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I am building an oak table with 3/4" aprons and 11/2" by 11/2' square legs with the apron and legs set flush. I used 11/4" fine thread screws and normal settings on hole drilling in the apron. i got splits while driving the screws on 3 out of 4 legs. This happened on the screws nearest the leg end but my setback followed guidelines from Kreg. Any suggestions?

Peter Schumacher

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Comment by Chris McCoy on August 23, 2011 at 3:47pm
I also have the same problem with oak. I was building an oak cabinet using 1x3 s4s oak stock and split 2 door stiles with a 1-1/4" fine threaded kreg screw.

I'm having trouble finding a drill bit that is long enough, yet small enough for the screw to hold. Any suggestions?
Comment by KregRep on October 29, 2009 at 3:16pm
Peter, good questions.

Unfortunately, although we go to every effort to reduce the potential for splitting by integrating the features mentioned above into our screws, there is still always the possibility that your wood will split. Usually any additional problems can be cured by reducing the clutch settings on your drill, etc. but if your wood is splitting before the screw head even comes in contact with the wood as you mentioned, then that will not likely solve your problem.

Wood comes in so many shapes, sizes, grain patterns, hardnesses, etc. with varying moisture content, and it's almost impossible to compensate for every variable. It's possible that for this unique circumstance, with this unique piece of wood, Kreg Joinery may not be the best joinery application. If you want to keep trying, here are a few more things I would suggest:

1) Use a smaller/shorter screw.
2) Pre-drill the second workpiece.
3) Put some bee's-wax (or lubricant of your choice) on the screw.
4) Drive the screw about half the way in, reverse it out, and then drive it in completely.
5) Put your pocket-holes further away from the edge of the receiving workpiece. (pocket-holes joints are more likely to split when the screw is exceedingly close to the edge of the receiving workpiece)

If you continue to have problems, I'd suggest you contact our customer service team. They are very helpful and will most certainly have even better ideas than I do on how to improve your luck. You can contact them directly at 1.800.447.8638 or via email:

I truly wish you the best of luck and am sorry that I couldn't be more helpful.
Comment by Peter Schumacher on October 29, 2009 at 2:29pm
I was using Kreg brand screw.Holes were drilled to the proper depth. The splits occured before the screw head seated in the stepped hole. I am not ragging on the Kreg product. I am just trying not to ruin expensive wood and return to the lumber supply store and starting over. Are you suggesting that a very light clutch setting and finishing the job by driving the screws by hand is a better way to use the Kreg product?
Comment by KregRep on October 29, 2009 at 11:05am
The first thing to make sure is that you're using Kreg branded screws. Kreg screws have a self-tapping tip which dramatically reduces the possibility of splitting the wood... and that's just the start. Kreg screws also feature small diameter shanks, and a flat head that won't wedge your wood apart like a drywall screw or cheap pocket hole screw might. You're right to be using a fine-threaded screw with Oak, which is a 'hardwood'.

If you're using Kreg screws, another thing to consider would be your drill's clutch setting. A lot of people just 'feel' when they get the screw tight enough, more choose to adjust their drill's clutch setting to guarantee they don't ever drill, and some will even to to the extreme of driving the screw with a manual screwdriver to ensure a secure joint. Either way, just realize that overdriving can be an issue... and because we designed our screws so the head wouldn't pop off, if you overdrive... you're either going to spin out the screw or split the wood.

Good Luck!

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