When To Use A Nail, Bolt or Screw

When To Use A  Nail, Bolt or Screw Fasteners Inc DenverWhere 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 nail, bolt or screw for your projects, 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.

Specialty Fasteners

Sometimes 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.

Screws

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.

Bolts

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 on 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.

Your Quick Guide to Different Fastener Types

fastener typesOne 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

Bolts

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

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

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.

The Extras

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.

Fasteners for Home Decoration and Repair

screws Fasteners Inc DenverToday, 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.

Wall Anchor

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.

Toggle Bolt

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.

Wall Driller

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.

Pre-Drill

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.

Other Bolts

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.

Fastener Length

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.

Are Fasteners Reusable?

screws1 Fasteners Inc DenverAs 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.

Thread Wear

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. 

Metallurgical Fatigue

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.

Corrosion

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.

Debris

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.

Fasteners for Building a Deck

Fasteners for Building a Deck Fasteners Inc DenverWhen choosing fasteners for building a deck, Fasteners, Inc. in Denver has the most extensive selection of fasteners to select from and over 100 years combined experience. Our expertise enables us to offer all the products you need, whether you’re building a deck for your home or operate a business building decks for homeowners across Denver and throughout Colorado. No matter the situation, we only stock quality fasteners, giving you the ability to get the job done right.

With the massive selection of fasteners available these days, no one will say that it’s an easy decision to make. And you’ll likely find that there a few schools of thought for the various options. Bottom line, you want a new deck that’s as sturdy as it is beautiful. That means you’ll also need to consider factors such as climate, moisture levels, usage and the size of the build. So, whether you’re a novice or professional builder, let’s take a look at recommended fasteners for building a deck.

Nails vs. Screws

Each has their benefits, but nails and screws provide the builder with a different experience.

Screw Pros

  • Drive in almost as quickly as nails
  • Excellent holding power as long as driven correctly
  • Easier to remove as long as head is not stripped
  • Missing the nail head may mar and damage the wood
  • Difficult to remove nails

Nail Pros

  • Experienced builders sometimes prefer nails to screws
  • Nails drive faster than screws
  • Screws puddle water unless the nail is driven too deep

Nail Basics

Sized by length, nails are either penny or d-size. The gauge of the nail, its diameter, increase as the penny size increases. Hence, an 8d nail is smaller in length and width than a 16d nail.

Common Nails

  • Used for framing
  • Have large heads with thick shanks
  • Relatively hard to drive due to their bulk
  • May split wood

Box Nails

  • Similar to common nails
  • Offer thinner shank
  • Reduced splitting of ¾-inch wood and thinner

Spiral or Ringshank Nails

  • Excellently grip of the wood
  • Stay anchored
  • Difficult to remove

Finishing Nails

  • Offer thinner shanks with barrel-shaped head
  • Use for trim

Casing Nails

  • Heartier option similar to finishing nails
  • Stronger hold for finishing work

Screw Basics

Coming in every size imaginable, a #10 Decking Screw is a popular standard screw size for building decks. You can choose from 2 ½ and 3 ½ inches, depending on the project. These screws are coated with an anti-corrosive. Usually coming with a square, Phillips, or combination head, so be sure to match the drill bit to the screw head, to avoid stripping. One can drive these self-sinking, sharp, and tapered deck screws just about as fast as a nail, so their great fasteners for building a deck. Although, square-headed deck screws drive the best.

While building your deck, you will need to fasten larger wood pieces such as posts. For this, use either a Carriage Bolt or a Lag Screw. Bolts are heavy duty fasteners and offer the capability to tighten down more, later, when the wood shrinks over time. Remember to always use a nut for these fasteners to avoid damaging and compromising the integrity of the wood below.

Other Fastener Options

Sometimes the average is just not good enough. In that case, we have other fasteners for building a deck.

Invisible Deck Fasteners

If you are going for an even finer appearance than average fasteners offer, try Invisible Deck Fasteners. With many options to choose from, you can up your decking game with fasteners that leave your new deck super clean, smooth and finer in appearance. These systems require fastening from below the deck, so are better suited for raised decks.

Often, invisible decking fasteners are used for contemporary designs with intricate patterns. They are somewhat more time-consuming and pricier, but they offer an uncluttered surface to admire. Although, deck clips are an option for working from the top of the deck, being easy to install.

Masonry Fasteners

Masonry fasteners for building a deck come with a pre-assembled anchor bolt that’s sleeve easily slides inside the pre-drilled hole, expanding against the sides and securing there as you tighten the bolt. To use this version, drill a hole of the same diameter but a ½ inch longer. Blow out any dust, then drive the bolt with the nut at the top of the threads. Do not allow the bolt to turn while tightening. Use soft metal or plastic expansion shields which spread out as the bolt tightens, by first drilling a hole of the same size as the expansion shield, then tighten the screw.

Power Fasteners

Speed up your deck project with help from a power-actuated fastening system. With a screw gun or nail gun, your deck will be completed even faster with fasteners for building a deck. Using either air compression, mini-explosives, chemicals, or power cell charges, power fasteners are expensive but can be rented for a reasonable price. Check out the advantages of using power fasteners:

  • Can be used with only one hand, while the other hand can be used for alignment and steadying work
  • A single measured blow is all it takes to drive the fastener, hence much faster
  • No risk of bending or missing nailhead
  • No chance of damaging wood due to missing nailhead
  • Blunt tips on power fasteners rarely split wood
  • Reach difficult spots easily
  • Some power guns can be custom set to countersink the fasteners, leaving them perfectly flush for a better finish

Typical Fastener Sizing

With all of the fasteners for building a deck out there, it is worth noting the most common fastener sizing. This will help you get a quick start without making a big mistake doing it.

Decking Screws:

5/4 Decking with 2 ½ coated screws

Decking Nails:

12d Ringshank/Spiral nails

Railing Nails:

6d, 8d, 10d galvanized finishing or casing nails

Now that you know about some basic fasteners for building a deck, you can get started right away. The dedicated team at Fasteners, Inc. is ready to help out whenever you are ready to get started. Our vast inventory and friendly service will ensure that you find the perfect fasteners for every project.

How to Choose Wood Screw Length

How to Choose Wood Screw Length Fasteners Inc DenverAt Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we believe that knowing how to choose wood screw length is going to help you determine a better fastener to use and hence create a better product. We’d like to share some tips on just what to look for, depending on your specific project.

The American Wood Council offers a Connection Calculator that determines connector capacity. Be sure to check it out along with this guide to find out how to choose the right wood screw length for your upcoming carpentry projects.

Screw Categories

There are two main types of screws for fastening wood out there. Utility screws (also known as deck screws) and steel / stainless steel screws. A utility screw is a workhorse; it’s used for framing and outdoor carpentry, coming in a range of materials, including corrosion-resistant metals. They work great with chemical-treated wood and are sold by the length.

On the other hand, steel and stainless steel wood screws are used for more precision woodworking projects including indoor furniture. They have a thicker body and are identified by length and gauge (thickness). Larger gauges are thicker, smaller gauges are thinner.

Basics

The main goal when choosing the right wood screw is to use one that is long enough and stout enough to secure the boards together efficiently without splitting the wood or poking through the other side.

Pilot Holes

First, drilling a pilot hole with countersink bit is the ideal scenario when working with hardwoods. Softwoods, on the other hand, probably do better without a pilot hole, as the screw gets its holding power via the wood fibers. Softwoods are less prone to splitting, so letting the screw grip the wood without a pilot hole will increase the screw’s holding strength.

Lateral Pressure vs. Withdrawal Pressure

The ultimate purpose of the piece you are constructing will determine the type of wood screw to use. If the piece will be subject to lateral pressure (pushing down or against), it is advisable to use a thicker screw.

If the piece is subject to withdrawal pressure (pulling apart), then you will want to make sure that the screw is long enough to withstand those forces. In this case, 1-1½ inches of screw thread should go into the receiving end. Obviously, avoid poking through to the other side of the board while doing so. If this is the case, then use a shorter screw but compensate by using more of them.

Grain Orientation

As a general rule, attaching two boards across the grain requires a shorter screw than when inserting into end grain, which requires at least two inches of screw thread into the board.

General Tips

  • For a sheer strength piece, use a ¼-inch lag screw
  • Use #8 diameter utility or deck screw for most tasks
  • Use 1¼-inch screw for basic tasks such as attaching ¾-inch boards across the grain
  • Have on hand some 2½-inch utility screws for using into end grain
  • Use 3-inch screw for 2x boards for into end grain, for a stronger connection

Hopefully, now you know how to choose wood screw length for your next woodworking project. At Fasteners, Inc. we are ready to help determine what wood screw you need and offer a wide assortment of fasteners for every project.

Bolts and Thread Galling

Bolts and Thread Galling Fasteners Inc DenverAt Fasteners Inc. in Denver, we would like to share some pointers on bolts and thread galling. Thread galling is also known as cold welding and although that may sound like a good thing, it’s actually not! Once galling has taken place, the only way to get the bolt out again is to split the nut. Thread galling happens when the heat, pressure, and friction of a bolt being fastened causes it to seize to the nut, unable to move in or out again. If you’ve only secured the nut halfway, this can be very frustrating.

What actually happens during the process of thread galling is that the microscopic surfaces of the bolt thread have high points. Generally, they are passed over without incident, but sometimes those high points are too high, and they get sheared off increasing heat and friction. This in turns builds upon itself with more heat and friction, to the eventual point that it seizes and no longer turns.

Fine and damaged threads are particularly susceptible to thread galling. Most often, galling happens with titanium, aluminum, and stainless steel, especially when using lock nuts. These fasteners come with a protective oxide coating to prevent corrosion. Sometimes that film can get rubbed off or get scraped off. When that happens, the layer is no longer there to prevent metal on metal contact. This greatly increases friction, hence heat, and the chances of thread galling when fastening bolts with nuts. On the other hand, hardened steel bolts, particularly when plated with zinc, seldom gall.

Prevention is the key when it comes to bolts and thread galling. Here are a few tips.

Clean and Undamaged

Make sure that you are using clean and undamaged bolts, especially when it comes to fine threaded bolts. Check each one as you get ready to use it to ensure that there are not particles stuck in the threads and that the threads are even and aligned.

Stop if Galling Starts

Stop immediately, if you notice extra friction while fastening. Wait a couple of minutes for the nut and bolt to cool down, then back it out and start fresh with a new set.

Lubricate

There are a number of lubricants for this very purpose on the market. They are called either anti-seizing or anti-galling. Some nuts offer a waxed finish in order to prevent galling before it starts.

Slower Drilling

Even though we like to work at a quick pace, slowing it down a bit is going to help avoid galling. With less heat and friction happening, you will see fewer instances of thread galling. In some cases, it is best to avoid using power tools when working with stainless steel and nylon insert lock nuts.

Avoid Pulling Together Joints

Remember, that bolts are not made to bring joints together. Joints should already be held together (use a clamp if necessary) before using a bolt to fasten. Otherwise, your chances of thread galling are substantially increased. It’s worth the extra effort to avoid thread galling at all costs.

Extra Caution with Lock Nuts

When working with nylon insert lock nuts and torque nuts, they generate a significant amount of heat and friction. Try to keep your speed down or consider switching to an alternative locking mechanism.

Now you have a real handle on bolts and thread galling. And you’re better equipped to have a successful project without this issue to deter your results. Count on the experts at Fasteners, Inc. to help you not only find the right fastener system but be more productive by avoiding thread galling.

Deciding on a Nail, Bolt or Screw

Deciding on a Nail, Bolt or Screw Fasteners Inc DenverWhere 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 nail, bolt or screw for your projects, 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.

Specialty Fasteners

Sometimes 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.

Screws

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.

Bolts

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 on 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.

Choosing the Right Fastener for the Build

Choosing the Right Fastener for the Build Fasteners Inc DenverAt Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we know that choosing the right fastener for the build is a key decision. If you have a construction project, the right choice of fasteners means a successful completion of your work, so it’s important to understand the type and scope of the project and role the fastener plays in it before you can determine which fasteners will work best. Once you have that nailed down, you can rely on us for an extensive inventory of fasteners. Nuts, bolts, screws and more – we’ve got them for prompt, accurate delivery or shipment.

Let’s look at some of the types of fasteners and different kinds of projects and which ones might go together, taking into account the project, materials, durability, and design.

Types of Fasteners

Rivets

These have a cylindrical protrusion on top of the head. You need a rivet gun to put the rivet through holes drilled in the materials to fasten. The gun makes the tip of the rivet collapse against the back of the material. This flattens out the tip of the rivet, pulling the material together against the head of the rivet. This makes the materials squeeze together. Rivets are durable and tamper-proof. They are also inexpensive. However, rivets need pre-drilled holes and high-quality tools. Rivets are hard to remove so make sure they’re what you need when choosing the right fastener for the build.

Screws

Threaded fasteners, screws are good at holding two pieces of materials together. They are driven by rotation. The screw threads grip and hold the materials and pull the two pieces tightly together. The head of the screw stops the screw when it reaches its proper depth. Screws offer a secure hold but are easily removed. They seldom become loose and there are a large variety of styles. However, it’s hard to hide the screw head and it can sometimes strip. Screws sometimes rip and tear the materials.

Pins

These fasteners are like dowels but are metal. Pins are pressed into materials to hold them together. They might have holes on either end, so a clip can be placed into it to secure the pin. Pins are easy to install and remove if not pressed. They can be used as a good temporary fastener. However, pins can be hard to get a tight connection and need drilled holes, so it’s an important decision when choosing the right fastener for the build.

Nails

Spiked pieces of steel, nails are driven into the wood to hold the wood or something attached to it securely in place. A hammer or are a nail gun are used to drive them in. If you are dealing with nailing into concrete, a tool with an explosive charge is used. Nails are easily installed, particularly if you have an air gun. They can be countersunk into trim materials and they are inexpensive. However, nails sometimes work loose, split materials, and if your hammer misses, the small head it can damage the materials.

Staples

This kind of fastener is U-shaped and is fired into materials to hold them together or keep them in place. You will need a spring-loaded or air-powered staple gun. Staples can be installed fast and removed easily. They can be a good temporary fastening solution and they can bridge seams. However, staples can be loosened easily. They are not load bearing and sometimes they rip through light materials.

Dowels

These are wooden cylinders that are placed in drilled holes with two different pieces of material. They are tightly pressed into the drilled holes and are secured with wood glue. Dowels have strong holding ability. They are easily installed and you can’t see them. However, you can’t remove them. The drilled holes have to match perfectly and there needs to be time for the glue to dry. 

Nuts and Bolts

Threaded fasteners placed in holes drilled through two or more materials are bolts. A threaded nut is placed on the threaded bolt to hold the materials together by screwing it tightly. Washers are used under the head of the bolt to add more holding power. Lock washers or locking nuts are often used to prevent the nuts from loosening or falling off. Nuts and bolts are secure and offer high load bearing. They are easily removed and come in a variety of sizes. However, they require pre-drilled holes in order to install them and you will need multiple tools to tighten them.

Construction Projects

Of course, these are just a few of the more common fasteners. There are many other specialized fasteners that are used for specific needs. What material you are working with is key for choosing the right fastener for the build. Keep in mind that most construction projects will be using many different materials, so you will need many different types of fasteners. 

Let’s examine what fasteners would be recommended for certain projects. Just a reminder, choosing the right fastener must be followed by the proper use and installation. 

Roofing

Screws or nails are used to install roof panels. Nail guns make a roofing project go faster. You can use staples to hold down the roof tar paper. Roofing nails are best for asphalt shingles.

Drywall

If there are wooden studs, nails are an option for installing drywall but most of the time you will be using drywall screws. If you have metal wall studs, then drywall screws are the only choice.

Trim Work

Nails can be used for trim work. Using a brad nail gun, brad nails attach trim, moldings, and surface pieces for a nice finish. In areas you can’t see, you can use screws. Dowels are used when all the sides will be visible.

Furring Strips

Using a construction adhesive is the first step in attaching furring strips, but you might also want to add one or two fasteners like concrete screws, anchors or lag screws, per strip for extra holding power.

Decks

Screws are often used for building decks. The planking, railings, and slats are installed with deck screws which are specially designed for easy installation and rust resistance. The actual deck structure would be bolted together with high-grade nuts and bolts.

Tell us what your project is, and our fastener experts at Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can get you the best fasteners. It’s important in choosing the right fastener for the build to consider the project, the materials, the durability, and the design. Our inventory is large and we can deliver or ship your fastener order.

All About Bolts, Nuts, and Washers

All About Bolts, Nuts, and Washers Fasteners Inc DenverNo matter the project, it’s important to know all about bolts, nuts, and washers, so you choose the right fastener. Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can help you determine what length, gauge, shape, strength, and material that you will need for your project.

Bolts

Bolts go through a pre-drilled hole in two or more materials. Bolts are made for a variety of purposes and may also need a nut or washer. Here is an explanation of the types of bolts.

  • Standard Bolt: The standard bolt uses a hexagonal head. Used in metal, wood, and plastic applications, it will have a smooth shoulder right under the head and before the thread if it is a long bolt. With shorter standard bolts they may be fully threaded. This kind of bolt goes through a drilled hole and uses a nut on the other side.
  • Coach or Carriage Bolt: With a domed head, a coach or carriage bolt has a square section underneath the head that is intended to hold the bolt once it is in the wood. Sometimes two bolts are used to prevent a beam from swiveling.
  • Tap Bolt: This kind of bolt is completely threaded. It is used in a threaded or tapped hole and does not need a nut.

Nuts

A bolt is a type of fastener that often needs a nut that is tightened on the end and helps fasten several materials together. Here are the types of nuts.

  • Cap Nut or Acorn Nut: These nuts have domed shapes. The acorn nut’s dome is higher and more pointed than the cap nut. The bolt needs to be the exact length of the material and the nut since the bolt thread doesn’t pass through the nut.
  • Nylon Insert Nuts: This type of nut makes a thread as it’s screwed onto the bolt. This helps prevent the nut from slipping or backing out from the bolt. A nylon insert jam lock nut is a shorter version of this type of nut.
  • Flange Nut: This kind of nut has a washer that is built in which allows it to be assembled faster. Some of these have toothed washers.
  • Wing Nut: The wings on this type of nut allow it to be tightened by hand.
  • Hexagonal and Square Nuts: These nuts are used to fit standard bolts.

Washers

Often the fastener will need a washer between the nut and the bolt to distribute the load. Sometimes washers are used between the bolt head and the material without a nut.

Washers reduce the wear on the hole and stop the inward pressure on softer materials. In addition, the washer can stop the bolt from coming undone. These are the types of washers.

  • Split Lock Washers stop the bolt from backing out.
  • Flat Washers are flat and help distribute the load.
  • Fender Washers are a flat washer with a bigger diameter.
  • Tooth Lock Washers are used to prevent the bolt or nut from backing out.
  • Finishing Washers are used for appearance and fits neatly with the nut or bolt.

Learning all about bolts, nuts, and washers and choosing the right fastener for your project is not as hard as it may seem. Our team of fastener experts at Fasteners, Inc. in Denver can assist you in picking the fasteners you might need, including bolts, nuts, and washers.