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I'm building an outside enclosure for my cats. I've done that before using pocket holes and lots of screws. I've since added a router to my tools collection and was wondering if it's a good idea to do it without screws, with joints and braces, similar to this picture:

enter image description here

Those particular joints and braces may not be ideal. I've searched a bit but couldn't find what specific joints I should be using on both the corner and the 45° bits. That are a) relatively stable and b) possible for a relative beginner to do. It doesn't have to be elegant, I don't think the cats care much. :-)

The construction needs to be sturdy enough to take the weight of 2 cats jumping on it (each one being about 5kg) plus whatever platforms, ladders, walkways, etc. I decide to add.

Or maybe that's a stupid idea and I should do it with pocket holes and screws again?

Context:

My final frame would look like an 8 - 200cm x 100cm with a third horizontal part in the middle for stability and to fix platforms and stuff for the cats to jump on. There would be several such segments connecting together for the enclosure. Mesh on the outside, done.

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    You can build with screws (standard construction for decks) with glue and screws (standard construction for some types of utilitarian stuff) and with joinery, with or without glue (everything from construction to fine furniture). It's entirely up to you which route you take. As an experienced SEer you know subjective Qs are specifically called out as not being a good fit for the Q&A model here.
    – Graphus
    Commented May 11 at 7:30
  • I've upvoted the Q since it's clear you did some research, but still VTC :-)
    – Graphus
    Commented May 11 at 7:31
  • @Graphus I know that I can build in multiple ways. I've looked at a couple of possible joints. What I have absolutely no idea about and can't understand from the youtube and blogs is a) is this a good idea or are pocket holes objectively better (more stable, easier, etc.) and b) which joint is something I as a relative beginner won't regret trying?
    – Tom
    Commented May 11 at 7:53
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    "What I have absolutely no idea about and can't understand from the youtube and blogs is a) is this a good idea or are pocket holes objectively better (more stable, easier, etc.) and b) which joint is something I as a relative beginner won't regret trying?" Well a) is actually discoverable in the research required by SE prior to asking a Q (it doesn't even need to be that in-depth as comparisons between pocket-hole screws and other options abound online), and b) this is also highly subjective — it's completely down to the beginner, each one being different in what they can grok, achieve.
    – Graphus
    Commented May 11 at 8:09
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    Agree that this is an opinion-heavy question, but here's my opinion. Pocket screws, glue, lap joints (ie, no fancy joinery), and fancy joinery will all get the job done. The reason to do fancy stuff (as pictured) is to learn, build a router jig for mortising, and generally have fun making sawdust. So to your first question, "is it a good idea"? Yes, if you have the time and inclination. Commented May 12 at 15:54

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