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I have a folding trestle table which has two metal L-shaped pins that lock it into place when it's opened out. I loaned the table to someone who returned it with only one pin and I'm struggling to source a replacement part.

This is the pin - it's 125mm on the long edge, 50mm wide on the short, and 8mm thick...

enter image description here

and this is the table it belongs to:

enter image description here

The pin is inserts into the frame underneath the table to stop the hinge from folding when the table is set up:

enter image description here

The original supplier has gone bankrupt, but it looks like it's a generic bulk-import product. I've called a few suppliers but none of them stock spares - they're basically wholesalers who just deal in the boxed products.

I've not been able to find anything similar with searches like "8mm stainless steel L-shaped pin" The only thing I've found that's close is an 8mm Foundation Bolt but that has a thread on the end, and I couldn't find one the right length anyway :-(

Any thoughts on how to either source or make (with limited time / effort) a replacement would be massively appreciated. I'm in the UK if that affects terminology or suppliers...

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  • @VtC: "Any thoughts on how to either source or make ... a replacement" OP was looking for info on making a replacement, too, and it appears he ended up doing so. Seems to be reasonable and helps others think outside the "I must buy an exact replacement" box.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 3, 2022 at 18:24
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    You should ask your friend to find a solution.
    – Florian F
    Mar 4, 2022 at 12:15
  • @FlorianF - they're the sort of friend who loses bits of things you lend them - I don't have much faith they'll be able to replace it themselves :-).
    – mclayton
    Mar 4, 2022 at 13:20
  • A) I'd not lend things out anyway! B) I'd have drilled a tiny hole in each losable part, and used a short chain/wire to hang it from the nearest screw, never to be lost even by me!
    – Tim
    Mar 4, 2022 at 13:42
  • @tim +1 for the chain idea. Not sure about starting a hole on a round bar, but I could grind a groove round with my dremel and tie it on with some wire
    – mclayton
    Mar 4, 2022 at 14:00

5 Answers 5

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I'd bet that you could find an 8mm Allen wrench to suit. You may have to buy an oversized one and cut it to length. You'll need to use an abrasive cutter since the steel will be hardened.

enter image description here

Otherwise, buy some steel rod and make it L-shaped. Any decent hardware store should offer any number of things that would do:

  • Mild steel rod (won't be chromed, but will work)
  • Long hex or carriage bolt
  • Paint roller or other inexpensive tool handle
  • Wire shelving or storage wall components

A block of wood and a vice would be helpful, but neither are required. I'd bend it, then cut it to length with a hacksaw for best precision.

For the tool-challenged, you could simply lay the rod on the ground under a 2x4 block and have someone stand on the block (or park your car on it). Bend away. An adjustable wrench works well as a lever.

You could also stick the rod in a sidewalk crack. Same principle. DIYers gotta get creative sometimes.

There's enough clearance in that table that it needn't be perfectly radiused. Overbending slightly and bending back to 90° can help tighten the curve, though.

If you end up with curvature in the legs, lay them on a block, arched upward, and tap them with a hammer. They'll straighten right out.

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    Mild steel is surprisingly easy to bend. You just need more leverage. A bit of pipe or a wrench used as an extension makes it almost effortless.
    – isherwood
    Mar 2, 2022 at 21:56
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    LOL @ JACK. So much resistance to the metric system. (It really is better, and this is from a born-and-raised carpenter.)
    – isherwood
    Mar 2, 2022 at 21:57
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    I thought about an Allen key (UK-ism) originally, but I was worried about the corners cutting into the holes in the frame, but in reality it's a table to put some drinks and plates on, not bench weights :-). I'll see if I can find one the right size (or bigger and cut it to length with my Dremel).
    – mclayton
    Mar 2, 2022 at 22:04
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    @isherwood I work on my car a lot so I have all the Metric wrenches. I was actual in Metric mode and then saw the OP's 12" ruler.... threw me back to inches... and that would be a fourth generation carpenter. :-)
    – JACK
    Mar 2, 2022 at 22:24
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    If you do decide to bend a rod, buy the rod longer than you want, put it in the vise, and do the bend before you do the cut. That way you can use the excess length for leverage, and then cut it to the length you want. Get the 90°, then cut one or both arms to length. Mar 3, 2022 at 16:50
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Look for an appropriate hook in the web pages of hardware suppliers. I have seen a hook almost exactly like that, except with about an inch of woodscrew on the long end, which could be cut off. I can't find that in a quick search but this should give you the general idea (this one, you'd have to strip off the plastic coating and cut down)

Repurposing an allen key as suggested in another answer is also possible. However, they are made of hardened tool steel, so you would need a Dremmel and a cutting disk if you needed to cut it down.

Functionally if not aesthetically, an 8mm "coach" bolt would work. If it needs a right-angled something on the end, add some bit of metal with an 8mm hole and a nut, locked together with epoxy glue so it can't come loose.

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  • That link looks promising - I guess it depends on the diameter of the metal rod once you remove the plastic. There's a Q&A on the site that says the thread is 11mm so it's possible the bar is 8mm. There's a ScrewFix near me so I might go get one and see if it works...
    – mclayton
    Mar 3, 2022 at 11:10
  • Check the other online sites first. Toolstation, another one if memory serves "Ironmongery direct". I have seen almost exactly what you want, screwed into the wall of a garage as a tool hook. (Possible that 'Elf and safety" have driven such hooks not coated in plastic off the market, though).
    – nigel222
    Mar 3, 2022 at 11:30
  • Nice idea, but an 8mm thick such hook may be rare. Good point about the tool steel.
    – isherwood
    Mar 3, 2022 at 13:46
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Since you're in the UK, I searched B&Q for "steel rod" and found this 8mm dia, 1m long steel rod for £3.60. Since it doesn't say its hardened, I would guess it is mild steel:

https://www.diy.com/departments/varnished-hot-rolled-steel-round-bar-l-1m-dia-8mm/3232637900805_BQ.prd

If I didn't have tools to bend it, I might try something like putting it under a concrete paver with perhaps 75cm of the rod sticking out, carefully park a wheel of a car on the paver, then yank away at the rod. With 75 cm of leverage, I think bending this way should be possible.

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We have exactly the same issue at our community hall with the same make of tables - after an event, some of the pins were missing. I've bought these tent pegs and simply cut them down to size using a hacksaw - they're exactly the same diameter (8mm) and though they are serrated (rather than smooth) they work fine. Now need to work out how to stop them going missing again! Original and cut pegs

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Doesn't necessarily have to be L-shaped, and any right diameter bolt could fit the holes. You may have to file its head flat on the side closest to the undersde of the top, which would be about the same effort as the above suggestions.

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  • I think the L Is so it’s easier to slide it sideways, and to stop it moving when it’s in place, but yeah, point taken. To be fair even just a length of straight 8mm bar would probably work…
    – mclayton
    Mar 4, 2022 at 14:04

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