Edge joints are commonly used to create panels and table tops, but what’s the recommended spacing for pocket holes and should you also use wood glue for the joint?
Edge joints are one of the most common joints we use for building our DIY furniture projects, but do you know how far to space the pocket holes from the edge of the board? How far apart should you space pocket holes along the edge? Should you use glue? Should you clamp the joint? We’ll answer all of these questions today. I learned everything from how to make mortise and tenon joints to hand cut dovetails. woodworking projects woodworking tools woodworking supplies woodworking basics
A wide board, like a 2×10, has a greater chance of cupping. OK, what’s cupping? I’m going to share the Wikipedia definition because I think it describes cupping the best. Cupping is a “warp across the width of the face, in which the edges are higher or lower than the center of the wood.” Imagine the end of the wood looking like a banana. woodworking projects woodworking tools woodworking supplies woodworking basics
How could Richard reduce cupping on his countertop? First, he could use narrower width boards like 2x4s. He could rip the 2×10 in half and then join them together which would make two smaller cups rather than one large cup. Or he could use a table saw to make relief cuts on the back of the board in an effort to minimize cupping. woodworking projects woodworking tools woodworking supplies woodworking basics
Since the countertop is going to see a lot of moisture he should also seal the countertop really well. Not only just sealing the top and sides, but sealing all exposed edges including the bottom. We’ve talked about how wood is constantly absorbing and releasing moisture. Just sealing the top will cause the wood to absorb moisture unevenly and can encourage the board to cup or worse yet, crack. woodworking projects woodworking tools woodworking supplies woodworking basics
Need to Know Pocket Hole Tips for Edge Joints
As far as spacing the pocket holes I double-checked with my friends at Kreg Tool. Although there are no hard and fast spacing rules for edge joints they had some recommendations and I’ll share those with you below. Before we look a the spacing recommendations let’s first look at the technique Richard would use to join the boards. woodworking projects woodworking tools woodworking supplies woodworking basics
What is an Edge Joint?
Edge joints join the edges of boards to form a wider piece. Common uses for edge joints are to make panels and table tops for DIY furniture projects.
Pocket Hole Spacing from the Ends
My friends at Kreg recommend setting the pocket holes about 2″ from the ends of a board when edge joining. Setting the pocket hole and pocket screw away from the end of the board will help minimize cracking the end of the board. woodworking projects woodworking tools woodworking supplies woodworking basics
Tip: I’m picky about the direction of the wood grain for my furniture projects, so I lay out all of the boards first and decide on an eye pleasing grain pattern. Here’s an easy way to keep your panel or table top layout while you drill your pocket holes… draw a triangle or cabinetmaker’s triangle on the back. This way you can reassemble your panel or table top in your desired order.