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Thread: What's the best way to connect a solid workbench top to plywood sides?

  1. #16
    IMO you need to put at top on the cabinet. If you're worried about the extra 3/4" height, make individual panels flush.

    Then screw into top through elongated holes.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Engel View Post
    IMO you need to put at top on the cabinet. If you're worried about the extra 3/4" height, make individual panels flush.

    Then screw into top through elongated holes.
    That will also work and stiffen up the top of the cabinet even more. I'd do them flush as noted at the end...inset them so they are flush with the existing height.
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  3. #18
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    Jim, Iím not sure what an I bracket is. Did you mean an L bracket? Something like this?

    5DD49601-5DAC-4989-9F1B-2BA305D7BF34.jpeg
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  4. #19
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    yes, "L" bracket. And now I wouldn't use what you picture. Just get a piece of aluminum angle and make your own. They are just like the small steel ones you show in your photo at the back of the cabinet/top but you make them wider so you can orient a slot that's across the grain of the top. But Robert's post about putting filler panels in between the verticals flush with the top of the panels may be a better choice as it will stiffen the whole thing up. It shouldn't interfere with the top of the drawers, either.
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  5. #20
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    First of all, thanks for all the good advice.

    OK. Bit the bullet and cut up the old cabinet top into individual pieces and put in filler panels between the vertical dividers. A royal pain, to say the least. The good news it that is made all the cavities more square, which I guess is a good thing, and certainly more rigid. No racking gonna happen here.

    I used enough L-brackets to keep steel companies in business for years. Oh, and quickly go buy Home Depot stock.

    For areas where L-brackets weren't convenient, and to add extra support, I also put some through screws into the end grain of the filler panels.

    The partial width dividers are to allow room for the end vise.

    I also put workbench casters on it, and a total of six 4x4 legs, so hopefully the middle sagging will be a thing of the past, and the table will be able to be moved.

    Here's a couple of pictures of the work in progress:

    Upper Dividers.jpg
    Upper Dividers 2.jpg

    Now on to the end vise which will involve lots of lifting. OK, waiting on my help for that.
    - I have enough frequent flyer miles to orbit the sun. Sigh...
    - After I ask a stranger if I can pet their dog and they say yes, I like to respond, "I'll keep that in mind" and walk off.
    - When you earnestly believe you can compensate for lack of skill by doubling your effort, there's no end to what you can't do

  6. #21
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    I think I would have used glue and screws to put in those inserts rather than L-brackets and then just touch up the paint on the outside where the screws penetrated. They "disappear" just under the larger top anyway. That would even further stiffen the case. But what you did is just fine and you'll be in business very quickly now. That's going to be a really nice setup for what you have planned for it.
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I think I would have used glue and screws to put in those inserts rather than L-brackets and then just touch up the paint on the outside where the screws penetrated. They "disappear" just under the larger top anyway. That would even further stiffen the case. But what you did is just fine and you'll be in business very quickly now. That's going to be a really nice setup for what you have planned for it.
    With all that end grain gluing of plywood to plywood, I had concerns about that. A big part of using the L-brackets was to maintain alignment.

    That being said, I agree. I should have glued it too.

    This sucker is going to be heavy. Probably about 400 lbs. Hoping that on the six legs now, it will be very stable.
    - I have enough frequent flyer miles to orbit the sun. Sigh...
    - After I ask a stranger if I can pet their dog and they say yes, I like to respond, "I'll keep that in mind" and walk off.
    - When you earnestly believe you can compensate for lack of skill by doubling your effort, there's no end to what you can't do

  8. #23
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    Plywood doesn't have "endgrain" per-se and glued butt joints with screws in pre-drilled and chamfered holes are very strong. That's actually how I build cabinets as well as my high-end tack trunks. In your case I might sand off the paint or use a glue that doesn't care about the paint, but no worries on glue and screws for plywood in any orientation.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Plywood doesn't have "endgrain" per-se and glued butt joints with screws in pre-drilled and chamfered holes are very strong. That's actually how I build cabinets as well as my high-end tack trunks. In your case I might sand off the paint or use a glue that doesn't care about the paint, but no worries on glue and screws for plywood in any orientation.
    Nice to know. I was concerned about that.

    Now, having the dividers more fixed in position, I'm spending lots of time today "adjusting" drawers that now stick, or hit the screws from the L-brackets. Let's say I used the wide belt sander, router, and lots of adjusting. Oh well, two steps forward, one step back.
    - I have enough frequent flyer miles to orbit the sun. Sigh...
    - After I ask a stranger if I can pet their dog and they say yes, I like to respond, "I'll keep that in mind" and walk off.
    - When you earnestly believe you can compensate for lack of skill by doubling your effort, there's no end to what you can't do

  10. #25
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    And you can cover up your "adjustments" with a little paint.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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