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We have a space with a wide countertop set up in a space that functions as a workbench. There are no cabinets underneath. Instead, you can pull up chairs to it. There are computers there and it functions as a workbench/desk.

We're replacing the computers, and the new model is a smaller form factor that I would like to hang from the bottom of the countertop. I'm concerned, though, about screwing into the underside of the countertop. The material looks like simple partical board underneath, and I'm worried that it may decide to crumble rather than anchor the screws well, which in turn would allow the computers to fall to the floor.

Am I worried over nothing, is there a specific product I should use to do this safely, or should I do something else?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You could glue another board onto the bottom of the counter top with a wood glue, clamp it, and when dry it will give additional wood to screw into.

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I agree. I would put plywood across the bottom, and glue and screw the plywood to the counter top particle board. It will make the work surface itself much stronger as well as giving you a better place to hang something from below. If the counter is on shelf brackets now, it should be re-attached so the shelf brackets are screwed into the plywood as well. You'll then be able to screw into it with bigger 3/4 or 1" screws instead of eg 1/2", and you'll get most of the screw into the strong plywood as opposed to particle board. –  gregmac Jan 26 '12 at 23:20

The material I've seen for this application varies quite a bit, so I don't know that there is one right answer.

That said, I have similar construction on my lab bench, and I was able to sink screws in to hold my keyboard tray without difficulty (my keyboard tray is an older steel unit, not one of those cheap plastic things, and is about 4 lbs).

The thing I'd suggest is drilling appropriate pilot holes (don't try to just jam the screws in), and making sure you have a fair bit of area to spread the load over (don't just put in 2 screws and call it good - try to get a fair number of screws in, some distance apart, to hold your system).

I don't think there's much harm in trying. I suspect it will either fall out instantly, or it will hold rock solid. Check it every now and then to see if it starts wobbling, but I bet it will be fine.

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