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Attaching solid wood boards to a plywood dresser top?

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Forum topic by Smithwhit posted 03-19-2018 03:10 PM 503 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Smithwhit

5 posts in 126 days


03-19-2018 03:10 PM

Hello -

Looking for a bit of guidance (novice here). Recently built a dresser out of clear pine/plywood, but would love to add a pine top to the plywood with a small overhang to give the dresser a more finished look. I was thinking of either using pocket holes or gluing the 1×4s together, but – how should I attach it to the plywood to allow for movement? I was thinking figure 8 fasteners? Probably should have planned ahead a bit more but this is where I am! Any suggestions would help! I’ve attached a picture of where I am so far!


8 replies so far

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BFamous

143 posts in 178 days


#1 posted 03-19-2018 03:22 PM

Make short slots in the plywood, going in the same direction as the grain of the hard wood top, and then use bolts/screws up through the plywood top, through those slots and into the hard wood. The slots will allow the fasteners to slide with any movement of the hard wood top.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

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Rich

3209 posts in 646 days


#2 posted 03-19-2018 03:52 PM


Make short slots in the plywood, going in the same direction as the grain of the hard wood top, and then use bolts/screws up through the plywood top, through those slots and into the hard wood. The slots will allow the fasteners to slide with any movement of the hard wood top.

- BFamous

Not in the same direction as the grain. The top won’t move along the grain, but tangentially, across it. The slotted holes need to run across the grain of the top, likely front to back, to allow the wood to move.

If you have enough of an overhang to conceal it, then the figure 8s you mentioned would work, as would Z-clips.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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BFamous

143 posts in 178 days


#3 posted 03-19-2018 04:08 PM


Make short slots in the plywood, going in the same direction as the grain of the hard wood top, and then use bolts/screws up through the plywood top, through those slots and into the hard wood. The slots will allow the fasteners to slide with any movement of the hard wood top.

- BFamous

Not in the same direction as the grain. The top won t move along the grain, but tangentially, across it. The slotted holes need to run across the grain of the top, likely front to back, to allow the wood to move.

If you have enough of an overhang to conceal it, then the figure 8s you mentioned would work, as would Z-clips.

- Rich


Rich,
So are so correct. Ugh. I shouldn’t try to answer questions while I’m at work and only half paying attention… I’m editing my original reply…

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

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dday

153 posts in 1486 days


#4 posted 03-19-2018 04:35 PM

Why not finish it with another piece of that beautiful, clear pine plywood?
Do the overhang to give it some depth and then frame the plywood ends with some solid wood trim.
That way, you won’t have to account for movement and the grain and color will match throughout

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Smithwhit

5 posts in 126 days


#5 posted 03-19-2018 06:04 PM

Thank you for the quick input! As mentioned, total beginner/YouTube learner here (obviously) and appreciate the help and advice! Nice being able speak with people who know their stuff. Now just have to finish this up before baby comes! It’s a bit harder to move around my shop (aka basement aka laundry room aka nothing fancy) being 30 weeks pregnant! :)

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Rich

3209 posts in 646 days


#6 posted 03-19-2018 08:31 PM

To amend my earlier post, you only need to make one set of holes slotted. If you go with screws from underneath, you can screw the front down, and only the rear needs to allow movement. It’s common when pinning but allowing for movement like that to pin it at the front, so the front lines remain clean and even and let the movement happen in the rear. (Make that at the rear — it sounds nicer).

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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bilyo

250 posts in 1160 days


#7 posted 03-19-2018 10:28 PM

To elaborate a little on what has been said above if I may: As has been mentioned, the object of the oblong holes and screws, of course, is so the screws can slide in the oblong hole as the wood top is either expanding or contracting. The type of screws you use matters. You don’t want a flat head screw made for counter sinking as it will embed itself into the hole and not slide. Even a round head screw head might be too small and also not slide properly. If that is all you have, be sure to use a flat washer under the head. I have found that washer head screws work for this purpose very nicely. Don’t over tighten.

One final point. Be sure to use plenty of screws to hold the top. Remember that it is common for one to use the top overhang as a finger hold when moving the chest. Particularly with soft wood like pine, it will be relatively easy to pull the screws out when doing this if there are not enough.

Nice looking chest. Good work.

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Smithwhit

5 posts in 126 days


#8 posted 03-19-2018 11:25 PM

Awesome! Thank you so much!!

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