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How to Build a Threaded Rod Pallet Shelf

Building A Pallet Shelf Using Threaded RodCompleted Threaded Rod Pallet Shelf - Empty

Pallet shelving is incredibly popular for its rustic look and simple functionality. We’ve decided our office could use a display shelf and we had excess pallets lying around. Then we asked ourselves whats the point in building something if we can’t show it off and teach you how to make them for yourselves. (come back to this, needs a rewrite Mention Threaded Rod Pallet Shelf)

The Tools

The Supplies

Easily Remove Pallet BoardsStep One: Finding the Wood

After we put on our safety glasses and gloves, our first step when building this shelf was to locate pallets with wood of a similar size. We decided on 3 inch wide boards for the shelving. Once we identified the 18 pieces we wanted for our 2 foot lengths (shelves) we began removing them. Ten minutes and a broken hammer handle later, we decided we needed a better way to remove the boards. Using two pieces we were able to remove in this time, we used them to create better leverage and a pry bar. Moving back and forth across the board the nails easily came out and removing our boards became simple.

*Make sure to bring extra pallets if you are collecting them. Some boards are brittle and will snap or crack during this process.

After removing those 18 boards we then found 9 more boards that were slightly thicker (4 inches wide) for the supports. Using the same prying method we were able to remove them with ease. Since these boards were over two feet in length, we only needed 9 which we could then cut into 18 10-1/4″ support beams.

Step Two: Removing the Nails

This step was the most time-consuming by far. We thought about just hammering the nails flat against Remove Nails from pallets easilythe base but decided it wasn’t particularly safe and so we began bending them straight and removing them all with a hammer. The time this takes will vary. We had some boards only attached by 3 screws where others had 9 or more.

Pro Tips:

  1. Using the gaps inside a pallet to hammer the nails down through makes removing nails easy.
  2. If the length you want to use is shorter than the board, leave the screws in the end you will be cutting off and not using.

Step Three: Measure, Mark and CutMeasure and Mark wood for cutting

Once the wood is ready, take a moment and look at each piece. Check for splits in the wood and other chipping or excessive warping. This wood can still be used if the other side is clean. At this point sort your wood by width. You should have two stacks: one with 18 3″ wide pieces and one with 9 4″ wide pieces.

Take the first 3″ wide piece and measure two feet long. Mark this length and cut it with a chop saw. Measure again to ensure the length is correct at two feet. Then use this piece of wood to make the remaining 17 pieces. Repeat this process for the 4″ wide boards but with 10-1/4″ lengths.

*To save time when collecting the wood, we only gathered 9 pieces. Use the stencil to mark multiple cuts on the 4″ wood to make multiple lengths out of one board

Step Four: Assemble the ShelvesA Pallet Shelf Halfway built

Now that all of our wood is cut to length its time to begin assembling our shelves. Lay out three pieces of the 4″ wood and then three of the 3″ boards on top of it. It’s important to make sure you even out the spacing of the 4″ boards or it will look uneven when all of the shelves are stacked. Make sure your screws are screwed in off center. This way when you go to drill the holes for the threaded rod they will not be in your way. Starting with the outside boards, drill a single wood screw into each cross-section to hold the pieces together. Do the middle piece last as it will be easy to center once the edges are in place. Make 6 shelves by repeating this process

Pro Tips:

  1. If your boards are uneven, make sure you choose a side to be the front and make that side as even as possible. No one will see the back and if it’s a little un-even that’s OK.
  2. We used blue tape before drilling into the wood to help prevent splitting and cracking around the screws.
  3. Do not over tighten the screws, the ends will be held together with nuts. The over tightening can cause splits in the wood.

Step Five: Drilling the holesDrilling Holes in Pallet Shelves

The next step was to measure the corner of the first shelf board, find the center and drill a hole with a 1/2″ spade bit. Do this for all four corners. We recommend drilling down into another piece of wood to avoid damaging the drill tip if you drill too far.

Once all four holes are drilled, make sure you have all 6 shelves with the front identified. Line up 1 or two of those shelves by the front making sure everything is flush, then take the first shelve (the one you already drilled through) and use it as a guide to drill even holes all the way down through your shelves. Once through, switch our the shelves with 1 to two more and continue until all six shelves have holes.

*Once completed line up all six and hold them up in the air. You should be able to see all the way through the hole.

Step Six: Putting it all together

Take four flange bolts and screw them onto the end of the threaded rod. Have two flipped upside down. These flanges will act as the feet and the first shelf will sit on the other two. Then begin Flange Nuts as feet for pallet shelfscrewing on four more in the same fashion from the top. One to push down against the first shelf and one to support the next shelf. Make sure you measure the gaps to know where to stop. Repeat this process until all of the shelves are sitting on four flange nuts and have four pressed down against the shelves as well.

Pro Tips:

  1. Our fastener Expert told us using coupling nuts and washers may be easier to install than using flange nuts.
  2. Don’t worry if the fixture seems unsteady. Once we tighten down the flange bolts it will be very strong
  3. The measuring at this stage is a loose indicator, we will fix that in the next step

Step Seven: Make the Shelves Equidistantmeasuring shelf height

Take a tape measure and from the bottom shelf, measure up to the next shelf. Decide on what distance you want for the shelves(we chose 13 inches). Measure each corner and adjust the bottom flange bolts as necessary until all shelves are even. Then take a level, place it on the bottom shelf and adjust the feet to even out the bottom shelf. From here you can work your way up the shelves and adjust the lower flange bolts accordingly to make each shelf level.

Step Eight: Tighten Up

At this point your threaded rod pallet shelf should still be a little wobbly. Take the 3/4″ wrench and tighten the top flange bolts down onto the shelves. Make these bolts very tight and then also tighten the bottom. Your shelf should stiffen up significantly at this point. From here on out there is only one more step.

Final Step: Decorate Your New Threaded Rod Pallet Shelf and LOVE IT!

Now that you have your completed and amazing looking shelf, its time to use it! We recommend keeping heavy weight on the bottom and lighter weight on top. Check out our decorations and tell us all about how your project turned out below!

Completed and Decorated Threaded Rod Pallet Shelf

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How Do You Protect A Door From a Hurricane?

Hurricane Protection For Doors

With a number of record breaking hurricanes striking North America in the past few months, we’ve had many customers call in or email asking us what kind of equipment, hardware and fasteners they should buy to protect their doors during a hurricane. After some research, we set out with our fastener expert to demonstrate how to and build a temporary emergency hurricane barrier for our door.  We built this door cover with materials you may have handy in your garage, basement, or workshop.

tools for hurricane protection

The Tools & Materials

The first thing we had to do was get the tools we needed for the job. We decided on a list (see below) of simple tools that are common and not some fancy “hurricane protection kits” that we have seen popping up. We’ve also linked them to our website so you can find out more about them.

Step One

Now that we have all of the tools we need assembled, our first step was to cut our 2 x 4s to length. We recommend having two pieces running down each side and one piece on top to prevent anything from falling in from the top.

frame for door protection

The 2 x 4s, our fastener expert explained, are there to add space between the door and the plywood because the handle and lock stick out too far. This means we cannot simply press the plywood against the door archway as it will not sit evenly. This method allows you to cover the door without needing to remove the hardware you will use to lock it.  He then proceeded to flip the plywood on top and align the boards beneath to the edges. The Wood screws were then places around the edges of the plywood roughly 3 feet apart. He told us these screws actually aren’t very important as they are only holding the 2x4s to the plywood so we can properly install it.

Step 2

Hammer Drilling frame into door

The next step was to press the plywood over the door with the 2x4s facing the door. The added extra space in front of the door which in turn allowed the door knob to fit nicely. Taking the Hammer Drill and SDS Concrete Drill Bit, he then proceeded to drill 3 holes into each side of the plywood (directly through the 2×4’s). We recommends 10 or more per side. But use as many as makes you comfortable.

Step 3

Now that you have your holes you can take your impact drill and hex driver to work. Use the hex driver to drive the Tapcon screws through the wood into the concrete. We recommend at least an inch and a half to two inches of length be placed into the concrete for a proper and secure hold.  It is important to always comply with local building code, we also recommend researching if your town or city has specific requirements, however keep in mind that this is a temporary fix and would not be installed as a permanent hurricane shutter or guard.

screwing masonry screws into the hurricane protection


Once the hurricane is over, these Tapcon screws can be removed easily with the hex driver. Then the wood fixture can be stored for the next hurricane or simply used for other projects you may have.

Safety Considerations

Albany County Fasteners wants to help make your house as safe as possible during a hurricane.  Hurricanes are unpredictable and mother nature is not a force to be taken lightly. You should always follow the directions given by leaders, law enforcement and the government and evacuate or leave the area during a hurricane and go somewhere safe until it has passed.

While we have shown you a way we believe to be sufficient to protect your doors, it is impossible to know what is going to happen and we can only prepare for the worst. If the storm coming your way is strong, add additional plywood sheets or thickness to your installation to make it as durable as possible and resist penetration.

temporary hurricane protection door - DIY

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Threaded Inserts for Wood – Brass Inserts

Brass Threaded Inserts for Wood

threaded inserts for wood

We hear all the time about how people don’t get threaded inserts. Well today we are going to discuss how to install brass threaded inserts into wood. Lets start with the tools you will need:

Threaded Inserts

Threaded inserts are fasteners that are driven into a material (in this case wood) which house internal threads for a fastener to screw into. Threaded inserts have their own cutting threads designed to cut into the installation material and provide a strong hold.

spade bits

They are mostly used in situations where the fastener will need to be installed and removed multiple times. In a normal situation this process would destroy the installation hole requiring that new ones be drilled. But with these inserts you can tighten or loosen fasteners with ease over and over in the same hole.

Step 1

The first and most important step in any installation is making sure you are wearing the appropriate safety gear! So since we will be drilling and working with sharp objects lets first get our safety goggles and gloves on! Now that we have our gear on let’s get started.

The first thing we need to do is get a spade drill bit. Spade bits are made specifically for boring holes. When you start drilling the hole you will notice that the but has a tendency to bounce around. To prevent this wobbling effect we recommend drilling at a very slow speed.

Step 2brass threaded insert installation

Once you’ve drilled your hole your going to take the E-Z Lok Drive tool, or Flathead driver bit, and set it in your drill. The threaded inserts have two breaks along the top of the insert where you can fit a slotted screwdriver but we recommend using the E-Z Lok tool. This tool fits snug into the gaps making driving these inserts much easier.

You’re going to want to hold the insert and fit it as straight into the hole as you can. It is critical that the insert goes into the hole as straight as possible so your fastener can also sit flat once installed. It may also cause chipping of the wood

Step 3

fastener install into brass threaded inserts

Continue driving until the threaded insert is flush with the surface. Now just line up your new material over the hole and begin tightening your fastener into place.

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How to Remove a Spinning Rivet

Removing a Spinning RivetSpinning Rivet

We frequently get calls about trying to remove worn rivets. What we’ve found is that the most frequent problem our customers have with removing them is that they are loose in their holes and spin when they attempt to drill them out.

We asked our fastener expert to help us understand this dilemma and to give us a few tips on how we might be able to fix the problem. He came up with two methods for removing them. Once we suited up with our safety gear (glasses and gloves) we set out to test these methods. The answer it turns out, is much simpler than you might imagine.

Method 1

We are going to start with the method that is harder first. All it requires is a drill, a drill bit, and a slotted or Flathead screwdriver.

To begin locate the loose rivet and slide the slotted head of the screwdriver behind the rivet head. You will need to leverage the screwdriver to exert a fair amount of pressure against the flange of the rivet to keep it from spinning. After its in place take your drill and begin screwing through the rivet slowly. You should be able to work through the rivet and drill it out.

Flathead spinning rivet     adding pressure to a spinning rivet

The Good and The Bad

We like this method because it allows the used to only need a Flathead screwdriver which is typically a tool that is readily available on most job sites or in homes.

What we didn’t like is that if you do not have something to leverage the screwdriver against you will not be able to create the necessary pressure to hold the rivet in place. It also requires that one hand be on the drill and the other is holding pressure on the screwdriver. Also, if the rivet begins to spin then the screwdriver may slip and cause scratching on the surface material. You can remedy this situation by placing duct or blue painters tape over the surface of the screwdriver head but, at that point, we might as well recommend method number 2.

Method 2

The second method he recommended to us was to use a piece of painters tape over the rivet to hold it in place, or better yet duct tape. We tested both and found they both work quite well but duct tape does have a better hold. Simply place a patch of duct tape over the rivet and press down on it to make sure it creates a sturdy bond. Once the tape is on it you can easily see the rivet through the tape. Simply place the drill into the center and begin drilling.

The Good and The Bad

We liked this method because it allowed us to keep both hands focused on one task and does not require having a leverage point.

We didn’t like that you would need to have access to duct tape or painters tape which still may be readily available but less frequently. Also if you plan on using duct tape you should determine if the material you are working on will be damaged by the duct tape.

Duct tape spinning rivet drilling duct tape rivets

Our Choice

In the end, we decided the convenience of having both hands focused on one task was winning factor. The Rivets are less likely to spin with properly applied tape and it makes removing spinning rivets a breeze.

If you need any more information on rivets check out our Free Fasteners 101: Rivet Resource Guide and let us know if there is anything we forgot to add!

Remove a Spinning or Loose POP Rivet With Duck Tape | Fasteners 101

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Remove a Spinning or Loose POP Rivet With Duck Tape Transcript

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Bob: Welcome back to Albany County Fasteners – Fasteners 101. I’m Bob and today I’m going to demonstrate how to remove a spinning rivet or a loose rivet. One of our subscribers asked, “how do I do this”?

I have a rivet that is spinning on you, as you can see here, the rivet is spinning when you go to drill it out. There you go. Just take a piece of tape, push it on the surface…and then start your drilling. Go to the center and start your drilling. Apply your pressure and your rivet is removed.

A better way actually; I’m going to install another one. Instead of blue tape, depending on the surface that you are using, and I’m trying to set these, so they spin. I want to check if it’s going to spin on me here. Yup, there ya go. Spinning. I’m going to take a piece of duct tape, it will even be better than blue tape if it’s stubborn and it wants to spin out on you and you can’t get enough pressure on it.

Take a piece of duct tape, put that baby on there. Find the center. Out it goes. Take the duct tape off and the rivet is gone. A couple of ways would be one: to be able to wedge a screwdriver behind it.

I don’t know how much room you may have, you may not have the room to do this, but I think that I have a better solution, using a nail punch. A pointy nail punch, not a flat head nail punch, it’s gotta have a point on it and I’m going to demonstrate this for you by just grabbing the edge. I want to show you first, before I do that, that this rivet is spinning. You can see it there it’s just turning with the drill. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to grab the edge of that, with a punch. First, I’m going to set the punch so it creates a little hole in it, so it grabs the head. I’m going to keep my hand here on the side of it until the drill starts to go through.

Then I’m going to take my hand out of the way, I’m not looking to hurt myself but this is one way, possibly, we can do this. I’m going to try and grab it right now and I’m gonna apply pressure on it. Okay, I’m going to apply the pressureā€¦and of course I’m having trouble with that. Nope. I’m starting to get it, give me a second. Okay, it does want to keep continuing to spin and you will have, possibly, some surface scratches but if you work at it, and you hold it, and you push on it, and slowly turn the drill, it will stop it. Another way to try is using a flat head screwdriver, if you have the room; a slotted screwdriver, Okay? You can try with this. I’m going to stick it in here and twist it a little bit to wedge it, to try to remove it and that will give it enough pressure to hold the rivet so that the drill can start to drill through it. I’m almost there. There we go. Right through.

There’s one last way that you could try to remove something, and that would be with a cut-off blade on a grinder. That’s another way to do it. You could try this, but I’ve seen this done before, it’s horrible. It’s going to really scuff up the front of the material and you’re really not gonna want to use a grinder if it matters to the finish, when you’re all done.

Also, a way to prevent any type of scratching when you’re using a screwdriver is to take a piece of blue tape, that you use or painters tape, and put the painters tape…on the tip. That will prevent, when you slip it won’t scratch the surface. I didn’t use it here but that would be something to do to prevent you from scratching the surface if you want to keep the surface nice after you remove the rivet.

Thanks for watching, I hope this helps you.

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Jobber Vs. Mechanics Drill Bits: The Difference Between Drill Bits

What Is The Difference Between A Jobber and Mechanic Drill Bit?

Jobber drill bits? Mechanics Drill bits? I JUST WANT TO DRILL A HOLE!!

Have you even felt frustrated at how much you have to learn to do something as simple as drill a hole? We feel the same way; that’s why we here at Albany County Fasteners have taken some time today to help you understand the difference between a jobber length and mechanics’ length drill bit so you can be sure to choose the right tool for your job.

Jobber Drill Bits

A jobber drill bit is a bit that has a long length compared to its diameter. Jobbers have a length anywhere from 8-12 or 9-14 (depending on who you ask) times the diameter. These bits can be measured using a number of different systems including a basic number range (1-80), letters (A-Z), wire (increase by whole number), standard metric sizing or in fractional sizes.

As far as fractional sizes are concerned, there are three different size increments used to measure jobber bits:

  • 1/64 inch to 1 inch
  • 1/16 inch to 3 inches
  • 1/8 inch to 3 1/4 inches

Mechanics Drill Bits

The correct terminology is actually a mechanics length drill bit. A “mechanics drill bit” is actually a jobber drill bit. Did you get the joke?

A mechanics length drill bit is simply a bit with a shorter flute length and shorter overall length than a standard jobber bit. This shortening of the bit makes it considerably stronger and less prone to breakage and shearing, making it suitable for harder drilling.

When To Use Each…THE ANSWER!

Determining if you should use a jobber bit vs a mechanics length (jobber) bit, is actually quite simple. A regular jobber bit is best used in softer materials such as wood, composite, and soft metals. For harder materials and hard metal drilling, a mechanics length drill bit is recommended as they are a stronger bit.  Jobber length drill bits are the most common and popular type of drill bits.

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