I need rod that can push two blocks of wood apart. The space is about 16" wide.

So, basically it is the opposite of a turnbuckle, kind of like a tensioned shower rod.

Is there any kind of standard mechanical device to do this, and if so, what is it called?

  • kitsplit.com/rent/… Is that what you're looking for? I Googled "threaded spreader." – Duston Dec 10 '20 at 15:20
  • Permanent or temporary? If temporary I'd use a hydraulic car jack and some wood pieces of the right length. – alain Dec 10 '20 at 15:45
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    Or any other type car jack. – blacksmith37 Dec 10 '20 at 15:49

Where we need to separate like you are mentioning we use what the millwright call jacking bolts. These are heavy 1/2” or better. In some cases they use a threaded rod (short distances up to about a foot). If longer than a foot they use the same or larger thread stock and weld it onto a plate or tube steel the tube steel just a 2x2 can span 6’ - 8’.

The millwrights usually use national course threads but I have seen them use acme square on 2” thread stock for a heavier load (several tons) needed to be lifted but maintain adjustability.

I don’t know if there are other ways like a reversed turnbuckle but the millwrights use standard stock and the nuts and washers on the inside push the parts away from each other and they call them jacking bolts.

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