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Referring back to my question here: Can you get nuts that attach to regular screws?

You can see that I have a metal pole with holes either side designed to be wide enough for a regular wood screw. It was recommended that I drill the holes wider to fit a bolt through, but can you get a thinnish bolt that'll fit through that hole already?

I drilled the hole out so that it's 5mm wide, and the bolt would need to be about 70mm long I reckon to include enough excess to have a couple of nuts attached. I also wonder whether I should use washers on either end to spread the pressure across a wider area of the plastic sleeve.

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  • Are there any concerns if the bolt fails?
    – Gil
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 17:26
  • The top of the parasol can come off if the bolt comes loose, so it'd need to hold when tightened.
    – Jez
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 17:44
  • Is that screw the only thing holding the parts together? And does it live outside where there is wind? Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 17:45
  • @AndrewMorton Yes, and yes. And this is actually an improvement on the small screws that it originally came with. :-) They just don't make quality garden furniture anymore.
    – Jez
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 17:46
  • @Jez Are there screws in the hub part that can be removed to take off the parasol part to gain better access to where you want to improve the fitting? Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 18:02

3 Answers 3

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Yes, long thin bolts exist.

You can also make your own. A quick search returns threaded rod in M5 at 250mm in length. I imagine it could be had even longer. Cut it to length with a hack saw or bolt cutter and add a pair of nuts.

Protip: Run the nuts on first so that if you booger up the threads when cutting you can run them off to fix that quickly and easily.

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Well I'm happy to report that I went through our DIY spares and managed to find an appropriate bolt and nuts which was 5mm wide and about 80mm long. Drilled the holes to 6mm wide and it went through. Seems significantly more stable now than it was with the screw:

Pic

Now I just need to fix up the canopy itself, no doubt something I'll need another question for on DIY stack exchange!

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  • I wonder if you would benefit from the same at 90º—if you have enough vertical space to clear the other bolt's shank inside but fit the new bolt's head on the outside.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 15:37
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I'm not a mechanical engineer, but I'd say get an M5 bolt long enough (or a cap head screw, anything like that), and drill new holes for it, then use a nylon locking nut (sometimes known as Nyloc nut) to secure it, with washers behind the bolt head and the nut to protect the plastic. All made from stainless steel. And don't tighten it so far that the plastic is deformed.

An M5 bolt will hopefully put less stress on the plastic than a smaller diameter bolt when it does get blown. Also, I say new holes because it looks like the plastic has gone white near the existing screw, indicating excessive force which will have weakened that area.

Take it down when windy weather is expected, of course.

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