The types of connectors used in furniture manufacture depend on the material used, the style of the furniture and the budget of the project. High-end furniture is typically made with solid wood and the connectors are usually wood dowels, screws or exposed brass connectors. Less expensive furniture typically utilizes veneered wood or Formica laminated particle board with simple, hidden screw connectors. The furniture-in-a-box trend is continuing with new furniture increasingly assembled at home using a variety of connectors.
Wood dowel furniture connectors are used to join two pieces of wood together and are usually made of the same kind of wood the furniture is made of. Holes are drilled between the joints and the dowels are set with glue. Fluted wood dowels allow for more glue to penetrate and are used for hidden structural connections.
Barrel Nut Cross Dowels
Metal barrel nut cross dowels are used to make knockdown furniture, that is, furniture which can be easily disassembled. These connectors are used to join the flat end of a board with the butt end of another board. A wider shallow hole is drilled for the barrel nut and a longer narrow hole is drilled for the cross connector, which can either be a screw or a bolt depending on the system.
Melamine and MDF Fasteners
Melamine and MDF (Medium-density fiberboard) are synthetically produced particle boards are all fairly inexpensive, strong and don't need painting. A unique screw-in fastener was developed that grips these materials very well and can be removed if desired. All you need to do is to drill a pilot hole with a countersink that matches the screw and then drive it in tightly.
Folding table and desk hinges are typically mounted on the underside of furniture while butler tray table hinges are specially made for a flush installation in a table or desk top. Piano hinges, as the name implies, are used to open large, heavy piano lids but they're also used on toy chests and even small jewelry boxes. Glass door hinges are frequently used in cabinet making and are especially designed to grip thin glass sheets without drilling into the glass.
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