a top, allow room for the screws
to move in their pilot holes as the
top expands and shrinks with
humidity changes. To do this, drill
the pocket as normal; then drive a
screw through as shown
above). Remove the screw
and drill out the pilot hole about 1/8"
larger in diameter. Finally, mount the
apron-and-leg assembly to the top.
Assembling the joints
Clamp across a joint whenever possible, see top photo, to avoid the parts creeping out of alignment as you snug up the screws. Clamp parts to a perfectly flat surface so the front faces align. (If one of the parts is offset, shim below it, if needed.) When screwing an edge to a face, such as the table shown below right, always clamp the assembly securely before driving screws.
Learn to drive a clutch.
Although handy for driving fasteners, avoid using an impact driver for driving pocket screws. Because you can't see the screw snug up against the pocket's shoulder, the tool's high torque can easily strip out the screw hole. Instead, use a drill or cordless screwdriver with an adjustable clutch, set to pull together joints without stripping out the holes.
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