I am trying to join a 2x4 supporting a workbench tabletop to another to make a backsplash of sorts. Any ideas how to do this without dowels? (No, I can't use 2x8)


  • How strong does the join need to be? can you just use glue, or screws, or is it structural? Oct 17 '13 at 19:14
  • I'm trying to use screws if possible. It's just for a back fence for a workbench. Oct 17 '13 at 19:21
  • 1
    long screws? Lag bolts?
    – DA01
    Oct 17 '13 at 20:14
  • Plane it flat and glue it. Wood glue's stronger than the wood it joins. No dowels, no fasteners. Oct 18 '13 at 6:13
  • Why can't you use dowels?
    – Tester101
    Oct 18 '13 at 10:33

I would definitely use Pocket-hole joinery

My brother got me a jig that is very easy to use, and the joints are incredibly strong even without wood glue; also if you use glue the joins are "self clamping".

Basically this allows you to edge-join, or do 45 degree angles, etc. just by drilling a couple of perfectly angled holes and screwing the pieces together such that the screw doesn't protrude from your work.

Obviously, I wouldn't get a jig for just one project, but I have totally stopped using dowels, biscuits, and other fancy techniques in favor of pocket holes.

Hope this helps!

  • Could you provide a link for the jig (or even a similar one)that you got as an example?
    – Niall C.
    Oct 18 '13 at 15:42
  • 2
    @NiallC. homedepot.ca/product/kreg-jig-mini-kit/… I highly recommend it! You'll find ways to use it for everything! Oct 18 '13 at 16:45
  • If you use it a lot, you would want something where you can just drop the board in and clamp it with the cam clamp: Just search for "Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System"
    – bebryan
    Oct 18 '13 at 20:42


You could use some form of strapping on the back side.


With this option, you can extend the strapping and use it to attach the whole bit to the workbench.

enter image description here

Bored Holes

You could bore holes on the edge of the top or bottom piece to about half the width of the board, then use screws to fasten the two boards together.

Boring and Screws

You'll likely want to use a drill press to bore the holes.


Since it's not going to be structural, you could simply glue the two boards together using wood glue.

enter image description here

Sliding Dovetail

If you want to get real fancy, a sliding dovetail would work.

Sliding Dovetail

Though with this joint, you'll loose a bit of overall height.


As you say you want to use screws and it's non-structural, I'd go with:

Get some 4" wood screws, drill half way down through the upper piece with a drill slightly bigger than the screw heads, you shouldn't need to do pilot holes all the way through as 2" really shouldn't split unless you use huge screws.

I'd go with 4 or 5 screws along the length.

Screw down through the top piece until you get a little bit of the tip poking out (say 1mm)

Align the top piece on the bottom piece, give it a knock to set the exposed tips into the lower piece, and screw down.

If you don't want exposed holes do it the other way up, if the lower piece is not already set in place.

  • Just out of curiosity, can I pilot down with a large bit about 2 inches, then drive in a screw at the bottom of that hole? Oct 17 '13 at 21:11
  • Some short pieces of dowel and a bit of wood glue can hide the holes as well.
    – Scivitri
    Oct 17 '13 at 23:29

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