How to Attach a Table Top with the Correct Size Screws
There’s no feeling quite like the satisfaction of finishing up a good DIY project, whether it’s something small like putting up a new shelf, or something bigger, like making your own table. However, sometimes DIY projects don’t always go as planned.
The last thing anybody wants is to flip over a table they’ve just finished putting together, only to discover that the screws used to attach the skirting or the pedestal went all the way through the table top.
Today, we’re going over some quick tips to help prevent this from happening to you by helping you figure out which screws are the ideal screws for your situation.
The most important thing to remember about using screws to attach your table top is that the thicker the top, the longer the screw you can use, but if you’re attaching a thinner table top, you’ll need a shorter screw.
In our standard skirt kits, we include 1 1/4″ long wood screws. These screws give you approximately 5/8″ penetration into the table top, so no less than a 3/4″ table top is recommended if you choose to use the screws we send. (1″ thick tops are considered ideal, though.) If you plan to use your own screws, double check and make sure that they’re all the same length before you begin, and that you have enough allowance for your table top.
You should also take into consideration the type of wood you’re using for the table top, as well. Softer woods will compress more easily under the screw, thus allowing for deeper penetration, whereas harder woods will withstand the pressure from the screws better and not allow the screws to penetrate quite as deep. However, hard woods tend to break the heads of screws off as they’re tightening gaps. For example, a knotty pine kit (softer wood) will allow you to drill a screw snugly into the pocket hole more so than a hickory kit (harder wood) will allow.
There are some techniques that you can use to help ensure a successful table top installation:
- Pre-drilling in hard woods
- Careful drilling for soft woods (i.e. watching how deep the screw is in the pocket hole and as you’re drilling)
When in doubt, you can always test the screws with a piece of scrap wood in the same species and thickness as your table top and see how tight you can get it before either the screw breaks through the top, or before it breaks altogether. If it goes through too easily, you’ll probably want a much shorter screw!