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Does filling/plugging A pocket hole make it stronger?

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Forum topic by OldBull posted 05-23-2020 12:44 PM 341 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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OldBull

60 posts in 26 days


05-23-2020 12:44 PM

I thought it would be easy to find the answer to this question but I have searched for a while with no luck. If a pocket hole’s size is reduced by plugging and gluing it, is it stronger ? It seems like a lot of wood is taken out in a pocket hole and by filling it back the joint would be stronger. I think the joint itself might be the weakest unless it is glued as well.

Since I am new to all of this I have to ask, is it normal to glue and screw a pocket hole?

-- still have 10 fingers as of Apr 30th 2020


12 replies so far

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

195 posts in 328 days


#1 posted 05-23-2020 01:12 PM

Nope. Purely cosmetic.

The strength of the joint is really where the two pieces meet.

If you are only using a screw, the strength is all the mechanical fastening of the washer head on one piece, and the threads into the other.

Add glue, and the strength of the joint is spread out through all of the glue surfaces.

Adding mass behind the screw doesn’t add anything, other than a nice look.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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OldBull

60 posts in 26 days


#2 posted 05-23-2020 01:14 PM

Thank you Axis39

-- still have 10 fingers as of Apr 30th 2020

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4438 posts in 1551 days


#3 posted 05-23-2020 02:04 PM

Doesn’t make it stronger and you would lose the opportunity for breaksown on the pocket hole, should the need arise… unless of course you’ve glued the joint.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6928 posts in 3925 days


#4 posted 05-23-2020 03:07 PM

^...………..Two good answers, and they are both right……!!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1053 posts in 458 days


#5 posted 05-23-2020 03:14 PM

It does make the hole stronger.. ;)
Not so much for the joint….

-- I only know what I know, nothing less, nothing more -- That doesn't count what I used to know..

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5182 posts in 2118 days


#6 posted 05-23-2020 04:12 PM

The weakness of pocket screws is the for them to pull through the other side.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View nickbatz's profile

nickbatz

452 posts in 811 days


#7 posted 05-24-2020 12:05 AM

Note that you can buy dowel plugs for pocket holes. I think Kreg makes the ones I have.

They’re a little long, so you need to cut them to size (I use the band saw), but the other end is the right angle.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

7422 posts in 2996 days


#8 posted 05-24-2020 12:16 AM

nope!

View SMP's profile

SMP

1998 posts in 636 days


#9 posted 05-24-2020 12:29 AM

Well like with most things, it depends. If you are using a real soft wood like pine, and you aren’t gluing the joint, in theory, it could potentially strengthen it. I have made utility stuff from pine and fir and other soft woods. Using pocket holes to make it break apart. The thing is with pocket hole screws is a big part of the shaft is smooth. And if the screws loosen or the heads of the screws mash the surrounding wood a bit, in theory, plugging it tightly to keep the screw engaged could strengthen it.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2744 posts in 1334 days


#10 posted 05-24-2020 02:36 AM

Make sure you use the correct screw. 2 types. Hardwood (fine thread) and softwood (coarse thread) and use glue.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View hcbph_1's profile

hcbph_1

45 posts in 45 days


#11 posted 05-24-2020 02:41 AM



Note that you can buy dowel plugs for pocket holes. I think Kreg makes the ones I have.

They re a little long, so you need to cut them to size (I use the band saw), but the other end is the right angle.

- nickbatz


Happens the holes are 3/8”. When filling in a screw pocket, I use a tenon cutter to make plugs out of the same wood and trim it once in.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2744 posts in 1334 days


#12 posted 05-24-2020 02:56 AM


Note that you can buy dowel plugs for pocket holes. I think Kreg makes the ones I have.

They re a little long, so you need to cut them to size (I use the band saw), but the other end is the right angle.

- nickbatz

Happens the holes are 3/8”. When filling in a screw pocket, I use a tenon cutter to make plugs out of the same wood and trim it once in.

- hcbph_1


I use the Kreg ones too. Just quicker. The pocket holes are usually in an unseen location but making your own out of the same wood is a nice esthetic touch.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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