Caps & Closures Guide - A Buyer's Guide For Furniture Hardware

Caps & Closures Guide

In today’s blog we will delve into the world of caps & closures, there is wide variety of options here and Aerobolt has a comprehensive range that is readily available. Our end cap offering includes square, round, rectangular, oval, oblong and some unusual offset ones with different design features such as dome head, and so much more. Also known as protective caps or tubing inserts they are used to close a tube for a finished look that also seals and protects. Predominately made from hard wearing polyethylene, they are designed to be pressed fit with a finish that include gloss, matte or textured with a choice of a smooth shank or a rib design that allows for small fluctuations in tube diameter. These caps and closures are part of the Maumac® Component's furniture hardware range such as levelling feet, threaded tube inserts, furniture castors, control knobs and so much more.

What are the benefit of plastic end caps and closures?

Caps & closures are used to seal and protect whilst providing a neat  attractive finish, plus;   

  • Easy to use as most are designed for a push fit installation that avoids messy adhesives.
  • A cost-efficient massed produced component that seals, protects and finishes off tubing.
  • Wide range of options and sizes, so there is bound to be one that suits your application.

Where do you uses end caps? 

End caps are predominantly used to finish off a tube. They provide a versatile and stylish finish for so many furniture applications. They are the go-to solution that provides a clean, functional finish that protects and seals the end of tubes. In essence their function is twofold - to prevent damage to the end of the tubing whilst eliminating any ingress.  

Why use furniture End Caps?  

There are numerous reasons to use end caps. 

Ease of use. Most caps are designed for a push-fit installation onto the application without messy adhesives or fasteners.

Cost efficiency. Being a mass produced option, they are indispensable as a temporary cover or a long term protection solution.

Variety of sizes, styles & shapes. There is often a wide range of standard sizes, shapes and styles. Here at Aerobolt we have the everyday standard round end plastic caps to the hard to find offset version. Either way there is bound to be one to suit your application.   

How do I measure for end caps?

For a correct fitting end cap start with measuring the tube first with either a ruler or Vernier, (also known as a calliper). Depending on the nature of the end cap you will be seeking the Outside Diameter (OD) for an external fitting end cap. With internal fitting end caps, you will need the Internal Diameter (ID) along with the Wall Thickness (WT). Here's a quick run-down of how you can get the required measurements for a secure fit.

Outside Diameter (OD)

Some ends caps are external fitting, this means they fit on the outside of the tube. Measure the distance between the outer edges of your object. You don't need any other measurement for external fitting end caps.

Outer Diameter

Internal Diameter (ID)

Most end caps are internally fitting, this means they slot into the inside of the tube. Measure the distance between the inner edges of your object as per picture. Double check to ensure a tight and secure fitting.

Internal Diameter

Wall Thickness (WT). Internal fitting cap only.

Once you have the internal measurement of your tube, you can measure the wall thickness to ensure a  snug fit. Alternatively, for you mathematically geniuses you can establish this by the following formula (OD minus ID divide by 2, equals Wall Thickness).

Wall Thickness

You can start looking for the right size end cap to suit.       

Due to the materials used, you may find that certain products can stretch across a range of diameters, preventing the need for an exact measurement.

What size cap or closure do I need?

When buying any caps & closures, the important thing you need to do is measure the tube correctly. Depending on which type of fitting you decide on there are 2 measurements you will need to know; the outside / external dimensions, and for internal fitting tube inserts you will also need to measure the wall thickness / gauge size. Refer to the images below for guidance.

How to measure Caps & Closures

Internal & External Fitting Caps and Closures

Internal vs. External

What type of tube end cap fitting do I need?

The final thing to decide is which type of fitting you need. Here at Aerobolt, we have a range of different plastic ends caps. 

Internal Fitting Plastic End Cap & Closures. 

Internal Standard Flat Head

Standard Flat Heads: Ideal for applications where you just want to cap an end, or a tube is at 90 degrees to the floor.

Internal Domed Head

Domed Heads: Offers a aesthetic enhancement/detail, as well as a different option to an angled insert.

Internal Angled Head

Angled Heads: Pre-Set angled ends, perfect for splayed legs or tubes where an angle is required.

Internal Threaded

Threaded Tube Inserts: Similar to the flat headed insert but with a threaded hole, enabling you to add a levelling foot, or furniture castors. 

External Fitting Furniture End Caps.  

External Standard Flat Heads

Standard Flat Heads: Perfect for capping tube & projections, whilst offering a degree of protection to paintwork.

External Domed Head

Domed Heads: Can be used as a universal angled cap, as well as offering a cosmetic enhancement.

External Angled Head

Angled Heads: Pre-Set angled ends, perfect for splayed legs or tubes where an angle is required.

How do you install caps and closures? 

Installation is straightforward. Step 1; Place cap at the end of tube. Step 2; Tap by hand or rubber mallet the cap or closure into the tube up to the fascia rim for a tight and secure fitting. Step 3; Congratulate yourself. Job well done! Due to the nature of these you will find these don't need for fasteners or adhesives.

Tube End Caps and Closures Summary.

These products are widely used to seal and protect, preventing damage to floors, as well as excessive wearing of furniture or chair legs themselves, providing 'like new' levels of grip, stability and anti marking properties. All of our caps and closures inserts are made to an extremely high standard, ensuring they are fit for purpose and in most applications make good contact with floors and sit flush on the end of the chair. A flush fitment enables their use for stacking and increases the longevity of your installation.

We stock a comprehensive range of furniture hardware, including caps and closures furniture inserts in a range of types for Round, Square (Including Box Sections), Rectangular and even Oval Chair Legs. Each shape and style has many different solutions to suit all kinds of chair and furniture uses, such as to raise height, improve grip, or ease movement. Please click here to your required fitments to see all possible options.

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