Hackers Help: How to remake cam lock holes?

I want to put a 78.5” wide PAX configuration in a 77” space for a kids room. My plan is to eliminate the drawer on the right unit, then cut the shelves and rails to be 1.5” narrower.

How to remake the cam lock holes?

My question is, how do people attach two laminated pressboard IKEA pieces after they’ve cut off the cam lock holes?

How to remake the cam lock holes?

Are they using drills bits and/or tiny hole saws to remake the cam lock holes? Or screws drilled in from the outside with wood glue? The outside pieces won’t be visible in my completed setup so I could go either way.

I’m curious what other people are doing, either I haven’t seen this detail in past IKEA hacks or I haven’t been paying attention.

~ by Jenny


Hi Jenny

The best and tidiest method is to use the cut-off portion as a template to reproduce the same cam lock holes in the correct positions. The right sized drill bits and a Forstner bit should do the trick. A Forstner bit will drill a flat-bottomed hole (as opposed to a regular bit which will give you a pointy bottomed hole). This will hold the cam nut in its new place.

You can also use a dowelling jig but I think it’s pretty unnecessary to buy one unless you have loads of cam lock holes to make.

Here’s a pretty detailed video showing how to reproduce cam lock holes using drill bits and a Forstner bit. You do need to be precise though, if not the cam won’t connect and lock.

How to drill cam lock holes

Sometimes, if I’m lazy, which is most of the time, 🙂 (and the finished piece won’t be disassembled in the future), I’d just join the two sections with countersunk screws. Drilling in from the exterior piece to the inner board, just like you mentioned. Not pretty, but it works too. 

I hope that will help you get started on your project. Let us know how it goes.

Happy hacking,


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