Joining apron to entry bench

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Forum topic by ADHDan posted 03-26-2014 05:54 PM 936 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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800 posts in 2073 days

03-26-2014 05:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m making a relatively narrow cherry/walnut entryway bench – roughly 40” by 16”. Do I need to use floating tabs/z-brackets to attach the benchtop, or is wood movement likely to be so minimal that I can pocket screw it to the apron?

Also, if wood movement is an issue, can I still use pocket screws to attach the bench along it’s width (40”), and just use tabs/brackets along its depth (16”)? Presumably, the grain won’t expand along its length – and if possible I’d like to use pocket screws on at least one axis to pull the bench tight to the apron.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

4 replies so far

View TechTeacher04's profile


371 posts in 1496 days

#1 posted 03-26-2014 06:06 PM

I would use hold downs just to be safe. I recently worked on an entry table someone else made the they just used pocket screws. To each his own…

I would use hold downs to be safe if it were me.

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800 posts in 2073 days

#2 posted 03-26-2014 06:09 PM

On both the length and the width? Is there really any concern about the wood expanding along the length of the grain?

Also, what if I “double drill” the pocket holes, putting two of them side-by-side and overlapping – to essentially create an elongated hole for wood movement?

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View Woodknack's profile


11479 posts in 2344 days

#3 posted 03-26-2014 06:32 PM

I have seen quite a few benches built with pocket screws but can’t say how they hold up over time. I would go with the tried and true methods just to be sure. On a span that long I’d be tempted to install a stretcher halfway to keep the aprons straight. I believe that one pocket screw on each end would be fine. That would allow movement side to side and like you say, movement along the length will be negligible.

There are wood movement calculators, like this one:

-- Rick M,

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800 posts in 2073 days

#4 posted 03-26-2014 07:42 PM

Thanks Rick. The stretcher is an excellent suggestion, and the advice is solid.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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