Hot answers tagged

77 votes
Accepted

If metal expands when heated, how does heating a bolt loosen it?

The answer is surprisingly simple: the bolt expands, but the nut expands more. What is happening here is good old thermal expansion: The bolt is heated and expands outwards, its radius increasing ...
67 votes

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

This is a job for vise grips. What I would do is file the bolt flat on two sides. Don't take off so much that you significantly compromise its strength - just flatten the threads. These flat sides ...
  • 8,322
48 votes
Accepted

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

The "right kind of bolt" is a shear bolt. Specifically, the shear bolt your snowblower manufacturer specifies for that location, since not all shear bolts are the same. It is deliberately ...
  • 158k
39 votes

How do I remove this bolt from my bedframe?

Looks like an IKEA bed to me - something like the MALM or the HEREFOSS. You first remove the metal rail, then undo the nut. The manual depicts a wrench (ikea part 113453) but a regular metric 13mm ...
  • 549
35 votes

If metal expands when heated, how does heating a bolt loosen it?

The secret is constrained expansion. Here's some cruddy diagrams to help explain how it works. Bolt stuck in a hole When the bolt is heated, it expands. Since the shaft of the bolt is ...
  • 130k
32 votes

How can I stop bolts from loosening over time?

The easiest way is to replace the nut with a Nylanut AKA Nyloc nut: By Original uploader was Btarski at en.wikipedia. - Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here., CC BY-SA 3.0, ...
  • 10.8k
31 votes
Accepted

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

That is called a blind jack nut, jack nut, blind collapsing nut, etc. They are typically used when you don't have access to and/or don't have the tools to hold onto a nut on the backside of whatever ...
30 votes
Accepted

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

Looking at the condition of the nut and the minimal profile of the head, I'm afraid the better question may be "how do I get these out with minimal damage to the wood?" I'd take a drill to ...
  • 22.7k
30 votes

How can I stop bolts from loosening over time?

Thread Lock Adhesive You can use a thread locking compound, such as this.
28 votes

If metal expands when heated, how does heating a bolt loosen it?

The actual reason this usually works is that rust is significantly larger than the steel it's rusted from, which is why the bolt is stuck in the first place. In some other instances the reason heat ...
  • 158k
26 votes

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

Say you try one of the other proposed approaches in the other answers and the screw is just stubborn and more of the shaft keeps snapping off... Consider that you might not need to remove the screw at ...
25 votes

How can I stop bolts from loosening over time?

You can also find bolts with a locking nylon patch applied, like these from Nylok: These are useful if the bolt is going into a blind threaded hole. Added The Following As I said in a comment below, ...
  • 5,350
24 votes

Turning a hard to access nut?

A Crowfoot Wrench would work nicely. A 10 piece set of these is only $15.00
22 votes

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

The best solution is to purchase a new set of bolts that are made of stainless steel or brass. Both will not rust the same way that a iron or steel bolt will. They will cost a little bit more but will ...
  • 62.3k
20 votes
Accepted

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

I would just clamp my drill's chuck on that puppy and spin it out.
  • 112k
19 votes

What ikea screwdriver type is this?

It is called a "hex key", "Allen key", or "Allen wrench". You can also find socket wrench tools with this hexagonal drive shape. Hex key socket wrenches are almost always stronger than Allen keys, ...
19 votes

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

Bolt cutters are not really the best tool for cutting off rusted closet bolts. I usually use a "mini-hack" saw:
  • 33.8k
19 votes

How can I stop bolts from loosening over time?

Lock Nut / Double Nutting If there's enough thread exposed through the joint, then you can fit two nuts. The first nut is tightened to the required torque for your application, and the second nut is ...
  • 8,745
18 votes

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

I would caution against using any bolt cutters on the toilet hold down bolts. The reason being that they typically will apply a significant pressure against the porcelain base of the stool and crack ...
  • 62.3k
18 votes

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

I would use a small grinder ( Dremel) with a cut-off wheel and cut the nuts off.
  • 7,972
17 votes
Accepted

Fix drywall that lost strength due to hanging curtain rod

As you have found out, curtain rod supports do not do well hanging from plaster anchors. They really should be attached to studs, but where that is impossible, toggle anchors give you a chance at ...
  • 33.4k
17 votes

How do I use threaded inserts?

You need to pre-drill a large but shallow hole of the correct depth, and use the bit size recommended by the manufacturer for the material you are setting those into. Too small and you'll crack the ...
17 votes

How can I stop bolts from loosening over time?

To round out the smorgasbord a bit: Drill a hole through the nut and bolt when tight, insert a cotter pin. Or drill a hole only through the bolt and use a castellated nut. Actually two holes at right ...
  • 158k
16 votes
Accepted

What kind of bolt is this?

This is a pop rivet, not a bolt. It can only be removed destructively. Drill out the center with a drill bit meant for metal (as opposed to a brad point bit, for instance) until the flange come off. ...
  • 886
16 votes

Turning a hard to access nut?

I'm a gas fitter and service tech. My bag has the tools to do the job. Sometimes these tight spots require a bit of a turn with one tool and a bit of a turn with another. A lot of the available arc ...
  • 6,156
16 votes
Accepted

Identify this screw head (was: Security Torx)

This is a tamper proof torx screw. There are torx bits with a hole in the center that will remove them, if you are bold you can try smacking the center pin with a punch at an angle (small ones usually ...
  • 101k
16 votes

How do I remove this bolt from my bedframe?

Remove the metal rail. In the opening, you now have enough room to insert an open-end wrench. The wrench has a slight angular offset. Push down on the wrench as far as it goes, remove it, flip it ...
15 votes

Turning a hard to access nut?

What you may be overlooking, or what may not be present on your wrench, is the the open wrench is not square to the shaft. It is canted by 1/24 of a circle (15 degrees). As a result, there's a 30 ...
15 votes

Turning a hard to access nut?

The best tool I have found for the type of application you are working with is a 12-point split-box wrench. These are also available in a 6-point design. (Picture Source: http://constructionmanuals....
  • 62.3k
15 votes
Accepted

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

While difficult to tell for sure I think it is an E-Z Lok threaded insert. It consists of a course threaded screw that is inserted into the wood. A pilot hole is drilled and the insert is screwed in ...
  • 11k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible