George Vondriska

Pocket Hole Joints: Is Glue Necessary?

George Vondriska
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Duration:   4:09   mins

There are a handful of topics and questions that pop up pretty regularly in the woodworking world. Most commonly: should I or shouldn’t I add glue to pocket hole joints? If you ask a room full of woodworkers you’ll probably get answers that fall on both sides of the fence. We decided to do a little experiment. Now we know that we didn’t take a hugely scientific approach to this, but it provides some results that are interesting.

The Experiment

We made up two pocket hole joints. One with glue in it, one without (The specific glue used was Titebond Quick and Thick). With one leg of the joint held in a vise, we yanked on the other leg, looking for a fracture. One measure was; how much force does it take to break the joint. The other was; what exactly does the joint look like after it’s been broken.

The Results

Well, we’re not going to give away the results of our experiment here. You’ll have to watch the video. But we can say you’re going to want to incorporate the results into your projects.

Applications for Pocket Hole Joints

There are so many places you can use pocket hole joints and screws. This is a such a versatile way of putting wood together. While most of us probably use it for face frames, or similar applications, pocket hole joinery can be used in lots of other applications.

Also Important…

Choosing the right joint for your project is important, and choosing the right glue is important too. Have a look at 4 Types of Glue You Can Stick With to make sure you’re using the best glue for your projects.

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2 Responses to “Pocket Hole Joints: Is Glue Necessary?”

  1. Jay

    You should have tried this third experiment: Glue plus the screws, then remove the screws when the glue has fully dried. I’ll bet that the screws didn’t help much except to help hold the pieces together while the glue was drying.

  2. Felix Domestica

    Uhm… Seeing them after the break, it doesn’t look to me as if the screws were driven as deeply in the first joint as in the second. So while I believe that the glue hardened the wood around the screws, I’m not convinced that your test actually proves what it set out to prove.

    Please try again, with this point in mind. Also, try pretreating with a CA glue, which is often used specifically with the intent of soaking into and hardening wood,and see how that compares. Finally, it really isn’t hard to rig a device that will give you some numeric results (a screw as an anchor point, a bag you add weight to until the joint breaks , and a pulley to convert the weight to horizontal force will do the job, preferably tested several times since any one sample may be unusual). Don’t show us, convince us.

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