Tips for Using Fasteners as Temporary Joints

Knock-down fasteners create temporary joints for furniture. They long have been used on projects ranging from store-bought bookcases to decks.
drill all the way through both blocks

drill all the way through both blocks

Standard Knock-Down Barrel Fastener

Start with a bit that matches the smaller barrel. Drill all the way through both blocks. For the wider barrel, use a wider bit with a flag on it that advises how far to drill. This fastener can be taken apart easily with an Allen wrench.

Single-Blind Barrel Fastener

determine location for hole of barrel nut

determine location for hole of barrel nut

Determine the location for the hole for the barrel nut on the end of the fastener. Then, drill the hole. (Accuracy is important when determining where to drill the holes for the pieces of the fastener. Drilling too far into the board or not far enough will cause the head of the fastener to be misaligned).

Determine the location where the hole will need to be drilled into the end of the board directly over the first hole. On a drill press, stand the board on one end and drill the hole.

Find and mark the center of the second board. Measure how far down into the piece the hole should be drilled for the head of the fastener.

Drill the hole; push the head of the fastener through the hole, then through the hole in the end of the first board. Finally, attach the nut in place.

Cam and Stud Fastener

turn cam piece with screwdriver

turn cam piece with screwdriver

The cam drops into a hole in one board. The screw is then threaded through the second board. The stud on the end of the screw fits into a hole in the first board and into the opening in the cam nut. Turn the cam piece with a screwdriver locking it onto the stud and pulling the joint together.

Dog Bone Fastener

dog bone fastener used to connect corners

dog bone fastener used to connect corners

To connect corners use a dog bone fastener. Miter the corners of the 'L' and use a forstner bit to drill two large clearance holes, one in either piece of wood. Use a spiral saw or a chisel to cut a connecting groove between them. Drop the dog bone into the holes then tighten the fastener together with a wrench.

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