Connecting tabletops in desk build - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Question Connecting tabletops in desk build

Working on a "multi-piece" desk build. Too large to do a single piece, so I'll have to connect the pieces after install. I've used drawbolts before and they work good, but it's a bit of work to drill all the holes and do the setup. I found these brackets on Amazon, anyone ever try them?

https://www.amazon.com/Connector-Com...85&s=hi&sr=1-1

They look super simple and seem like they'd work good for this. Anyone ever used them? I think paired with some dominos they'd probably work good?
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post #2 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 01:32 PM
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They look way too expensive to me .....

You posted these at $20.00:
https://www.amazon.com/Connector-Com...kingtalkcon-20


I found these for $6.50:
https://www.grainger.com/product/2RC...E8QK8:20500731


All they do is drill the second set of holes slightly off center so when the screws seat into the countersinks, it draws the other surface towards the one already screwed down. Not a "genius" idea, just common sense.

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post #3 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah but with regular straight brackets with just a hole you can't really do that? Unless I'm missing something? Seems like these brackets would let you pull a good solid 1/16-1/8" or so, and the force behind a screw is quite a bit, so if they function like in the picture, they probably work pretty well. If it's common sense, how come I haven't seen a bracket like it before?
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post #4 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 02:05 PM
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Maybe I'm missing something ?

The cheaper bracket is shown here:




These holes below look the same as on the cheaper brackets. It's where you drill the holes for the screws that makes them move toward the other piece, at least that's how it looks to me. I could be mistaken, however? The holes in the top bracket don't have any changes to them, just a simple countersink....?

On closer inspection, I think if those screws were fully tightened, the second piece would actually move away from the first piece?



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Last edited by woodnthings; 09-04-2020 at 02:45 PM.
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post #5 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, well if you tightened those screws, they'd stay stationary obviously, and then the bracket would have to pull to the right to give space for the countersunk heads? At least that's my understanding, and how the clamping force is created. Yeah the left side holes are normal, but the right ones are like slotted or elongated and that shift in screw location is what let's it work like a clamp. I mean obviously it works cause that's what the second picture shows right lol?
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post #6 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 03:00 PM
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Nope!

Quote:
Originally Posted by slsrs6 View Post
Hmm, well if you tightened those screws, they'd stay stationary obviously, and then the bracket would have to pull to the right to give space for the countersunk heads? At least that's my understanding, and how the clamping force is created. Yeah the left side holes are normal, but the right ones are like slotted or elongated and that shift in screw location is what let's it work like a clamp. I mean obviously it works cause that's what the second picture shows right lol?
If you tighten the screws, the piece will move not the bracket, which is contrary to what it's supposed to do, unless I'm missing something?


If you reversed the screw location to the left, it would work, unless I'm missing something?


i see no elongation in any of the countersunk heads or holes. You do want the second piece to move, nothing else, so slotting the holes would be counter productive ... unless I'm missing something?

This would be easy enough to try with any simple 4 hole bracket before you invest your $$ or install them on your desk. The principle I am espousing here is the same as draw boring with dowels, where you drill the holes for the dowels slightly closer than their intended location so when the dowels are hammered in, the draw the pieces tightly together.
https://cdn.popularwoodworking.com/w...ing_Basics.jpg

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Last edited by woodnthings; 09-04-2020 at 03:02 PM.
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 03:01 PM
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These do not look any different from simple mending plates, available at a hardware store for $1 each. They do not have any ability to draw the pieces tightly together. Some have suggested that by drilling the holes to the outer edges of the metal holes, it would force the wood closer together. I have tried this method, too. The result has always been to create a gap in the top side of the joint because it pulls downward and inward on the bottom side. So no, I don't think they are a good option for what you are doing, based on my own experience with them, or similar plates. If your edges are at 90 degrees, then the draw bolts are really one of the best options, despite the hole drilling. There are a couple of different types. One type you need to route a groove to insert the bolt (PITA) but the other type is just drilling holes in the faces, then holes in the edges. Easier, in my opinion. You just need to insert the bolts before bringing the wood pieces together.
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post #8 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
If you tighten the screws, the piece will move not the bracket, which is contrary to what it's supposed to do, unless I'm missing something?


If you reversed the screw location to the left, it would work, unless I'm missing something?


i see no elongation in any of the countersunk heads or holes. You do want the second piece to move, nothing else, so slotting the holes would be counter productive ... unless I'm missing something?

This would be easy enough to try with any simple 4 hole bracket before you invest your $$ or install them on your desk. The principle I am espousing here is the same as draw boring with dowels, where you drill the holes for the dowels slightly closer than their intended location so when the dowels are hammered in, the draw the pieces tightly together.
https://cdn.popularwoodworking.com/w...ing_Basics.jpg
It would pull the bracket and "already attached left section" to the right, or if you want to think of it a little different, it would pull the right section left :) Doesn't really matter which piece "moves", either way it's closing the gap. If you look at the third and fourth picture (fourth picture specifically) you can clearly see the right side holes are elongated, and supposedly their purpose is to act like a draw bore and provide the clamping force.
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post #9 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 03:22 PM
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Yup, it's about the physics ... again.

When the forces drawing the two pieces together are not centered in the workpiece like draw bolts, there will be a resultant force at an angle. The smaller the angle the less effect it will have on their alignment, but at a greater angle, it will cause the 2 pieces to bump together below and create a gap at the top where you least want a gap to show.
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Last edited by woodnthings; 09-04-2020 at 03:26 PM.
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post #10 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 03:30 PM
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well then, go ahead and try it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by slsrs6 View Post
It would pull the bracket and "already attached left section" to the right, or if you want to think of it a little different, it would pull the right section left :) Doesn't really matter which piece "moves", either way it's closing the gap. If you look at the third and fourth picture (fourth picture specifically) you can clearly see the right side holes are elongated, and supposedly their purpose is to act like a draw bore and provide the clamping force.

Seems to me you've made up your mind, even with 2 dissenting opinions, so I say you try it and let us know how it works.
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post #11 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
When the forces drawing the two pieces together are not centered in the workpiece like draw bolts, there will be a resultant force at an angle. The smaller the angle the less effect it will have on their alignment, but at a greater angle, it will cause the 2 pieces to bump together below and create a gap at the top where you least want a gap to show.
Hmm if everything is square and the bracket is flat, I don't see how it would cause any major gap at the top. Even in the picture there isn't any gap. I'd imagine even the weight of the top would close up any seams too. I might buy them and try them out. If they work as intended it'll save a ton of time compared to draw bolts.
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post #12 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 05:29 PM
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I haven't seen those brackets before, but they will work. Pinch dogs do the same thing. Draw peg joinery works on the same principal. The second set of holes is offset slightly so when the screw is tightened it pulls the work tight.
I use pinch dogs in your situation. They are removed when the seam is tight and can be re-used multiple times.
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post #13 of 24 Old 09-04-2020, 06:37 PM
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The holes are "offset" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwoodhands View Post
I haven't seen those brackets before, but they will work. Pinch dogs do the same thing. Draw peg joinery works on the same principal. The second set of holes is offset slightly so when the screw is tightened it pulls the work tight.
I use pinch dogs in your situation. They are removed when the seam is tight and can be re-used multiple times.
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I don't see that at all. The brackets are identical but .....
the screw holes and screws are offset to the right of the center of the bracket holes which will cause a gap between the panels when the screws are tightened .... unless I'm missing something?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-04-2020 at 06:50 PM.
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post #14 of 24 Old 09-05-2020, 08:00 AM
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I would like to see photos of your completed sections before suggesting fasteners
that may or may not work for your particular style of construction.
or at least some plans, sketches or drawings of what you intend to build.
what wood are you using for the tops ?? solid lumber or particle board.
you may be overthinking this just a little prematurely.

as a note on the metal strip fastener in the photo:
you can easily purchase the standard “mending plate” strips from the Box Store
and if it does not have countersunk holes, drill them yourself on the drill press.

I would suggest you go to your local Box Store and get a couple of brackets
(Mending Plates) and some scrap wood and do your own experimenting to see
what will or will not work for your project.

.
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post #15 of 24 Old 09-05-2020, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slsrs6 View Post
... I think paired with some dominos they'd probably work good?
You mentioned dominos so I'm assuming you have a DF-500 or DF-700. Have you considered using any of the domino connector systems?
As with everything Festool they are expensive but appear to do the job well. I haven't tried them myself yet.
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post #16 of 24 Old 09-05-2020, 04:31 PM
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I think that $6.50 is very expensive for those. You should find them around any hardware store for $1.00 or so a piece.


These are $1.00 a piece.


Here are some stainless, bigger ones for same price.


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post #17 of 24 Old 09-07-2020, 06:46 AM
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I'm thinking that the mending plate idea would do little more than to force the screws in a bit crooked which is after all the purpose behind the idea of self centering drill bit setups .

I use em all the time for hinges and such..and thanks for reminding me to put mine where it belongs instead of on the bench top with the rest of my junk..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
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post #18 of 24 Old 09-08-2020, 02:35 PM
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what type of desk are you planning? sketch up your desk with a few dimensions, take a picture and post it. a picture is worth a thousand arguments 😉
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post #19 of 24 Old 09-08-2020, 04:18 PM
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I would use pieces of wood if you aren't inclined to use draw bolts.

I put a set of pieces on each side of the joint running parallel to it, I use those to clamp the joint together(they will come off when done).

Then use your wood strips across the joint.

Draw bolts would be better, IMO...
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post #20 of 24 Old 09-11-2020, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slsrs6 View Post

It would pull the bracket and "already attached left section" to the right, or if you want to think of it a little different, it would pull the right section left &#x1f642; Doesn't really matter which piece "moves", either way it's closing the gap. If you look at the third and fourth picture (fourth picture specifically) you can clearly see the right side holes are elongated, and supposedly their purpose is to act like a draw bore and provide the clamping force.
Agreed. The non-moving bracket with attached wood has the countersunk holes that will force the eccentric screw centers to become concentric with the countersunk holes.
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