Monday, October 21, 2013

How I shorten bolts and screws

Inevitably, I find that while I have a bolt or screw of the right diameter for a job, it is seldom the right length and so I often end-up having to shorten them. This is a method which my dad taught me when I woz but a lad!

The most important step is the first one. Screw a nut on to the bolt before attempting to shorten it and then screw it down to below the point at which you want to shorten the bolt.

Place the remaining thread of the bolt in a vice and tighten.

With a hacksaw or junior hacksaw, cut off the excess.

Then place the shortened bolt in the vice, head down ...........

..... and file off any swarf and flatten off the end. Also smooth off the sides of the bolt a little. 

The bolt can now be removed from the vice and the nut unscrewed. This will clean out the thread of any debris or excess metal shavings. Sometimes the nut needs working back and forth the remove stubborn shavings or to cut a new thread, but once removed you should be able to easily rethread it.

In this way, you can tailor your bolts and screws to your exact requirements.

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