Studs pulled out of particle board

sigh A bit of a disaster. I was putting together a wardrobe I got from Ikea. It uses stud that screw into the particle board and which have nifty little locking things for the other end. Well, this thing was a little heavier than I thought and it got away from me. Parallelogramed on me and pulled out the studs. (The pictograms indicate this is a two-person operation, but I don’t have that option.) I don’t want to make a 200 mile round trip to Ikea, or else go up to Canada for the nearer one.

How about if I fill the wholes with five-minute epoxy and put the studs back in? Will that work? Has anyone experience with this?

I’d love to help, but I have absolutely no idea what you mean by the word ‘stud.’ Pictures, or better definitions or something would clear up the confusion.

(And for all the smartasses out there who are thinking of sending me porn, bah.)

More or less cylindrical, bolt-like pieces of metal about 50mm long that are threaded at one end so as to be screwed into holes in the particle board component. The opposide end is undercut – think of a rimless rifle cartridge – that is inserted into a hole in another component. A cap-like thing secures it when a screwdriver is twisted to engage the cap’s internal threads with the end of the stud.

Get yourself some Plastic Wood™ filler. Fill the holes and fit the studs back in and let it harden up overnight. Great stuff; it’s saved my ass on more than one occasion.

These are called cam-lock fasteners, by the way. Commonly used in RTA furniture.

Here’s a picture not for what I have, but it shows the studs. In the part that shows the hardware, the stud is in the upper-left corner. The cap-thing is second from the right, between the wooden dowel and the nail.

I want to secure the threaded part of the studs to the particle board where they were pulled out.

I don’t think an epoxy putty would do the trick - you’d want something that’s more liquid to make a bond with more of the matrix of the particleboard. And I don’t know, off the top of my head, any liquid epoxies that are wood compatible. My understanding is that some epoxies can be very bad for wood fibers.

In general, my experience with particleboard is that once something pulls out of the particle board matrix, you’re not going to be using those holes again for anything useful. But, I’d also never been particularly motived for more expensive and esoteric repairs like you’re considering.

On preview - Q.E.D.'s suggestion sounds much better than epoxy.

Thanks. Now that I think of it, I would have called them Dzus fittings had I not been pissed off.

I was just thinking of mixing up some 5-minute epoxy (liquid, as you mentioned) and putting it in the holes with the original metal studs.

Ok, that was approx what I was thinking you were talking about, but I wasn’t sure.

You can try wood glue with sawdust to fill in the hole to try again.

You can do additional bracing by screwing triangular pieces of wood between the two perpendicular pieces at the 45 degree joint. You can also try toe-screwing, but with particle board, I would recommend additional bracing.

Particle board is really a pain once it starts tearing out. I’s suggest getting a small bottle of Gorilla Glue. It actually foams and expands into the surrounding material.

I’ve never used Gorilla Glue. Would it work better than epoxy? (I haven’t gone to the hardware store yet. Unfortunately my local one is closed, so I’ll have to go to Home Despot.)

Gorilla Glue is a polyurethane adhesive which works very nicely with wood substrates. It foams and expands while curing, so you’d need to lightly clamp the stud portions in place lest the adhesive partially expel them. Don’t use too much, or you’ll have a mess, and take proper precaution to avoid it going where you don’t want it. Lightly dampen the torn out holes with a q-tip in water immediately before applying the glue. After 24 hours, trim off excess dried adhesive. Good luck.

I ended up using 30-minute epoxy because I don’t have any clamps for the Gorilla Glue. It turns out though that the epoxy takes 30 minutes to set, the article can be ‘handled’ after 7 hours, and it takes 24 hours for a ‘full cure’. So I’ve missed my window for putting the wardrobe together this week. It will have to wait until Friday. (The epoxy is in, but I want it as strong as possible before I try again.)

I’m going to try a different tack this time. Instead of assembling it on its side, which requires that I turn it upright and 90º, I’ll assemble it upright. I can brace it against a cabinet, put the other side and top on, and then have a clear shot at nailing on the back without moving it. Then it’s just a matter of rotating it 180º.

Sometimes just shifting them a couple feet can break out the pegs. Experience talking here.

I would do it with epoxy - a fairly runny and slow-setting one if available - to give it time to soak into the fibres and thus create a more inegral bond - slop the stuff onto all mating surfaces, reassemble the fragments, then clamp it all up nice and tight between flat boards - using polythene between the extra boards and the joint - as epoxy won’t stick to polythene.

Wear some disposable latex gloves for the job, and make sure you have everything you need laid out and prepared before you mix the epoxy.

Wow, I didn’t realize Ikea furniture was so cheaply made. Most of the stuff I assemble is Sauder, and they don’t use those styles of fasteners (that I have been able to tell. The stuff that I have seen using those cam-lock fasteners has given me nothing but trouble over the years. those little thinigies always start to pull out of the particelboard after a while.

I just put a Sauder TV stand together this weekend and can vouch for it using quite a few of the cam-fasteners. The material itself seems somewhat stronger than particleboard–it got away from me at one point too and no damage was done.

I’ve actually had very good luck with Ikea furniture. My bed has a solid pine frame, and it’s lasted about ten years now. The bed I got in L.A., which is now in the room that’s getting the wardrobe, is particle board with laminated surfaces. It too, is quite sturdy. Shelves, tables… all sturdy. But the wardrobe has temporarily defeated me. The components are heavy; long, but thin. If I had had another person there to assist, there would have been no problem. It’s just that Ikea items, like anything you put together yourself, is strongest when it’s all put together. Once the back is on the unit will be quite stiff. (I may put a metal crossbrace on the back as extra insurance.)

I only need to figure out how to erect it myself. I thought of buildint it upright. I have a C-stand (a piece of filmmaking equipment) that I could use to hold up the side I’m working on. Only I’d forgotten about the bottom supports and their little dowels that need to go into holes I can’t see. I suppose I could move that end away from the wall so I can finesse them. Or I can lay it down. I’d be lifting it 90° from the way I tried last time, and I think that might work.

In any case, once the back is on it should be OK.

I’m with Gigi, I’ve put together a number of Sauder items for my parents, and every one of them used locking cams. I’m not saying that they’re bad, for it, either - just arguing that the assertion that Sauder is better than Ikea because they don’t use locking cams.

I’ve got a number of Ikea items in my apartment, and they’re all over ten years old. I think the quality is pretty good, actually. Though I did deliberately choose bookshelves that were solid wood, instead of particleboard.

Did you guys look at the cam-lock fasteners that Johnny posted? I’ve never seen those on a Sauder product. But, I have not assembled every Sauder product ever made, either. I have seen the plastic type you stick into the hole and then twist 3/4 turn, which is very common, but not that particular type.