I put together this TV stand, and used a cam/bolt dowel for the first time when I got to the step of attaching the top of the TV stand (A) to the two stand panels (E). Since I assumed the cam had to be as tight as possible and it was fastened by a screwdriver, the first one I fastened I tightened way too hard and it messed the hole up a little bit. It was still tight, but it was a little angular and ugly, but that's fine because it was sturdy as hell. Once I realized not to do that I didn't do it again, but fast forward all the way to the final step of attaching the bottom/base and when I tilted the stand to its upright position and everything looks great except the top is backwards. Now I have to take everything apart, but I'm worried that since I've screwed everything in so tight, including the cam/bolt dowel, that when I put it back together it won't be as sturdy. Is there anything I can do to fix this situation? I'm an idiot.

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    Step 1) disassemble top. Step 2) reassemble top in proper orientation. Step 3) check to see if you have a problem. IF you have a problem, Step 4) edit your post to describe the actual problem. Seriously... You may have damaged the particle board too much to make a secure connection, you may not have. The only way to know for sure it to try it out.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 29, 2018 at 18:38
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    Thanks, I'm new to this board so forgive me if I didn't get to my point quick enough. I am at work but stressing to go home and potentially break my new furniture.
    – HarlemDWB
    Nov 29, 2018 at 18:41
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    It's not about you being new, it's about not stressing over something that might not be a problem at all. Give it a try - either you'll be able to reassemble it without issue or you'll have a bit of a problem. Until you figure out which it is, don't worry! I'd venture that since you say it was "sturdy as hell" you haven't done any significant damage and you'll be able to reassemble with no/minimal problem.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 29, 2018 at 19:04
  • Did you ever get this resolved? If so, please give a check-mark to the answer or write up your own answer explaining what you did to get it fixed and give yourself a check mark. That will help others with this kind of problem know that this has a resolution and is a good place to look for their answer.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 3, 2020 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


It is understandable to be stressed about not breaking your furniture.

These cam locks can be loosened and tightened more than once. The cam can only turn so far with pin inserted into it. Just turn them all 1/4 turn counter clockwise to unlock them from the pin, then you may need to tap lightly from under the top at each of the points where there is a cam lock or dowel. Use a rubber mallet or something that will not dent or leave marks, if you only have a regulare hammer then use a piece of scrap wood to protect the furniture.

When reinstalling the top do the opposite (tap in down). Then turn each cam 1/4 turn clockwise. When you get to the cam that is questionable do not try to take it out as the wood is particle board and you may end up doing more harm then good. Just use the screwdriver to push in as you turn, the pin will prevent the cam from turning to far so snug it up tight but no need to be Hercules just snug to tight not super tight.

What you do not want to do is unnecessarily turn the cams or turn them more then 1/4 turn when the pin is not in them as that may cause excessive wear on the particle board. The hole is sized to fit the cam. Nothing holds the cam in the hole except for the pressure created by the cam's internal machining rotating against the pin.

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