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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 To Use A Castle Nut

Installing A Castle Nut

Castle nuts are nuts that look like crowns or parapets of mid evil castles. These nuts are used together with a bolt and a cotter pin to create a secure nut in place so that it cannot be tightened or loosened.

Before We Begin:

In order to install a castle nut you will need:

  • Castle Nut
  • Cotter Pin
  • A Bolt with a hole

You can find bolts that come with pre-drilled holes for castle nuts, but you must know the length of the bolt you will need. If you do not have a bolt with a pre-drilled hole, you may drill your own, we can talk about that in another post. In this post, we will drill out own hole to show you how to make one yourself for better sizing.



Step One:

Now that you are ready to begin, slide the bolt through the installation material and screw the castle nut onto the other side. You can use a sharpie or pencil to mark the area where you need the hole to be (inside the peaks of the nut). Then remove the nut and bolt and place the bolt into a vice.

Step Two:

Screw the nut back onto the bolt and align it with the mark you drew earlier. This will serve as the drilling point. Use a punch to create an indent into the bolt so your drill bit has a starting point. Make sure you drill perpendicular to the hole so that it comes out in between the peaks on the other side as well.

Step Three:

After you have drilled your hole, remove from the vice and place back into your installation material. For the purpose of this blog, we have left ours in the vice as we did not have an installation material readily available. Once it is back in the material place your cotter pin through the hole. Take a pair of pliers and bend the cotter pin out away from the center on each side. This will create a locking effect and the pin will not be able to fall out.

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What Are Jam Nuts? and How To Use Them

Jam Nuts and How to Use ThemJam Nuts

Jam nuts are nuts that are about half of the size of a regular nut. In practice, these nuts are both screwed onto the bolt and then they are tightened against each other.

There are a couple of different reasons you might want to use jam nuts. The first is if you are fastening to a very soft material and cannot risk hurting the material by fastening against it. The second is when you need to attach something to the bolt but let it move around on the bolt.



How to Use Them

installing jam nuts

The process of installing jam nuts is very simple. We’ve chosen to use our trusty vice to hold our bolt in place for this example. So once your bolt is in place simply screw the first nut onto the bolt. Make sure the bolt is far enough down to allow room for the second one. After you get the first nut on far enough you can begin spinning the second one. These nuts should both slide onto the bolt very easily.

Before tightening you need to set the bottom nut, the one that is closer to the bolt head, to the desired height. Next take an adjustable (or the correct size) wrench and slide it onto the bottom nut. You will the proceed to used either a wrench or socket as we do here, to tighten the top nut against the bottom one. These nuts tightening against each other will lock the nuts in place on the bolt. We also recommend using threadlocker to keep these nuts in place during an installation.

The main differences between a jam nut and a regular hex nut is that they are tightened against each other instead of against a material, and that they are about half of the size of a regular nut.

tightening the top nut                          installed jam nuts

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Lock Nuts and Lock Washers

Locking Fasteners

Locking fasteners come in many varieties and styles to help keep your fastener assemblies secure and resist loosen from vibration. Locking nuts and washers are great tools to keep assemblies from accidental loosening, basically they stop things from falling apart! But what kind of locking nut or washer should you buy? Below we explain some of the popular types to help you choose.

Lock Washers

Lock washers are are washers with designed changes to add extra friction or tension to your fastener assembly to prevent loosening. Each lock washer is engineered to work for different applications, if you are unsure if the hardware you are selecting is appropriate, make sure to consult an engineer.

Click the name of any type of lock washer or nut you would like to know more about or buy directly from our website.

Lock Washer Type Description Image

External Tooth

“External Star”

External tooth lock washers are serrated and create tension between the teeth and the installation surface. This increased tension can make it harder for a fastener assembly to vibrate loose.
Internal Tooth
“Internal Star”
Internal tooth lock washers have bent teeth that are designed to create tension and friction on the inside of a bolt head or against the nut. They are often chosen over external tooth lock washers due to their cleaner finish. internal tooth lock washer
High Collar Split Ring High collar lock washers are similar to regular split ring washers except they are made to fit under the head of a socket cap screw. They have a smaller outer diameter designed to fit into a counter-bored hole. high collar split ring lock washer
Split Ring Split ring lock washers are washers with a cut in them and bent into a helicoil shape. As the nut loosens, extra pressure is applied from the expanding lock washer which can stop a bolt from loosening unintentionally split ring lock washer



Lock Nuts

Lock nuts are nuts that have been altered in some way to deter them from vibrating loose. Below are a few of the more common types of lock nuts you are likely to come across.

Lock Nut Type Description Image
Castle Castle nuts, while not technically lock nuts, can function as lock nuts after installation. They require that a cotter pin be placed through a hole in a bolt and through the crown of the nut. We consider these to be lock nuts because the cotter pin will hold the nut in place if it comes loose. Castle Nut
Flange Serrated Flange serrated nuts have one wide side that acts as an integrated washer. The washer side has serrations which, when tightened, can help prevent loosening by adding extra friction to the assembly. Serrated Flange Lock Nut
Keps-K Keps K lock nuts Have an attached spinning washer with teeth that can dig into the assembly. They are similar to that of an external tooth lock washer combined with a nut. Keps K lock nut
Nylon Insert Nylon insert lock nuts are a taller nut with the same nylon insert. Threads cut into the insert as installed resulting in a better grip to help prevent a fastener assembly vibrate loose. Nylon Insert Lock Nut
Nylon Jam “Thin” Nylon Jam lock nuts are a low profile nut that have an internal nylon insert. As the bolt is screwed on the threads cut into the nylon holding them in place and preventing vibrations from loosening them. Nylon Jam Nut
“Stover” Cone Prevailing Torque Stover lock nuts have chamfered corners. The distortion in the top threads from the shape of the bolt create resistance to loosening. This is a better choice for high heat applications because no nylon insert is used. Stover Nut
Two Way Reversible Two way reversible lock nuts have indents on the outside flats of the nut causing distortions of the internal threading. These distortions create resistance of the mating part. two way reversible lock nuts

NOTE: We also offer thread locker solutions that can provide a low, medium or high level grip to prevent assemblies from loosening as well.



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How To Install T Nuts

What Are T Nuts

How To Install T Nuts

In this post we will discuss how to install t nuts. T Nuts, aka “Tee Nuts”, have flanges on a thin surface of the nut, often available with three or four “prongs.” These flanges act as hooks and are pulled into the material when the bolt is threaded into the nut. These nuts require a pre-drilled hole to use and can be serrated to provide a better grip.

T nuts are designed to be used with a softer material such as wood or composite. T nuts are a very unusual looking nut, due to the prong design. It can be intimidating to see one of these nuts and realize you have no idea what to do with it. T nuts are great for creating a flush finish on the nut side of wood. You can browse our T Nut stock here.

Before You Begin The Install

Before we discuss how to install a t nut, you must first get the proper tools for the job. You will need a bolt, a t nut that matches the bolt, a washer and a power drill with the proper sized drill bit.



How to Install T Nuts

Step 1: Drill The Hole

Placing The T Nut Into Wood

The first step in installing a T nut is to drill a hole straight through the material. The hole diameter should be just large enough for the cylinder of the nut to fit through. Then sit the nut into the hole. It will not slide all the way in, is should simply rest in the hole.

 

Step 2: Connecting The Bolt

Screwing In The T Nut

On the other side of the material, slide the washer onto the bolt, slide the bolt threads through the drilled hole and begin hand threading the bolt onto the nut. The washer will help you distribute the pressure of the bolt and keep the material from being damaged. It is important to hold the washer in place during this process so it can start to grip the wood.

Step 3: Tighten The Bolt

Once the screw is hand threaded (screwed on by hand until it is firmly connected), it is time to take a wrench or socket and continue to drive the bolt. This tightening will pull the flanges of the T nut into the wood creating a snug and secure hold. Continue driving the bolt until the T-nut is firmly pulled all the way into the material and the bolt tightens. If the bolt is too long it will stick out significantly from the other side and can be removed so a shorter bolt that creates a flush finish can be installed.  Do not over tighten.

T Nut Flanges Holding Themselves In Place

T Nut Pulling Into The Wood

Fully Installed T Nut

Signs Of Improper Installation:

Some materials (when installed), such as stainless steel, can cause what is known as thread galling. A process where the threads heat up from friction and cause fusion to occur. This can be seen if the T nut you are trying to install cannot be loosened or tightened easily or if the T nut simply spins without properly gripping into the wood. To protect this from happening, Anti-seize lubrication is recommended to minimize friction and make install a breeze.


In This Video:

Our Fastener Expert shows us how to install a t-nut into wood.



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