I am an amateur, building a set of kid’s beds. I have prepared side rails, headboard and footboard; I am ready to attach everything. I intend simple end-to-face butt joints with glue and screws.
I am not sure 1. what size screws to use and 2. whether to screw or glue first.
All the wood is 2cm × 4cm pine. The primary tools I have are a borrowed miter saw, clamps, and a drill. I drilled holes in the headboard already. I also (using a regular 10mm bit) cut out countersink for the screw head because in my tests it was hard to get the large heads anywhere near flush and I don’t want to overtension the screws going into the endgrain. If I can cover the screws afterwards, all the better.
My screw options—all in mm—are 5×60, 5×70, 6×60, and 6×80. (These are outer diameters, for 5mm screws I would drill a 4mm pilot hole and for 6mm a 5mm pilot.) I like the idea of beefier, longer screws for strength, but in my tests I found drilling and driving them a bit more challenging. As shown in the close-up I plan to put two at each joint, and the bed doesn’t need to support more than about 100kg. Are the 5×60 screws sufficient?
Screw first or glue first?
I’d like to screw first because I think preparing the pilot holes would be much easier (especially if I use the larger screws) and I could use the screws to hold the pieces together when the glue dries. As pictured, I have everything clamped into place (no glue yet), so it seems like I could start the pilot holes, disassemble, finish the pilot holes, apply the glue, put the screws in, clamp everything, and tighten the screws.
On the other hand, my experience from a few tests is that even when starting a pilot hole with clamped pieces, it’s hard to get the joint lined up nicely, so my feeling is I may be better off gluing first and only later drilling the pilot holes and putting in the screws. The disadvantages of that approach are that I can’t use the screws to apply extra pressure while the glue sets and that I lose 2cm of pilot hole depth due to the thickness of the headboard. (my 4mm bit is only 72mm long)
Any additional advice would be appreciated, but given the constraints of time and location, I am not in a position to use any more advanced tools or materials. (I could easily use small plastic or metal corner brackets if that were preferable, although my planned approach seems more elegant to me.)