How to Make Corner Joints with Nuts and Bolts

  • By: Monica Shulz

Looking for a way to make those corner joints without going through the hassle of welding? That’s possible with the use of just nuts and bolts. What’s more, it is a simple DIY task that doesn’t cost you any extra energy, time, or resources.

Take a look at the simple steps involved.

Find a Pair Of Steel Tubing

Find a steel tube somewhere in your garage or even buy a new one about a foot long. Cut it into two equal parts. Identify the ends of the two tubes that you want to join and angle grind them at an angle of 45 degrees. You can reduce the two metal pieces down further to the size you want.

Lay them on your worktop and test to see how they fit with each other at the angled ends. If you notice some crookedness around the edges, you can smoothen them out further using the grinder.

Assemble the Hinges

Next, look for two identical metal hinge parts, preferably with slanting or slightly raised surfaces and arced ends on one side. Drill two holes on each hinge part, one on the arced end and the other one on the external side of the raised section. Set the hinge parts on your worktop and start assembling them using a bolt and a nut to form a complete hinge.

To assemble the pieces correctly, lay the identical arced ends on each other at the point where the drilled holes sit. Ensure both holes line up perfectly. This arrangement should place the other two upper external holes facing the same direction outwardly from the inside angle. While at it, ensure you lay the two hinge parts at an angle slightly higher than 90 degrees to form a V-shaped hinge.

In that position, grab a bolt that fits the holes and attach its washer. Disrupt your earlier hinge arrangement and attach the base hinge part to the bolt before adding another washer on the opposite side of the hole. Then, set the other hinge part on the protruding end of the bolt to form a complete joint.

Add another washer before finally closing off the joint with a nut. Use a bolt spanner or wrench to hold the bolt head while tightening the nut’s grip with a ratchet wrench. Make sure you tighten the joint firmly but not too tight.

Merge the Pipes

With your v-shaped hinge intact, start inserting the two pipes on each side of the hinge. Make sure to insert them on the angled edges. Once inserted, the pipes should take the V shape of the hinge housed inside them.

The slightly flexible hinge lets you adjust the pipes accordingly until there is no more space, gap, or opening left at the intersection. After confirming the pipes will fit perfectly, proceed to the next modification.

Fasten The Pipes On The Hinge

Start by pulling out one of the pipes while leaving the other one intact with the hinge. Using a caliper, measure the distance from the tip of the V shape where the two pipes connect to the external hole on the elevated section of the metal hinge.

Transfer that same measurement to both metal pipes on the surface with the longest extension. Mark the measurements accordingly for accurate drilling. Next, grab your drilling machine and drill two identical holes on the marked sections of the pipes.

After drilling, reattach the pipes on the hinge in the initial position such that the holes on the pipes align with the external holes on the hinge. Get a pair of steel nails to fill up the holes and act as fasteners between the pipes and the hinge inside them.

Hammer Out The Nails

With the V-shaped setup firmly held in place, start inserting the fasteners. You can use a claw hammer or a club hammer to drive the fasteners deeper into the connection. Remember to be gentle with the force though.

Once your connection is firmly held in place, and the shallow end of the steels nails is completely driven into the hole, use the same hammer to strike off the remaining stem of the nails. This should leave behind a completely sealed-off hole on each of the pipe arms.

This leaves you with a perfect corner joint free of any weld spatters or uneven slags. Just a clean piece for all your DIY fabrication needs.


Did you find this a simpler and exciting alternative to welding? Let me know in the comments section below. Remember to be extra keen with your measurements and drilling. Otherwise, you risk winding up with an unstable corner joint.

If you also like to watch these above steps in a video you can just click play on the Youtube video below. Or better, just check out Adaptors Youtube channel. I also recommend that you subscribe to his channel, because he has a lot of cool DIY videos.

Photos by ADAPTOR / CC BY 3.0