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Advice needed - Joining 3/4" plywood top to base

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Forum topic by Eddie posted 442 days ago 1154 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Eddie

211 posts in 553 days


442 days ago

Hey all-

I am halfway through with a project for my sons nursery (due in just 8 weeks) and need advice. I will attach pics so you get a good idea of the construction. The end project will have cabinet doors that open to two slide out drawers.

When starting the project I assumed I would attach the top by using pocketholes from the front and rear rails up into the top. In the second picture you can see that I have added two wings that will slide out from under the top to use for wipes, etc.
I dont see how my original plan to join the top will work…
On the rear of the table I could still use pocket holes (on the outside of the rail) but would prefer for them to not be visible.

I am still pretty new to woodworking and I would prefer for this piece to not be a new skill builder. So my preference would be to use pocket holes, or even just screws (maybe straight up through the rail into the top?)

Thank you in advance!


16 replies so far

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4440 posts in 585 days


#1 posted 442 days ago

I think these figure 8 table top fasteners would work for that. I use them all the time. Very easy. Our local woodworking store stocks em.

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/figure8tabletopfastenerspk12.aspx

-- Red -- "There's nothin' in the world so sad as talking to a man, who never knew his life was his for making." Ray LaMontagne

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4137 posts in 1554 days


#2 posted 442 days ago

Yup, the figure-8s are great!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3104 posts in 609 days


#3 posted 442 days ago

Since the slide-outs dont appear to be long enough to touch when pushed in, and because of the 2X2 corner posts they’re not as wide as between the rails, I’m thinking some small “L” brackets on the inside of the front and rear rails

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

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

211 posts in 553 days


#4 posted 442 days ago

Red-
Thank you for the reply.
Sorry to say this but I am not able to visualize how they work, do you have a pic of a project you have used them on.
Do you think the top (3/4” ply) wood be enough for a screw to safely bite into and have much strength?

Joe-
I though about the L brackets too but was worried that the width of the rails being 3/4” as well as the top at 3/4” would cause problems trying to drive a screw into them w/out splitting but still providing the necessary strength. Thoughts?

View Gary's profile

Gary

6999 posts in 2035 days


#5 posted 442 days ago

Which ever method you use, pre-drill and wax the screws. Lots easier, especially in hard to get at positions

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1023 days


#6 posted 442 days ago

Normally, you’d slot a groove inside your side rails and attach some of these to the backside of your top. It allows for expansion and contraction of the top against the base. (Not that it is an issue with plywood)

Found some on the website linked to by BigRedKnothead

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2251 days


#7 posted 442 days ago

what they said

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112001 posts in 2180 days


#8 posted 442 days ago

If your using solid wood (not plywood)for the top then you need to allow the top to move(expand and contract) ,this happens because wood takes on and lets off moisture making it move across the grain ,if you don’t allow for this movement the top can crack because the movement of the wood is not possible when a table top is screwed or glued down solid. This is what’s know as a cross grain situation . The figure 8s others are suggesting will allow for this wood movement.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

211 posts in 553 days


#9 posted 442 days ago

a1Jim-
Thank you so much for the pics of the install, makes much more sense now!

I still wanted to ask if you guys thought that the 3/4” ply would be thick enough to screw the figure 8 into? And would it be strong enough?

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2251 days


#10 posted 442 days ago

yes to thick enough and strong enough – use 1/2” screws so those won’t go through the top. it’s plywood so it has good holding power for screws. Also the top is merely sitting on top of the cabinet, so it doesn’t use the screws for supporting weight or stress – just to keep it in place (or the occasional lifting). Just make sure you secure enough of those around for the occasional lifting.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

211 posts in 553 days


#11 posted 442 days ago

Thanks, the occasional lifting is what I was worring about. It’ll be in the nursery which my wife will undoubtedly want to reorganize 10 times before he’s born and probably another 10 after!

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2251 days


#12 posted 442 days ago

been there, done that.

I actually used these same brackets (I used the angled brackets and not the 8’s) on my first workbench. I used 2 on each short side (widthwise) and 3 (or 4) on the long sides (lengthwise) and I did lift and move my workbench (with cabinets under and tools) from time to time with no issues. make sure you use wood screws and you’re golden

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

211 posts in 553 days


#13 posted 442 days ago

Wonderful, I will move foreward with that design!
Thanks guys!

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4440 posts in 585 days


#14 posted 442 days ago

Sounds like your pickin up what we’re puttin down;-) I suggested the figure 8’s over clips because you only need about an 1/8” of clearance. The clips work well, but they need more room. I used these one my sideboard, where I only had reveal of the top drawer to work with. Take care buddy, Red

-- Red -- "There's nothin' in the world so sad as talking to a man, who never knew his life was his for making." Ray LaMontagne

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

211 posts in 553 days


#15 posted 442 days ago

Thanks again Red, I will post up the final when its all done. (It most likely will get painted/distressed per my wifes request) but I will take pics prior to finishing.

And Red, that sideboard you linked to is unbelievable! What a beautiful piece!

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