taking apart mdf cabinet - mystery fasteners

karinlAugust 8, 2012

Hi, my parents have a particle board cabinet that needs to come apart for transport (OK, I am praying that it can come apart for transport). I am familiar with regular KD fasteners but we can't figure these out.

From the outside of the cabinet, no fasteners are visible. Inside, from the underside of the top and of each shelf, there are these very strange plastic caps, with slots, recessed in a 3/4-1" hole. I'm sorry my photo of the inside of the cabinet is a bit fuzzy (wasn't wearing my glasses, sorry!), but you might get the general idea.

The caps will turn a bit, but won't come out, and we have no idea what is under them. Are the caps the fasteners, or are there screws of some sort underneath?

We are hesitant to force the caps off without understanding what they are or what they are intended to do. Wondering if anyone can provide some guidance for detaching them.

Thanks,

Karin L

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Fori is not pleased

I might have something like that (mine are metal). Mine are kinda like barrel nuts. But not exactly. You turn them and they let go (or pull in) a pin coming in to the side of them from the other piece.

Can you turn them at all? Mine have a tiny arrow that you point to the pin thing when they're unlocked. There's nothing like good terminology!

I dunno. But it's a similar type of furniture...flat pack self assembly.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 11:58PM
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karinl

Oh, an alignment thing! What a good idea. We'll look for that next time we're over there. We can turn some of them a bit, but turning doesn't seem to make them go in or out at all - that is, they don't seem to be threaded.

They're not barrel nuts (new word for me) because I think you'd see those from another side. But the idea that something has to be aligned for these plastic caps to come off gives me hope.

Thank you!

Karin L

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 12:50AM
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mongoct

You have a version of this connector, for knockdown assembly:

You rotate the visible head that is in the carcass side as much as you can, then pop the top up vertically. The pin part of the connector is threaded onto the cabinet top and get inserted into a hole drilled in the top edge of the cabinet side. Then you rotate the cam that is inserted in the cabinet side and that captures (or to take it apart, it releases) the rounded head on the pin.

There are different versions of knock-down connectors, so you may not have the exact same on.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 12:56PM
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karinl

Ah, now it's starting to make sense. I did many searches for "MDF fastener" and variations thereof but did not find this one, thank you, Mongoct. For that, and your clear explanation of how it works. Since our cams (helpful word, that) are in the underside of the shelves, not on the sidewalls, something is likely to be different, but understanding what variations there are is going to help.

Karin L

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Fori is not pleased

Yeah that thing!!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 6:35PM
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karinl

Having now had it out with the cabinet, we figured out that they are indeed plastic cams, and the cabinet came home in one piece because they would not come out. PLASTIC CAMS ARE A BAD IDEA! I will get some photos of what I had to do to get some of them out after they cracked, which may have been when my dear old dad decided that if tight was good, tighter must be better, or when we first tried to remove them.

Thank you all so much for the help.

Karin L

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:48PM
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