I'm going to build a house for a Christmas yard display that I need to assemble and disassemble each year. Is there a way to connect the display without screws, or nails. I don't want it to wearout after so many assemblies and disassemblies over time. I was thinking door hinges then I can just remove the pin each time but is there a better way?

  • 3
    Welcome to WSE. Your question may get better answers if you give more information on what you plan. A sketch or photo of what you generally intend to construct, some general dimensions, anticipated materials, etc. would all help posters give good answers. Otherwise, there are so many ways to approach the project that the responses may not be as helpful.
    – Ashlar
    Jul 3 at 15:53
  • It's hard to say whether a given method is better than hinges or not without more information about what parts you're connecting. You could bolt the house together, or use mortises and tenons, perhaps with locking pins as needed, or modern knock-down hardware, or Velcro strips, and on and on... no method is inherently better than another; it depends on the context.
    – Caleb
    Jul 21 at 6:49

3 Answers 3


Without any details of the construction we can only give the most general advice, but there's no reason you couldn't rely on screws to hold most or all of this together.

Contrary to popular belief, screws can usually be driven in and withdrawn multiple times without issue as long as you're careful. It's generally over-tightening that leads to screws stripping their holes, not merely being reinserted.

But you can do a few things to have more reliable longer service life.

Reinforce the holes
Screw holes can be reinforced by dribbling in superglue/CA to strengthen the wall. This can make holes, even in softwoods and MDF or chipboard/particleboard, surprisingly durable. From what I've seen in workshop jigs and some tools this could double service life, being conservative (my bet would be it's actually significantly more than this).

Use machine screws
The finer threading on machine screws and bolts can actually hold better in wood, particularly in hardwoods (reinforced softwoods probably equate to hardwoods). Even screws that require constant adjustment can last years in hardwoods with the threading either 'forced in', as with normal screwing, or cut/tapped (using a homemade tap, see bonus point in this previous Answer) if preferred.

And beyond this once you're using machine screws it opens up the possibility of using threaded inserts, which in theory at least could give an almost unlimited service life (decades).

Also, magnets for some parts
These days with the easy availability of affordable rare-earth magnets various things that require just a reasonably firm hold can now be arranged using magnets, either acting in pairs or a magnet in one part holding a screw driven into the mating part.


Through bolts with washers and nuts could be used in many situations. This way there is no worry whatsoever about the wood as there is no mechanical reliance on the wood to hold the fasteners.

Of course, with no additional detail, there's no telling if this would work for your situation.


Use Hinges

I assume that what you planning is something like a ginger bread house, or perhaps a creche. I further assume that you envision a structure made of panels that are basically flat that will be joined along there edges, and you make no pretense of something being weather-tight..

One solution would be to use hinges with removable pins. When you obtain the hinges make sure the pins are removable. The hinges can be screwed permanently to the panels when you first build the structure, then when you want to dismantle it, you can simply remove the hinge pins. Next time you want to erect the structure, line up the hinges and reinsert the pins, voile done.

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