I always thought that this wasn't done, because the screw would likely blow out, unless it's perfectly aligned.

I'm wondering if there's a name for this technique (using screws to reinforce a butt joint), and if there's a jig or technique for drilling the holes?

For example, cross-sectional view:

screw               __   _______________ 
[\\\\\\>   --->    |  | |_______________  board 2
                   |  |
                   |  |
                  board 1

I saw some guy doing this by hand (with no jig or drill press) in the second half of this video. Seems a little risky. Is this common?

I've found something called a doweling jig, seems like it would work if used on board 2, but I don't think it would hold them both in place.


In that particular video, the guy is working with particle board. There is no grain structure in particle board (or MDF for that matter), so there really isn't a 'good' way to make a butt joint.

enter image description here

The screws that are used in most particle board construction are specialty 'confimat' screw (as listed here on Amazon). These screws have very wide threads and are better in these types of material than more traditional screws.

Standard dowels would provide a much stronger joint. The dowel forms a strong mechanical bond, and glue will hold the dowel in much tighter than the threads will hold a screw. Here is a good overview article on using dowels

enter image description here

Another option is to use a cross dowel. These are often used for knockdown furniture, as it can be removed and reused with little if any loss of strength. Here is jig that will allow both holes necessary for the cross dowel.


A pocket drill jig will allow you to drill holes at an angle to board 2 into board 2 and engaging board 1.

pocket drill jig

The jig guides the drill into the work, which would otherwise skip off due to the extreme angle and also provides for a clean "pluggable" hole if desired.

This is mostly the opposite of what you ask, but a doweling jig is the answer to your question. Screwing into end grain is not going to provide a very strong joint.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.