Why I'm adding pocket screws to my Murphy Bed/Desk


Continuing the discussion from Looking for hardware recommendation. No, not computer hardware - furniture hardware!:

In the previous thread, @SketchUp_Moderator aka @jvleearchitects requested I do a video of adding pocket screws to the existing bed. I’m not one to video myself, but I did promise a model that shows WHY I plan to do this. And I tried doing that model today, but ran into problems. Instead, I’ve prepared a Google Doc that outlines the constraints that led me to my decision - and a picture of the Kreg Jig that should (knock on wood) make this change quick and easy:

I’ve enabled “Anyone with the link can comment” so if any of y’all have questions or suggestions, you can make them there! … Or here!


I’m sure you realize this, but you will have to disassemble your project to put the screw pockets in. And don’t skimp on the number of pocket screws, they don’t have anywhere near the pull out strengh of the 2 1/2" screws you have in there now. Also a few temporary cleats to be used a handles to help in positioning your sheet goods to realign the holes wouldn’t hurt.


I’ve previously said, both here (in the linked Google Doc) and in the antecedent thread, that this won’t happen until I’m preparing to move the bed/desk. I’ll be pausing my disassembly at the point that only the fixed base remains - at which time both drilling the pockets and adding the screws will be easily done - facilitated by the existing conformat screws which will act as clamps holding things at the proper angle and countering the tendency of the joint line to open when the screws are first driven. Once the pocket screws are in place, I’ll remove both the pocket screws and the conformats allowing me to complete the disassembly.

Now if I wanted to hide the pocket screws, things would be tougher. In fact, it wouldn’t work in my application! I need to be able to make the connections from “inside” the base. Hiding the pocket screws for the top and back panels would require putting them on the outside of the base. I will be able to hide the pocket screws for the bottom spreader - which is about 12" away from the back at the bottom. It’s a vertically oriented strip, so I’ll have access to the “back” side which isn’t visible with the bed open or closed.

At some point in the future - NOT immediately after I assemble this in a tiny home - I might plug the pocket screw holes. That won’t happen until and unless I decide that whatever else happens, the Bed/Desk will forever belong as part of the tiny home. Until then, I can live with visible pockets and screws. I’m kind of a function over form kind of person.

And yes, I plan to put in about 3 pocket screws for every current conformat. Except
(perhaps) for the conformats attaching the sides to the bottom spreader. There’s two at each end - and I don’t think the spreader is wide enough to TAKE 6 pocket screws! But that’s OK - all it’s doing is keeping the two sides separated by a constant distance. The back panel provides the anti-racking function - and is big enough to take LOTS of pocket screws!


Sorry. I was just trying to be helpful. I’ve been building cabinets for 30 years and been using pocket screws for nearly that long.