How to Make Your Own Pocket Hole

Written by amy kingston
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How to Make Your Own Pocket Hole
(Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

A pocket hole is an angled clearance bored into a piece of wood used for joining it to a second piece of wood with screws. The pocket hides the screw, which is set at an angle to grasp the inside of the wood and securely join the two pieces of wood. Drilling a hole at an angle is a complicated task if performed by hand. Build a pocket hole jig to make pocket holes effortlessly.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 3/4-inch sheet of plywood
  • Jigsaw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • 7/8-inch drill bit
  • 5/16-inch drill bit
  • 1 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch lumber
  • 2-by-2-inch lumber
  • 1 1/2-inch screws
  • Screwdriver
  • 9/64-inch drill bit
  • 1-inch screws
  • 3/4-inch screws
  • Wood
  • Large clamp
  • Drill press

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    Pocket Hole Jig Front

  1. 1

    Cut an 11-1/2-by-11 1/2-inch square from three-quarter-inch plywood with a jigsaw. Draw a line across the board 3 1/2 inches from the bottom. Measure 2 inches from each side with a tape measure and mark on the line with a pencil. Place a ruler on the point where the lines join and draw a line from the point to the top of the board.

  2. 2

    Cut along the lines with a jigsaw to remove the rectangular sections on each side. The piece will resemble an upside-down “T”. Cut a 15-degree angle on the bottom edge of the board.

  3. 3

    Turn the piece on its side. Mark 2 inches from the top of the board and 1 1/2 inches from the bottom of the board. Cut a three-quarter-inch-wide slot on each mark, a half-inch deep.

    Pocket Hole Jig Base

  1. 1

    Cut a 10-by-12-inch board from three-quarter-inch plywood.

  2. 2

    Drill a hole 3 inches from the top of the board and 1 inch from the left side with a drill and a seven-eighths-inch drill bit. Drill a second hole 1 1/4 inches from the top of the board and 1 inch from the side. Repeat on the right side.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole 2 7/8 inches from each side of the board beside the top set of drilled holes with a five-sixteenths-inch drill bit.

  4. 4

    Cut an 11 1/2-inch long piece from 1 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch lumber for the work piece support. Cut a 75-degree angle on one side of the support.

  5. 5

    Cut a 7 1/2-inch long piece from 1-by-2-inch lumber for the stiffener. Cut two 3 1/2-inch long pieces from 2-by-2-inch lumber for the gussets. Cut a 75-degree angle on one end of each gusset.


  1. 1

    Attach the gussets by placing them over the drilled holes closest to the sides of the base, with the straight edge at the top of the base. Drive 1 1/2-inch screws through the drilled holes and into the gussets with a screwdriver.

  2. 2

    Place the stiffener on the back of the front section, over the track on the narrow section of the front. Drill a hole with a nine-sixty-fourths-inch drill bit 1 1/4 inches from the end of the track. Drive 1-inch screws through the drilled holes on the front and into the stiffener.

  3. 3

    Place the front piece on the base against the gussets with the angled side down. Drill a hole with a nine-sixty-fourths-inch drill bit five-eighths of an inch from each end. Drive 1-inch screws through the holes and into the gussets.

  4. 4

    Position the workpiece support on the base against the bottom of the front piece, with the angled edge on top and the thinnest edge on the inside. Drive three-quarter-inch screws through the work piece support and into the base, 1 inch from each end. Secure with two additional screws placed 4 1/2 inches from each end.

    Drilling a Pocket Hole

  1. 1

    Clamp a piece of wood onto the front piece with a large clamp.

  2. 2

    Set the drill press stop to the desired depth.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole through the piece of wood, stopping above the surface of the work piece support. This is a pocket hole.

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