FastenLink Wins Award at International Woodworking Fair

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Phillip Crabtree’s latest innovation, The FastenLink™ camless, clampless connector system, has been creating quite a buzz in the woodworking industry.

This week, FastenLink™ earned an impressive recognition when it received the prestigious Challengers Distinguished Achievement Award at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, the industry’s largest tradeshow.

FastenLink won for its patent-pending fastening system. Pictured with the award are Phill Crabtree, Phillip Crabtree II, CEO/system developer and Jamie Mindrup, vice president of operations. The award was presented to them by judge Marlin Horst of Premier Custom Built.

FastenLink won for its patent-pending fastening system. Pictured with the award are Phill Crabtree, Phillip Crabtree II, CEO/system developer and Jamie Mindrup, vice president of operations. The award was presented to them by judge Marlin Horst of Premier Custom Built.

The Challengers Award is an international innovation award which was started 50 years ago in Louisville, KY, and has become known throughout the world for recognizing outstanding companies who have developed innovative technology in products, services, or manufacturing techniques that will advance the industry.

FastenLink™ was one of 74 entries from all over the world. “We are honored to bring the award back home to Kentucky for the 50th anniversary year,” Crabtree said.

Fastenlink™ is a hidden connector system that joins materials in a fast, economical and innovative way. Using standard woodworking equipment, Fastenlink™ simplifies manufacturing, reduces assembly labor, and delivers a finished product free of exposed fasteners.

The innovation was developed right here in Daviess County by Phillip Crabtree II, second-generation owner of Phill’s Custom Cabinets and creator of the Cabinotch snap-together cabinetry system. FastenLink™ was awarded a $300,000 local economic development grant by Daviess County Fiscal Court in 2015. The grant money was used as seed money to buy new equipment and hire employees as needed. “We are extremely thankful to the EDC and Daviess County Fiscal Court for that grant. They took a risk on us and we are proud to claim thisaward as a result of their investment in us,” Crabtree acknowledged. “FastenLink is now poised to bring more jobs to Owensboro/Daviess County.”

The Fastenlink™ system replaces wooden dowels with a patent-pending design which utilizes a groove cut into the tip of the plastic dowel, creating a shoulder that slides into the tapered “ramp” cut into the wood which guides the Fastenlink™ dowel until it clicks into the locked position, seamlessly connecting the adjoining pieces into place. Fastenlink™ therefore replaces wooden dowels and eliminates the need for cams, screws, or finish nails.

The high-functionality of Fastenlink™ makes it highly marketable because it works with almost all wood products: furniture, cabinets, vanities, end tables, bookcases, bunk beds, desks, etc.

For the consumer, the beauty of Fastenlink™ is that anybody can assemble the end product without any tools and without that dreaded bag full of hundreds of fasteners. You simply line up the pre-inserted Fastenlink™ dowels into the holes and snap it together.

For manufacturers, FastenLink™ is an easy retrofit, requiring only the use of standard CNC machinery. With the purchase of a bit to cut out the ramp, wooden dowels can be eliminated for plastic Fastenlink™ dowels. At that point, manufacturers can conceptualize countless ways to make a better profit.

“We believe this can radically change our industry for the better, which then will change it for the consumer too,”FastenLink Vice President of Operations Jamie Mindrup explains. “If companies can cut their own assembly time drastically, it lowers the cost of the product for the consumer.”

With FastenLink, Mindrup says, the possibilities are endless.

“FastenLink is changing the way wood products are being manufactured and assembled all over the globe,” Crabtree added.

Interested manufacturers are invited to watch demo videos at Fastenlink.com.

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