Don't Laugh


Corporate Member
I would just glue and clamp it till it sets. Then drive screws as the glue should hold well enough even though it's end grain.

Michael Mathews

Corporate Member
I like Dennis' solution of using a rabbet to help alignment. If you have a sled for your Table Saw, setup a stop block and then you can use the sliding technique where you slowly advance the 2X bit by bit while sliding it across the blade to clear the rabbet. I've used this technique and it works quite well!

Mark Johnson

Corporate Member
Two other ideas come to my mind since these are 2/4's and the left side, which I assume you are screwing first does not have this issue. My drill driven screws easily over compress pine in the first joint which can cause a very slight out of square and make the other end more difficult to get straight. So, don't drive the left side tight at first ( only snug). The second idea is that your drawing shows an upward cant. In my experience this is not hole alignment, but torque on the side of the screw as it enters the hole. Dumb as this may sound, try using some liquid soap on the screw as a lube before you drive it. This will reduce the torque component of the screw on the wood and not impede tightening the joint. If you are using two screws, I would drive the bottom one first. Also, I would use GRK screws. They have been vastly superior in my experience.


Senior User
I think this brings up the point that joinery is the most desireable way to hold wood together accurately.

In this case it could be a simple rabbet as Dennis describes, or dowels, floating tenons, etc. or even dowels (but a screw is actually a form of a dowel, isn't it?)

Regardless if hole is drilled long enough and the boards are clamped while drilling and screwing, you shouldn't have an issue.


Corporate Member
I would just glue and clamp it till it sets. Then drive screws as the glue should hold well enough even though it's end grain.
This suggestion, like most here, is a good one. However, it begs an additional question. It's often said that the glued joint is stronger than the screwed joint, and the screws can be removed once a glued joint dries. So, is there a need to add screws AFTER the glue is set? I imagine the screws add additional strength, but is the additional strength necessary if the wood will fail before the glued joint failes?


Corporate Member
You might try drilling the pilot hole all the way through the first piece, and then align the boards before drilling into the second. This way you have less tendency to skew the joint while drilling. Do this using the root diameter bit, not the shank diameter. Redrill with the shank diameter for the face board if its a hard wood. This method also helps with butt joints where the pilot hole is diagonal to the surface.

As for the strength question, screws will add additional strength to a butt joint where you have end grain on one of the mating pieces.
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Senior User
If the pieces are shifting slightly on you then the pocket hole thing will frustrate you. I use a lot of pocket hole joinery (a big
Castle machine) but to me the disadvantage is the tendency to shift a little at times. I think Dennis's idea of rabbet is good. When doing butt joints my favorite is Dominoes. If wider than high, then half laps.

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