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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 2011 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Smithwhit

5 posts in 515 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!


16 replies so far

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BFamous

319 posts in 568 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

4676 posts in 1036 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.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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BFamous

319 posts in 568 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

172 posts in 1876 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 515 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

4676 posts in 1036 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).

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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bilyo

774 posts in 1549 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 515 days


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

Awesome! Thank you so much!!

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everettTrue

1 post in 177 days


#9 posted 02-21-2019 02:35 AM

Hi Smithwhit,

The dresser looks great. Is there any chance you still have the plans for it? I’d love to work from the design and make a couple small tweaks.

Thanks so much!

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CWWoodworking

528 posts in 626 days


#10 posted 02-21-2019 03:01 AM

Looks better without a top. Nice design. Take the that money and add a metal base.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12866 posts in 2827 days


#11 posted 02-21-2019 06:03 AM



Looks better without a top. Nice design. Take the that money and add a metal base.

- CWWoodworking


+1

Instead of a top I would build a setback base and put it up on legs.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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ChefHDAN

1419 posts in 3296 days


#12 posted 02-21-2019 06:12 PM



....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! :)
- Smithwhit

That is an awfully nice looking piece for a novice, especially making it happen while at 30 weeks. I have to agree with the others, the top has a clean Danish style line right now as is, a 3” tall base to give you a toe kick would definitely aid to the design and also be a help for you if this is perhaps intended to also double as a changing table. If it is and is going to be in the midst of diaper warfare, I’d also suggest a WB poly finish! Congrats!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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Andybb

1938 posts in 1050 days


#13 posted 02-21-2019 06:50 PM


Looks better without a top. Nice design. Take the that money and add a metal base.

- CWWoodworking


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

- dday

+1 to either or both of these ideas. It looks perfect with very clean lines as it sits. JMHO :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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SMP

1302 posts in 352 days


#14 posted 02-21-2019 07:21 PM

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therealSteveN

3351 posts in 1021 days


#15 posted 02-21-2019 08:16 PM

I agree, leave the case alone it looks great, and use the funds for something else.

Babies = Cash outflow. At least on a one at a time basis. You have 12 to 15 of them, you can do the hand me down thing, but jeesh then you have to worry about the food budget. Doctors, Schools, ohhh the nightmares…..

-- Think safe, be safe

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