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Pocket Holes and Attaching Table Top and Bottom Shelf

Pocket Holes and Attaching Table Top and Bottom Shelf

This post continues my documentation of my EC&I 831 Learning Project, where I am making my own coffee table.

Now that I had the top part of my frame dowelled together, I needed to be able to put another 2×4 board along the bottom for the bottom shelf to be able to rest on. Since I already put the top part together, using dowelling again wouldn’t be an option since I can’t separate the legs to fit the dowels and the board in.

A lot of coffee table plans that I found early on recommended using pocket holes, sometimes called Kreg holes, to join the entire table together. The following video was a great resource to explain how pocket holes work and how to use the jig. Luckily, I had access to the exact same jig they showed in the video.

It’s important to note that if you ever want to use pocket holes in your woodwork, you must have the right type of screws. After my trouble making the dowel holes perfect, I did a practice run with pocket holes on a spare piece of wood I had laying around.

Practice run with pocket holes on a spare piece of wood.
Practice run with pocket holes on a spare piece of wood.

Once I started the process of creating my pocket holes and joining the wood together, I couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was. Here are some photos documenting this portion of my project.

The Kreg pocket hole jig.
The Kreg pocket hole jig.

 

Everything set up and ready to go in the pocket hole jig.
Everything set up and ready to go in the pocket hole jig.

After using the pocket holes to attach the 2×4 board, I was quickly able to attach the bottom shelf with some other screws and started to see everything come together. Here are the photos and descriptions of me attaching both the bottom shelf and table top to the frame.

Here are the pocket holes completed and the board attached. The other holes you see in the photo are how I attached the bottom shelf to the table.
Here are the pocket holes completed and the board attached. The other holes you see in the photo are how I attached the bottom shelf to the table.
Bottom shelf completely attached.
Bottom shelf completely attached.
The frame with the bottom shelf. All connected, solid.
The frame with the bottom shelf. All connected, solid.
Setting up to attached the table top to the frame. Notice the gap between because of the warped 2x4.
Setting up to attached the table top to the frame. Notice the gap between because of the warped 2×4.
Clamps to the rescue. Pulling it tight before screwing the frame into the top was essential.
Clamps to the rescue. Pulling it tight before screwing the frame into the top was essential.
Another shot the clamps holding things flush.
Another shot the clamps holding things flush.
A pretty close to completed coffee table!
A pretty close to completed coffee table!

After completing the pocket holes, I couldn’t believe I didn’t use this for the previous part of the table as well. They were so simple and quick to complete. I guess hindsight is 20/20.  I was also really impressed with all the resources I could find online for using these. The video above from Steve Ramsey was a great resource. There are even resources on how you can build your own jig. For now, I’ll stick to the jig and save myself time.

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