Easy Pocketscrew Joints Without A

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Pocket-screw joinery was around long before commercial pocket-hole jigs were available. Tabletops were routinely attached this way, and it's the method I used to fasten the upper case to my tool till. An oversized screw hole allows for considerable cross-grain wood movement. All it takes to make the joint is a drill and an in-cannel gouge (available from Garrett Wade, 800-221 -2942), which produces a clean wall in the pocket.

To create a pockethole, first scribe a centerline on the underside edge of the piece to be drilled. Then select a drill bit that's halfway between the diameter of the screw head and the screw shank. Drill through the underside edge of the piece, entering a little to the inside of your scribe line and angling the drill about 70' toward the inside face of the piece. (See drawing at right.)

Next, carve out the wall of the pocket using an in-cannel gouge as shown in the photo, above right. I used a */8-in.-wide gouge for the #6 screws in this chisel tray. Clean up the floor of the pocket with a narrow flat chisel.

Carving the pocket. Use an in-cannel gouge to carve the wall of the screw pocket. Clean up the bottom of the pocket with a straight-edged chisel.

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