In the lowboy build that I’m working on for the February 2014 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, I’ve decided to use pocket screws to attach the lowboy top instead of driving nails through the top into the parts below. When some woodworkers hear that, I get the wrinkled-nose effect, as in “What the hell are you thinking?” It’s at that time that I mention that pocket screws were used extensively on some of the best examples of Federal furniture, including the Seymour table shown in the opening photo, from “The Masterworks of John and Thomas Seymour” by Robert D. Mussey Jr. (Peabody Essex Museum). It’s not a new technique invented by Kreg Tools (although the company has taken this joint to great length, and shopwoodworking.com has a great book that pushes the concept farther).
With my decision reached, I needed to look at appropriate ways to make the pockets. Of course I could use the Kreg jig, but in working toward period-like details, this jig is far away from what one would expect.