Hello, I have made a whole set of Mission tables, and use pocket screws to attach the tops, this was before I actually knew a lot about wood movement. However, after a couple of years, I have not seen a problem in any top I have attached this way.. Is it generally a bad idea to do this? I plan on making a t.v. stand and am wondering if I should keep doing this.
It matters not which screws you use.
What does matter is whether or not you used some sort of clip in a groove,, on the end grain,, so the top can move across it's width with seasonal changes. HTH
I too have used PH screws to attach table tops. Now I've found out the wood may move and cause breaks. I use used lumber and pallet lumber, so I think that won't move around a lot. I'm going to keep on using pocket hole screws to attach table tops.
Great question, Joe. I've also made a mission style bedside table and a console/dresser on which the family has placed a 55 inch flatscreen TV. The tops of both items are attached to the sides using standard 1- 1/4 inch pocket screws about 6 inches apart. Both the top and the sides of the cabinets are 3/4 inch white oak veneer plywood.
The bedside table has worked out fine because there has been no stress on the joint. But the joint was not strong enough to hold the top on the console/dresser. From time to time the family or a house cleaner have moved the piece, and in the process they have lifted the top right off the cabinet. Even with glue, the pocket hole screws driven into the plywood veneer top are not strong enough to support the weight of the cabinet, including electronic equipment, etc. I would never use that joint again for that purpose. I realize now that, at the very least, I should have glued and screwed a hardwood cleat directly into both the top and the sides of the cabinet. Of course, as others have pointed out, if you're using solid wood you have to be mindful of potential wood movement when the grain of adjoining pieces is not parallel.