Bolts vs. screws - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Default Bolts vs. screws

This is my first furniture piece, and I need some advice.

I am building for my daughter a desk/loft bed. I am using primarily 2x4 and 2x6 lumber. The legs will be 2x6 as is the mattress box. I am using lap joints for a nice look. However, this is where I am second guessing. The box that the mattress will be laid in is 2x6 with a plywood bottom. Since 2" thick lumbar actually measure 1 1/2" , using a lap joint makes the individual boards a rather thin 3/4". I had thought to use carriage bolt (1) on each corner through this joint (the mattress box is rather heavy as-is, without mattress and kid). The problem I see is that at only 3/4" thick I can't countersink the nut and retain any real strength in the wood. The nut obviously can't be INSIDE the box as it would be against the mattress. i had also planned on a couple wood screws (screwed from the inside) just to give the corners added strength.

I guess I am wondering if I am really underestimating the strength of woodscrews? meaning, could I use just 3 or 4 wood screws (per joint) and have sufficient strength?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 01:00 AM
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Hi Keith
Nice thing about lap joints is they look good and are very strong. I think I would use bolts though. Use t-nuts on the inside and countersink the bolt heads and flat washers on the outside. You can hide the bolts with plugs if you want.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 08:21 AM
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Hi Keith, I really can't argue with John's advice.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 09:15 AM
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I was always taught that you wanted screws for the ability to resist coming apart, nails for shear, and bolts for both.

My two cents, I'd go bolts.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 09:22 AM
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Hi Keith

The make bolts just for that type of job, don't forget you may want to take it down in time plus they are clean and smooth and you can use a Allen wrench to put them in..

Connector Bolts
Connector Bolts - Rockler Woodworking Tools
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=367
=======

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kallen View Post
This is my first furniture piece, and I need some advice.

I am building for my daughter a desk/loft bed. I am using primarily 2x4 and 2x6 lumber. The legs will be 2x6 as is the mattress box. I am using lap joints for a nice look. However, this is where I am second guessing. The box that the mattress will be laid in is 2x6 with a plywood bottom. Since 2" thick lumbar actually measure 1 1/2" , using a lap joint makes the individual boards a rather thin 3/4". I had thought to use carriage bolt (1) on each corner through this joint (the mattress box is rather heavy as-is, without mattress and kid). The problem I see is that at only 3/4" thick I can't countersink the nut and retain any real strength in the wood. The nut obviously can't be INSIDE the box as it would be against the mattress. i had also planned on a couple wood screws (screwed from the inside) just to give the corners added strength.

I guess I am wondering if I am really underestimating the strength of woodscrews? meaning, could I use just 3 or 4 wood screws (per joint) and have sufficient strength?



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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Hey BJ, I didn't even consider the bolts like that! The first link "Connector Bolts" are perfect! Don't need to be counter sunk and still looks nice too. I like the antique brass finish. Thanks for the advice everyone!!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobj3 View Post
Hi Keith

The make bolts just for that type of job, don't forget you may want to take it down in time plus they are clean and smooth and you can use a Allen wrench to put them in..

Connector Bolts
Connector Bolts - Rockler Woodworking Tools
Cross Dowels - Rockler Woodworking Tools
=======
Absotively!

pretty darned handy for jigs and such too... don't leave the store without them...
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kallen View Post
Hey BJ, I didn't even consider the bolts like that! The first link "Connector Bolts" are perfect! Don't need to be counter sunk and still looks nice too. I like the antique brass finish. Thanks for the advice everyone!!
Keith, just in case you don't have a Rockler close by, the BORG sells similar bolts and fasteners.

Brian


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianS View Post
Keith, just in case you don't have a Rockler close by, the BORG sells similar bolts and fasteners.
Resistance is futile... I'm sold. Planned on stopping at one tomorrow and getting some! Think these would be strong enough (one per joint) or should I strengthen with screws as well?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Not to bump my own thread, but I'd appreciate any opinions on the one bolt per corner question.... Do you think one per corner would be enough? Or maybe should I also add a couple wood screws as well? Thanks
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