Project - Saw Stand or Basic Cabinet Construction with Pocket-Hole Joinery

Despite my initial reservations about using pocket-hole joinery, I have come to realise that many utilitarian projects can be quickly, easily and cheaply built by this method. In many instances where the longevity or aesthetics of a project are not relevant and where plywood is the choice of material, pocket-hole joinery is most appropriate.

Especially because plywood construction in most cases entails the use of screws and glue for joinery and here pocket-hole screws, designed as they are to go into end grain, would be the preferred method of case construction.

This week, I quickly put together a very basic plywood stand with castors for my benchtop table saw. The entire project took less than a day with the most time consuming part being the cutting and sizing of the plywood pieces, which I ripped from an eight by four feet sheet of three quarter inch plywood.

Drilling pockets in the centre piece with the basic Kreg jig
The plywood sides of the case were cut with a circular saw and then accurately sized by hand planing. The height of each piece had to be the same or else the case would not come together properly. The two side pieces had to be of identical dimension and precisely squared. This done, the rest of the project was easy.

The pocket holes were drilled on the insides of the pieces so that nothing would show on the outside. I also selected the back piece for drilling most of the holes to make assembly easier. The side pieces would need just a pair of holes on the top and bottom to attach to the top and bottom.

The pieces being joined have to be secured firmly or else they move during the tightening of the screws
The first side is joined tightly with the back piece
It is necessary to firmly secure at least one of the pieces to be joined while tightening the screws or else there could be a misalignment or the screws would not be tight.

Putting on the second side as in the first
It is also important to ensure that the two pieces come together at a right angle; otherwise the case will not come together well.

The front is just a wide piece attached towards the top
Since the front of the case was to be kept open for storage, only a wide piece of plywood cut to size was attached flush with the top.

Top and bottom pieces were sawed by a hand saw
The top and bottom pieces were cut by a hand saw. These days I find it quicker and easier to hand saw one off pieces rather than spend time setting up the circular saw, its guide, dust extractor and so on. Hand sawing is far quicker if only one or two pieces are involved.

A decent hand saw gives a pretty good cut
I have also found that a decent hand saw gives a pretty good cut: clean and splinter free. A final shave or two with a hand plane is good enough to perfect the edge.

The case with the bottom in place
The top and bottom are joined just like the sides and the case is pretty much ready.

Attaching the castors
The castors are attached with quarter inch plywood shims to ensure the heavy one inch screws do not pierce the three quarter inch plywood bottom. These are heavy duty castors I picked up at a local hardware store in Connaught Place. They can take quite a load I was told, so I reckon my benchtop table saw along with assorted bits of wood can sit easily on them. These castors also have very effective brakes to steady the case.

The case ready to receive the benchtop saw
The saw stand slid into my tiny workshop very easily and clearly will be easy to move around as necessary. I have put a decorative beading around the top edge of the case just for the heck of it. I do not intend to paint it or adorn it any further.

No glue was used in the construction and if I no longer need this stand, I can easily unscrew the sides and re-use the plywood.

This simple project is good exercise for making kitchen cabinets and that sort of thing. The principle is the same whether you put together cabinets or boxes. The joinery is extremely effective and strong. Clearly, pocket-hole joinery can be more useful than what I had initially presumed.

Indranil Banerjie
29 November 2013

Comments

  1. Hey Indranil, best blog ever on woodworking! Where did you pick up the Kregs jig? Is it available in stores in India?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Prad: Thanks for your comments. As for the Kreg jig, I ordered it on amazon.com. I don't know if anyone sells it in India. Best wishes.

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