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.


Karin L

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Yeah that thing!!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 6:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

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
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
protecting black walnut salt and pepper mill
Hi all, Just got a set of gorgeous discontinued William...
black lacquer touch-up
how do i touch-up black lacquer furniture? Small areas...
Can this door be repaired?
We're renovating a 1920 house and this bedroom door...
Varnish cracking and brittle on table with Inlay work
The varnish or poly is looking so bad I want to redo...
Pear tree wood
Is their any value in Pear tree wood? My mother has...
Pooh Bear
Sponsored Products
Hudson Valley Belmont 9"W Polished Nickel Ceiling Light
Lamps Plus
Heavy Duty Attached Lid Storage Containers - 8.75
$29.50 | FRONTGATE
Solid Brass Mortise Hinge
Signature Hardware
Screen Wall Sconce by Luceplan
$194.99 | Lumens
Blazing Needles Spun Poly 3-seater Outdoor Bench Cushion
Knoll | Tulip Stool
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™