Questions tagged [bolts]

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90
votes
8answers
553k 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 ...
65
votes
11answers
135k 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 ...
25
votes
1answer
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 ...
23
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
21
votes
10answers
16k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
17
votes
13answers
3k 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&...
17
votes
8answers
81k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
5k 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?
16
votes
5answers
29k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
3k 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?
10
votes
2answers
969 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
23k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
686 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
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 ...
6
votes
16answers
68k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
48k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
577 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
41k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
27k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
8k 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?
5
votes
2answers
566 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
11k 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....
4
votes
2answers
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
21k 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/...
4
votes
5answers
27k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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
4answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Correct orientation for t-shaped shelf bracket to minimize stress on anchor bolts

I have a t-shaped shelf bracket that looks like this: | <- screw hole here | <shelf> |----------- <wall>| | | | <- screw hole here This is a ...
4
votes
4answers
18k 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, ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

Connect 3/8-16 bolts at 90 degrees

I'm finding that I am needing to connect two standard 3/8-16 (coarse) bolts at a 90 degree angle for mounting, like an elbow fitting would do. I need to be able to thread them in individually, because ...
3
votes
5answers
19k 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
4answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
26k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
11k views

How to remove a bolt with a broken-off head

I'm looking for advice on non-destructively removing a bolt with a broken-off head. While loosening a bolt on some exercise equipment, I broke off the head completely, leaving the shank recessed ...
3
votes
1answer
4k 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
342 views

Rust free concrete fasteners

I need to fasten a 3/4 inch PVC trim board to a poured concrete basement wall. Since this will be on the exterior of the house I want to avoid rusting of the fastener. The previous pressure treated ...
3
votes
1answer
365 views

What is this nut clamp called and how do you remove it?

I would like to remove the wheel that is being held in by this contraption: I tried to use a standard socket wrench, but couldn't get just the right size: 1/2" or 13mm seems too small; 5/8" or 14mm ...