Our Current Blog Articles
September 17, 2018
Construction Fasteners, There are So Many
At Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we know that the basics of construction fasteners include figuring out the type of material for the job, such as carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel and others. The construction industry uses fasteners to join two or more things together, and that could be just about anything. That’s why we have an inventory of over 30,000 items and the experience to help you find the fasteners for your construction project and budget. Our fastener experts can help you decide what type of material will be needed for your fasteners.
In determining which fasteners are needed, you should take into consideration the particular application it will be used for and then we can help you select the correct fastener material by looking at:
- What type of materials are being joined
- Accessibility of the area
- Weight of the materials
- Surrounding environment, such as temperature and exposure to the water and the wind
- Reusability of the fasteners
After we have a better understanding of your construction project we can determine what types of fasteners are needed. Now, let’s take a look at the basics of construction fasteners.
- Anchors attach material to concrete. There is a threaded end that is attached to a nut and a washer.
- Studs have no head and are used as a threaded rod to attach nuts to.
- Bolts are placed through a drilled hole into a material and need a nut to tighten it on the other end.
- Nuts tighten the bolt or threaded rod at the threaded hole center.
- Screws use their helical surface thread to pierce into the material.
- Washers distribute the weight of a threaded fastener. They are thin plates with a hole that are used for locking devices, springs, wear pads and spacers.
Construction Fastener Material
Fasteners are made from different material and offer strengths for different applications.
Carbon Steel: Some fasteners are made of carbon steel and offer good workability along with strength and affordability.
Stainless Steel: This material can resist corrosion and heat, and yet remain strong. It can be chemically modified for different projects’ needs. It is an austenitic, nickel-chromium-iron-silicon alloy. It is resistant to oxidation and carburization up to 2200°F but still retains its strength.
Aluminum: The weight to strength ratio of aluminum exceeds most other materials. It is also non-magnetic with electrical and thermal conductivity, and it can be easily hot and cold forged.
Brass: This type of copper-based alloy is affordable, stronger, and ductile. Known for its strength and resistance to corrosion, 360 brass is one of the most popular copper alloys.
Silicon Bronze: These materials offer strength and toughness along with corrosion resistance and non-magnetic properties. It is often used for fasteners for naval construction, particularly minesweepers. Cold-formed fasteners made from silicon bronze should be stress relieved to reduce the risk of corrosion failure.
When looking at the basics of construction fasteners, you’ll need to look at the application, the type of faster needed and the material that your fastener is made from. Our experienced fastener staff at Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can work with you to determine exactly what you need, whether it’s a construction project or just about any other job under the sun.
June 8, 2018
When to Use a Nail, Bolt or Screw
Where do you go for help when deciding on a nail, bolt or screw? Fasteners, Inc. in Denver has an inventory of over 30,000 items and if we don’t have the perfect choice of a nail, bolt or screw for your project, we’ll get it. When you are securing, attaching, and fastening it’s hard to know which fastener is the best. They come in different lengths and gauges or thicknesses. They also come in a variety of metals. There are a lot of considerations. For example, some metals are more corrosion-resistant and others are less expensive but may rust if exposed to moisture.
So, you have to think about the gauge, length, and type of metal you need for your specific application. Then there’s always the big factor of price. What you have to do is evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each kind of fastener and find out what applications each one is best suited for. We can discuss these considerations with you and guide you in making the right choice when deciding on a nail, bolt or screw.
Uses of Nails and Screws
Nails can be hammered by hand or shot out of a nail gun. They are great when you need basic construction and the components won’t be facing strong force or pressure.
There are some things to think about if you are trying to choose between nails or screws:
Nails are usually cheaper than screws
If you are working on a tight budget, nails are the best way to go, if both nails and screws would do the job equally well.
Nails are faster to use
A few pounds from a hammer can drive the nail but installing a screw takes more time.
Nails are more flexible than screws
If you hit a nail with a hammer at the wrong angle it will bend. Screws don’t have that flexibility. A screw will just snap in two if it has too much weight or pressure on it. On the other hand, you can pummel a bent nail to make it straight and reuse it again. Screws are much more brittle under pressure. When gravity and weight bear down on a nail, it has less strength than a screw to withstand that pressure. It will continue to bend until its holding power fails or it justs snap off if the force is great enough.
So, how do you decide between nails and screws on particular projects? It depends on the demands being put on the fastener. Here are some examples: If you need to hang heavy cabinetry on your kitchen wall or put up bookshelves, don’t use nails. The heavy cabinets and shelving will collapse as soon as the nail bends.
But nails are perfect if you are putting up 2 x 4 studs to make a wall. Most homes have nailed studs, sheetrock, and wood, as well as nailed flooring. Nails are usually used to attach molding around the edges of your floor, or tacking decorative molding around the frame of a doorway. Finishing nails, with the tiny heads are great for many decorative applications because they can be hammered flush or even below the surface of the wood. After that, a wood filler can be used to cover over the spot where the nail went in. This makes the nail almost invisible and gives it a nice finished look.
It’s a good idea if nails are being used to construct something, that you also use proper adhesives to help bind the joints together. This will give it some additional support and help take some of the pressure off the nails so they hold their strength and don’t bend.
Sometimes it's more complicated than choosing a nail, bolt or screw. You might need a specialty fastener that combines the screw design with devices such as anchors or toggles that spread open inside the wall. The anchor acts similar to the nut on a bolt to hold it there in case the screw begins to fall out. The anchors and toggles on specialty screws keep the shaft of a screw from becoming dislodged and falling out of its hole.
Washers are flat discs that are used along with screws or bolts and give a stronger hold. It also provides a protective buffer so the screw or bolt doesn’t scratch up whatever it is surrounding it. A cup washer is a specially-shaped washer that works well for aesthetic or decorative reasons because many people think they are more attractive. For example, if you are using screws that are exposed and you want a clean and neat finished look, use cup washers.
Now let’s talk a little bit about screws. They tend to work best when the application will be experiencing forces of weight, pressure or gravity. Screws are shaped like a corkscrew to let them to bore into the wood and grip it tightly. This strength makes it hard for the wood or other material to wiggle or move and creates a sturdier placement. If it was a nail, the extreme weight or any pulling or pushing would cause the material to slide off the nail.
But what about bolts? In what applications do bolts perform best? If the application requires strength, holding power, or the convenience of easy disassembly, then the best bet is to use nuts and bolts.
Taken apart or disassembled
Bolts are great for any project that will need to be easily taken apart or disassembled. For example, bunks beds use bolts.
Extreme holding strength
Bolts offer huge holding strength. Did you know that trucks and even massive structures like commercial buildings are sometimes held together with bolts? Bolts are held in place with nuts which can be tightened by using a pair of pliers or even a wrench. The wheels on vehicles are usually bolted into place and the lug-style nuts are tightened using a tire changing tool or a pneumatic wrench that is powered by compressed air. That gives it a tight fit that guarantees it won’t shake loose, even under the intense force of high road speeds or over rough terrain.
Another consideration when deciding between a nail, bolt or screw is the strength of the material the fastener is embedded in. Some material can become so weak or deteriorated that no fastener will work. We can help check the recommendations of manufacturers and local building codes when choosing the right gauge and type of metal. Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can help you make the right choice of fasteners, so your construction project can be successful.
April 19, 2018
Your Quick Guide to Different Fastener Types
One of the hardest parts of construction projects is choosing the right fastener types to complete that project.
There is a vast variety of fasteners though. Bolts, nails, and screws come in a wide range of designs and can be used for just as wide a range of projects. Knowing the right kind to use is very important before heading into a new project.
With the help of Fasteners Inc. in Denver, we'll help you pick out the right bolt or screw for your endeavors and get you on your way to a new and better construction project.
Bolts vs. Screws vs. Nails
The first step to finding the right fastener types for your project is knowing the major differences between the different types.
Bolts are threaded much like screws. But unlike screws, these fasteners require a nut to lock in place. Bolts are great for projects that must be disassembled. These types of fasteners are commonly used in the automobile industry.
These fasteners are ideal for projects that require a strong hold and won't be shaken loose by vibrations or strong force.
Bolts like the A307B Bolts which are sold by Fastener's Inc. are made to support industrial structures. They can be used for concrete forms and columns.
Screws bore into the wood or metal they're being driven into and are ideal for projects that may be affected by gravity. Wood screws are popular for decks and wood playsets.
We sell many types of screws, including screws for sheet metal, wood screws and machine screws.
The corkscrew shape of screws makes it hard for your project material to shake free.
Nails are a basic connector. They are driven by sheer force into the material and are generally much cheaper than bolts and screws. They do not require extras like nuts and washers to complete the fastening you will need.
Nails are also cheaper and are easier to use.
We will always recommend using d of fastener please fix this types when also using nails. We offer a wide range of adhesives that you will be able to choose from.
When choosing the right kind of bolt system for your project, be sure to pick up the right type of washers and nuts to finish off your fastener.
Washers are flat metal discs with holes drilled through the center. These devices can be used with screws and bolts. We offer several designs from the basic commercial stainless steel all the way up to more specialized versions like tooth lock washers.
Washers will ensure a firmer connection and a sturdier project.
Like washers, nuts are essential for many project types.
Nuts come in a wide variety of forms as well. Usually, in an octagonal type shape, these finishing products will keep your project firmly in place. We offer several types, from lock nuts, nylon insert lock nuts and even weld nuts.
All the Fastener Types You Need
There are so many different types of fasteners to choose from. Make sure that you understand the material you are using. And what the final project will be used for. This will help you choose the right system for your project.
Fasteners Inc. has an inventory of 30,000 items, ensuring that you will be able to find the right fastener for your project.
If you would like to learn more, please contact us and we will be sure to help you as best we can.
March 28, 2018
Fasteners for Home Decoration and Repair
Today, Fasteners Inc. in Denver discusses common fasteners for home decoration and repair. As an industry leader, we carry a massive inventory of the best fasteners available, and we have the insight you need to determine the best fasteners for all those jobs around your home or for your next project.
So, let’s get to it and next time you are getting ready to put up those paintings and wall hangings, you you will be prepared with the right information for a successful process.
First, you’ll need to determine what type of wall material you have. Typically, sheetrock is the material of choice for newer homes. If you’re going to hang something small, only a few ounces in weight or about 8” x 10” and less, you will merely need a nail driven at an upward angle and you should be all set.
For more substantial items that weigh more and are larger in size, you will likely need to use a screw in tandem with wall anchor to give it enough support to hang without danger of falling. These fasteners for home decoration and repair require you to first drill a pilot hole. Then you place the anchor in the wall and drive the screw into it. The wall anchor will grip, expand and hold firm.
Similar to a wall anchor, a pilot hole is first created to install a toggle bolt. However, there is a spring inside which opens up as soon as it extends into the wall cavity, creating a grappling hook effect.
Without the need for a pilot hole driven first, a wall driller is driven into the wall. You can drive a screw through it like the wall anchor or place a hanger over the head of this versatile fastener.
When drilling pilot holes for screws, be sure to use the shank diameter, not the thread diameter as your measure for what size drill bit to use. When pre-drilling pilot holes for bolts, however, use the threads as the indicator of size. It can even be slightly larger than the threads. Be sure to drill completely through.
Screws vs. Nails and Brads
Beyond fasteners for home decoration and repair inside, there are a wider variety of nails than screws for exterior projects and purposes. For this, it is helpful to know what to look for to accomplish whatever task you might have at hand.
Whether you are looking for the right fasteners for repairing outdoor furniture, decking, siding, roofing, fencing, and more, screws offer increased holding power over nails. However, nails and brads are a good choice for basic construction, especially when using adhesives. In an outdoor setting, using galvanized and stainless nails and brads is the way to go as they’re well-suited for all types of weather.
Screws are ideal to use when force is applied in many directions, such as a joint on a bookshelf. The threads on a screw are designed to grip the wood and make the joint much sturdier than it would be without it. You can think of a screw as biting into the wood and not letting go. When you’re building or repairing a bookcase, you can use only nails and glue, but the results will not be as reliable. Weight and pressure can cause nail holes to distend and eventually, the nail will come loose even with the glue as backup. To increase the security of the piece, include screws into the process for best results.
Nails vs. Brads
Identify brads and finishing nails by their much smaller heads over a nail´s wider head surface. These are great for attaching trim, baseboards, crown molding, putting furniture together and more. As the head is driven into the wood, typically with a nail gun, it naturally lands somewhat below the surface of the wood. You can then use a wood filler and paint to completely cover the head for a seamless finish.
Deck Screws vs. Lag Screws
Also on the list of fasteners for home decoration and repair is the almighty deck screw. It is versatile and helpful for a wide variety of tasks. As its name infers, it is the best bet for any deck building or repair projects. It is coated with a corrosion resistant product and does not often get stripped. Fortunately, they are less expensive than stainless steel and come in a wide range of sizes from 1 ¼”-3”.
Lag screws are built for heavy-duty use and come in stainless or galvanized. Use when working with large and dimensional lumber like 4x4s. Lag screws are great for putting together treehouses, swing sets, arbors, pergolas, and providing additional deck support.
If you plan to disassemble a project or are building a heavy-duty contraption, using bolts including Phillips oval-head, carriage, and hex-head bolts may be your best bet. They offer incredible holding power and are sized by the diameter and the length in inches. These fasteners for home decoration and repair are not used that often, but if you’re handy, you might find use for them.
Determining what length of fastener to use all depends on what you are working on. If you are joining two boards together, drive the fastener at least halfway into the board but not entirely through it, for best results. When joining at a right angle, the fastener should be at least twice the thickness of the material used. Here’s a quick example of this: use a fastener at least 1 ½” long to join two ¾” boards.
With the right information about fasteners for home decoration and repair, you will be able to complete your projects right the first time around. At Fasteners Inc., we’re here to help, and our customer service is exceptional! We aim to provide all of our customers with the high-quality fasteners they need for their upcoming home decoration projects. Contact us today to learn more and get the perfect fasteners for every job.
February 27, 2018
Are Fasteners Reusable?
As you plan a project, you may be asking yourself, “Are fasteners reusable?” If so, here are helpful tips from Fasteners, Inc. in Denver on how to determine if a fastener can be reused or not. It is always better to know ahead of time whether your fasteners are suitable to be used again or if a new set is required. Using compromised fasteners on any project will inevitably cause premature degradation, and the workmanship will be compromised. Read on to determine are fasteners reusable or not.
Fastener Drive Damage
The drive on a fastener is the slot, socket, hex hole or crossed slot in which a driver – your screwdriver, allen wrench, etc. – is used to apply torque while installing or removing. If this vital piece is damaged, the fastener cannot be reused. Sometimes, the driver will slip out of the fastener once the torque has exceeded a certain point. This is called camming out, and it can lead to permanent damage of the fastener, rendering it useless.
Avoid damage to the fastener by using a driver with appropriate torque. Too much torque will quickly deform the fastener. The drive, which is the slot and recess, needs to match the driver for best results. If you’re interested, you can check out the Industrial Fastener Institute, AMSE to learn about how deep a recess should be and just how far a driver needs to penetrate for the most effectiveness while driving.
Deciding are fasteners reusable can depend on thread wear. Extreme thread wear can occur in machine screws that are continuously loaded and unloaded. The threads can become deformed with frequent use. This increases stress on the thread load and screw thread flanks. To reduce this damage, match up the right thread material to the finish. Additionally, use pilots, chamfers or full dog points to cut down on misstarts and wear due to cross-threading.
Fatigue will shorten the reliability and lifespan of a fastener. Prevent metallurgical fatigue by making the assembled joint rigid with regards to the spring rate of the fastener. Make sure that the service load is not greater than the preload. Know your type of fastener's endurance limits. Replace them if that limit is approached and use magnetic particle inspection or liquid penetrants on assemblies in order to detect micro-cracks to avoid more issues.
Damage from Vibration
Vibration can cause several issues. It can loosen the fasteners, causing them to fall out, even get tangled with working components and cause severe damage. Otherwise, the constant movement back and forth can wear down the threads, loosening and causing fatigue. If you’re wondering, are fasteners reusable, vibration could greatly affect your decision.
Take a look at the assembly. In excessively vibrational areas, use non-metallic fasteners which have elastic attenuation in these areas instead. Additionally, supplemental locking features and self-threading fasteners can also help to dampen vibrations. These include locking washers, metal locking devices, locking threads, underhead serrations, commercial thread-locking adhesives, and plastic inserts and coatings.
Damage from UV Rays
Plastic fasteners can particularly suffer from UV damage, hence degrading and decreasing performance. Be aware of any plastic components used and be sure to provide adequate protection for them or choose another material altogether.
Seizing from Friction
The thread of your fastener can unintentionally weld to the assembly if the friction forces them together. Galling and seizing of the threads can render a fastener useless. Especially for stainless steel threaded fasteners, it is good to use a lubricator or anti-seizing compound to separate out the pressure flanks and bearing surfaces of the fastener you are using. Or choose non-galling metallurgy mating threads instead.
Seizing from Heat and Corrosion
Avoid using dissimilar materials and fasteners. Otherwise, the fastener's threads can seize from either corrosion or too much heat. Varying thermal expansion coefficients will inevitably lead to seizing. Ensure adequate clearance and use anti-seizing compounds and temperature-appropriate thread lubricants.
When deciding are fasteners reusable, this is a big one. The corrosion of a fastener’s working surface can lead to their disuse or complete failure which is a dangerous possibility. Corrosion occurs regularly when elements including sodium, sulfur, and chlorine combine with the moisture in the air to form hydrochloric acid and other acidic compounds.
Reduce the risk of severe corrosion by using corrosion-resistant fastener materials. Also, avoid corrosion by limiting the use of dissimilar elements in the close range of the assembly. Thus, you can reduce the galvanic coupling levels and lower electrochemical potential differences, which inevitably lead to corrosion. Additionally, use sacrificial coatings on the fasteners and the assemblies at risk of corrosion. These coatings will corrode first and leave the structural part of the fastener and the assembly intact.
Recessed drives (socketed, Philips, Freason, Pozi-Drive) are susceptible to the build-up of debris. Anything from grease to grit and more can find its way into the drive space and create issues while doing so. The transmission of torque is massively reduced if there is an obstruction present. Conduct tests of tightening and untightening before deciding on the specific fastener to use for your project and to avoid prematurely camming out.
Store fasteners in a location free of debris if possible. If not, use a lubricant or protective grease that will easily flush out of the fastener before driving.
Losing Locking Ability
It’s essential to document the precautions, procedures for fasteners with locking features and have their performance laid out and passed down to anyone working on the project. Thread-locking adhesives, lock washers, locking tabs, self-locking threads, are rendered useless if installed incorrectly, even just one time. The need for threads to be clean, burr-free, and intact are essential points to understand.
Hopefully, now you can answer the question “Are fasteners reusable?” with help from our re-using fasteners guide. Remember to use Fasteners, Inc. as your resource for anything concerning fasteners of any kind. We are here to help with an incredible pool of knowledge and experience. Do not hesitate to contact us about your upcoming fastener needs this year.