How to Drill a Pocket Hole

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Gluing or attaching wood together usually involves clamping or nailing the wood or drilling unsightly holes and attaching with screws. A pocket hole creates a strong attachment between two pieces of wood with a screw but does not result in any unsightly holes. Most pocket holes are made with a jig and a drill bit. With practice, however, a person can drill a pocket hole with just a drill bit and drill.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Drill bits, 1/4-inch
  • Practice wood

Practice drilling at a 90-degree angle into the practice wood with the drill bit and drill. Practice stopping at a certain depth until you are used to stopping at the correct depth when drilling the pocket hole.

Set the practice board on its side. Find an object to hold the board into place so it does not fall over. Practice drilling a hole at an angle into the board and stopping before you drill out of the end of the board. Most pocket hole jigs are at a 15-degree angle, but you do not have to make the drilled angle at 15 degrees.

Repeat Step 2 with the actual board that needs to be drilled. Drill the pocket hole into the appropriate side of the board. Most pocket holes are drilled in locations where they will not be seen.

Repeat the drilling for as many holes that are needed, which will vary by project and how sturdy of a hold you want.

Attach the wood with the pocket hole to another wood with self-drilling or tapping wood screws. The self-tapping or drilling screws will keep the wood from cracking while providing a tight joint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure you are comfortable with the drilling technique before drilling into the piece of wood to be used for the project.
  • Wear appropriate eye and hearing protection when running a drill.

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