When assembling furniture, having the right connectors is crucial for creating sturdy joints and seamless assembly. Furniture connectors come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials to accommodate different furniture styles and construction needs.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the most common types of connectors used in furniture making and assembly.
Furniture Panel Clips
Furniture panel clips create strong connections between vertical panels, like cabinet sides, and horizontal panels like shelves and tops.
Popular options include:
90 Degree Angle Brackets
These metal brackets join two panels at a 90 degree angle. The flat sides screw into the panels, while the bent corner piece joins them. Angle brackets work for many basic cabinet constructions.
Table Top Fasteners
Designed specifically for securing tabletops, these connectors grip from underneath to attach the top to the aprons or legs. Common choices are Z-clips, figure-8 fasteners, and table top clips.
Mounted to the drawer sides, these allow smooth sliding motion for opening and closing. Full extension slides provide complete access to the drawer interior.
Hettich is a leading brand of sturdy metal brackets for cabinets and furniture. They specialize in 90 degree joints, drawer slides, and hinges.
Furniture Panel Connectors
Panel connectors create joints where furniture panels meet at various angles and intersections:
A tee nut has a rectangular base that slides into a slot in one panel, while the nut receives a bolt through the joining piece. This makes a strong connection.
These join panels at intersections using a threaded bolt that screws into a pre-drilled hole in one panel and a barrel nut embedded in the mating panel.
L-shaped metal braces attach at a 45 or 90 degree angle intersection between two panels. The flat sides screw into each panel.
Pocket Hole Screws
A pocket hole jig allows driving angled screws into one panel so they join securely to an adjoining panel. This creates an invisible joint.
Shelf Pins and Supports
Shelf pins and supports hold shelves or divider panels securely at adjustable heights:
Metal Shelf Pins
These slide into pre-drilled holes in cabinet sides or bookcase frames. Shelves rest on the pins.
Floating Shelf Brackets
Brackets designed for floating shelves have a discreet L-shape. One leg mounts to the wall while the other supports the shelf.
Mid-Span Shelf Supports
Placed underneath, these provide support at the midpoint between two panels or cabinets so shelves don’t sag.
Glass Shelf Brackets
Clear acrylic or metal shelf brackets nearly disappear while securely supporting glass shelves.
Furniture Legs and Feet
Legs and feet lift furniture off the floor and provide stability:
Inserts go inside the legs to receive bolts through pre-drilled holes in the furniture frame or apron.
Adjustable feet compensate for uneven floors. Just twist to raise or lower each leg.
U-shaped tubular metal legs give furniture a light, airy look. The top curves attach with screws.
Sofa and Table Legs
Traditional turned wood legs, tapered square legs, or sleek metal legs come in many styles for upholstered furniture and tables.
Specialty Furniture Hardware
Beyond basic connectors, some unique specialty hardware includes:
Drawer and Door Pulls
Decorative hardware pulls add visual interest and make doors and drawers easy to open by hand.
Catches and Stays
Keep doors and lids securely closed with magnetic catches, hydraulic stops, or friction stays.
A wide selection of hinges is available for doors, lids, drop-fronts, and flip-down surfaces.
Sliding Door Hardware
Special track sets allow doors and shelves to smoothly slide open and closed.
Choosing the Right Connectors
With many types of connectors to choose from, consider factors like:
- Furniture style and aesthetics
- Strength needed for the joint
- Ease of installation
- Visibility of the finished connector
With the proper furniture connectors installed correctly, your finished furniture will have clean lines, sturdy joints, and flawless functionality. Be sure to use quality hardware designed for furniture making to get professional results.
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