I’m looking for a quick, simple way to elongate screw holes when I attach a solidwood top to a piece of furniture.

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Use a sharp twist bit to hog out wood for a screw slot. Make sure to keep it in line with the starter holes so the screw can slide easily as the solidwood top swells and shrinks.

Q:

I'm looking for a quick, simple way to elongate screw holes when I attach a solidwood top to a piece of furniture.
—Jon Toft, Overland Park, Kansas

A:

Here's how we made 12 "-long slots to receive #8 screws for a recent project, Jon. With a 316 " twist bit mounted in the drill press and a fence in place to keep the holes aligned, we drilled three holes for each slot: one in the center and one at each end. Then, we chucked the same bit into a portable drill, placed the part on scrap, pulled the trigger, and rocked the bit against the remaining waste until we had a complete slot. Work carefully, and you'll get a clean, straight result.

Align each slot so that it runs perpendicular to the top's grain lines. All significant wood movement occurs across the grain.