Button-Fix: New plastic joinery system
The Button-Fix plastic fastener system includes a variety of button-shaped fasteners and mating plates, as well as alignment tools.

It seems every day brings a new plastic cabinetry joinery system. The latest I’ve tried originated from the UK, and it’s called Button-Fix.

Button-Fix gets its name from the round, button-shaped connector that is at the heart of the system. The buttons mate with a variety of other fixtures to create secure cabinet and panel joinery that snaps together. The buttons and fixtures themselves are attached to parts with screws, and alignment tools are provided to make installation precise without need for CNC machines or special tools.

Just a snap

Grooves in the edge of the button mate with flanges in the joinery fixtures to create a snap lock when two parts are pressed together. For extra strength, some of the fixtures are designed so they can be inlet into oval rebates that could be cut with a router and jig or programmed to be cut on a CNC.

Some of the fixtures are designed for parallel panels, so they would be great for use on cabinet end panels or for decorative architectural panels. You would simply locate the panel and slide it to snap the fasteners and lock it in place.

For 90-degree joinery applications, the button on one part slides into the claw-shaped fixture on the mating part. Again, just a snap is all it takes to lock the part in place

In a 90-degree joint, the Button-Fix button snaps into a claw-shaped fixture.

How does it work?

One of the handy things available with Button-Fix are parts that have pin locaters. You simply install one half of a joint then use the pin locaters to press into the mating part, showing exactly where screws need to go. Buttons are also available for use with screws used for 32mm system holes.

We found there was some slop in a single joint, but the addition of more Button-Fix fasteners added measurably to the strength and durability of the joinery, particularly when 90-degree cabinet joinery was involved.

Because the system requires no special tools, it is definitely worth considering for small shops without CNC, but it might also be attractive for CNC capable shops. The fasteners are available from several distributors in North America, including Lee Valley and Hafele. For more info, visit www.button-fix.com.


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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.