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I'm new the the pocket screw joint but have used the biscuit joiner for years.   Is there a time where one is better than the other?

 

AWK

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I almost forgot! My number one reason for preferring pocket holes over biscuits!?! No gluing/clamping/waiting!!!!! Since the screws act at essentially internal clamps, there's no need to clamp your work after joining and wait for a long time before you can start working with it again. HUGE time saver.

Good discussion and useful information. I finshed my base and now I see the need for some kind of clamping table. My current work bench is almost 2 inches thick and makes it difficult to use the clamp that came with the kit. I see some other posts on this so off I go! I agree on the clamps! What time saver.

OH! And I learned to respect that drill bit. Darn thing is SHARP.

AWK
Good point, I used aprox. 30 clamps when gluing plywood to the frame of the hatch for my teardrop trailer.


Phillip said:
Bob you are right on the money! I was thinking I had made the same point when I first posted then it hit me! I forgot the cost of all those clamps! 20 clamps at $20 to $40 each is enough to by the Master jig and Kreg Klamp table as well. Photos can be so enlightening. I know that is an unintended statement on your part but the evidence is right in the face. Great point Bob.

Bob Farmer said:
I almost forgot! My number one reason for preferring pocket holes over biscuits!?! No gluing/clamping/waiting!!!!! Since the screws act at essentially internal clamps, there's no need to clamp your work after joining and wait for a long time before you can start working with it again. HUGE time saver.

I'm just a little confused: Do all of you people do only one sided projects or ones that are painted? Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the Kreg Jig and pocket screw jointery, but when I'm doing a project that is stained and able to be viewed from more than one side, the Kreg jig is not my first choice.

I agree with all of the comments about clamps (I own about 50 bar clamps in various lengths and configurations), but there is a time and place for each joint type. Would you use a mortise and tenon joint or pocket screws to assemble a full sized four or six panel door? Mark

Larwyn said:
Good point, I used aprox. 30 clamps when gluing plywood to the frame of the hatch for my teardrop trailer.


Phillip said:
Bob you are right on the money! I was thinking I had made the same point when I first posted then it hit me! I forgot the cost of all those clamps! 20 clamps at $20 to $40 each is enough to by the Master jig and Kreg Klamp table as well. Photos can be so enlightening. I know that is an unintended statement on your part but the evidence is right in the face. Great point Bob.

Bob Farmer said:
I almost forgot! My number one reason for preferring pocket holes over biscuits!?! No gluing/clamping/waiting!!!!! Since the screws act at essentially internal clamps, there's no need to clamp your work after joining and wait for a long time before you can start working with it again. HUGE time saver.

You're exactly right that there's a time and place for each joint type. I would generally not use pocket-holes for door construction. I think that this thread was meant more as assuming all things are equal and either joint type is generally 'ok', which would you use? For me... in 95% of scenarios I would choose pocket holes because they let me build much faster/easier and the joints are way strong.

Like I said earlier, if your joint is going to be right out in the open, biscuits could possibly be a good option... although I'd prefer M&T or dowels. But I think you'd also be amazed at how well you can hide pocket holes if you just think about it. For example, look at how David built this Cherry Display Shelf. All of the joints look exposed... but I don't see any pocket holes, do you? He laid panels back over the holes at the top and bottom to hide them completely. The result is strikingly beautiful, and you'd never know it was built so quickly, without many clamps, potentially without glue, etc. (i.e. with pocket holes.)

Mark Allen said:
I'm just a little confused: Do all of you people do only one sided projects or ones that are painted? Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the Kreg Jig and pocket screw jointery, but when I'm doing a project that is stained and able to be viewed from more than one side, the Kreg jig is not my first choice.

I agree with all of the comments about clamps (I own about 50 bar clamps in various lengths and configurations), but there is a time and place for each joint type. Would you use a mortise and tenon joint or pocket screws to assemble a full sized four or six panel door? Mark
In my opinion the 4 or 6 panel door would not be a good candidate for biscuits or pocket screws either one. Mortise and tenon or dowels would do the job. I would not want to look at pocket holes or pocket hole plugs in a door. I consider biscuit joints no stronger than glue alone, and in fact weaker than glue alone because part of the wood has been removed to make room for a cake of sawdust with no strength of it's own.
Hey,Mark,I agree with you 100% Good comment. Dave

Mark Allen said:
I'm just a little confused: Do all of you people do only one sided projects or ones that are painted? Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the Kreg Jig and pocket screw jointery, but when I'm doing a project that is stained and able to be viewed from more than one side, the Kreg jig is not my first choice.

I agree with all of the comments about clamps (I own about 50 bar clamps in various lengths and configurations), but there is a time and place for each joint type. Would you use a mortise and tenon joint or pocket screws to assemble a full sized four or six panel door? Mark

Larwyn said:
Good point, I used aprox. 30 clamps when gluing plywood to the frame of the hatch for my teardrop trailer.


Phillip said:
Bob you are right on the money! I was thinking I had made the same point when I first posted then it hit me! I forgot the cost of all those clamps! 20 clamps at $20 to $40 each is enough to by the Master jig and Kreg Klamp table as well. Photos can be so enlightening. I know that is an unintended statement on your part but the evidence is right in the face. Great point Bob.

Bob Farmer said:
I almost forgot! My number one reason for preferring pocket holes over biscuits!?! No gluing/clamping/waiting!!!!! Since the screws act at essentially internal clamps, there's no need to clamp your work after joining and wait for a long time before you can start working with it again. HUGE time saver.

For most beginners, all of these other techniques are not practical. Biscuit cutters for instance are much more expensive than a Kreg Jig, and they're about half as versatile. They're slower, somewhat complicated to use in my opinion, etc. If you are just getting started with woodworking, the Kreg Jig does about 99% of what you'll need... best of all, quickly and easily.

M&T takes years of experience to master. Just. Not. Practical. (or fun)
Dowels can be equally frustrating because of putting holes in both pieces and having to align them just so.

The hidden expense with these other techniques is all of the clamps you're going to need, and all of the time you'll end up spending waiting for your glue to dry.

I've used all of these techniques, but whenever I'm recommending someone get started with woodworking, I always point them towards the Kreg Jig. It's the tool I choose to use most. Are their situations where pocket holes aren't perfect? Absolutely, but that's not what this thread is about and anything beginners are doing likely won't fit into that category anyway.
WOW!! talk about committed to a cause(haha) Its interesting to see the stands being made. Lets look at the material we're using...wood, solid or ply....corner joint or edge joint....short joint or long joint. The applications will dictate the effectivness of the technique. Start with the wood type, Solid-My first choice will be the pocket screw with glue just from experience, strength and time saving, but with the plywood it depends on the other factors. For plywood corners I use the pocket screws but the edge joinery really is dependent on the quality of the material being joined. Interior grain construction with plywood can be poor compared to the surface material and the pocket screws will simply bore out their path and leave you with poor or no strength in the joint. For short joints(less then 36") its subject to your ability to clamp and level the face of your material and I'll use pocket screws only. For long joints were clamping is difficult in the middle portion I have used a few biscuits(3-4 starting at 36" from each end for an 8ft. joint) to help with the leveling of the face material and then place pocket screws along the lenght of the joint. Lets not forget that laps, spline, rabbit and biscuits all evolved from a long history of joinery and our Kreg system is another tool for our benefit, I have used the kreg system with the old ways for surprising results. So familiarize yourselves with the old techniques just incase the new ones don't quite do it for you.

Russ

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