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, 2019 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, 2019 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. Mar 26, 2019 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? Mar 26, 2019 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. Mar 26, 2019 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


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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