pockethole vs m&t

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Forum topic by irish1952 posted 01-26-2014 12:01 PM 1429 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2312 days

01-26-2014 12:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Im building a library table for my daughters home office .the plan calls for [email protected] joints but I want to use kreg pockethole screws and glue .will that be strong enough?.table will be 28wide by 54 oak thanks for any help.

-- mike in michigan.youll never walk alone

23 replies so far

View Picklehead's profile


1053 posts in 2492 days

#1 posted 01-26-2014 12:30 PM

I think we’re gonna need to see the design/plan in order to know. Depends on width and placement of stretchers and aprons, probably. Expect (at best) some mild horror from the traditionalists! Good question.

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3542 days

#2 posted 01-26-2014 12:50 PM

I think it just boils down to, how long do you want it to last. Well done m&t should be good for 50+ years pocket screws ???

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 3992 days

#3 posted 01-26-2014 12:50 PM

I guess I must be one of those traditionalists. Yes, I think that pocket screws and glue would be strong enough for most but you are likely building a keepsake. Keepsakes deserve mortise and tenon.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View CharlesA's profile


3387 posts in 2360 days

#4 posted 01-26-2014 01:28 PM

I agree that you need to supply a diagram or plans for the best answer. In many applications, pocket screws are very strong (such as securing an apron to a table top). But there are some joints where they don’t do as well (such as securing a table leg directly to a table top).

I used to use pocket screws almost exclusively and find them quite helpful. But I’ve been learning more traditional joinery, and prefer it now when it makes the most sense. But pocket screws can make a lot of sense depending on the application.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 2859 days

#5 posted 01-26-2014 01:56 PM

I would say that if the design allows for plenty of gluing surface – yes. Biscuits would allow for even more glue surface.

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 3238 days

#6 posted 01-26-2014 02:00 PM

If you are talking about 3 or 4 – 1 1/4” pocket screws in a 54” long x 3” stretcher connecting to a 2 1/2” x 28” solid oak leg, I would tend to say no. Glue certainly won’t hold in this sure to be tested butt joint without biscuits, dowels or the best choice, M&T.

There is another choice.

If you were to use a diagonal block or table bracket and a lag bolt system – standard table stuff, you could break it down for storage or moving day. Not full blown family heirloom quality in it’s purist form but it seems like this is a practical application that doesn’t call for it.

You could tighten it when needed, no chance of a M&T joint coming loose, easier to build. Only you can tell the difference.

View bondogaposis's profile


5570 posts in 2914 days

#7 posted 01-26-2014 02:07 PM

I’d say the question comes down to whether you want to build an heirloom or not. Initially both will be strong enough. Over time though, say 50+ years the M&T table will still be among us. Whereas the pocket screw table will probably have failed by then. Wood moves, screws work loose, once racking occurs failure is not far behind.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CharlesA's profile


3387 posts in 2360 days

#8 posted 01-26-2014 02:08 PM

“no chance of a M&T joint coming loose”—I’ve seen M&T joints made by professional, very skilled woodworkers come loose over time.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Texcaster's profile


1286 posts in 2236 days

#9 posted 01-26-2014 02:17 PM

As Rooster Cogburn said to Lucky Ned, when Ned threatened kill the girl. ” Do what you think is best Ned! “

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View irish1952's profile


4 posts in 2312 days

#10 posted 01-26-2014 02:27 PM

thanks for all the replys. the plans are from plans now .com craftsman library table.ive never made a m&t joint and i thought with the bottom stretchers in this plan it might work with pocketholes

-- mike in michigan.youll never walk alone

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

608 posts in 3462 days

#11 posted 01-26-2014 02:44 PM

Well Ill go out on this one I can build anything with pocket hole joinery. I have over 22 projects on LJ’s and 100 dresser’s that are hitting 10 year’s and all my customer’s now where I live ?

View bladeburner's profile


88 posts in 3650 days

#12 posted 01-26-2014 02:59 PM

I’ve built some tables with pocket screws and they’re holding up just fine. BTW, I’ve pulled apart some 100+ year old furniture that the glue had long since lost it’s hold, but the pocket screws were still holding the parts together.

Use pocket screws without fear, for you can always go back with loose tenons if you want/need.

View a1Jim's profile


117790 posts in 4140 days

#13 posted 01-26-2014 03:05 PM

I think it will depend on it’s dimensions and it’s use as to how well it will hold up.Many folks will opt for pocket hole joinery just because they want to have a fast build but if you truly want to be a builder of quality furniture you need to learn more types of joinery,It’s really not that hard to make M&T just a little more time consuming, if you want a quick build Pocket holes may be for you.if you want to learn joinery and have a long lasting product give M&T a try.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3604 days

#14 posted 01-26-2014 03:06 PM

IF you have the time I would take it to learn M&T they are a lot of fun. Once I learned them I never looked back, they are not that hard.

Kregg is a nice system but there is a a lot of different ways to attach things. Kregg is just the latest gizmo.

View jumbojack's profile


1689 posts in 3187 days

#15 posted 01-26-2014 03:10 PM

I am going to say M&T for one simple reason. You stated you have never done M&T. NOW is the time to learn. They are not that difficult. It is a skill set that you will value. That said after you complete the M&T go ahead and pocket screw them also. There 50+ years.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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