections 9' long made up of 3 - 3' x 7.7' sections hinged together - think really big face frames). I'm milling poplar into 3/4 x 2 1/2 for the frames and everything will be joined with pocket screws.

    Question - Poplar, although technically a hard wood, is relatively soft. Should I use the fine thread screws intended for hardwoods, or go with the coarse thread screws normally used on pine, etc.?
    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    I would think that course thread would be the right choice.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Schenectady, NY

    Wow, Tough Question

    My gut reaction is to go with the fine thread and set your driver torque setting really low so you don't strip out. This coming from someone with limited pocket screw use, so take for what it's worth. Maybe do a test "drive".
    Don Orr

    Woodturners make the World go ROUND

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    coarse,, from my expeierence.but i will ask a better autourity..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Floydada, Tx
    For poplar, I use the course screws. It is a hard would, but is way soft so coarse are fine.

  6. #6
    My expeirence is 'when in doubt, use coarse'. The fine threads strip out too easily in softer hardwoods, like alder, poplar, etc. On the other hand, we ran out of fine thread at the shop a while back and have been using coarse for oak assemblies and it works just fine. So well, in fact, that we stopped bothering to keep the fine thread on hand.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    +1 for coarse in poplar.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  8. #8
    I've gotta say coarse too, gives such a better grip.
    Go ahead and run clown, with those big floppy shoes, you won't get far.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Plainwell, Michigan
    Coarse also, but try a test piece and make your final opinion from that

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I've put together a few dozen large picture frames made of poplar where I used the 1" coarse thread Kreg screw to hold them together. Works great. In fact, the one I did with red oak, I used the coarse screws on it as well. While it may not be what Kreg calls for they worked, didn't split the wood, and are still holding it together today.

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