Flat Pack Furniture Assembly

Reinforce joints when assembling flat-pack furniture

Reinforce the joints when assembling flat-pack furniture. Flat-pack furniture is often flimsy, but you can easily strength it by adding 1x2s or 2x2s and glue to joints.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Reinforcing flat-pack furniture during assembly

Flat-pack furniture is the type that comes in a flat box and requires assembly. Some brands are better than others, but cheaper versions can get wobbly or fall apart the first time you move them. That doesn’t always mean the furniture is a total loss. With some 2x2s and 1x2s, screws and a bit of glue, you can reinforce and save the piece to live another day. It’s the connections that generally fail because the particleboard just isn’t as strong as real wood. Use any or all of these tips to strengthen the connections and help your furniture last.

Strengthening tips:

  • Choose 2x2s that are straight. No twists.
  • Use construction adhesive or polyurethane glue wherever finished surfaces meet each other or meet raw wood.
  • Use wood glue for joining raw wood surfaces.
  • Use screws with matching finish washers for exposed screws.
  • If the whole piece is wobbly, disassemble the whole piece to remove the back. Then use glue instead of nails to reattach the back.
  • Bar clamps will make many of the fixes much easier.

Flat-Pack Furniture Assembly Details

Reinforce flat-pack furniture during assembly or later with 1x2s, 2x2s, glue and screws.

Technical drawing showing flat-pack furniture reinforcing details Flat-pack furniture reinforcement details
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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Caulk gun
  • Drill/driver, cordless
  • Drill bit set
  • One-handed bar clamps
  • Wood glue

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Screws
  • Finish washers
  • Construction adhesive
  • Polyurethane glue