Even if following IKEA's instructions to create a piece of furniture wasn't challenging enough, not knowing what any materials are makes it virtually impossible. You may be aware of the definition of a wooden dowel, but which tiny bag contains the hex bolts? Are nuts required for that? These inquiries all add needless stress to a precarious situation. That muddle is finally resolved. Senior editor of Popular Mechanics Roy Berendsohn gave a brief introduction to fasteners. According to Roy, every householder may encounter seven different kinds of screws and bolts at some point in their lives. These are broken out below.
Hex bolts, also known as hex cap screws, are substantial bolts with a six-sided (hexagonal!) head used to fasten metal or wood. As opposed to carriage bolts, they have a propensity to spin as you tighten them; therefore Roy advises using a wrench or socket to hold the bolt head while you tighten (or loosen) the nut with a different tool. Hex bolts can be made of plain steel for interior applications, stainless steel, or galvanised steel for outdoor use, and they all feature tiny threads and a smooth shank.
Wood-to-wood connections are made with wood screws, which have a threaded shaft. There are several threading options available for these screws. When attaching softwoods, such as pine and spruce, Roy advises using wood screws with fewer threads per inch of length. Hardwoods, on the other hand, need to be joined using fine-thread wood screws. Although wood screws come in a wide variety of head designs, round and flat heads are the most prevalent. "The head of a round head wood screw is entirely above the workpiece, and the head of the flat head wood screw is sunk into the work, "Roy clarifies. Steel with a weather-resistant treatment, brass, stainless steel or plain steel can all be used as wood screws.
Sheet Metal Bolts
To join two pieces of sheet metal together or to link sheet metal to other metals, such as tubing, sheet metal screws are employed. Typically, these screws feature a hex head, a flat head, or even a round head. The thread-cutting nature of sheet metal screws is something to bear in mind, according to Roy. He says that's why they're sometimes referred to as "self-tapping" screws: "The tip of the screw is designed to cut threads into the receiving metal into which the screw is pushed." They are nearly always made of stainless steel, aluminum, plain steel, or plain steel with a weather-resistant coating for optimal weather protection.
Machine Bolts, which are used to secure metal to metal or metal to plastic, are a cross between a tiny bolt and a screw. They are used to secure home electrical parts, such as securing a light fixture to an electrical box. In a situation like that, machine screws are used to create holes in which complementary threads are "tapped" or cut. According to Roy, the machine screw needs a nut if the hole is not tapped.
An Allen wrench may be inserted into the cylindrical head of socket screws, a particular kind of machine screw. These screws must be put firmly to provide a secure connection because they are typically used to join metal to metal. When it's anticipated that the object will be taken apart and put back together again over time, they're frequently used.
Lag bolts, also known as lag screws, are normally long enough to fully penetrate wood and have a big enough diameter to make strong connections with minimal possibility of the screw coming undone after being tightened. Decks, docks, and wood retaining walls are common locations for this kind of screw. Lag screws are coated to withstand corrosion since pressure-treated external wood is corrosive. Roy says, "They are constructed of stainless steel or are hot-dipped in zinc."
Carriage bolts are substantial bolts that are used with washers and nuts to fasten thick pieces of wood together. They might be thought of as the lag screw's relative. A cube-shaped extension below the bolt's round head carves into the wood and prevents the bolt from rotating as the nut is tightened. As a result, it is simpler to spin the nut (because you don't need to grasp the bolt head with a wrench), and tampering is avoided. "Almost often, the nut is located on the assembly's rear. Since the carriage bolt's head is rounded like an old-style rivet and cannot be easily grasped with pliers or a wrench, the fastener cannot be easily undone once it is tightened, "Roy clarifies.