How to attach a table top without screws showing...

I have a very short little planter table that I put together as a silly father-son project with my 3 year old. The idea was to use up the left over lumber from my deck. I haven't finished the table because I am not sure how to adhere the table top in such a way that there are no screws showing.
Looking down, the table underpinning (no top) looks like this (go fixed width font):
+----+ +----+ | +----------------------------+ | | +-------------++-------------+ | +-++-+ || +-++-+ || || || || || || || || || +-++-+ || +-++-+ | +-------------++-------------+ | | +----------------------------+ | +----+ +----+
Legs are short cedar 4x4's, and the thinner bars are cedar 2x4's. Now I have cedar boards (true x true 5) to act as a table top. I'll draw these with #'s OVER the prior diagram so you can get a sense as to what overlaps what:
############################################ # +----+ +----+ # # | +----------------------------+ | # # | +-------------++-------------+ | # ############################################ # || || || # # || || || # # || || || # ############################################ # | +-------------++-------------+ | # # | +----------------------------+ | # # +----+ +----+ # ############################################
So the question is how do I best screw these boards to the top from underneath? The entirety of the underpinning is pocket screws (...sort of, more like 30 angles), so no screws show. But I would like to keep the no screws showing policy going here.
Do I.....
1. Use angle brackets connecting the 2x4's to the top boards from "inside" and underneath? These would require very short screws predrilled into the boards.
or
2. The 2x4's are a true 3" I have 3" decking screws. I'm wondering if I couldn't just counter sink in the screw the entire width of the 2x4 upwards and (if I'm careful) have it pierce the top by only "... But that seems sketchy to me.
or
3. something else?
Thanks!
-- Forgetthesong,I'dratherhavethefrontallobotomy...
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maybe Z clips? maybe dowels? Thom
wrote in message

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Thom said something like:

...[rip]...
But how would that work? Z-clips are usually hanging devices, no? How would they work when oriented horizontally....wouldn't this just allow the table top to be slid out?
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Thomas G. Marshall said something like:

Oh, I think I get what you mean. There would still be a screw or brad or other such anchor, but the up/down adherence would be held by the Z. But this might make the top look as if it were hoverring over the leg/apron assembly, no?
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Nice little project Tom and what a blessing to share such a wonderful time with your son doing what you enjoy. I think we'd have a much better world if there was more of that going on.
Regarding the table. The fact that the top strips are not built into a single piece limits the options a little and will make it a bit harder to get things to set down firm with a single line of attachment. I think the up-screwing idea is fine but the two outer pieces might rock abit with only a single line of screws. You can counter bore this also, rather than using the long screws and counter sink. Drill a 3/8" dia hole about 3/4 of the way through from underneath as you proposed and then drill a piloty hole the rest of the way. Use shorter screws up into the top pieces. Use multiple screws at the corss members of the center piece. You migh consider some method of tieing the outer slats to the center one for more stability.
Another very similar idea is to use pocket screws along the inside faces of the table aprons and stretchers, up into the table top pieces. No one can see them there unless they lay under that table (which I have been know to do on occasion but that's another set of stories).
I think angle brackets will be a rickety, they just won't handle any racking well and wioll loosen quickly, unless the table top is one monolithic piece.
A more structurally beefy way would be to run a few batten across the underside of the 3 pieces, attached with counter bored screws perhaps. They could be aligned just inside the legs at each end. Then the apron 2x4's could be notched to allow then to set in and then also screw the battens to the legs. Not sure it makes sense but I can only draw with AutoCAD, unlike your beautiful dash and pipe work.
On Aug 18, 2:43 pm, "Thomas G. Marshall"

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Can you glue the three pieces together to form the top, then glue that top to the table underpinning? I've put together a 4' x 4' bookcase using just glue, and it'll hold together quite well.
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Michael White said something like:

I could, but have dismissed the glues because this is something potentially outdoors...perhaps that was premature?
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Thomas G. Marshall wrote:

There are outdoor wood glues, and, if you want to pay a little more, you can buy an epoxy (Gorilla Glue?). Either should be sufficient, especially since the glue will not be exposed directly to the weather (sun or rain).
Besides, worst case you go with someone else's idea if it falls apart :).
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"Thomas G. Marshall"
*snip: Hiding screws problem*

I did that with plywood tops once. One top started to warp and required additional bracing.

If you can guarantee your screws would go in straight (predrill on a drill press, for example), then this might work. You'll want 3 3/4" decking screws, though. Your head should be flush and not counter sunk. It takes a lot of the guess work out of putting screws in.

Personally, I think I'd attach 1x2s to the top and the top to the 1x2. This way, you've only got 1 1/2" of material to screw through, and support along the entire top. (Some glue, and a couple brads, and you've got an obligatory Norm reference. :-)) The 1x2's broad side goes against the frame, and the narrow side against the top.
Puckdropper
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Puckdropper said something like:
...[rip]...

I'd still be stuck with a problem though.....Wouldn't the top still be wobbly/rickety with the only anchors so far inward?
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"Thomas G. Marshall"

Maybe, maybe not. The boards still sit on the frame, but they're attached to the frame with the 1x2s.
Since you've got so much over hang from your boards, I'd consider running a "trim" piece on the outside that's actually your anchors. If someone sees it, it should still look nice. (Remember, though, it's your project. I'm just making suggestions.)
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And I welcome them. The wobbly worries come from the idea of folks trying to lift the thing up from the lip and not the apron. Most folks don't know how to treat a table. The leverage against any inside-only anchors would be severe. I'm wondering if my only solution might be Z clips after all except that the top wouldn't sit *visually* tightly on the assembly.
I'm loath to actually put outside trim pieces on the thing because of all the effort I went through to hide each and every other screw in the thing.
Perhaps a combination of outdoor epoxy and inside screws. But I've seen what happens when wood dries, and the cross-grain shrinkage would shatter any epoxy, no?
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Sat, Aug 18, 2007, 9:43pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@replacetextwithnumber.hotmail.com (ThomasG.Marshall) doth claimeth: <snip> I haven't finished the table because I am not sure how to adherethe table top in such a way that there are no screws showing. <snip>
Brain dead, eh? If you don't want screws to show, then use nails..
Or, I "suppose" you "could" screw it on from below. Or glue it on. Or use dowls. Or something.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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On Aug 19, 9:36 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

I'd make the top and then set it aside and watch which way it tends to cup. Then I'd attach it with a couple of dowels in the center, concave side down to the skirt. JP
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