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Thread: Newby question and pocket hole joinery

  1. #1

    Newby question and pocket hole joinery

    Hi everyone,

    I have been watching the posts for a while but as a virtual novice I have lurked in the background!

    Inspired by all of your handy work (and a little encouragement from the wife who believes that with enough encouragement she WILL get her beaded face frame kitchen!!!) I am building up my skills (not a career, but for my own enjoyment). I have been making up a few cabinets, fitted wardrobes etc and as this has been a self taught learning curve have only recently come across pocket hole joinery.

    I would really appreciate some words of experience on the use of these jigs and joints, what do I need to look out for? What are their limitations?

    Being from the UK or home improvement stores have a very limited supply of wood in varying dimensions. At the moment I make up wider stock by gluing 12mm softwood floorboards together to get the width, then I use 18mm/45mm rails to make up a face frame and the same for the door frames. The next thickness of timber available to me is then 36mm which is too thick! I do all this in the garden as I don't have a workshop!! Still, between the rain and the snow it gives me great pleasure.

    All and any advice very welcome.

    Kind regards


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Plainwell, Michigan
    First of all WELCOME to FWW Leo There can and will be much inspiration here to get you into making that kitchen, my first project was my kitchen and the help and advise here is absolutely incredible And as to pocket hole joinery, I love them. I used them on all if the face frames for my cabs. Those and a touch of glue makes for a very strong joint. I have a Kreg system and for me worked very well. Good instructions came with the kit, so following them will work well for the limitations

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    welcome leo and the bead look is best explained by alan beinlien on here he made a pecan kitchen with the beaded look and used pocket hole joinery i have used it as well and like it for cabinet work..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Kreg has a jig that will let you make your own beaded kitchen face frames. Here is a version that Alan made, to accomplish the same thing.

    I would say that you should definitely buy as good a Kreg system as you can afford. The system is amazing. I use mine all the time.

    Here is Kreg's system...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
    Welcome to the forum, Leo!
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  6. #6
    Bob Wiggins is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    140 miles west of tulsa
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Wirtz View Post

    I would really appreciate some words of experience on the use of these jigs and joints, what do I need to look out for? What are their limitations?

    All and any advice very welcome.

    Kind regards

    I don't know if everyone uses two screws per corner on rail and stile frame construction but I like to when possible. What I've found on narrow frame members, the screw often splits the wood of the stile when one screw is too close to the end of the stile. The two screws being in alignment with each other doesn't help matters either. The Kreg system doesn't provide an anchor hole, only a pilot hole and therefore the screw in some instances has too much of a wedging action for some wood causing the split near the end of the stile. Sometimes I use a clipped brad nail to prevent rotation of the rail and only one screw with a little glue for whatever glue is worth on end grain.

  7. #7
    Thanks for your responses guys. Really appreciated.

    I have a bit of time and a few test projects to do before I plough on with the big one! Giving me time to make a few mistakes and ask a few questions.

    I'm certainly not in the league for a big machine but I think the pocket hole joiner would be a good investment.

    In the mean time I will have to stick to my router table and morticer.

    I have two more questions please.

    I'm looking for a router bit to cut the beading and wonder which to buy, as in what dimensions? I'd presumably like the bead to have the same radius as the hinge but is there a standard hinge radius for a kitchen cupboard sized door?

    At this stage i'd be quite happy to nail beading on but unfortunately can only get hold of parting bead and at 8mm it is too big by far.

    And finally!!! When using the pocket hole joint do you guys use dowels as well? I ask because I read that some people had trouble with creep when screwing in as the angle pulled the two pieces out of line.

    Thanks again for your advice.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    For face frame joinery, you should be able to clamp the pieces pretty easily to prevent any misalignment.

    I've been making some shop cabinets and am using pocket holes to join the backs to the sides. I do find that I can get some creep when trying to just hold the pieces together (perpendicularly). Since they are just shop cabs, I haven't been too persnickety about it. I suppose I could rig up some kind of 90 degree clamp, but haven't been too worried about it.

  9. #9
    Hi Leo. Welcome to the family.

    The jig Tom mentions that I made works very well for the beaded face frame. If I remember correctly it cost me nothing to build versus $500 for the official kreg jig. I just did my kitchen out of pecan with a beaded face frame using this system and pocket holes to assemble the frames. I have a thread on here for the kitchen I built for my wife that you could probably get some ideas from. If you have any questions just give me a shout.

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