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I bought a 54" desk from a local Walmart, more specifically a BH&G cube organizer desk. While I was putting it together and following the instructions, I realized that the cam locks weren't joining with the screws no matter how far anti-clockwise I turned the screwdriver. This was strange since in a previous step, I managed to screw the cam locks and screws in place without any trouble. However, on further inspection, I realized that I had accidentally placed the problem cam locks further into their holes than I should have, where they normally only go in as far as the thread.

I tried to remove them with a screwdriver, but they don't seem to make any noticeable progress out of the hole. I tried lightly tapping the other end of the desk piece with a hammer, but that doesn't seem to work either. They seem to be really stuck in there. I'm just wondering how I would be able to fix this, any help is appreciated. Pictured below is a cam lock I managed to pop out with a screwdriver, a spare nail and luck, and a cam lock that's still burrowed in one of the holes.

A cam lock in its hole

A cam lock

  • Got pics? There are various types of cam-lock hardware. Seeing it might help us provide suggestions. – isherwood Mar 25 at 18:23
  • Try to tap with a hammer in the opposite direction. For instance, if you are holding the piece with the cam-hole facing down and you want the cam lock piece to fall down, you have to tap the piece of wood upwards. – JPhi1618 Mar 25 at 18:31
  • I edited my post and added pictures. And I tried the recommendation of tapping in the opposite direction and it didn't seem to budge. – Colton Wooten Mar 26 at 0:03
  • That hole doesn’t go all the way through does it? I ask because it looks really deep compared to the thickness of the board. Also, the cam should spin freely, are you able to spin it without issue? – UnhandledExcepSean Mar 26 at 0:13
  • The hole ie deep, but it doesn't go all the way through. I believe it stops just before the other side. And the lock spins freely, it's just really snug inside the hole. – Colton Wooten Mar 26 at 0:33
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Put some hot glue on the end of a dowel or other stick and put it in the hole. Give it a minute to dry then gently rotate the stick (and cam) while pulling it out. Hot glue would be a quick fix, but next step is a stronger glue that might take longer.

Final options - try to drill a hole into the center of the cam lock and threat a small screw into it and pull it out. Or, if it's not in a very visible spot, drill a small hole in the opposite side and poke out the cam lock with a wire or pin. Last method is fast, but will leave a visible hole on the "finished" side.

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