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I am concerned that since 1/2" ply is no longer available and the new 1/2" ply is now 15/32".  Question: Will using a pocket hole punch through on the other side, or, is the 1/32" not going to affect it?

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When working with 15/32" plywood, you will not be able to use the standard 1/2" settings on the jig or the Maxi-Loc screw, as the head will stick above the surface. You can use pan-head screws, and with some trial and error with your jig and bit settings, you can make it work. The best way to work with this material is to purchase the Micro Drill Guide Block, which is meant for narrower and thinner material than our normal jigs will work with. If you have any other questions, please let us know.  

Interesting.  I used some scrap to test the joint, and as I suspected about a 32nd of the screw pokes through.  What I did was file the point(s) of the screw off.  Not a solution for 'finish' work, but for the shop drawers I'm building it is OK.  Question:  I read the detail on your website about the "Micro Drill Guide Block".  What I was unable to glean from that was how it worked with thinner material - like 15/32" or the new 3/4" ply 23/32"?  Can you help me understand how that works?


The drill bit for the Micro Drill Guide Block has a tip that is slightly shorter, allowing you to drill a little deeper. This allows for the head of the pan-head screws to sit deeper and below the surface.  

I get it.  Took awhile.  Color me slow.  Thanks, I'll get one.

I experienced the same frustration. 3/4 plywood isn't always 3/4", 1/2 isn't 1/2", etc. Seems to be more of a problem with China plywood than domestic. Be sure to drill a test piece. I usually need set my jig shallow to compensate.

I set the drill bit stop 1/32 to 1/16 of inch short of the markwhen working with plywood.  This prevents the poke through. Almost all plywood is 1/32nd undersized, no matter the source or country of origin. 

I just used my micro jig to make some drawer boxes for a lathe cart. Setting the drill bit stop short worked on the 15/32" ply I used.

Sure seems to be a lot of jiggers worrying about the 1/2 inch plywood being only 15/32 of an inch thick.  Guess I do not see the issue as being a problem.  Being using plywoods for over a quarter of an century and have known that plywood is never exactly the same thickness sheet to sheet even years ago.  It all depends on the pressure of the press when it is rolled and pressed into a sheet.  You are talking about 0.03125 of an inch.  Wood is not like a metal sheet and very doubtful if the best of wood  workers could produce a large quality of exactly on the nose 1/2 inch thick hard wood let alone a sheet of plywood.

It appears that too many are loosing the fun and excitement of working wood worrying about a micro measurement in thickness and when they should be worrying more about the quality of the plywood and its resistance to delaminating and or having voids within the sheets.  I don't see the problem as I am sure I use as much and probably more plywood than the majority members on here. 

I see that the Customer Service adds to the frustration of many and feed into scaring them into believing that there is a big problem screwing a screw into a kreg pocket hole unless there is a micrometer setting of the stop collar and the setting of the jig height.  Have you ever thought that maybe there is more than a 1/32 inch difference in screw lengths as well pocket hole bit drill tips or the length of the treaded shank of the screw.

It is plain and simple the reason that screw exits the back of the plywood.  either the hole is too deep and or the screw is too long for the hole and sometime over tightening actually pulls the screw below the seat of the bored pocket hole.  The other reason is the thickness of the ply wood and it is not going to change as plywood is not a definite machined thickness.  it will vary from producer to producer and that if true where it is ply wood from foreign soils and or local.  The biggest problem that I have found with the foreign plywood is its thin veneer, voids in the core and delamination.  Another major problem that might be of concern is the finish on the veneer of which is most often too thin to sand much and there is planer or knife blade chatter on the surface of which you do not always notice until you have applied your finish coat.  I have found it to be enough of a concern that I will no longer build a custom cabinet or furniture unless I build and cover every eye visible surface with hardwood panels.  That means when you design a cabinet you need to make allowance in your planning stages when you measure it for sizes.

My solution is to besure that the hole depth is not too deep for the material being used and that the screw is of proper length and that I do not drive it too deep.   I do this by forgetting about the clutch setting on the driver and listen to the screw as it seats and watching the joining of the two pieces.  I have  many times repeated myself on here about that belief of clutch settings.  It is not accurate and driving screws from hole to hole in the same piece of material resist the forces on the screw at a different amount.  It is the resistance of the screw turning in the wood that activates the clutch on the driver.  That means that there is more resistance in a piece of wood that has a difference in grain structure in one location and then 4 to 6 inches away has a different structure that will differ in the resistance of the screw turning in the wood. So explain to me how you can rely on something that is automatic when the setting is high for some parts of the wood that others. 

I guess the answer is one of a few ways one being to cut the small amount off the end of the screw and or maybe Kreg Tools can begin ordering screws that are a few thousands shorter in thread length and or with a thinner head thickness.   You can elimate some of the problem by using the washer head screw as that will help from the over boring of the pocket hole seat by the over tightening of the screw.

I am sure that many are frustrated by the 1/2 plywood when trying to build drawers.  The answer to this is that there are much better ways of building drawers of which are much stronger and look more professional than using pocket screws.  That means that sometimes the kreg pocket hole is not the answer to the best solution.

Don't get me wrong as the pocket hole system is a great solution to building most of a cabinet but sometimes not the answer.  Most everyone has a table saw or radial arm saw so making the drawer lock joint is easy to do and a lot less frustrating and the results are much better.  The good thing is that it is actually just a quick to do and in many cases less frustrating. 

Two things that I will not use a pocket hole for and that is drawer and doors.

I did watch the cabinet building videos that are on here and as soon as I get some time I will write something on those too.  I am a firm believer that if you are going to teach something then teach it correctly.  The doors and the drawers that I saw being built were pretty bad.  I am sorry to say this but it is true.

Tim Grace - thanks for the tip.  That was very helpful!!  I do that with the next set I build.

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