Editor's note: This month, Rockler Woodworking and Hardware is pleased to introduce the Pock-It Hole Clamp, a versatile new method of clamping pocket hole joints for properly aligned, tight fitting results when using pocket screws. We had Ralph Bagnall try out a couple in the shop, and here are his thoughts on the new clamps.
I do a lot of pocket screw construction, for face frames, cabinet boxes, scribes, you name it. I have, however, avoided using pocket screws on many occasions because clamping the joint properly can be a problem. What is needed is one clamp that holds the joint faces in alignment, and also keeps the gap between parts closed as the screws are driven home. Rockler's new Pock-It Hole Clamp does exactly that. The clamp has a delrin pin that locks into the pocket hole, allowing the clamp to draw the joint tight. The machined flat bottom of the clamp spans the joint as well, keeping the two faces aligned as screws are added.
Since the screws drive in at an angle in pocket hole joinery, the joint may tend to slide as the screw is driven home, or spread as the screw tip tries to enter the second part. This one clamp handles both issues, making pocket screw joinery even faster.
Other reviewers feel the same. Paul Bonanno, from Poughkeepsie, NY says, "A great product - these clamps work as intended. Solid construction and sharp design. A useful feature is the clearance in the clamp body which allows for fastening double pocket hole joints - which I use often."
Rockler sent me a pair of these clamps to try out for myself, and I am impressed. I use pocket screws a lot for finished ends of cabinets, and the Pock-It Hole Clamp is very fast and efficient for holding the box as I set the screws. Best of all, they work for any size cabinet, so no more trying to set large clamps to hold my boxes.
And they work just as well on face frames. I can align the parts, set the clamp and tighten it off the edge of my bench where I can feel the alignment on both sides, then turn the ratchet handles flat and drive the screws with confidence fully supported by the bench. The delrin pin is adjustable. I tried the clamps out with traditional flat bottom pocket holes and even round bottom, router-made holes from a commercial pocket hole machine. The Pock-It Hole Clamp was able to handle them all. For about $20.00 each, every shop should have a few of these added to their clamp rack.