While working in the woodworking and furniture-building industry, you will be surprised by the scale of projects people create. However, no matter the scale, they need the right type of fastener to ensure everything stays in place. From large-scale projects, like furnishing a commercial building, to smaller and personal projects, like DIYing a rocking chair, you need fasteners to ensure your furniture is stable.
The fastener industry has evolved from using only mechanical fasteners like nails, screws, and bolts to hold things together and has found more modern and seamless ways to join pieces. Showing off your craftsmanship and expertise is important when creating furniture, even if you’re a beginner. That’s why providing quality options for all types of customers to use when completing a project is important.
If you own a furniture company and are looking for what furniture connectors to supply or recommend, here’s how to know which furniture fasters are best for your customers.
How To Choose the Best Fasteners
To have exceptional joinery is to have perfect craftsmanship. Using high-quality connectors has always been celebrated. From dovetails to bridle joints, there are many ways to combine your pieces with a coherent and elegant finish. But how do you know which furniture fasteners are the best to use?
Before answering the question, you should ask the customer what they’re creating and their skill level. Some fasteners are more difficult to use than others, depending on your familiarity with the tools, equipment, and supplies needed to assemble your work.
However, reminding them to look up diagrams or tutorials on their desired furniture pieces will help them determine which joinery to use. For example, if they’re connecting chair legs or creating door frames, they can find an illustrated picture listing the recommended fasteners.
The Best Connectors To Use
In the furniture industry, there are various hardware and wooden connectors specifically designed for connecting materials. Fasteners fall into three categories: internal, mechanical, and direct fastening.
- Internal: Installed and covered within the material.
- Mechanical: Connectors that you can tighten and adjust easily.
- Direct: Connectors that are driven through one piece into another, like nails or screws.
Most woodworking fasteners are internal, meaning they are installed out of sight and have a seamless finish. Many furniture manufacturers are starting to provide internal fasteners in ready-to-assemble kits because they’re aesthetically pleasing and easy to use, even for beginners.
Below are a few furniture fasteners you should recommend to your customers for being durable, easy to use, and guaranteeing a long-lasting finish.
These egg-shaped connectors are installed internally, meaning they’re hidden within the material, which can boost the overall look of the furniture piece. This joint is popular when creating coffee tables or tabletops and requires glue to help strengthen the hold. The glue will make the wood swell, which will help secure the bond between the slits of the opposing piece.
One of the easiest furniture fasteners to install is the butt joints. We recommend that our beginner woodworkers use these joints because it involves butting together two pieces of wood. However, these joints are not as strong as the others, so they could use some reinforcement when installed. You can secure these joints using nails, screws, dowels, or heavy glue.
Let’s introduce you to one of the strongest connectors: dovetail joints. This joint is highly recommended because the connected pieces have resistance from being pulled apart. Their trapezoidal shapes connect them, and the joint locks in place once you glue it. Dovetails don’t require mechanical fastening and are permanent after installment. So, it’s always best to do a test run before installing.
Cams and Bolt
For projects that require mechanical furniture fasteners, cam fasteners and bolts get the job done. This fastener offers the option of disassembly and reassembly, which is a plus in case you need to realign. These fasteners are typically used when assembling ready-to-assemble furniture and don’t require special tools. Cam lock nuts and bolts are a great alternative to traditional wooden joints.
Cross Dowel Nut and Bolts
A cross dowel is an alternative nut and bolt that helps keep your furniture assembly strong and in place. These metal-based connectors come in various sizes and diameters for different project requirements. Cross dowels are extremely handy for those performing DIY projects, but you should always use high-quality parts to ensure a sturdy piece of furniture and customer satisfaction.
Systems To Consider
When your customers shop for fasteners and connectors, they may share with you what they’re building and express that they need help finding the best way to get an accurate fit. When creating anything, it’s important that you have precise cuts and fits to ensure that your pieces will come together seamlessly. However, when you’re building furniture, it’s essential. Can you imagine eating at a table with two different leg sizes?
Below are a few modern connector systems to help get an accurate joinery with no skill needed.
For those using mortise and tenon joints, beadlock jigs help you achieve a super strong hold. When using this device, you need only a drill and enough loose tenon stock for your project. However, we don’t recommend this product if you’re working on multiple or large projects. Beadlock jigs are best suited for smaller projects since they are tedious and may take longer to finish.
This woodworking power tool is the perfect solution for getting precise cuts every time. A plate joiner cuts crescent-shaped holes into the opposite pieces of wood to help your biscuit connectors perfectly fit every time.
There are two types of plate joiners to choose from: barrel-gripped or D-handles. Barrel-gripped plate joiners extend from the tool, allowing the user to have more hand room and better control of the tool. However, if you plan on using this tool for an extended period, D-handle is your best option. D-handle plate joiners are more comfortable to hold and use.
For beginners, you should recommend that they use a dowel jig to ensure they get accurate joints every single time. There are various dowel jigs at different price points. We recommend buying different types of jigs to accommodate different skill levels. Whichever kind of jig you purchase, your customers can create better edge joints and build new ones with these tools.
How Can We Help?
When you provide the right furniture connectors, you’ll ensure your customers have long-lasting pieces that won’t fall apart. Working with wood glue, nails, and screws can sometimes be unreliable. Boost your brand awareness and integrity and simplify your customers’ installations by using Knapp Connectors.
We have a large variety of seamless and easy-to-use furniture connectors and fasteners waiting for you! Check out our online store for a specific type of fastener or check out our sample pack. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us today.