In the Shop: Using plastic fastener joinery

There has been a lot of excitement over the past year about new plastic connectors for ready-to-assemble joinery. Several manufacturers have introduced intriguing options, but most require the precision of CNC manufacturing to cut the joinery to accept these fasteners. Not so with new OVVO Connection System.

Designed to be either a permanent or releasable RTA joinery system, the OVVO connectors install in a mortise that’s basically a keyhole cut. It allows the flanges of the connectors to snap securely into the material (MDF, plywood, or solid wood all work). That keyhole slot can be cut effortlessly on a CNC with the right bit, but OVVO worked with Virutex to introduce a new router tool to cut the slot by hand. That makes this new joinery accessible to any shop.

Cutting slots

Using the Virutex AB181 router, it’s easy to lay out and cut the slots for the OVVO connectors. You can lay out the positions much as you would for biscuit joints and use a center line indicator on the router. Or you can usepositioning pins on the router to locate the cuts precisely from the left and right edges of your workpiece.

Either way, the machine makes quick work of cutting the fastener slots. An onboard dust collection port helps clear most of the dust from the cuts, but you’ll probably need to vacuum the mortises to clear all the dust. The machine is straightforward to use and even has arrows to remind you the correct cut direction of travel.

It’s a snap

Once slots are cut, a simple hand tool presses the fasteners into place. For releasable application, you use three fasteners. One is split, with both sides the same. This receives the tenon piece. The third type is similar to the first, but has one side open to release the tenon.

All three parts snap in place with a solid click, so you know they’ve seated. When parts are assembled, you hear the same click. For releasable applications, sliding the parts about ¾-inch disengages the tenon so the parts can be separated.

Whether you use CNC or manual options, the OVVO fastener system is definitely worth considering if you want to get into the new world of plastic RTA fasteners, and the Virutex router makes it accessible for any shop. You can learn more at



Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user willsampson
About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editorial director of Woodworking Network and FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.