I want to build a cabinet with MDF boards like the ones I see at work. They are using some kind of hardware but I'm not able to find any instructions on how it works and I don't know what its name is.


I found the actual screws in hardware store. as you can see below

enter image description here

But the seller doesn't know how to install them. Can someone tell me what is the name, and point me to a guide or video showing how to install them.

  • 1
    Those would be Cam Connectors or Furniture Connectors. This is covered somewhat in this answer: woodworking.stackexchange.com/questions/1451/…
    – Matt
    May 19, 2015 at 13:13
  • this May 19, 2015 at 18:19
  • @DigitalTrauma One of the reason that hardware is considered bad is covered by that white expansion piece (which is not covered in the article).... so it's not completely terrible. The other comment was about how the end user installs it which is not the complete fault of the manufacturer. That and the op is referring to MDF in his post. Still a good read at least. I wonder what IKEA is cooking up.
    – Matt
    May 20, 2015 at 15:21
  • @DigitalTrauma - That was a pretty lame excuse for an article. :/ Not blaming you for it (unless your real name is Rain Noe.)
    – FreeMan
    Apr 29, 2016 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


What you have there

The names of those are Cam Fittings, Furniture connectors or Flat pack connectors or variations of those phrases. These are a favorite amongst economical furniture suppliers (IKEA is a good example) as it enables the consumer to build it themselves.

These are typically used for joining wood at a 90 degrees. While they are not the strongest join they are great for easy reassembly.

It's also worth mentioning that they are used not just in MDF but particle board as well. If I had to guess that is what is actually under that veneer.

Video Tutorial

I found a simple video that explains using specific hardware but the logic is the same. I don't think it is possible to provide detailed measurement based instructions since I do not know the dimensions of your hardware but the basics are you need to make 3 holes.

Basic Design

Warning: Ignore the measurements on the pictures below. Those were designed for specific hardware and might not match what you have purchased. Those shots were included for clarity and nothing more.

The larger hole, in the picture below, is where the screw will be eventually placed. The smaller hole is where the bolt will slide through.

Bolt path and nut housing

The connecting piece will be where the bolt is fastened to. This will pair up with the smaller hole in the picture above. The white piece is an expander that would go into this hole and helps hold the bolt in place

Bolt anchor location

This next picture show the two blocks "assembled" together.

Board position before final assembly

All images were taken from the House of Hacks video linked above

In general, you want all of the holes to be perfect 90 degree angles. Using a drill press would be an obvious tool but space might not allow you that luxury. The suggestions from How do I ensure my drill is perfectly vertical before cutting a hole in my desk? would be a good resource to consider.

There is strength in numbers so it is best to have several along the length of the join. I have not found a good reference for how many. I should think at least 1 every 3 feet with a minimum of one on each end (Speculation). Using some dowels a spacers will help stop lateral movement and are and easy addition. If you do use dowels remember to only glue one end ( if any ) to allow for dis-assembly.

Matching the holes is important but you are allowed some margin for error as the bolt will assemble to the nut at a slight angle.

At this time I do not know the significance of the white part. Possibly a guide for the bolt. Will have to research.

  • 1
    I also suggest some dowels for strength, the screw will fit losely in the hole and may cause swaying on a pivot at the cam. A set of dowels will reinforce the corner a bit. May 19, 2015 at 13:57
  • 1
    That was going to be an edit of mine. Thanks. Apparently I have a job besides this so it takes a bit.
    – Matt
    May 19, 2015 at 14:02
  • Actually knockdown hardware does make for a strong joint, allowing veneered particle board and MDF furniture such as bookshelves to hold many hundreds of pounds with only a handful of hardware. The weakness is in the material or application--for example, if subjected to sufficient racking force, threads can strip out their holes and the cam locks can come loose. The piece of wood-grain cardboard that you're supposed to nail to the back of a particle board bookcase reinforces the bookcase against racking.
    – rob
    May 19, 2015 at 14:57
  • @rob Like you I was more trying to suggest that they could not stand on their own as the sole means of joinery. Think I will add a little about that.
    – Matt
    May 19, 2015 at 15:28
  • @Matt it depends on the design and application, just as if you were using pocket screws. I wouldn't be surprised to find that knockdown hardware is stronger than pocket hole joinery. If the design inherently has sufficient reinforcement against racking, knockdown hardware can certainly serve as your only joinery method. However, it is rather ugly, so you probably want to make it inconspicuous.
    – rob
    May 19, 2015 at 17:17

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