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About half the time I drive a screw into a pocket hole, the screw bites in and goes into the material, but doesn't tighten down.  It'll freely spin, even on a relatively low torque setting (10/24)

Other times, the operation works as expected.

This seems to occur most often with coarse 1 1/4" screws into 3/4" (1x4, 1x8) pine, but I seem to recall having the issue with the 2 1/2" screws (into 2-by) as well.


Does anyone have any suggestions as to what could be causing this? 

Thanks.

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Happens to me as well. No suggestions to offer but am curious also.
I use a lot of pine. It has been my experience that as soft as some pine is, I eliminate the problem of stripping scerws by

1. Make sure all cuts are square.

2. Make sure joints are pulled tight and flush when clamped for screwing. Excess gap will cause the entrance of the screw to change and the exit of the screw will cause a dimple that affects a tight joint, which you compensate by pulling the joint tighter stripping the hole.

3. use slower speed when tightening screws, I actually use a cordless screw driver, not a drill/driver, I do not use the torque settings, but actually watch, listen and feel the screw going in and stop when tight.

Others will not agree with me, but this is my solution to my problem.
Well I thank Robert is right about that but there is one way but it’s not the Kreg way but you can use 1 “ ¼ sheet rock screws and glue and turn down the speed as well and don’t for get to use bar clamps .
There are 2 problems with drywall screws, they are not wood screws, they are threaded all the way down the shank and will not pull the joint any tighter than you have your joint clamped with your face clamp, and if you overtighten the screws the taper of the head can split the wood or it can allow you to overdrive the screw and come out the surface of the receiving piece of wood. Have been there and done that. The purpose of the washerhead wood screw is to pull the joint tight minimizing the chance of splitting the wood and overdriving the screw.
Robert, excellent points... I was just about to respond to this thread, and you took the words right out of my mouth! Great advice, well said.
They say in life you learn from your stupid mistakes. I have learned a lot.

KregRep said:
Robert, excellent points... I was just about to respond to this thread, and you took the words right out of my mouth! Great advice, well said.
Pine is soft and I haven't used my jig yet but dvd or instruction said something about coarse screws and fine screws with soft and hard wood. I think coarse with soft. You might also ease up on torque setting on drill. I have noticed on some videos that their drill slips once tight. You could be overdoing it a little. Hope this helped. Mike
I've encountered the same on cedar for my outdoor chairs. I make sure to glue the joints and then screw slowly to "feel" it when it is seated properly. You have to be "one" with the wood.
I built my bathroom cabinet out of pine boards, you can see pictures of it on my photos. I had no problems with the screws tightening down properly. I use a cordless drill and had the torque setting on 7.and the drill set on the low torque rather then the faster speed.and just took it slow tightening the screws down.
I recently purchased a kreg jig to make some cabinet doors out of 1 x 3 pine and used my cordless impact driver and just as others have said, I just watched the screws tighten and stopped with no problems. I also agree that you need to go slow and use little torque and have our clutch set just heavy enough to pull the joint tight.
What I found out best with dealing with very soft pine is that I glue the joint and then drive the screw in by going slow and pressing the trigger of the screw driver on and off. This has worked fine for me many times.
with my limited use of the screw in the pocket hole i noticed at times i drilled too far and had a sort of pilot hole into the next piece of wood. check you drill bit depth and adjust your collar to drill a more shallow hole. let us know what works.

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