Kreg Owners' Community

Good Evening All,


Thank you for allowing me to join your group and I hope to be able to progress my skills, with your help, and may even be able to assist others.


My name is John Culshaw, and I live just outside of Leicester, in the United Kingdom.


I spent just under 29 years in the Royal Air Force working as an aircraft propulsion technician and later a mechanical technician working on both propulsion and airframe systems.


I have always wanted to make my own furniture, bedside cabinets, book shelves, kitchen cupboards and the like, nothing to complicated, just yet.


I am not sure how I found out about Kreg and pocket hole joinery, but I found it remarkable and appears a lot easier than other methods for the type of furniture making I had in mind.


My first project was some kitchen type cabinets for the garage to hide some white goods. I bought some 18mm MDF sheet and after checking the instructions and different sources, I started.


It was the first few joints, see attached that shows the MDF splitting when joining the pieces together. I changed the type of screw so I have now used coarse and fine threads with the same results. I checked the settings and all appears to be correct.


What am I doing wrong?


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Please contact our team at 800-447-8638 or - They will be happy to assist you with this. Thanks!

Good Morning,

Thank you for the reply, however, the telephone when dialled is coming up as you have dialled a wrong number.

Do you have an alternative number please?

Please feel free to call me on my mobile number.


John Culshaw

Hi John,

Try the Main Line: (515) 597-6400




Can you provide the full dialling information, as I am dialling from the United Kingdom.



Hi John,

You can view all of our contact information at

Thank you.

But, that isn't very helpful, as I am in the UK and all the numbers in your contact info are I assume for the USA.

Hi, John.  It's been nearly 2 months since you asked your question, so perhaps you've figured it out on your own.  But here's my possible solution.

MDF is a wonderful product for many projects, but it isn't very strong near the edges, and when we try to put screws near the edge it doesn't stay together.  I've experienced this very thing even with softwood lumber and a bit of hardwood.

A couple of solutions.  The screw going through the pocket hole has to wedge itself through the last bit of MDF before contacting the piece you're fastening it to, so the MDF splits as shown in your first photo.  The solution is to drill through the bottom of the pocket hole so the screw goes through without much force.  Then the screw goes into the other piece and and pushes it apart as well.  So again the solution is to predrill before running the screw through.  Yes, it's a nuisance, but sometimes it has to be done depending on the strength of the wood.

I use a 3mm (1/8") bit, and then use coarse-thread screws of the required length.  On materials like this that haven't a lot of strength, I put the screws in by hand so I can feel when they are snug but not overly tight.

You may have to clamp the components together while drilling the hole.  And when assembling the joint, a bit of wood glue will help things to stay together.  I hope this helps, John.

Good Evening Roy,

Thank you for taking the time to reply and offer your advice and guidance, it is appreciated.

As I think can be seen in the trail, the Kreg Rep did offer some advice, but as yet I have not had the time to progress with my projects, but rest assured I shall be using the advice provided by you and the Rep to hopefully resolve my issues and produce some robust furniture that will last.



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