What are those thingies that screws attach to called?

Not talking about nuts. :slight_smile:

But it’s common in furniture, and some toys, for sections to be attached via a screw and another metal piece which the screw goes into. The way it’s done is that one section has a hole for the screw and the other has a hole, perpendicular to the first one, into which the thingie is inserted and the screw goes into the thingie. The thingie is too big to go out the screw hole, so everything stays in place.

In the case I’m dealing with, the thingie is a cylindar-shaped metal, with the hole for the screw in the curved part of the cylindar shape.

My basic question is what these are called. But the next question is how I can access a replacement piece (I don’t recall these being sold in hardware stores like HD or Lowes).

I believe you’re talking about a Barrel Nut.

Lowes has them in the pull out drawers in the hardware aisle. Home Depot probably has them also.

That’s pretty much what I’m looking for. Thanks!

Welcome. I occasionally make furniture so sometime about 13 years ago I had a very similar question.

The woodworker dot com website has a huge array of fasteners. What Lowes call a barrel nut, they call a steel cross dowel. You can find them near the bottom of this search result:


A similar solution is the Teenut.

Barrel nut, or steel cross dowel, or tee nut: I prefer @SpacemanSpiff_II’s name, thingy.

Tangentially, McMaster-Carr has to be my favorite retailer on the internet. They have basically every tool or piece of hardware imaginable, and a no-nonsense site that has a great search tool and a wealth of data on every component (engineering drawings, and even downloadable CAD models!).

Even just for browsing it is amazing. Sometimes I don’t know what kind of weird fastener or whatever I need, but I’ve often found what I needed even I’d never heard of it before.

They’re not usually the cheapest source out there, but their stock is indeed comprehensive, and they ship extremely quickly from warehouses all over the country. I’m amazed at how quickly things arrive; I tell people they ship your stuff to you before you even order it. :grinning:

Nitpick - nuts go on bolts.

Nuts go on bolts, but not everything a bolt screws into is a nut (though in this case it was actually a nut).

Yup. That’s why I only worded it as I did.

Ahh, got it. You’re nitpicking the use of the word screw. Though technically, he’s correct. If he has a screw, then he is definitely “not talking about nuts” :slight_smile: .

That is not correct. At least in my experience, nuts also go on screws, particularly machine screws. That’s also the lingo I see Lowes using. For example Hillman 1/4-in-24 x 2-1/2-in Phillips/Slotted Combination-Drive Machine Screws (2-Count) in the Machine Screws department at Lowes.com

IME, the differences between screws and bolts tend to be 1) screws are (generally) threaded all the way up to the head, while bolts typically have a bit of thread at the end, and more significantly 2) screws are tightened/loosened via indentations in the head (e.g. slotted, phillips, star, square) while bolts have flat heads but which are hexagon shaped and are tightened/loosened via a wrench or hex drive.

Perhaps you’re correct in some technical historical sense, but there’s no doubt that calling machine screws which attach to nuts “screws” is extremely widely done today.