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Screws for attaching cables and small devices to underside of 3/4" plywood desk

Screws for attaching cables and small devices to underside of 3/4" plywood desk


  #1  
Old 06-24-14, 07:10 PM
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Screws for attaching cables and small devices to underside of 3/4" plywood desk

I'm looking to mount a bunch of cables and devices (router, modem, power strips, power bricks, etc.) underneath a desk. Kind of like this:



Except my desktop is particleboard or MDF and I'd be worried the weight of the pegboard plus all the gear and cables will eventually pull out the screws holding the pegboard to the desktop.

So I'm thinking I'll lift the desktop off the frame (not yet attached), and mount a sheet of 3/4" plywood to the frame and lay the particleboard/MDF desktop on top of the plywood. Then I can attach devices and cables to underside of plywood using mounted cable ties.



My question is, what type and length screws would be appropriate for attaching these cable ties to 3/4" plywood?
 
  #2  
Old 06-24-14, 10:30 PM
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Those cable ties will work for what you want to do. There are also blocks that you run the cable ties thru. They come with a self stick pad and a center hole. I'd put a screw in the center hole. The self stick blocks work good with a 1/2" #8 bevel/flat head screw.

The ties can be held up with 5/8" #8 pan head screws.

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  #3  
Old 06-25-14, 07:31 AM
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Thanks PJ.

Thinking about this some more, instead of attaching mounted cable ties (or self-stick blocks and cable ties) to the plywood, I'm leaning toward attaching a wire grid to the plywood and then using cable ties to attach devices and cables to the wire grid.

Similar to this, except my setup would mount to the underside of the desk rather than the back of the desk:



A couple of benefits to this:

1. easy attach/detach of devices and cables if I need to remove or rearrange as devices are changed - no drilling/screwing or unscrewing involved. Just snip the tie and use another one (or use releasable ties).

2. there will be a small gap between the grid surface where devices are attached and the plywood, which provides for slightly improved airflow and heat dissipation vs. having devices pressed against plywood.

I can get wire shelving from the hardware store very cheaply and cut it down to size:



This shelving has brackets designed for it. In terms of attaching to the plywood, I'm thinking of using t-nuts or insert nuts (which is better for plywood?) and countersinking and epoxying it into the top side of the plywood (which will be covered by the tabletop) and then running bolts through the shelving brackets into the nuts. Or I could skip the brackets and just use fender washers.

Either way, it seems like this would be a rock solid mount with no worries about it pulling out while attaching/rearranging devices.

Thoughts? Do they make t-nuts or insert nuts that would work with 3/4" plywood?
 
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Old 06-25-14, 11:48 AM
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I had considered skipping the plywood sheet and using insert nuts in the tabletop, but after looking at a cross section pic of the tabletop, I think I better stick with a plywood layer as the attachment point for the wire grid and devices/cabling.

 
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Old 07-24-14, 12:58 PM
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Screws that will let you easily replace broken ties after you install desk top

I actually like your setup where you hide everything behind your desk. I've screwed power strips, small switches & USB hubs into the legs of my real hardwood computer desks just to get them off the floor but have never tried something as elaborate. Hats off to you!

I think you may be concerned about replacing broken plastic ties after your desk is in place, I would consider using machined screws with a threaded insert like like these T-nuts (See...

Crown Bolt M4-0.7 Zinc-Plated Steel T-nuts (3-Pack)-40248 at The Home Depot )

so you can remove and rethread a bolt holding up a broken plastic tie without disturbing the 3/4 plywood that is holding up all that weight. I assume that once you install your desktop over the 3/4" plywood, you'd not be able to get to the top surface of the plywood.

In my experience, holes in plywood tend to weaken when screws are remove and re-inserted often. I believe a 3/4" machine screw is stronger than a 3/4" wood screw.

The reason I recommend this is I can see you needing to replace plastic ties either because one breaks or you need to replace stuff that you hold up with the ties. But if you still like wood screws, I would recommend getting what appears to be furniture grade screws. Lowes sells them and they are more expensive than the bright brass wood screws that breaks easily. The screws I'm taking about look like they are make with bronze. When you see the threads, you can see they would hold much better.

I'm considering using such threaded inserts to insert rollers into the legs of my cheaply-made but over-priced entertainment center cabinet so I can roll the unit aside to clean under and behind it without disconnecting all the cables connecting my home theater components, remove them so I can move the cabinet, replace the unit when I'm done and repositioned the cabinet, reconnect the TV,and making sure everything still works.

I'm trying to learn here so I w'd be glad to hear what you think and how it worked out.
 
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Old 07-24-14, 08:06 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

caffeine1.... I'm pretty sure cartman nixed the screw-type cable ties in favor of a metal rack system where he could tie right to the rack. In post 3 he showed what his plan was.

You're right about the screws stripping out in the wood. That's why I mentioned using the cable tie mounting blocks where the block stays screwed in place and just the tie gets cut.
 
 

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