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Cotter Pin Fittings

Cotter Pin Diagram

For centuries before the threaded post came into popularity, the cotter pin fitting was used to fasten bails and posts on cabinetry. Cotter pins and cast teardrops are nearly as old as metalworking. Today they are commonly used for restoration work, as well as on reproduction furniture. Interestingly, many contemporary furniture makers still use them today because the resulting appearance is simple and clean, and very secure.

Drawer pulls with cotter pin fittings are installed as pictured in this diagram.

First, spread the legs of the cotter pin slightly to install the teardrop or wire bail. Then close the cotter pin and push through the pre-drilled hole in the drawer or cabinet. Now spread the protruding points apart and bent the tip of both points 90°. Pre-drill shallow holes to accept the bent tips. Finally, hammer tips into holes.