“Reusable, Rough, Reliable” or “A 3R’s Bolt-Type Fastener!”


Removable Bolt Fastener - 1This is the fastener I’ve referred to in other articles. A fabulous way to rapidly break-down and re-assemble wooden joinery in a manner that is rock-solid and not only quick to assemble and install, but wicked-fast to repair and rebuild if broken!

The concept is simple enough. Drill a pilot hole for a large bolt, through two pieces of wood, as shown on the right, just a hair larger than the available bolt. With another, perpendicular hole Removable Bolt Fastener - 2sized to the size of the bolt’s nut at the end of the shaft, carefully measured to the bolt’s length minus the head. When all holes are drilled, the bolt should be tested in the whole to ensure that it will penetrate through, nearly to the far edge of the larger nut-hole, but not quite. 3/4 (75%) of the way ought to be fine. These holes should be sized to the scale of your hardware, not my drawings; hence no measurement annotations.

Removable Bolt Fastener - 3The hardware assembly ought to be made of three parts, a heavy bolt of enough thickness to withstand high tension, but not so thick as to weaken your receiving boards considerably. In my drawing I’ve used a 1/2″ (~12.5mm) screw shank in a 1.5″ (38mm) board, approximately 1/3 shank to board thickness made me comfortable. The washer should be significant and heavy, as it will be the deciding factor as to whether or not the bolt pulls-through the wood.

Removable Bolt Fastener - 4The nut on the end should be a tight-fit into the hole drilled, as drawn the hole is 1″ (~25.4mm) and the bolt is also 1″ (~25.4mm) maximum diameter, though yours may differ. At the given data, it may be necessary to pare away some of the hole and/or to hammer the nut into place. This can actually be convenient, since it will fix the nut into place and make refastening MUCH easier. The use of Epoxy isn’t out of the question, though be careful to not get it anywhere near the threads.

The end-result is a very, very strong joint that requires some care, but not absolute precision. The use of a mortise and tenon wouldn’t hurt, it would actually significantly assist in alignment, but exists outside the purposes of the primer. I invite you to give it a shot, however, and see how it turns out! Drop some pics in the discussion below.

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