A Case For Pocket Hole Joinery

When I made my son’s table a couple of years ago, I had one rule that I followed regarding how it was to be built: Keep it simple since it is a child’s work table. It should not be made of expensive materials, and it should be, to the best of my ability, repairable should something happen. After all, kids tend to be a bit rough on their things.

The material I used was poplar – check on the inexpensive material. The joinery I chose to use to join the table legs to the apron was pocket holes and screws. Yes, some folks poo poo the idea of using pocket hole joinery as a “true” joinery method to be used in fine furniture, but, I never claimed this piece was fine furniture.

It is though, a functional furniture piece.

My son was playing one day and got a little rambunctious, and then fell into the table, splitting one of the table legs. He was fine, pretty annoyed, but carried on.

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This is one reason I chose pocket holes to join the legs into the apron – it was this scenario, along with the reason that should the table last into his adolecent years and beyond, I could easily replace the legs.

So that’s what I did here. I prepared a new leg, same as the others.

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Once ready, I simply removed the pocket screws, removed the old leg, and then placed the new leg in position and rescrewed into place. Repair complete.

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4 thoughts on “A Case For Pocket Hole Joinery”

  1. For something like a table, the only place I’d use the Kreg is for joining the top to the skirt. Elongating the holes will allow for seasonal movement of the top, assuming you’re using solid wood for the top as opposed to plywood. I wouldn’t trust the pocket hole joinery to have enough strength to join the legs to the skirt. Those joints are easily overstressed when moving the table. Depending on the design, I usually augment the mortise and tenon joinery of the legs with a cross brace.

    1. Thanks for that feedback Jewell. I’ll consider that should the joint fail again and/or I build him a new table down the road.

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