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neb



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Topic # 204721 14-Oct-2016 13:18
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I've recently acquired a flat-pack cupboard that's assembled using dowels and cam locks (ugh).  Since this looks like it could come apart with a strong bump, I was wondering what people's opinions were on improving the joins using wood glue around the dowels and something like loctite (or some equivalent thread locker that costs less per ml than Chanel #5) on the cam locks.  How do people otherwise patch up these things to improve the solidity?


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  Reply # 1651038 14-Oct-2016 13:23
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Ive never felt the need to, the camlocks have always been sufficient. It can take quite a bit of force to get them to click into place, but once there they seem solid as.

 

Perhaps you just have a nasty one that uses inferior hardware?





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  Reply # 1651040 14-Oct-2016 13:28
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It looks OK, but I'm used to glued+screwed stuff, not a few dowels and some cam locks.  It just all feels a bit flimsy, so before I assemble it and fill it with a ton of stuff I thought I'd do a sanity check on whether I'm being too paranoid or not.  Those dowels look like they'll be supporting an awful lot of strain.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1651052 14-Oct-2016 13:31
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The only issue I have had with a cupboard has been when the sides flexed with the door opening, the adjustable shelves would fall off the silly little pins that hold them up. I have a couple of cheap warehouse $100 cupboards and have no problems other than that, and once I had the hinges adjusted right the sides didnt get flexing with the door so the dropping shelf problem stopped.

 

The one in the kitchen I put L brackets onto the shelf to hold it before realizing that it was a hinge adjustment issue, and that really did stiffen the sides up.





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  Reply # 1651053 14-Oct-2016 13:32
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I've never done anything like that myself but wonder if a dab of hot glue in the right place might just be enough.

 

Just some on the inside of the hole, then when you lock the cam and it dries, would prevent it from turning too easily?

 

My biggest problem is cams breaking if overtightened. Luckily you can buy bagfuls from Aliexpress for next to nothing.


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  Reply # 1651064 14-Oct-2016 13:33
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OK, maybe I'm being paranoid.  It's a credenza which will have a large hutch put on top of it and the whole lot filled with junk, so I want to make sure it's pretty solid.


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  Reply # 1651066 14-Oct-2016 13:36
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lurker:

 

I've never done anything like that myself but wonder if a dab of hot glue in the right place might just be enough.

 

Just some on the inside of the hole, then when you lock the cam and it dries, would prevent it from turning too easily?

 

 

Yeah, that would do it, and it's vastly cheaper than any of the thread locker compounds.  So I'll wood-glue the dowels, maybe silicone the cam-lock screws, and then use a dab of hot glue to lock the cams into place.


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  Reply # 1651067 14-Oct-2016 13:36
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Its probably particle board covered in a PVC foil, so the cam lock will be the strongest part of the whole thing.

 

Just watch for the shelves sagging over time making them fall out, I have to periodically turn the ones in my cheap bookcases over so that they then sag the other way. One day will get something made out of steel and glass, but for now the $40 pieces of crap will do.





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  Reply # 1651069 14-Oct-2016 13:39
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I can gladly say that I have never experienced this, my wife is great at this sort of thing so she does it.





Mike
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  Reply # 1651071 14-Oct-2016 13:40
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richms:

 

Its probably particle board covered in a PVC foil, so the cam lock will be the strongest part of the whole thing.

 

 

It's actually fairly substantial (25mm top, 20mm sides) plastic-covered MDF, the dowels look downright puny in comparison.  In any case though I think I've got it sorted, wood glue + hot glue to lock the cams, that should do it.


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  Reply # 1651072 14-Oct-2016 13:44
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If the post title is the answer, then the question is:

 

"What is cruel and unusual punishment?"





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  Reply # 1651073 14-Oct-2016 13:44
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I do try to avoid this kind of furniture, but my sister-in-law keeps buying it and expecting me to assemble.

 

TBH, the connectors are not the weakest link, the 'timber' is. If you were to nudge it, long lengths of tacky particle board will flex, and screws might rip out of the board. Therefore gluing/threadlocking the cams won't help. Gluing along the edges of panels where they join (i.e. not just the dowels/screws/cams) might help a bit, but this depends on what finish they have. The Warehouse stuff is finished in paper, which might absorb the glue well. Stuff finished in plastic/melamine might not.

 

Most important thing is lots of nails spread out in the back bracing


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  Reply # 1651093 14-Oct-2016 14:13
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As long as the wood is MDF, and not that cheap n nasty pretend-particle wood, it should be OK.

 

I've had the cams break through the top on the cheap particle board stuff if loaded up too much. After all, who would load up a bookshelf with books !!!

 

And even 1/2 inch MDF will sag under weight, especially if the shelves are quite long and not secured on the back edge. Even if secured on the back edge, it will develop a lean towards the front.

 

 





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  Reply # 1656350 22-Oct-2016 20:22
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So it's now assembled, with the dowels wood-glued and every other join held with Liquid Nails (alongside the cam locks). This probably isn't going to come apart in a hurry. Apart from that it's pretty solidly made, 20mm throughout except the top which is 25mm, the whole thing weighs a ton.

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