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Do it Yourself with Tina!
What you didn’t know about sandpaper but were afraid to ask
By Tina Rotolo

Many of the projects you undertake in your home require some sort of hardware or fasteners. While many items you purchase, such as coat racks, shelving systems and ready-to-assemble furniture will come with the required hardware, there are a million other projects where you may need a fastener: nuts, bolts, screws, and washers. Selecting the proper hardware for your project or fix is crucial to getting the job done properly. The vast array of fasteners available can appear daunting, so here are the nuts and bolts of fasteners in a nutshell to get you started. First we’ll discuss screws, and next month nuts, bolts and other fasteners.

Anatomy of a fastener
Threaded fasteners consist mainly of the head, the shoulder or neck, the shank, the thread, and the point. There are a wide variety of styles and types of each of these parts.
• Fastener heads fall into two types: those with a recess for driving and those designed to be held by a tool gripping the outside of the head. The profile of the head depends on the application.
• The neck or shoulder prevents the turning of the bolt during tightening. It may be square, ribbed, fin neck, round, or oval.
• The shank is the unthreaded portion of the fastener.
• The thread determines how the fastener is to be used. Some have coarse thread, others have fine thread and are divided into classes (1A, 2A, 3A, and 5), each class having a recommended application.
• The point of a fastener can be a variety of styles including flat, oval, cut, dog, half-dog, machine, gimlet, and nail. Each style is designed for a specific use.

Common types and features of fasteners

Sheet metal screw
• Fastens thin metal to thin metal
• Threaded entire length
• Can have flat, oval, round, or binding heads
• Typical lengths range from ⅛”
to 2”

Machine screw

• Can have round, oval, flat, and fillister heads
• Intended to be screwed into prethreaded holes in metal
• Looks like a bolt, but is driven with a screwdriver instead of a wrench
• Sized according to diameter, thread and length

Set screw
• Prevents bolts from loosening due to vibration
• Headless set screws are tightened with a screwdriver
• Square head set screws are tightened with a wrench

Wood screw

• Used to secure wood together
• Usually made of steel, aluminum or brass
• Threads run from the point along three quarters the length
• Heads are slotted

Dowel screw
• Threaded on both ends
• Used for assembling pieces of furniture end to end

Lag screw
• Also called a lag bolt
• Similar to wood screws but stronger
• Used when increased gripping power is needed
• Used for wrenching into wood surfaces

Drywall/deck screw
• Used when installing drywall or decking material
• Coated to prevent rust

• Used to tighten wire or bracing doors
• Barrel-shaped metal device with threaded rod inserted into each end
• Rods have eyes at either end or a hook on one end and eye on the other

Screw eye/hook
• Screw eyes have screw thread on one end and ring at other
• Screw hooks have screw thread at one end and hook at other
• Used to hang items or to hold items together

Tina Rotolo is the store manager and human resource director at Cole Hardware on Polk Street. She loves helping customers with do-it-yourself projects. Contact Tina or her staff at 415-674-8913 for any questions with your projects.

September 2011 Issue


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