There is an appropriate joint for each and every project in woodworking, and there’s a different opinion of which joint is appropriate in every woodworker. That said, a recent thread in the SawMill Creek woodworking forum caught my attention in which a woodworker asked whether the Creekers thought pocket holes or dados would build him a better router table.
Here’s the part of his question that got my interest: “Do any of you use PHJ and would you use it in an application like this? Why or why not? What about the advantages of dados over the PHJ? Or is just a matter of preference?”
Keep in mind that he’s building a router table for his shop and not an heirloom monument bomb shelter ;)
Here are the results as near as I could figure:
Pocket Hole Joints: 7
Dado Joints: 5
And here are some quotes I found telling from the Creekers:
“For your router table i’d opt for dadoes. A router table doesn’t need to support much weight but it does have the racking/twisting forces associated with routing operations and the dadoes will be stronger in that regard.”
“I have just about stopped cutting dados for simple cabinet construction. Pocket hole screws are easy to do and they are plenty strong enough. Why do more work for no additional benefit?”
“For this project (the shelves, top, and bottom at least). I would dado the shelves, and bottom, rabbett the top, and screw and glue. I would screw from the face side into the dado joint.”
If you’re new to woodworking and curious about the philosophies behind the various joints then I highly advise you read Pocket Hole Joinery vs Dados in Sawmill Creek.
You may also enjoy:
ToolCrib.com’s Ultimate Guide to Free Router Table Plans
The 38 Most Popular Free Woodworking Plans of 2008
Top 16 Trim Routers: Bosch Colt vs. Makita vs. PC310 vs. Ridgid R2400 and MORE!