How would you join this using pocket screws

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Forum topic by NeophyteGrant posted 02-05-2019 07:46 PM 1034 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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147 posts in 1751 days

02-05-2019 07:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: kreg pocket-hole 2x4 butt-joint joinery clamps clamping squares

I’m putting together a carcass for a cart, using milled 2×4s. Then I plan to just skin it with some brad-nailed on hardboard and call it a day. I wanted to make the frames and stringers using pocket-screws. I’m no stranger to some of the shifting that can happen with face frames, but what about doing these stringers, perpendicular to the frame.

How do you guys clamp these? Every way I do it with clamping squares seems inefficient and prone to movement when I’m driving the screw. It frustrates me when something so simple eats up time.

15 replies so far

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4826 posts in 1148 days

#1 posted 02-05-2019 07:52 PM

I have one of these
After using it , I would never try that joint again without it. The clamp is a bit buggy though, I keep the screws a bit loose and hold it tight until I lock it. But after getting the hang of it, its well worth it if you have to do this often.

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288 posts in 2078 days

#2 posted 02-05-2019 07:56 PM

I would attach it just as you have it pictured. I use a clamp on the board behind the vertical piece so it will not creep back as I drive the screws

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4166 posts in 3099 days

#3 posted 02-05-2019 08:04 PM

I have some angle iron the I clamp to the backside.

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6046 posts in 3593 days

#4 posted 02-05-2019 08:08 PM

I’d use the Kreg right angle clamp.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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79 posts in 2061 days

#5 posted 02-05-2019 08:12 PM

When I need to do something like that I’ll clamp a piece of scrap with a few clamps on the left side of the joint and butt the vertical board against it. Much like the angle iron diverlloyd uses.

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147 posts in 1751 days

#6 posted 02-05-2019 08:24 PM

Thanks guys. I think I need to refine my finesse—I’ve tried the angle iron (using one or two clamping squares) or board butted against the back. What’s stymied me is the want for the vertical piece to want to pivot or slide to either side. Once I misfire, it’ll try to back up into the same misaligned hole, which is always fun. I might need to space the squares to they cover the entire 3 1/4 inche back face and reduce that pivoting.

That 90 degree angle clamp looks like a beaut—going to look into it.

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6748 posts in 3551 days

#7 posted 02-05-2019 09:33 PM

I would attach it just as you have it pictured. I use a clamp on the board behind the vertical piece so it will not creep back as I drive the screws

- Davevand

+ simple effective cheap handy

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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150 posts in 1093 days

#8 posted 02-05-2019 09:53 PM

I have actually used a speed square and Quik Grip clamps to do what you describe. In fact I took a cheap plastitic one I had lying around and modified it to work better. I removed the webbing along the fence end and then removed the sawtooth pencil guides along the blade end. Then I made up a block to saddle over where I removed the pencil guides and glued it on. All told I invested about fifteen minutes in it. I will be the first to admit it has quite the redneck look, but it works for me.

-- Larry A. - I've made a small fortune with my woodworking. The trouble is, I started with a large fortune.

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1483 posts in 2058 days

#9 posted 02-05-2019 10:06 PM

I would shoot a couple of 16 gauge by 2-1/2 inch finishing nails to prevent slippage before driving the screws.

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32 posts in 1749 days

#10 posted 02-05-2019 10:21 PM

I clamp a block, position the vertical board and use it to drill 2 pilot holes with a thin drill bit. When you drive your screws the board will stay lined up.

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3134 posts in 3267 days

#11 posted 02-05-2019 11:12 PM

This application is where an old fashioned hand screw works well. Like the ones you used in the school shop class. Can be clamped at any angle, and hold solidly. They would even provide some vertical stability.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#12 posted 02-08-2019 11:17 PM

Thanks again all. I am going to redo the stringers and use a block and pre-drill like you said, JTdon, so any grab on the screws doesn’t throw it off square. The block will reference the front face, then the below setup with clamping squares for 90 degrees and so it doesn’t back up on me while drilling the pilots. My other thought was to use clamping squares to position and hold the stringers, then clamp it between the two face frames with parallel clamps to lock it down. Will see which approach is quicker.

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796 posts in 3457 days

#13 posted 02-09-2019 04:25 AM

So I don’t have a better idea for clamping than the ones you got above, but I do have a tip for getting the screws to drive without shifting the wood.

With softer woods and some hardwoods, when I insert the screw into the pocket, I run the drill in reverse for a bit pressing down a little. This will tend to create a small pilot hole without the aggressive heads driving the screw in.

Then I’ll flip the drill to forwards and drive the screws. A lot of the time, this will help with the small motion that sometimes get introduced when you drive the pocket screws in.


-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

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4734 posts in 2723 days

#14 posted 02-09-2019 03:42 PM

For a cart, like you’ll be wheeling it around the shop?

Why pocket screws? Why not just screw straight in with 3” construction screws?

Which do you think will be stronger?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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1432 posts in 1153 days

#15 posted 02-09-2019 11:53 PM

+1 with rwe2156

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