Pock-It Hole Clamps: Better Clearance, Clarence

Pocket screws sure make face frame construction easy, don’t you think? But, there’s one hitch in their getalong for me: clamping up the joints before driving the screws. Since I don’t use pocket screws day in and day out, and for lack of a quick and better solution, I still grab those locking pliers with the disk-shaped heads to hold my joints tight. Sometimes they work as advertised, sometimes they don’t. The longer the joint parts, the harder it is to wrangle them with those clamps.

In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that I was assembling a huge face frame. The parts were long and pretty cumbersome. Every few joints, my clamp would loosen up just enough to allow the rail and stile to separate a tad when the screw entered the target workpiece. It was annoying, and in two instances, it resulted in the part faces skewing out of flush. I also would have really appreciated a way to lay the joints flat on my worksurface while clamped. Still, I muddled through it.

Little did I know, but Rockler has a fairly new product called Pock-It Hole Clamp™ that looks as though it could have saved me a bunch of expletives that day. Maybe you’ve seen or even use them already. Ralph Bagnall, one of our regular Woodworker’s Journal contributors, tried out a pair for Rockler and reported his experience here.

Dern it. I found that post about two months too late.

These little clamps look handy. According to the catalog, they’re made of aluminum and have a ratcheting handle that enables the clamp to function flat on a bench. That would have been super helpful for me. The body is narrow enough to clamp one pocket and still drive the screw into the other hole on a two-pocket joint. A screw-adjust pin on the clamp sinks down into the pocket hole to hold that side of the joint while you tighten things up.

I think I’m going to need to make a trip to my local Rockler store before I build that next big face frame. For around $20 each they’re not too spendy; buy four or more and the price drops a couple bucks for each. Depending on your needs, you might even be able to get by with just one clamp.

Have you tried these Pock-It Hole Clamps out? If so, post a comment here and tell us what you think. Or, if you’ve got your own solution for a different clamp gets the same job done, I’m all ears.

Catch you in the shop,

Chris Marshall, Field Editor

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About Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall has been writing for Woodworker's Journal as a contributing editor and field editor since 2001. Prior to that, he spent five years developing home improvement and woodworking books. He's written five of them and has served as a contributing writer on many more. A wood and tool junkie since childhood, Chris thoroughly enjoys building projects and reviewing woodworking tools for the Journal. When he's not assembling new machinery, sawing parts, taking photos or crunching text for an upcoming story, he enjoys spending time with his family and a houseful of pets at their home in rural Ohio.

6 thoughts on “Pock-It Hole Clamps: Better Clearance, Clarence

  1. I bought one of these about 3 weeks ago and have used it twice on some small face frame work. They are pretty sturdy and do a great job of holding both pieces together while driving the screws. This makes keeping thing aligned easier and they are easier to use than larger clamps I normally leverage. I would recommend them highly and at this point I can’t see the need for more than 1 or two of them in the shop. Having multiples would save a little bit of time around having to move the clamps around but I am not sure that justifies the extra expense.

    Thanks Troy.

  2. If you are building a cabinet with multiple banks for drawers, these clamps will not work for the interior drawer rails as you can only use them at the end of a rail. Only the drawer rails connecting to the exterior stiles can have these clamps work on.

  3. I do a lot of on site building and I work out of My house and a main shop 1/2 mile away so I carry a lot of My tools between locations on my Bike and any tool that reduces the amount of stuff I have to carry is good
    I am debating between this Rockler clamp and the Kreg right angle clamp
    both have they uses the Rockler excels at face framing the Kreg Rt angle clamp excels at 90 o joints
    I think there is a place in my tool box for both

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  5. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites
    really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back
    later. Cheers

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