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The title is a bit of a doozy, sorry.

I'm repurposing an old counter I bought off Kijiji to turn it into a kitchen island / kegerator. The old cuonter top was some terrible, cheap, laminate-esque thing. I'm tossing that and replacing it with a nice butcher block countertop I've bought.

The original countertop was secured to the base via screws, screwed in through the top frame in the base.

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The problem is, I can't use this same method for the new countertop. Because I am repurposing the unit as a kegerator, I'm turning the inside into a fridge — using an open mini-fridge on one side, while an insulated box is attached and taking up the other, making use of the full inside space.

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Essentially, I no longer have access to the holes.

The solution also needs to be non-permanent, as in glue. I need to be able to remove the countertop in order to remove the fridge, for transportation purposes (among others).

The solution ALSO needs to be fairly strong - the countertop will overhang the back of the base, to allow for some seating. I worry that with weak fasteners, anyone who might lean or put weight on the overhang might tear the countertop from the base.

In my head I'm picturing something stuck into the bottom of the countertop that will slot into holes in the base, which can then be "fastened", somehow. Possibly in the Ikea camlock type of way, where the "lock" would need to be inserted from the outside, which isn't preferable, but I don't have much option here, I guess. That being said, I doubt camlocks would have the strength to keep the counter attached securely. That, and I can't seem to find the screw portion of them anywhere.

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In the same vein, cross dowels / bolts could be an option, but the bolt would have to be visible on the top of the counter, which is no good.

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Another (maybe) possibility is something akin to a toggle latch? Something that locks / pulls the countertop tighter to the base. Though I'm not really sure how these would attach or where they could be placed so that they weren't overly visible.

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Are there any kind of fasteners that exist that would allow me to accomplish this? One thing to maybe note — the legs seem to have a hole in their dead center that may or may not go all the way through (tbc). Perhaps there's some sort of incredibly long screw mechanism where a rod would be able to be screwed in to the countertop through the bottom of the legs?

  • How often are you disassembling this thing "for transportation purposes"? – isherwood Feb 6 '17 at 14:45
  • Your idea of a toggle would work. On the overhang sides, use 1 on each corner. They should be hidden well enough. You might consider a hinge setup on one side and latch on the other. As for hemlock system, I have always found both pieces at the hardware store, although never as a set. I have lots of those parts in a bin in my garage. When I toss old furniture, I keep the hardware. – Jeff Cates Feb 6 '17 at 14:51
  • Also, you plan to pull the fridge from the top? Maybe hing the side top plate then slide the fridge out the side? Then you could attach the top from below. – Jeff Cates Feb 6 '17 at 14:56
  • @isherwood definitely to bring it from the shop I'm building it at to my place, but not frequently at all. I just want to future proof the thing. I'll also need to be able to remove the countertop in the event that tubing and other kegerator hardware needs to be replaced, which it will, after a period. Plus, even in the case of something like gule, theres not much to stick it to considering the foam insert. – GtwoK Feb 6 '17 at 15:18
  • @JeffCates I've considered a hinge/lock system - the problem is that because of how the legs are built (jutting out past the "face"), the hinges would need to be on the edge of the legs, which are only about 2.5inches wide. I doubt that hinges this small would provide sufficient strength for holding the countertop. I've explored the option of having the fridge be removable from the side, but it doesn't seem feasible with the current construction of the base. – GtwoK Feb 6 '17 at 15:28
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Use figure-8 clips. Screw them into the frame overhanging the outer edge (they are usually done to the inside, but outside works fine, and only your friends who have reached "lying on the floor" will ever see them, and that, blurrily.)

figure-8 clips

You screw them down into the frame, up into the top. It's what they were made to do.

Alternatively, borrow, rent or buy a pocket-hole jig and put in new pocket holes on the outside of the frame (just like the ones you have now, on the inside of the frame) Once again, counter overhang should make them unobtrusive to anyone not lying on the floor.

  • I like this idea... do I need to worry about the figure 8s bending/snapping on the overhang side, considering they seem like thin pieces of metal? – GtwoK Feb 6 '17 at 19:25
  • Generally a figure 8 connector is used on wood furniture that may expand and contract. This allows the furniture to move as needed but not allowing it to come apart. I am not sure how much force it would take, either pulling or pushing, to break. I found the cam locks and the screws at my local home depot, about $10 for a set of 4 for both pieces. – Jeff Cates Feb 6 '17 at 20:28
  • The ones that will get the force from the overhang are actually the ones opposite the overhang (think about it for a minute.) If you use an adequate number I would not expect a problem. Just don't be picking the thing up by the top with full kegs in it. – Ecnerwal Feb 6 '17 at 22:16

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