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Questions tagged [bolts]

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95 votes
8 answers
649k 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 ...
wim's user avatar
  • 1,185
66 votes
11 answers
191k 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 ...
Tester101's user avatar
  • 132k
26 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
Chris Cudmore's user avatar
24 votes
6 answers
5k views

What is the right tool for old, rusty, flat cross head bolts?

I'm trying to restore an old park bench, and I am struggling to unscrew the bolts. The heads have this wide (~12-14 mm) "flat cross" pattern that I have never seen before (see photo), and I ...
Nicolas Payette's user avatar
22 votes
10 answers
26k views

Turning a hard to access nut?

Working on the propane conversion of my gas stove. One of the orifices to be changed is in a very hard to access location - shown in the photo. The orifice is the "nut" I'm referring to, which you can ...
StayOnTarget's user avatar
  • 5,585
20 votes
15 answers
8k views

How can I stop bolts from loosening over time?

Here is a picture of what I intend to use: I believe (and could be wrong about this) that over time as the structure is moved, the nut that was fastened to hold the structure together will gradually ...
quantum231's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
18k 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 ...
sharptooth's user avatar
  • 9,647
18 votes
13 answers
11k views

How can I get a bolt with no head out of my wall?

I tried to screw this bolt into a stud to secure a 2x4. The hex head snapped off, and now the bolt is stuck. I managed to slide off the 2x4, but I have no idea how to extract the bolt. IIRC it's a 6&...
Elliot G's user avatar
  • 295
18 votes
8 answers
118k 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 ...
oscilatingcretin's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
7k views

What is this attaching my toilet seat and how can I unscrew it?

I’m trying to unscrew my toilet seat but it seems to have been fitted with this plastic mechanism, which doesn't seem to want to be unscrewed. Do I need a special tool to remove it?
Urbycoz's user avatar
  • 396
16 votes
6 answers
36k 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 gap ...
Dickon Reed's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

How do I prevent the bolts in my snow blower rotor from breaking?

We got about 12" of snow today and my snow blower lasted only 30 minutes before shearing off one of the 1/4" bolts that holds the rotary blade in place. This is the second time this has ...
forrest's user avatar
  • 253
10 votes
2 answers
22k views

How do I remove this bolt from my bedframe?

This is my first time posting in this forum but I wanted to get some help from y'all regarding removing a bolt from my bed frame. I bought a used bed frame and I need to dismantle it to shift it into ...
Mantej Singh's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
4k views

What's this bolt head type and how can I open it?

There is a bolt screwed inside a long hole: I don't know the bolt head type. Is there a trick to open it?
Megidd's user avatar
  • 207
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Identify this screw head (was: Security Torx)

Am attempting to open an old device cover (an adapter) and it has these screws (please see attached image, sorry for the bad quality, I couldn't get better focus than this.) Would really appreciate ...
spcsLrg's user avatar
  • 203
9 votes
9 answers
33k views

How can I cut off the rusted closet bolts holding my toilet?

I need to change the wax ring on my toilet. The closet bolts that hold it in place are rusted so I need to cut them in order to remove the nuts. I thought of trying bolt cutters. The bolt cutters I ...
Mowzer's user avatar
  • 345
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

What is the name of this threaded tube with screws at each end?

I have been attempting to find the name of this object: The website where I got the picture from calls them "barrel bolts", however searching for that name on shopping websites has not ...
Milichip's user avatar
  • 313
9 votes
3 answers
7k views

How to prevent bolts from rusting and sticking in the toilet tank?

Inspired by this problem. If I somehow succeed in removing the rusted bolts and replace them with new ones, how can I prevent the new bolts from rusting and getting stuck too? (Other than removing ...
Attilio's user avatar
  • 305
8 votes
4 answers
4k views

How do I use threaded inserts?

I got these fasteners with table legs that I bought for a formica table top. I get that I need to embed the outer part with the big thread into the table, and then use an Allen key to fasten the bolts ...
hendrikswan's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
11k views

Does the outer diameter of 4.78 indicate an M4 or an M5 bolt?

I measured the maximal diameter of this counter-sunk bolt. Note: The bolt is not parallel with the jaws, but slightly rotated so that the bolt head is behind them. Therefore measurement is not of the ...
Martin Drozdik's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
5k views

Why are deck joists supposed to be on top of posts, not bolted to the side?

I remember reading that deck joists shouldn't be mounted to the side of posts, but to the top, and this is a common mistake in deck construction. The reason I found was that you'll need a bigger bolt ...
David Ehrmann's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
13k views

Fix drywall that lost strength due to hanging curtain rod

Here is the issue. I can use the toggle bolts, but it looks like drywall has lost strength. It can be seen in the pictures that drywall around the place of the bracket holes is swelled and about to ...
user6579904's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
732 views

Are electrical screws a standard diameter?

I've just had to reset the thermal cutout of my immersion heater. Whilst removing the cover, I've stupidly dropped the nut somewhere behind the tank. Fishing around with a magnet has pulled up all ...
Tom Wright's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

What kind of bolt is this?

I'm trying to dismantle some wall boards, but I don't know how to remove the pictured bolt - close up attached. Its head has the dome shape of a carriage bolt, but there is a hole in the center, with ...
The other other Alan's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
33k 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 ...
Russell Steen's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
4k views

What is the name of this Allen-head furniture fastener?

I have a couple of boards that are parts of a table I am assembling, and I wish to know the name of the metal piece of hardware circled in red, below. I would have thought it was called a bolt, but I ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 195
7 votes
16 answers
77k 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 ...
Brad's user avatar
  • 214
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

How close does rod diameter have to be for a thread die?

I'm looking to create an (external) thread for M5 nuts at the end of 6063T6 aluminium bar using a hand die of the traditional circular kind from a tap-and-die set. Sadly while the nuts and tools are ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 215
7 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
Billy left SE for Codidact's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
JeremyP's user avatar
  • 173
6 votes
4 answers
51k 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 ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
3 answers
12k views

What ikea screwdriver type is this?

I am trying to disassemble by bedframe and the Screwdriver that I have seems too loose. Where can I find a screwdriver to do this?
Wonie's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
3 answers
836 views

Best Practices for Measuring Screw/Bolt TPI?

It is extremely nice to be able to use a caliper to measure screw/bolt major diameter (and length) to find correct replacements. However I am struggling to come up with a good way to determine ...
bjsdaiyu's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What type of bolt is only threaded at the tip

I am trying to fix my son's scooter and need a 2nd one of these: I've never seen this style of bolt/screw before: only the first 1/4" or so is actually threaded and the rest is just an ...
hotmeatballsoup's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
3k views

How to attach an appliance bracket to a stainless steel table?

I need to attach this base plate to a stainless steel table in a commercial kitchen. It'd be attached to the top surface off to the side. It's for a commercial size can-opener. How do I go about ...
Shpigford's user avatar
  • 696
6 votes
5 answers
46k 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 ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 929
6 votes
2 answers
37k 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 ...
girapola's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
453 views

Elegant way to jack two materials apart, applying spreading pressure to pin them in place?

I have a tall cabinet acting as a room divider. Since it's not against a wall, it could fall. Screwing into the floor or the wall is not feasible, but the top of the cabinet is 5 inches from a ...
zx81's user avatar
  • 215
5 votes
2 answers
317 views

Suspending a Mini Zip Wire from a Garage Beams - Structural and Clearance Questions

I am planning to build a mini zip wire for my son in our garage. The use case for this for him to safely practice grinds and jumps without falling and injuring himself. A similar approach has been ...
Incertus's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
35k 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 ...
Edward L. Stauff's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
16k views

Re-using lag bolt holes?

Can holes in wood studs that previously held lag bolts be re-used with lag bolts of the same diameter or will this not hold safely? More detail: I have a piece of fitness equipment mounted to wood ...
Dan K's user avatar
  • 91
4 votes
5 answers
4k views

How to bolt something to a wood member when can't access the back side and a carriage bolt won't do

I need to bolt a solar inverter to a stud wall for three reasons. it needs to be a few inches offset from the studs, so the bolt holes in the inverter won't line up with the studs, I'd feel better if ...
RustyShackleford's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
12k 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 caulking....
ek_ny's user avatar
  • 415
4 votes
1 answer
745 views

Quick Release Pin spring mechanism

The kind of quick-release pin shown in the picture has a cap with an interior thread so it can be removed from the pin which has an exterior thread, revealing a center rod that extends axially down ...
mr blint's user avatar
  • 1,870
4 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
trying_hal9000's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
4k 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, yet ...
Wayne's user avatar
  • 145
4 votes
1 answer
27k 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. http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PRJWM8-Universal-Telescoping-Adjustment/dp/...
Bosh's user avatar
  • 175
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Should I use lag screws or expansion bolts for an aerial mount point on a joist?

I would like to install a mount point on the ceiling for my wife so that she can continue doing aerial work. This is the mount point I want to install: Aerials USA Stainless Steel Mount Point As you ...
Formica's user avatar
  • 149
4 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
user1052448's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Everyone's user avatar
  • 391

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