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I have assembled a TV cabinet / TV table. It is made of a metal frame, with "rings" on the inside of the frame on which the table plates rest.

The first image shows one of the "rings", the second picture shows the assembled table without the plate that goes on top of it. The third image shows the page from the instruction that shows how the top plate should be attached to the frame.

According to the instruction manual you are supposed to put a screw through the ring and screw it into the bottom of the plate (see image 3). None of the four plates have holes however, on either side. On the first page of the instructions a screwdriver is shown, but no drill. It looks like the production company forgot to drill the holes.

To me it seems like the screws would only make a difference when moving the entire table as you could lift them out of the frame when carrying it. They should be irrelevant in terms of stability and maximum supported weight (40 kg according to the website) as long as it is just standing there.

Do I need to get a drill and make the holes myself so I can screw the plate to the frame or can I use it safely without the screws? Is there a risk that it may break / fall apart when I put things on it due to the missing screws?

The plate itself does not really move even without the screws, it fits exactly into the metal frame.

This shows one of the "rings" that the plate rests on.

This shows the assembled cabinet / table with all but the top plate installed.

Page from the instruction manual that shows how the top plate should be attached.

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Depending on the material and the screws you may not need pilot holes; just a little force to get them started.

The shelf will provide additional lateral stability. Whether or not you need it is an engineering question. I would definitely want that added stability.

Sometime in the future, when you decide to slide the TV on the table top, e.g., for dusting or adjusting cables, you will be glad the screws are there. You or someone else will likely have forgotten the screws aren't there and when the top slides off enough to drop the TV you will rue the day you said no to the screws. (Not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything.)

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Drilling pilot holes for screws is always a good idea especially near the edge of the board so you do not split it.

Drilling pilot holes is not difficult, you want a drill bit the same diameter, or slightly smaller, then the shank (not the threads) of the screw. You can get away with skipping the pilot holes on soft woods like pine if the screws are not to thick.

Place the top on the floor upside down, place the frame on the top upside down so the brackets are in the proper place. (line up the frame on the top) Use a pencil or a pen to mark the center of the hole on the wood, now you can remove the frame and drill the pilot holes. To avoid drilling all the way through the wood Put a piece of tape on the drill so you know when to stop drilling. (if the top is 3/4" thick then place tape so that 1/2" of the tip of the bit is exposed, stop drilling when the tape meets the wood.)

Having the top attached is going to be safer for your expensive TV. It may fine 99% of the time but one earthquake or someone accidentally bumping it could cause it to get sideways and if there is some weight on it then it could teeter and fall. If it fits into the frame it is unlikely to shift but it is still good practice to have it attached.

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    Those actually look like self threading screws so drilling pilot holes might not be necessary, just start the hole with a nail and whack it with hammer.+1
    – JACK
    Feb 3 at 17:44
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    Of course, if it's particle board covered in melamine (as many pieces of fine flat-pack furniture are these days), you probably won't split the boards by running the screws in without pilot holes. Not to say that pilot holes won't be helpful anyway...
    – FreeMan
    Feb 3 at 17:44
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    Or, @JACK, place the screw and give it a whack with the hammer, then apply the screwdriver
    – FreeMan
    Feb 3 at 17:45
  • What I ended up doing was pushing the screw in with my finger and screwing it with my hand until it was standing upright, then used the screwdriver to get it in all the way. In hindsight using a hammer to get it in initially would have been more efficient and faster, but it worked. The wood (or whatever material it is) didn't split either.
    – Lomtrur
    Feb 3 at 18:25

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