Strengthening particleboard butt joints
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Particleboard can be some pretty crappy stuff. Sure, it's cheap…and when covered with veneers or laminates it can be made to look presentable…but what about strength?
The Scandinavians have plenty of answers…in the form of knock-down fittings and other specialized fasteners that will definitely form a strong joint…while weakening your bank account substantially. In fact, some of these ingenious little jewels can run anywhere from about $2 to well over $10 EACH…and that's not small potatoes!
Here's one solution (for joining 3/4" thick boards) . Clamp your two mating boards temporarily together in their desired position. Drill a perpendicular 1/2" diameter hole all the way through your top board and about 1" to 1-1/2" into the edge of your mating board.
Remove the clamp. Glue 1/2" diameter hardwood (grooved) dowels into each hole and carefully sand them off flush with the board's surfaces.
Clamp the pieces back together and drill an appropriately-sized screw pilot hole through the dowel in your top board and three-quarters of the way through the dowel in the bottom (or mating) board.
Using a screw that's about 3/4" to 1" longer that the total length of your two dowels, glue and screw your corner joint together.