Countertop Bolt Systems

Cabinetmakers compare experiences with different undercounter bolt and clamp systems for securing countertop joints. April 29, 2011

Has anyone tried the flipbolt for countertop joints? This is my first time. The ad says fast. You donít have to route the underneath side of the countertop, but you still have to make and install 12 to 16 little blocks, index for them and glue and nail them on very precisely.

Then the fun begins. Just try to get the nut in the right spot. If it is too loose, take the bolt out, turn the nut slightly, put it back in, oops now too tight. Take it back out turn the nut, put it back in, all the while the flip handle is dangling and turning the bolt if you donít hold it just right. After two to three times taking out and back in you finally get the cam to lock - now the next one. If its tighter than the last one, when you press the cam lever down, it sinches up the joint and the first one falls down on your face.

Long story short my bolt jig is faster than 16 little blocks, and once you get the regular bolt in the slot, you turn the nut and can tighten it about ten times faster the flp bolt.
Maybe an old dog canít learn new tricks, but I will never buy these again - extremely frustrating. If anyone has a trick for these, let me know as I have to install a desk next week and that means dealing with the bolts again. I would love to eat my words if there is a trick to these.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
I am assuming that you are using the FastCap flip bolts and you are working under the counter. Never having done this, I wonder if you can use gravity to your advantage. Have you tried flipping the two counter parts over joining them and then turning them right side up and putting/sliding the counter in place?

From contributor R:
Are you sure you don't mortise for the flip bolts?

From contributor M:
We have used these. We still mortised ours in as with the old style. When we tightened the nut enough to actually pull the joint tight about half of the ones we used would end up bending the flip lever. I was very disappointed in these as I have been fairly pleased with everything else I have purchased. I have actually found another fastener that we really like and it's quick. Instead of using a 7/16" wrench these have a hex drive tightening mechanism. You just insert a hex bit in your drill and put in the fastener and tighten away.