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What Size Drill Bit Do I Use To Drill A Hole For A Carriage Bolt?

What Size Drill Bit Do I Use To Drill A Hole For A Carriage Bolt?

carriage bolt drill size

A common question we get when discussing carriage bolts is “What size drill bit do I use to drill a hole for a carriage bolt?” The answer is simple. Use the same size drill bit as the diameter of the bolt. If you are using a 1/2″ diameter bolt use a 1/2″ drill bit.



Installing A Carriage Bolt

Carriage bolts are very misunderstood and yet very simple to install. Made primarily for wood, carriage bolts have a square shoulder right below the head. This shoulder is designed to catch on wood and be pulled into it (by tightening the nut). Often you will find the domed head of a carriage bolt countersunk into the wood. To learn how to make a countersunk hole carriage bolt in woodyou can check out this video we made: How To Drill A Countersunk Pilot Hole.

Step One

The first thing to do when installing a carriage bolt is to determine the diameter of your carriage bolt. After you figure out the diameter with a thread gauge or other measuring tool, find a wood drill bit with the same diameter and then get your drill ready.

Step Two

Now that you have your drill bit, mark the wood and drill out the hole. Depending on the type of wood drill bit you use to make the hole, the carriage bolt may slide right into the hole or be very tight. If it is very tight grab a hammer and tap the rounded head of the bolt so it slides into the hole. *Pro Tip: Since you already have the hammer out, once the hammering in a carriage boltsquare shoulder gets down to the wood give it a couple solid hits, so the square portion begins to sink into the wood.

Step Three

Take a washer and nut and fasten them to the carriage bolt against the wood. As you tighten the nut against the washer, it will pull the square shoulder into the wood preventing it from spinning. Once the domed head of the carriage bolt is tight against the wood the carriage bolt is installed.

Conclusion

Carriage bolts are surprisingly simple to understand and yet many people still struggle with them. Hopefully this post will help you to understand which sizetightening a carriage bolt drill bit you will need and how to install a carriage bolt into wood.

 

 

 

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What is Torque Control?

Torque Control and Related Terms

Torque is the force applied to something to make it spin (rotate) in machinery. Torque in relation to fasteners is the resistance faced when installing a fastener. Torque control then is simply controlling the amount of torque placed on a fastener without damaging it by over-tightening.

Prevailing Torque Measure of a screw or nuts frictional resistance to rotation.
Prevailing “Off” Torque Highest back-off torque on a torque wrench on the first rotation of a screw or nut upon removal.
Installation Torque The initial torque amount used to install a fastener before Pre-load.
Breakaway Torque The minimum torque required to start rotation into a nut (in the case of a bolt) or into a pre-tapped hole (in case of a screw).
Breakloose Torque Minimal torque required to begin the disassembly of a fastener assembly.
Seating Torque The torque required to produce pressure onto the installation material causing compression by the fastener.

Torque Wrenches are one of the easiest ways to ensure proper torque is met. Simply set the wrench’s torque and then when the maximum is reached the clutch will slip. This slip means the wrench stops putting any more torque on the fastener and it has reached its optimal torque.



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How to Install and Remove a Carriage Bolt

Carriage Bolt Install and RemovalInstalling a Carriage bolt

The Setup

The first thing we need to do when installing a carriage bolt is to make sure we have the right parts and tools to do so. For this job we will need a:

  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Drill Bit
  • Piece of wood
  • Carriage Bolt
  • Nut
  • WasherHammer the carriage bolt washer into a hole

For our example, we have already pre-drilled the hole into a piece of 2×4 and attached it to a vice. This will act as our installation surface for our carriage bolt.

Understanding A Carriage Bolt

screw on the nut

A carriage bolt is a bolt with threading all the way up the shank to a small square shoulder, with a domed head. The square shoulder of a carriage bolt stops it from spinning as it is screwed into the surface of a material. You would not typically use this type of bolt on very hard wood as it may not properly dig into the material, which would cause the bolt to spin in place. Once you seat the bolt through the hole, it is the job of the nut and washer to pull the bolt into the material tightly. Since there is no drive device for the domed head of the bolt, this is the only way to install it.



The Install

The installation process is fairly simple. First you drill a hole into the wood for the appropriate size (diameter) of the bolt. Next you slide the bolt into the hole (you may need a hammer as the hole should be just big enough for the bolt to go through).

loosening the nut

Now that you have the nut through the wood it is time to attach the nut and washer. Place the washer on the rear side of the bolt followed by the nut. The washer will help to distribute the force you are about to put onto the nut to pull the bolt into the wood. This will not only protect the wood on the back side but also keep the bolt from digging into it and getting stuck.

As you tighten the nut, the square shoulder on the bolt will be pulled into the wood. Once the underside of the head rests against the wood, the carriage bolt is officially installed.

The Removal

hammering the bolt loose

Removing the carriage bolt is a fairly simple process. First, you will want to twist the nut loose to the end of the bolt. DO NOT TAKE THE NUT ALL THE WAY OFF THE BOLT, you will need it to help move the bolt along.

Once the nut is backed off to the end of the bolt, hit the nut with a hammer. The force should start moving the square shoulder out of the wood. As you move the bolt further out the nut will get closer to the wood. When this happens continue to back out the nut and strike it again. Repeat this process until the bolt is loose enough to take out by hand or the nut can no longer grip the bolt.

If you find the bolt is stuck but the nut can no longer attach to the bolt, use the nail remover attached to the hammer and use it to pry the bolt out of the hole.



It’s That Simplepry off the carriage bolt

There you go now you know everything you’ll need to know about installing and removing carriage bolts. As always, Albany County Fasteners stresses the need for protective gear while working with dangerous materials. Remember to ALWAYS wear safety glasses while drilling to protect your eyes and wear protective gloves that fit to keep your hands safe from harm as well.

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Why Do Some Bolts Have Shoulders?

Why Do Some Bolts Have Shoulders?

There are many different types of bolts available for use. From carriage bolts to hex cap screws, many of them can be seen sporting a shoulder (area near the head of the bolt without threading). But why? What does this area do?

Shoulder or Shank?

A shoulder or shank is a term that can be used to describe this unthreaded portion of a bolt. For different types of fasteners the appearance of a shank can mean different things. We made a post a while back about why would screws have a shank; Bolts have a shank for an entirely different reason though.

Bolt Shoulders

Bolt Shoulders exist for two reasons. The first is to create an area on the bolt where sheering is less likely to occur. If a load is pulling sideways against the unthreaded area of a bolt then the bolt will be less likely to snap as the areawhere the pressure is being placed is stronger than the threaded portion. The second reason for a shank is to allow for more versatile uses. This shank can act as an area for something attached to the bolt to be moved around.



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What’s A Chamfering Tool?

Uniburr+ Chamfer ToolChamfer Tool

A Chamfer or deburring tool is used to create a bevel or furrow on the end of a bolt. Today we are going to share our recommendation for this tool: the Uniburr+. The Uniburr is a deburring tool that attached to the end of a drill to help mend the tip of a bolt. If you had to cut a bolt or threaded rod you may need to use a tool like this one to fix the threading.

Once cut, a bolts threads can become uneven or warped. This will make it impossible to screw a nut onto the bolt. There are two versions of the Uniburr available which have different material capabilities. We have broken down the two types in the table below for you:

Compatible Materials

#1819 Uniburr #1816 Uniburr Plus
Works With: Mild Steel
US Grade 2
Metric Grade 4.8
Works With: Mild Steel
US Grade 2
Metric Grade 4.8
Does Not Work With: Hard Steel
US Grade 5
Metric Grade 8.8
Works With: Hard Steel
US Grade 5
Metric Grade 8.8
Does Not Work With: Very Hard Steel
US Grade 8
Metric Grade 10.9
Works With: Very Hard Steel
US Grade 8
Metric Grade 10.9
Does Not Work With: Stainless Steel
300 SERIES
Works With: Stainless Steel
300 SERIES
Does Not Work With: Super Hard Steel
US Grade ASTM-A574
Metric Grade 12.9
Works With: Super Hard Steel
US Grade ASTM-A574
Metric Grade 12.9



Using the 1816 Uniburr PlusUniburr in drill

The chamfer tool we will be showing today is the 1816 Uniburr Plus. A tool that we use to deburr threaded rod in our own warehouse!

It’s a very simple tool to use, the base of the uniburr is made to be gripped by a regular drill chuck. Simply fit it into the end and let the chuck grip tighten onto the insert.

The next thing you will want to do is secure your bolt into a vice so that it will not move around during the process.

Now its time to apply your most valuable tools. Put on your safety glasses and gloves to keep yourself safe!

After securing the bolt and putting on your safety gear, place the uniburr tool onto the bolt tip and VERY SLOWLY begin spinning the tool. The angled blades will begin to cut into the bolt tip and expose clean threads suitable for a nut to screw onto.

This tool will require you to take your time. If you work the tool too fast it will burn out fairly quickly. Apply steady pressure and ensure that the blades never spin backwards as this will damage the blades.

                   

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