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has anyone tried standard (countersunk) screws with washers on in pocket holes?

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TheUnicorn

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I found a basic pocket hole jig in my father's tools, but no screws, I understand that the wedge of a standard screw head would split the grain, has anyone tried using a washer or two to flatten the base of the screw head?
 

Doug B

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I can‘t see why using a washer wouldn’t work as it’s spreading the load just like a standard pocket hole screw, countersunk screws on their own can definitely split the grain.
 

robgul

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IIRC Steve Ramsey on YouTube discussed this question a few months ago - the theory is that it would work, BUT the propper pocket hole screws have a thread that's much coarser than a normal woodscrew and thus will grip better.
 

sometimewoodworker

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I found a basic pocket hole jig in my father's tools, but no screws, I understand that the wedge of a standard screw head would split the grain, has anyone tried using a washer or two to flatten the base of the screw head?
Poor idea, the proper screws have a truly flat bear surface, a standard screw isn’t self cutting and the taper will deform the washer to a cone shape that will split the pocket if you put much pressure on the screw.
 
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Jacob

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Screws have been used "pocket hole" style for years, but without the kit; just drill and countersink alone. Typically to hold tops on cheap tables. Sometimes down one edge but "buttons" down the other to allow for movement. A bit crude, no washers but quite effective and won't split anything if not over tightened.
 

Chunkytfg

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I think the bigger issue is that having the screw thread all the way to the countersink head means the screws will struggle to pull the two parts together like proper PH screws will.
 

Jacob

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I think the bigger issue is that having the screw thread all the way to the countersink head means the screws will struggle to pull the two parts together like proper PH screws will.
Drill bigger hole in the piece being held, as normal in fact.
 

robgul

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IIRC Steve Ramsey on YouTube discussed this question a few months ago - the theory is that it would work, BUT the proper pocket hole screws have a thread that's much coarser than a normal woodscrew and thus will grip better.
This YT film has some info and reasons
 

Stigmorgan

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Poor idea, the proper screws have a truly flat bear surface, a standard screw isn’t self cutting and the taper will deform the washer to a cone shape that will split the pocket if you put much pressure on the screw.
Just a thought but doesn't the drill bit leave a conical shaped bottom?
 

xraymtb

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I've only ever used countersunk screws (no washers) since running out of the 'proper' ones that came in my Kreg kit about 10 years ago. Never split anything yet? Not having thread all the way to the head does help pull it tight but you can always clamp the parts first to hold them in place.
 

recipio

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You can't beat square drive screws and the newer Kreg screws have a small washer bonded to them anyway. The face of the screw bears of the flat face of the wood - anything else will weaken the joint.
 

TheUnicorn

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thanks for the thoughts, it definately seems like panhead screws are going to be the best choice for me, but failing that a standard screw and a washer should just give me the wiggle room between tight and wood splittingly over tight

also thought this picture, from a google search (sawsonskates.com), might give clarity to the shape of the cut pocket

1634746996090.png
 
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