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I’m pulling apart a cabinet to do some work on it and have come across this screw housing (for want of a better word). Does anyone know what it is or, more to the point, how I get it undone? Does the housing pull out or something more elaborate? It’s hard to get in and see but it feels like the screw inside has a hexagonal hole in the head of it, however I can’t get any movement on that with the housing in place. Mystery housing

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  • Hi, welcome to Woodworking. New one on me! This might be a k/d (knockdown) fixing that's rarer, maybe geographically/regionally restricted, or perhaps older (although the material seems to argue against that). Not clear in the photo that the screw does have a hex socket in its head, but if it does just use an Allen key. On a piece of furniture it is relatively unlikely for the fastener to be anything exotic, but could possibly be star or Torx which can look similar if you can't see them clearly (or are worn from a cam-out, although those are unlikely with star-drive fasteners). – Graphus Mar 5 at 8:13
  • Thanks for the response. After your comment about using an Allen key I realised I’d been using the wrong shape one for the job (one without much length before the right-angle). Unfortunately, even using an Allen key with good length on it is problematic- I’m accessing the screw head at a slight angle through the fastener’s opening but as the screw comes out that angle is increasing and I can feel I’m mashing the screw head. Looks like I’ll have to operate on the cabinet fully assembled :( – bcl Mar 5 at 9:40
  • It's so hard to tell but the depression does look awfully shallow in the photo, so maybe it isn't a hex socket at all. Assuming it is though, are sure you're using the right size of Allen key? With both metric and Imperial sizes available it's possible you're using a close size but not one that's an exact fit.... not that all metric ones are made to the same tolerances it must be said! – Graphus Mar 5 at 9:48
  • Yeah, that’s the problem- I simply can’t tell if it’s the Allen key that’s slightly too small or this is happening because I’m unscrewing at an ever increasing angle. The Allen key does feel solidly in there and seems to turn without slippage at first but yes it’s possible it’s still not quite the right size- without visual confirmation it’s just impossible to tell :/ – bcl Mar 5 at 11:19
  • Can you add photos from different angles? It's really hard to tell what the heck we're looking at in that picture. – FreeMan Mar 15 at 17:31

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