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Old 05-20-2011, 07:34 PM   #1
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How to connect vertical 2x4 on horizontal 2x4 ?

I've seen dozens of pictures of stands where the vertical 2x4 post is on top of a horizontal 2x4 but can never seem to figure out how they are connected.

The 2.5 inch screws are not long enough, it would seem I would need at least 4.5 inch screw. How do people do it ?

I didn't think it was with metal braces only, are they strong enough without screws ?
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:53 PM   #2
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I've seen dozens of pictures of stands where the vertical 2x4 post is on top of a horizontal 2x4 but can never seem to figure out how they are connected.

The 2.5 inch screws are not long enough, it would seem I would need at least 4.5 inch screw. How do people do it ?

I didn't think it was with brackets only, are they strong enough without screws ?
Do you mean laying the horizontal piece (flat) on the vertical pieces (standing)?

I use 3" decking screws and pre-drill the screw holes and it works great. For additional lateral support, take a piece of 3/8" plywood cut into a triangle to fit and screw that to each corner. For heavy duty support a rectangular piece of plywood covering the 4 - 2x4's and screw that to it.

Here's the first posting in a thread where I rebuilt a cheapo IKEA style stand that might help you out.

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Old 05-20-2011, 08:14 PM   #3
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No the horizontal 2x4 would be on it's side and the vertical would be placed on top so you have 6 inches to deal with.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:18 PM   #4
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They use pocket screws to attach them.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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+1 to pocket screws. That is what I use. I have also pre-drilled down some of the top horizontal 2x4 and screwed into the vertical one but I like the pocket screws more.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:05 PM   #6
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No the horizontal 2x4 would be on it's side and the vertical would be placed on top so you have 6 inches to deal with.
Gotcha. A 2x4 is actually only 1.5x3.5 so a 4.5" screw would work for surface mounting. As others said, just drill a large bore hole 1/2 way though the edge of the bottom 2x4 and sink a couple screws in it.

FYI: A 2x4 on edge isn't very stable as it tends to "roll" no matter how many screws you use, unless your putting plywood or something on it, at which point the screws your fretting over are more place holders than structural support.
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:37 AM   #7
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Most tanks stands have a double leg setup, with one under the top frame and one inside. A couple of other things to consider is that neither glue nor screws hold that well in end grain. Another way to join them is using a plate (such as the type used in framing and truss building to cover the joint. That way you have short screws going through the grain, and the top frame can be glued to the top of the legs.
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:18 PM   #8
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The largest wood screws at Home Depot I think are 3 inches max but I found what's called a FastenMaster TimberLok 6 inch screw that will do the job, pricey though.

I never knew about pocket screws, looks like you need a jig for that and I'm not motivated enough to spend $100+ on a jig. I definitely want to get one in the future. I might see if I can make one myself.

I'm not sure the difference between doubling up on 2x4 vs using a 4x4, maybe cost difference ?
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:25 PM   #9
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Using a 4 x 4 is a bad idea. They are typically made from the very core of the tree and they warp and twist like crazy. The inside part the carries the top shelf doesn't need to be a 2 x 4. It can be a 1 x 4 or even a piece of 3/4" ply. So, the inside pieces carries the weight, and the outside piece holds it together.
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:32 PM   #10
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Pocket hole jigs shouldn't cost 100. Mine was like 25 or 30.
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