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56
votes
7answers
13k views

If metal expands when heated, how does heating a bolt loosen it?

If you're having trouble removing a stuck bolt, common advice is to heat the bolt up. But if metal expands when heated, wouldn't heating up the bolt just make it harder to remove? How does heating ...
46
votes
8answers
183k views

Should a washer go on nut side, or the bolt side?

Often I take something apart and when I go to reassemble it, I don't remember which side the washer was on. When there's only one washer, does it generally go on the nut side (pressed up against the ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this bolt in my basement floor?

In my concrete basement floor, there is a rather large bolt and washer. The washer is about 4 inches in diameter, and the bolt has a 1 inch head. What is it? All I can think of is that it's some ...
15
votes
5answers
9k views

How do I optimally cut a bolt to length?

Once in a while I need a bolt of exactly the right length and it is not one of the lengths available in stores. So I get a longer bolt and cut it to length. Here's the procedure I follow. I screw one ...
11
votes
4answers
15k views

When bolting down a porcelain toilet, how tight is “too tight”?

Tightening bolts on the base of a toilet is the one thing about toilet installation that has me the most nervous. They say not to over-tighten, but how tight is too tight before the porcelain is ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

What is this kind of security bolt head called, and how can I remove it?

A previous owner fitted the light fitting pictured above, and has not left me a tool to remove the bolt. The bulb has blown so I need to get in to the unit. The head diameter is about 12mm and the ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

How to remove rusted tank bolts

We have a really old toilet in one of our bathrooms which has started to leak around the tank bolts. I was going to replace the bolts and washers but the nuts are completely seized and rusted to the ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I tell the handedness of a bolt?

I have a craftsman lawnmower (with a Honda engine) and I'm trying to remove the lawnmower blade to sharpen it. It seems really tight. I'm wondering if I'm turning the bolt the wrong direction. Does ...
5
votes
4answers
19k views

How strong are bolts compared to welding and what qualities to look for in foundations?

I'm planning on building a home climbing wall, made from a mild steel subframe. It will probably be around 10 feet tall approx. I was thinking along the lines of using mild steel angle, cutting to ...
5
votes
1answer
307 views

Why do lag screws have the unthreaded body between the head and the threads?

Why do lag screws have the unthreaded body between the head and the threads? And why is that 'Body' the same diameter as the outer 'Thread' diameter? Why doesn't the transition immediately abut the ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Which way should an internal star lock washer go?

I want to attach a rear basket to my bicycle and I don't know a thing about nuts/bolts. I got a plastic bag full of nuts, bolts, washers, and what I believe (according to what I could find on the ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Are these toilet bolts installed properly?

I had my bathroom renovated and had a new toilet installed. I noticed the white caps on the toilet screws were not secure---- looked like the contractor tried to secure them with some sort of ...
4
votes
12answers
21k views

What can I use as a thread “tightener” compound for a free-running bolt?

(I'm familiar with thread "locking" compounds, purple, blue, and red, but that's not what I'm looking for here. They lock once and then upon breaking the joint, do nothing further.) I'm looking for ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there different thickness heads/nuts for hex bolts?

The hex bolts in my local home depot (specifically the size 3/8-16) all have the same thickness of the hex head. It looks to me to be about 3/16 of an inch thick. I need to recess a hex screw inside ...
4
votes
1answer
397 views

Is it better to use two nuts, rather than a single long nut on the bolt?

Working on the roof, several J-bolts appeared to have been fastened with more than a single nut. Without exception each such bolt was almost flush to the cement sheet. I saw this done on a car wheel ...
4
votes
5answers
13k views

What type of lag bolts should I use for a deck?

I am looking at galvanized lag bolts (for the ledger) and carriage bolts (for attaching the beam to the post) for a deck. I can't find "hot-dipped galvanized" bolts/lag screws only galvanized. Is ...
3
votes
5answers
12k views

How do I attach a ledger board if I have no interior access?

I would like to build a small, 24" high deck, for a new entry door to the house. I have the deck plans all laid out, and am in need of a 2x10 ledger board under the door to attach the deck to. Most ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I put some glue in the pre drilled hole before installing an eye screw?

Going to put in some eye screws under the deck for a swing. Should I add some glue in the predrill for extra durability? I've also read vaseline is good for easier installation, but that's ...
3
votes
2answers
926 views

What is type of screw is this?

This cylinder-like screw is screwed into an opening on the inside of a table. It basically "locks" into the screw that is facing down from the top. Kind of like this: I'm trying to get them out, ...
3
votes
1answer
370 views

What should I do if one of the screws for a TV mount breaks?

My wife & I spent a fair amount of time setting up a VideoSecu heavy articulating wall mount in a position & height that we liked. Problem is, the top-left lag screw (5/16" thick, 3" long) ...
3
votes
1answer
678 views

Plywood plate for mounting to wall

I would like to attach a projector arm to my drywall, but the mounting plate of the arm is a bit wider than a wall stud. ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

Can I use bolts to attach a bed to the walls of my room?

I plan on mounting my bed to the walls of my room. You can say that it will look like a loft bed without the legs. To make it look like it really is floating, I won't be using angle brackets. Instead, ...
2
votes
1answer
7k views

How can I securely fasten a carriage bolt?

I recently made a bracket for mounting a TV onto a custom pipe mount that I built. I was advised at my local hardware store to use a carriage bolt here for the following reasons: These ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Are all toilet bolts installed from under the floor?

My mom has an older toilet. When is became loose, in order to tighten the bolts she had to hire someone to go under the house. We just got a new toilet. I was hoping to install it as a d.i.y ...
2
votes
4answers
578 views

How can I attach structure via oval holes in panel struts in a panel van?

I am trying to build storage for a panel van. My problem is how to make use of pre-existing holes for attaching bolts to. The loading space in the van has vertical structural beams which have holes ...
2
votes
1answer
350 views

What type of bolt has a shoulder portion above and unthreaded region below threads?

I have a couple Rex folding lounge chairs: However, during my move one of the bolts connecting the base to the side came loose and was lost. I took out the one from the other side and I've never ...
2
votes
2answers
325 views

What tool should I use to remove a screw from cramped spaces?

I don't tackle many DIY projects. But when I do, the most frustrating thing is knowing that I'm doing things inefficiently. I watch a YouTube video where the guy says it should take 5 minutes to ...
2
votes
4answers
512 views

How can I hold a nut underneath a deck with no clearance while screwing a bolt into it?

I have an existing deck with composite wood planks. My kids bought me a gazebo for my grill that I would like to bolt to the deck. Is there a tool I can use to hold the nut and washer in place under ...
2
votes
1answer
348 views

Why might a weld be weaker than a bolt? [closed]

I've heard that bolts should be used for connections that must be secure, rather than welds. To me this seems odd; I was under the impression that the whole idea of a weld was to make the two pieces ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Can I use screws for attaching a ladder to a bunk bed?

My wife and I have built bunk beds and the final step is attaching the ladder. The ladder is constructed out of 2x4s will be attached to the 2x6 rails of the bed. (The ladder rails are oriented ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Attaching sill plate to concrete, how do I attach framed wall to sill plate?

I am building a 12x12 shed on a concrete slab. I am going to bury j-bolts in the wet concrete so that I can attach the treated sill plate to it. The problem I'm running into is that the nut will be ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Can I reuse anchor bolt sleeves?

A bracket for mounting a TV was attached to my brick fireplace by the previous home owner. All that remains now are four little metal tubes, which I think are leftover parts of some kind of anchor ...
2
votes
2answers
514 views

How can I attach a Pergola/lean-to to a pebble dash wall?

I am planning to install a Pergola/Lean-to to the back of my house, to use as a sheltered patio. I have been watching numerous videos and have picked up some fabulous information, however, I'm a ...
2
votes
1answer
400 views

How can I secure a wall-mount server rack?

I would like to install a 2-Post 12U wall-mounted server rack in my utility closet. The rack will hold up to 200lbs. However, my equipment will be just under 180lbs. Most of the weight will be at the ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the meaning of the letters on the top of a common hex bolt?

I recently drilled and tapped a 5/16"-18 in a piece of soft steel, then found that the 5/16"-18 bolt I had chosen wouldn't fit (the bolt was slightly too large). When I found that other 5/16"-18 ...
2
votes
1answer
769 views

How do I safely install a pole/mast on our roof?

We are installing a pole/mast for wireless communication equipment on the roof of our commercial building. The pole will need to rise 2m above the roofline. Obviously we want the pole to be as ...
1
vote
2answers
151 views

Is there a term for this bolt attachment mechanism?

We're installing Ikea cabinets in our kitchen. The wall cabinets attach to a rail using a bolt-and-bolt-attachment-thingy that slides onto the rail, and the cabinets are then fastened to the bolts. ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

How do I tighten/loosen this recessed nut and bolt?

My bed has a nut and bolt that are recessed into a piece of wood. The only tool I have that fits it is the tiny toy spanner that came with the bed. The spanner does not grip the nut tightly enough ...
1
vote
3answers
178 views

Installing hook on strange wall

I need to install some hooks on my wall, which I plan to use to perform elastic band exercises. Hence, I need to install these very well so that they will handle the stress properly. Situation is I ...
1
vote
2answers
505 views

How to tighten a carriage bolt?

I'm trying to assemble a glider patio chair which I ordered. The main pieces (seat, back, sides, etc) are assembled and I'm supposed to just screw the pieces together. How are you supposed to tighten ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

How can I use toggle bolts with limited depth behind them?

I have a predicament, I am putting up a shelf into the wall. The wall is plaster, and then hollow and then concrete. I have screws with toggle bolts on them. The 2 inch screw with the toggle bolt ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

How can I treat or replace steel bolts in aluminum nuts to avoid corrosion?

I have a structure originally built from aluminum extrusion with channels using aluminum T-nuts and steel bolts. Over the years, the steel bolts have rusted, making them prone to stripping at the head ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Are there transit bolts on this dryer?

We just moved into our new place and our new dryer is making strange rattling noises that sounds as if a small screw or other metal part is stuck somewhere in the machine. We checked all the ...
1
vote
2answers
75 views

Uncommon bolt head

Can anybody please tell me what type of bolt is this? I can not find any tool to remove it. Thanks!
1
vote
2answers
79 views

How can I safely increase the size of a door bolt?

I live in an apartment right near the garage of the apartment. Every time someone comes in or out of the garage, the change in air pressure causes my door to slam a bit and it sounds like someone is ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

What is this small hollow metal cylinder?

I've bought a flat-pack bed second hand, and it has one part missing. There are two boards I need to join, and according to the instructions I should hammer a short (about 4 cm) hollow metal cylinder ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

How can I remove the bolts holding down my utility sink?

I have a utility sink that is sitting on 4 legs, the front two bolted to my cement floor and I want to remove it. I'm not sure what kind of bolts these are. From looking at different kinds of bolts ...
1
vote
1answer
247 views

Is there a standard hole diameter for corner braces?

I'm planning a project that requires corner braces, and I want to figure out what size bolts I can put through them. Unfortunately, at least on the Home Depot website, the corner brace product ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Hanging a heavy object with the help of a plywood beam (due to a mismatch with studs)

Two studs in my wall are 24" apart, but the mirror I'd like to hang has hooks that are 32" apart. I'm reluctant to use a hanging wire and shift the mirror a little to the left or to the right, simply ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

Please advise how to lubricate stiff latch bolt of mortise lockset on metal exterior security door. (NOT the pins in the keyway!)

The latch bolt of the mortise lockset in a metal security door is stiff. I worry about the long-term effect of slamming the door in order to drive the stiff latch bolt back and allow the door to ...