Lamello, the inventor of what has become commonly known as biscuit joinery, has long worked to expand the versatility of what can be accomplished with this kind of joinery. Most recently those advances have introduced new fasteners for ready-to-assemble joinery, including the Clamex system, which previously reviewed here, and the new Clamex P system. The latter introduced a sophisticated ridged RTA fastener, but it had to be installed in a slot cut by a CNC machine. Not anymore.

 

Now paired with the new Zeta plate joiner, this clever and secure fastening system can be used by any shop. It can be done as easily as regular biscuit joints, and it has the potential to offer a whole new range of assembly and joinery options to cabinet shops.

 

What is Clamex P? 

  

OK, maybe we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves. Before we get to the new Zeta joiner, we need to talk about the Clamex P system. This is joinery accomplished with fasteners that look much like half the familiar football-shaped biscuits. Except these black plastic half-moon fasteners also have a metal rotating hook in one side that can be cammed to securely lock onto a mating part.

 

OK, maybe we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves. Before we get to the new Zeta joiner, we need to talk about the Clamex P system. This is joinery accomplished with fasteners that look much like half the familiar football-shaped biscuits. Except these black plastic half-moon fasteners also have a metal rotating hook in one side that can be cammed to securely lock onto a mating part.

 

 The earlier Clamex fastners used a similar system, but the fasteners had to be secured in place with screws, adding an extra time-consuming stem in the process. The profile of the new Clamex P fasteners is more like a T-shape, so when they slide into their half-oval slots, a ridge holds them in place very securely without any screws. Unlike normal dowel-based RTA systems, Clamex is self aligning and so requires fewer holes to be cut.

 

Alternative to CNC 

 

But making that T-shaped oval slot was a trick that only could be accomplished with a CNC machine and a special cutter. With the introduction of the Lamello Zeta machine, this joint can easily be cut just as easily as a standard biscuit joint.
The Zeta machine looks a lot like a regular Lamello plate joiner with a few more whistles and bells. Closer examination shows the bigger mouth and unusual toothed cutter. But we found the machine really not significantly different in use from regular biscuit joinery.

 

The kit also includes a great simple drilling jig that makes it a snap to drill the access holes for the allen wrench used to tighten or loosen the Clamex P connectors.

 

This is an exciting advance for plate joinery and opens up a wide avenue of new options for shops. It’s fast, avoiding clamps. It can be taken apart for flat packing. It is easier to align than most dowel systems. It’s definitely worth checking out. You can learn more at www.cssaw.com.
 

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