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What length of screw to use?

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Forum topic by karie posted 02-04-2016 06:56 PM 832 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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karie

6 posts in 309 days


02-04-2016 06:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: screws joining finishing

Hello everyone
I’m totally new to this so i apologize in advance for my ignorance; but i do want to learn and just found this great resource.

I’m putting hairpin legs on a 50” x 24” x 3” thick slab of pine for a coffee table and would like to know what length and type of screw to use for best stability.

Also I’ll be finishing this with poly on the top and edges (I think I have the info for doing this) but wonder about putting a coat on the bottom as well. I read somewhere it may help seal it against shrinking/cracking?

Thank you


16 replies so far

View Milled's profile

Milled

43 posts in 1090 days


#1 posted 02-04-2016 06:58 PM

Don’t use a screw that goes all the way through…

-- If it's doable, I'll do it...if it's been done, I've done it...if it's impossible, I'll try it.

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HokieKen

1807 posts in 605 days


#2 posted 02-04-2016 07:06 PM

Use a wood screw that’s the largest that will fit through the mount holes on your legs. I’d use a 1-1/2 or 2” long one on 3” material. MAKE SURE YOU DRILL A PILOT HOLE for the screws. Many people don’t do this and it can be disastrous. You can google for the pilot hole size for the screws you’re using to see what size drill to use.

It is a good idea to seal all sides of the wood. It keeps the moisture absorption more balanced and can prevent warping of the wood due to one side taking on more moisture than the other. It’s certainly not going to hurt anything and shouldn’t take you long.

Good luck and welcome to LumberJocks!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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karie

6 posts in 309 days


#3 posted 02-04-2016 08:04 PM

Thank you for the info HokieKen.
I know it was a stupid question but it’s better to do it right the first time than fix a failed piece.
Have a great day!

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HokieKen

1807 posts in 605 days


#4 posted 02-04-2016 08:39 PM

If it was a stupid question, I would have given a smart-ass answer ;) But nothing stupid about either of those questions, many many many people have used the wrong screws or finished a piece improperly. Never me of course, but other people :P Kudos for asking how to do it so you don’t have to ask how to fix it!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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JoeinGa

7487 posts in 1473 days


#5 posted 02-05-2016 12:55 AM

You can find this type of bolt at HD, Lowes, or ANY hardware store. They’re called Lag Bolts. Bring one of the legs with you so you dont get the too big to fit thru the hole in the leg-frames. You can screw then in with a wrench which will be MUCH easier then smaller screws using a screwdriver in wood this thick. For your 3” thick top, I’d use 2” lags. And as mentioned, drill a pilot hole first.
.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2157 days


#6 posted 02-05-2016 01:19 AM

Kenny and Joe have you covered. Just be sure you drill big enough pilot holes (and don’t drill through the top) and the lag bolts will be better than screws.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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HokieKen

1807 posts in 605 days


#7 posted 02-05-2016 03:11 AM



You can find this type of bolt at HD, Lowes, or ANY hardware store. They re called Lag Bolts. Bring one of the legs with you so you dont get the too big to fit thru the hole in the leg-frames. You can screw then in with a wrench which will be MUCH easier then smaller screws using a screwdriver in wood this thick. For your 3” thick top, I d use 2” lags. And as mentioned, drill a pilot hole first.
.

- JoeinGa

I agree, lag bolts are prefferable. But, the only hairpin legs I’ve worked with were countersunk for flathead screws. That’s why I suggested wood screws. When using lag bolts though, the pilot hole diameter is very important. If you drill too small, the head will pop right off. Ask me how I know:/

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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MrFid

805 posts in 1371 days


#8 posted 02-05-2016 03:16 AM


You can find this type of bolt at HD, Lowes, or ANY hardware store. They re called Lag Bolts. Bring one of the legs with you so you dont get the too big to fit thru the hole in the leg-frames. You can screw then in with a wrench which will be MUCH easier then smaller screws using a screwdriver in wood this thick. For your 3” thick top, I d use 2” lags. And as mentioned, drill a pilot hole first.
.

- JoeinGa

I agree, lag bolts are prefferable. But, the only hairpin legs I ve worked with were countersunk for flathead screws. That s why I suggested wood screws. When using lag bolts though, the pilot hole diameter is very important. If you drill too small, the head will pop right off. Ask me how I know:/

- HokieKen

One more thing that may not be obvious if you haven’t worked with lag bolts before, in addition to the info from above, is that they need washers along with them, as tightening them without a washer in place will chew into the shoulder of the pilot hole. Good luck, and welcome!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View karie's profile

karie

6 posts in 309 days


#9 posted 02-08-2016 11:39 PM

Thank you everyone!
Great advice. I got the first coat of poly down this w/e and it looks so nice already. This is exciting.

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HokieKen

1807 posts in 605 days


#10 posted 02-09-2016 01:24 AM



Thank you everyone!
Great advice. I got the first coat of poly down this w/e and it looks so nice already. This is exciting.

- karie

If you don’t show pics, it didn’t happen. JK but I’d love to see it when you’re done. Could post as your first project.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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karie

6 posts in 309 days


#11 posted 02-09-2016 04:13 AM

Will do. It’ll be a few weeks tho, since I only get to work on it weekends.

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#12 posted 02-09-2016 04:17 AM



Don t use a screw that goes all the way through…

- Milled

Sage advice. I can only add: make sure they go into the wood. Deep.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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karie

6 posts in 309 days


#13 posted 04-13-2016 04:08 PM

Hello again,
Here’s my final coffee table. I hope this post isn’t dead by now. It took a lot longer to finish than expected due to other house needs but I think it turned out pretty well. Thank you everyone for your invaluable help. It’s sturdy and shiny and I’ll probably never put anything on it. Ha! This was a lot of fun and can’t wait to start my next project. I already have questions for that which I will open another post on.

Oh I do have one last question (too late for me now but maybe for the future…) I poly-ed all sides of the wood slab (one coat on bottom) because I was told doing so would prevent the wood form seasonally drying unevenly. And of course after doing that someone else told me to leave the bottom uncoated so it could breathe. Sigh… Any consensus of opinion on this?
Thank you all again!

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HokieKen

1807 posts in 605 days


#14 posted 04-13-2016 04:47 PM

It came out great. That’s a beautiful slab!

I think you did right by sealing all sides. The only reason you might want it to “breathe” is it wasn’t dry to begin with. If you leave a single side unsealed, then only that side will take on moisture with changes in humidity. If that happens, then that side – and only that side – will expand. This will cause the slab to bow. If you find out differently, then by all means, let us know!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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karie

6 posts in 309 days


#15 posted 04-13-2016 06:22 PM

Thank you HokieKen, for everything.

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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