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I might take 3 square wooden posts, about 1.5 meters high, and I need to link them to one or more boards on the bottom, if you propose screws, keep in mind that it has to sit level so they have to be flush. There also needs to be a board on top but that's not nearly as critical as that's not where the lateral force applies I think.

It might have to hold like 6 kg at that height and not break if there is some lateral pressure due to a fat cat propelling off the top of the stand, assuming the base is large and heavy enough not to move in this situation.

At best what I have at my disposal are a drill with drills bits of various sizes and an electric wood saw, and I don't have a way to keep a complex structure still while drilling into it.

Dowels look nice and easy because everything can be drilled separately on a table and then assembled but maybe they are too weak. Self tapping screws are another option, but I'm not sure I can do the countersinking properly and put washers in the hole to prevent it from breaking the board and coming up through it laterally if it's thin and there is a lateral force applied on the post. I'm not using fibreboards but it might be as weak as pine.

Also I don't see how it's possible to keep everything still while screwing in the screw with a drill, the post might rotate around and then it can't be put straight anymore. Still, options can be suggested if you think they're much better.

Glue sounds weak but I have no idea really.

Mortise and tenon and other such stuff - I don't have the tools nor the expertise for that.

Visible metal L-brackets are too ugly.

So the main issue is how deep wood dowels or screws would have to go through the post to be safe, but if you have alternatives do tell me.

  • Please clarify the size of the post and the thickness of the boards at the bottom. Also, please note if there is any flexibility in your design. (For instance, can there be 2 posts forming a stronger structure.) – Aloysius Defenestrate Feb 19 '15 at 13:58
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate that's not defined at this point as I haven't been to the shop to see what's available yet. There is total flexibility except for the fact that the top of the stand will be about 1.5 m high, I can get posts of various width/depth. At this point I'm leaning towards either 3 or 4 posts for stability reasons, I don't want any wobbling. I'm just not sure about the joinery as I've seen it done with glue on the internet but I'm not too trusting. – Formagella Feb 19 '15 at 14:09
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    The easiest way for non-DIY people...give money to someone else to do it for you - a carpenter or furniture maker. – Ecnerwal Feb 19 '15 at 14:22
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    Broadly speaking, glue isn't likely to work for structural purposes, though it will prevent a post from spinning or be necessary for a dowel solution. A single post without brackets will be relatively weak. Multiple posts would be more substantial. One last consideration: if the cat is using your stand as a launch pad, the base will either have to be very heavy, very wide, or both. – Aloysius Defenestrate Feb 19 '15 at 14:57
  • I'll try to keep the cats out but it's to give an idea of the worst situation possible. @Ecnerwal cost of labour is ridicolously high in my country. – Formagella Feb 19 '15 at 15:57
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You have a few options available to you, based on the material which you find.

Provided that I understand how you want to assemble the structure you can do the following.

  • Shop done Cutouts - mortice and tenon type joints Depending on the design of the structure, I would go with this route, Just get a wood shop to saw/router various cut-outs for you, then its just an assemble job. effectively these will just ensure that there is less play. - i would use glued joints with a screw or dowel for extra strength (screw is still my preference here)
  • Three anchor structures If you are really worried about strength then just add a third support in the middle of the strucuture - you can mix it up by having a threaded bar in the middle with bolts on each side of the posts.
  • Base Plates - are so simple, but effective, they improve balance and the nice thing, there are no exposed screws (since its top and bottom) once again if you are worried you can do a central dowel or threaded bar.

(see pics below) enter image description here

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    I ended up with the base plates solution, it's solid enough. – Formagella Apr 29 '15 at 16:10
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The easiest would be to use a "deck bracket" or a "post bracket" available at your local DIY store:

Post bracket

If you are worried that the screws would tear through the thin particle board of the bottom of your speaker, then I would first screw the post bracket to a 20cm x 20cm (8"x8") or larger square of 12mm (1/2") plywood, then use that to screw or glue to the bottom of the speakers.

  • oh god no, no screws in the speaker. I'm putting a board on top of the posts in the same way I will attach them to the bottom board, and then use blue tac to attach the speaker to it. Metal brackets wouldn't look good. – Formagella Feb 19 '15 at 15:50
  • Then use the post to a plywood panel and then use glue, velcro, Commando strips, or some other adhesive to your speakers. – RoboKaren Feb 19 '15 at 15:52
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    Unless you have access to a woodshop or a carpenter or money, I don't see how you're going to get not-ugly here. You can choose one out of two: Ugly or Cheap. – RoboKaren Feb 19 '15 at 15:53
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I'd rather make this a comment on Hightower's answer, but I don't have the reputation. I also don't have access to a tool for drawing nice pictures right now.

For simplicity, I would recommend screwing through the base / top into the legs, with the following caveats:

1) You will have to countersink holes in the base / top material, which means you have to make a hole that is slightly larger in diameter than your screw head, and deep enough for the screw head to be below the surface of the material. This is not difficult, because the depth does not need to be precise. It doesn't matter if it's a little too deep. Drill your pilot hole (the diameter of the screw shaft) first, then use that hole to guide your larger drill bit. Don't worry about a washer.

2) You are screwing into the end grain of the legs, which is relatively weak, and as you stated there is some possibility of the screws tearing through the base material. Make the base and top out of high-quality plywood, baltic birch if you can get it. Don't use MDF. You could apply some glue to the end of the legs before you screw them on. If you really want it bombproof, see below.

3) The legs will want to twist when you are driving the screw. Make sure you pre-drill a hole for the screw, then use a manual screwdriver to drive the screw. You'll need the kind of screw that doesn't have any threads near the head, so it turns freely in the base material. Once the leg is snug up against the base, you can hold the screw steady and twist the leg to align it perfectly. If you glued the leg, it shouldn't twist again after the glue dries.

4) For extra security, put crossbars between the legs. Sort of like in Hightower's diagram, but without the nice joints. If the legs are the corners of an "L", then the crossbars are the lines of the L. Countersink holes in the legs and the end-grain of the crossbars, then glue and screw as above. Then you can drive screws through the base into both the legs and the crossbars. When you're screwing into the crossbars, you're going across the grain, so it's stronger. It would also effectively lock the legs together so they share the load.

4B) You'll have countersunk holes in the outside of your legs if you do this, but you can just putty those up, especially if you plan on painting this thing.

That all being said, you could also buy a pocket-screw jig and clamp, and just put two pocket screws into each end of each leg. Use the clamp in one screw hole to hold the leg steady while driving the other screw. You still have to be careful with your base material.

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