How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

Gallery Of How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

Tool Tips, Small Workshop Ideas & Woodworking Plans

You are here: / / / How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

Pocket hole joints can move out of alignment when driving pocket screws. Using clamps is the best way to keep workpieces in position when assembling projects.

I’ve received a handful of messages lately from DIYers about an issue they’re having with their pocket hole joints. The issue is their joints move out of alignment when they begin to drive the pocket screws into the workpieces.

How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

> Daniel: How do I stop parts creeping out of alignment when assembling?”

> Marek: My biggest problem is that when I tighten, one of the two pieces moves up a bit.”

> Orhan: I have difficulty in keeping the pieces to be joined by pocket screws in alignment. The torque that the screw conveys to the wood makes it difficult to maintain my initial alignment. Using glue makes the surfaces further slippery.”

I know exactly what these DIYers are talking about. I’ve had this same issue myself when I first started building projects with pocket hole joinery. Let’s look at why workpieces can move out of alignment when assembled with pocket hole joinery and how to prevent it.

This post contains affiliate links to supplies or tools I used to complete this project. Purchases made using these links help support the Saws on Skates website and allow me to share more and with you. There is no cost to you for using these links.

How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

Why Pieces Move When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

I think it’s important for us to look at other types of joinery to understand why pocket hole joints can move out of alignment when they’re being assembled. Let’s take a look back at the post where we compared and contrasted the differences of pocket holes and biscuit joints.

Biscuit Joints Keep Faces Properly Aligned

In the post, we looked at how a biscuit joiner or plate joiner works. The biscuit joiner has a small horizontally mounted saw blade. The biscuit joiner is plunged into the edge of a workpiece and the blade cuts a half-moon shaped slot. Then the biscuit joiner is used to cut the second half of the slot on the corresponding workpiece.

Glue is applied to a thin football shaped wafer called a biscuit. The biscuit is placed into the slots and the joint is clamped until the glue dries.

How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

The biscuit keeps the faces of the workpieces flush and prevents the pieces from moving out of alignment while we’re assembling our project.

Pocket Hole Joints vs. Biscuit Joints

A pocket hole joint works differently than a biscuit joint. A Kreg Jig or pocket hole jig uses a guide block with preset holes to drill angled pocket holes in a workpiece. A pocket screw, specifically designed to be used with pocket holes draws the two workpieces together to form a strong joint.

The biscuit prevents a biscuit joint from coming out of alignment while it’s being assembled. There isn’t anything to prevent a pocket hole joint from coming out of alignment while it’s being assembled. In fact, driving the pocket screw can actually force the workpieces out of alignment.

How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

Now we understand there isn’t anything to prevent our workpieces from moving out of alignment when assembling our pocket hole joints. So is there anything we can do to limit or prevent this movement? Absolutely. We can use the mechanical advantage of clamps.

Don’t Hold Pocket Hole Joints with Your Hands

I know what you’re asking yourself. “Do we really need to use clamps? Can’t we just hold the joint with our hands?” The answer is no. We NEED to use clamps!

The first reason we want to use clamps instead of holding a joint with our hands is that it could be dangerous. Skate over to the comment section of the post If you don’t believe me. There you’ll read Scott C’s comment:

> Here is a mistake I don’t want to make again. Never hold the joint with your hand as you drive in the screws. The driver tip slipped on me and drove into my palm of my hand. It hurt and I went to the doctor and after an xray they cleared me of any broken bones, but this is very easy to do. Use a clamp to hold together for safety.”

You may also be interested in

 

Tags About How to Prevent Pieces from Moving When Assembling Pocket Hole Joints

,