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Should Joinery Use Just Pocket Screws, Glue or Both on End Grain Joints
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Q: I have been using pocket screws and gluing the joints as well. Now I see some people use pocket screws without glue. What is the correct way to build pocket screw joinery?

Edge joinery with pocket screws and/or glue While many people are using just screws for pocket hole joinery these days, the tried and true method of adding glue to the screws still holds up best according to our expert.

A: For a number of years, I assembled screw pockets without using glue in the joint. My feeling was that there was so little strength from glue on end grain, what was the point? Then I was helping my friend Charlie at his cabinet shop, where he builds kitchen cabinets. My job for the day? Making face frames. Charlie saw me assembling frames without glue and said “Uh, uh. We ALWAYS use glue in those joints.” Whatever … It’s his shop, his jobs, so I’ll use his technique. Well, I managed to assemble a couple of frames incorrectly (I’m still sure it was someone else’s fault) and when I tried to disassemble them, I could barely get them apart, even with the screws out. Disassembly ended up tearing out pieces of grain. Wow! So now, thanks to Charlie, I always use glue with my screw pocket joints, convinced that it adds a lot of strength to the joint.

posted on August 1, 2010 by George Vondriska
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