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Black Oxide Coating: What Is Black Oxide?

 

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Black Oxide Coating: What Is Black Oxide?black oxide treated lock washers

Black Oxide, sometimes called blackening, is the act of converting the top layer of a ferrous material with a chemical treatment. Treating fasteners with a black oxide coating not only adds a nice clean black look but can also add a mild layer of corrosion and abrasion resistance. To achieve the maximum in corrosion resistance, black oxide can either be waxed or oiled to add an extra layer of protection. The wax coating may dull the color of the treatment but provides the best resistance. The black oxide treatment is also referred to as gun bluing.

When fasteners are dipped into the black oxide bath materials (warm and hot processes) the harsh chemical components convert the top layer into magnetite. Black Oxide Stainless Steel Nuts Bolts and Washers are the most common form of black oxide fastener available. Prized both for the corrosion resistance of stainless steel with the added benefits of the black oxide treatment.

Materials That Can Get The Black Oxide Treatment

blackening finishing cup washers

  • Stainless Steel
  • Copper
  • Copper Based Alloys
  • Zinc
  • Powdered Metals
  • Silver Solder

The Black Oxide Processes

Blackening can be achieved in a number of different ways. There are three main ways to do this. If you are interested in the specifics of each type check out this article from Wikipedia.

Hot Bath

The process of treating the fasteners in different chemicals in order to convert the surface material into magnetite. The process is completed by dipping the fasteners into different tanks and occasionally placed in water. Once the process of dipping is completed the top layer of the fastener is porous and a layer of oil is applied. The oil seeps into the material adding that extra corrosion resistance to rust. This process creates a black oxide bath that complies with MIL-DTL-13924, AMS 2485, ASTM D769 and ISO 11408 standards.

Cold Coating

The cold process applies a compound (copper selenium) onto the fasteners at room temperature. This process is more convenient for working in house as it does not require many chemicals at heated temperatures to apply. Once applied it is considered weaker than the other forms of oxidization until a layer of oil or wax is applied to the surface.

Mid-Temperature Bath

Like the hot bath treatment method but does not produce the same toxic fumes of the hot bath and the surface is converted to magnetite at a much lower temperature. This method can also meet the same military standards that the hot bath version produces.

Benefits Of Black Oxide Fastenersblack stainless steel socket set screws

  • Does not significantly change the dimensions of the fasteners as hot dip galvanizing does.
  • A cheaper alternative to other methods of corrosion resistance such as electroplating.
  • An appealing look when a bright shine is not desired.
  • The process can normally be done in large quantities which makes it faster and cheaper for smaller sizes.
  • Reduces the risk of galling by adding an oil finish
  • Decorative finish
  • Adds a layer of mild corrosion and abrasion resistance
  • Paint sticks well to the black coating if painting is required



Will Black Oxide Bolts Rust

Black Oxide adds a mild layer of corrosion and abrasion resistance to fasteners. Like any material, black oxide treated fasteners can rust in the right environments. It will depend on if the fastener is damaged or marred, the type of metal with the black oxide treatment and environmental conditions.

Disadvantages Of Black Oxide

Black oxide is not nearly as corrosion resistant as some of the other options available to improve corrosion resistance.

The black oxide finish can be easily rubbed off. To prevent this, put some painters tape over the tip of your bit to create a tighter fit and prevent scratching in the event of a slip out of the drive.

The Black residue from the fasteners may come off of them so for certain applications it is recommended that they are wiped down before use. This extra step can be labor-some if many fasteners are needed.

Black oxide fasteners are largely used in the automotive industry due to their sleek black look. This look can deteriorate very quickly though in hot environments. Often, after a black oxide coat is applied to a fastener, they are placed in an oil bath for an extra layer of protection. The oil residue that stays on the fasteners will begin to turn brown when in high heat environments. So many users find they bolts look like they rust prematurely. It is not recommended to place black oxide bolts on or near engines.

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Custom Coating For Fasteners

black stainless nylon insert lock nuts

Our company offers custom black oxide orders VIA phone orders. Can’t Find what you need in black oxide? Give us a call at 866-573-445 for pricing and availability!

Custom Fasteners and Hardware

 

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How To Avoid Breaking Spanner Bits

 

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Avoid Breaking Spanner Bits

Broken Spanner Bit

The spanner drive style is still an uncommon drive style for most people to just have lying around.

This uncommon bit makes screws more resistant to tampering and removal without the proper bit. Due to this, a spanner bit is often referred to as a “tamper-proof” or “security” bit.

The Problem With Spanner Bits

As great as spanner “snake eye” bits are for adding security to an assembly, they also have some downfalls. Spanner bits are made to fit a very specific drive size. If they are used with the wrong size it becomes increasingly likely that the bit will break.

Spanner bits are also more prone to snapping than any other bit type. The spanner bit has two prongs that are inserted into two holes in the head of the screw. Pressure is then directly applied to only those two prongs (across a very small area) which causes the screw to turn. Other bits can have as many as six sides pushing on the head making it less likely that they will break by spreading the load across multiple points of contact.

Spanner bits are commonly avoided for this reason but there are actually a few easy steps you can take to avoid most of the common reasons spanners break.

Steps To Avoid Breaking Spanner Bits

Always Pre-Drill Into Hardwood

Hardwood can be particularly difficult for screws to cut into. We recommend pre-drilling a pilot hole even when the screw has a self-drilling tip. Pre-drilling a hole removes much of the wood that would be in the way and allows a screw to more easily install.

Avoid Coming To A Hard Stop

Drilling into knots or using a screw that is too long where it can hit metal on the back of the installation surface can cause the screw to seize in place. This sudden seizure will place all of the pressure upon the bit prongs and more than likely cause them to snap.

Avoid Over-Installation (Over-Torquing) Of The Screw

When installing the screw, make sure to stop once the head reaches the installation material. Attempting to screw the fastener in further will increase the amount of torque required to turn the screw dramatically.


Watch As Bob demonstrates this with one of our own spanner bits.

*No spanner bit regardless of quality will stay in tact if you do not take care when installing spanner drive screws. It’s the nature of the bit design.

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How To Replace A Utility Box Cutter Knife Blade

 

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How To Replace A Utility Box Cutter Knife Blade

Box Cutter Pre Blade Replacement

The box cutter, or utility knife, is an excellent tool found in almost every warehouse. Designed with a small blade, these knives have the ability to quickly cut cardboard boxes open, remove packing tape and other wrappings used in freight transit. Due to the abuse box cutters take, they are often made from very hard plastic or metal.

Many warehouse employees view utility knives as throwaway items. As soon as the blades wear out warehouse workers will typically begin looking for a new one. Fortunately, you’re company does not need to waste money repeatedly buying new box cutters every week. A simple remedy is just to replace the blade. And the best part? They normally come with extras!

 

Opening The Utility Knife Opening the utility knife

The first step when replacing a box cutter blade is to figure out how it opens. In our example, we only need to use a Phillips head screwdriver and remove one screw from the side. After removing the screw you can simply pop the top off which splits the knife in half.

 

Identifying Components

There are really only five components to our utility knife. The handle, the screw, the blade, the blade housing and the pack of replacement blades. Once the blade has been opened, we can remove the blade housing and blade from the knife.

Identifying the box cutter components

Make sure when you reach this point you pay attention to how the knife sits in the housing. After noting this you can remove the knife from the housing and dispose of it safely.

 

Replacing Blades

The replacement blades are normally wrapped in a little pack. They often come in sets of between three and five. You will want to carefully remove these blades from the knife Finding the extra blades in the utility knifehandle so you do not cut yourself. Then unwrap the blades and remove one from the package. After you have a new one out, place the other blades back into the handle.

Now take the new blade and seat it into the housing the same way the old one came out. The blades in this knife have a two notch system which needs to get placed correctly back into the housing. This creates a nice firm hold on the blade.

 

Putting The Box Cutter Back Together

At this point, we will want to start reassembling the box cutter. Place the blade and housing back into the handle, ensure that the extra blades are seated properly and then place the top of the handle back onto the bottom. Then fasten the screw back into place and your utility knife is as good as new.

Checking for any design in the blade of a box cutter to ensure it is seated properly.

*When fastening the screw back into place you want to make sure to snug the screw but not over-tighten it. If you over-tighten the screw it will compress the handle and seize up the blades movement in the handle. To mitigate this, tighten and then check by opening and closing the box cutter a few times to make sure it is at a comfortable resistance to opening and closing.

 

Our Thoughts

We are using a standard metal box cutter in our example but many blades work in the same or a very similar fashion. Utilizing these blades will end up saving your company a fortune in the long run. Make sure you educate employees on the extra blades (if available) or have an employee who can change them readily available to change blades out for the other employees. The type of box cutter we used, after spending about five minutes on it the first time, we were able to change a blade in about two minutes. Making it significantly cheaper to have someone change the blades than to just buy more.


Replacing a Utility Knife & Box Cutter Blade

Utility/Box Cutter Blade Replacement Transcript

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Bob: Welcome back to Albany County Fasteners – Fasteners 101. Today I want to show you how to properly change a blade in a utility knife. Lets get started.

So I have my utility knife here. This is just a standard utility knife. This is like a five dollar utility knife. You can get more expensive utility knives, unless you’re a contractor or or one of those guys that are using it professionally every day, this will do. This is a very simple unit.

Now I’m going to show you how to change the blade properly you need a number two Phillips and we get out of my case here. OK and i’m just going to unscrew this Phillips screw right here.

I’m gonna take that out. Remove the screw and then you just pop this top off. This whole mechanism comes out of the utility knife, like a casing, and then in the back, typically in the back of the utility knife itself, they give you a little package of additional blades. In this case they give you four extra ones.

So you take the blade out of there, you take the mechanism that it snaps into. So now, there are two holes. There’s only one you can get it into alright, so two slots they see those two slots you can only get it into one and that’s the only way will fit. It should fit snug in there, you shouldn’t get a blade that is sloppy and moves around and it should just fit perfectly as I’m showing you here.

Once you have that, you can just slide this, put it back in there, but the key to this is pushing this down so it will slide back and forth. Now when you put the top on, there’s a lot of people running into this problem. If they don’t put that in properly it won’t adjust for you and then this is like a hinge you just snap it in like that.

Before you put the screw, when you start screwing it, make sure that you have rotation; that it’s sliding back and forth for you. Put the screw back in, just snug the screw, don’t over tighten it, I just tighten it. I just tighten it till it stopped.

There you can see that it was free. A lot of times people over tighten this, put all their muscle into it and then in this case it’s not happening but in some utility knives it will not function properly.

There you go. Thanks for watching.

 

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How To Properly Cut, Deburr And Chamfer Threaded Stud

 

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How To Properly Cut, Deburr and Chamfer Threaded Studcut, deburred and chamfered threaded rod

Many projects use threaded rod, also commonly called all thread, for hanging and stabilizing structures or objects. The biggest problem is that often, you can only find it in specific lengths that may not be suitable for your project. This means you will need to cut, deburr and chamfer the all-thread down to size.

To cut threaded rod down to the size you need is fairly simple but can leave some nasty burring on the end of the stud making it hard to fasten a nut onto. We sat down with our fastener expert and asked him how to cut clean threaded studs from a long bar of threaded rod.

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CuttingSizing and placing all thread in a vise

The first thing to do is measure your threaded rod to length. After you have measured and marked your threaded stud, insert it into your chop saw. Some chop saws (like the evolution industrial chop saw) have a small vise for holding the material being cut, in this case all thread, in place while keeping your hands at a safe distance. Simply bring the saw down and cut through the threaded rod.

*There are two kinds of blades primarily used in chop saws. The first which we are using in our evolution chop saw is known as a cold cutting blade. This means that the blade cuts with virtually no sparks. The second kind is the old school abrasive cutting blade. We tested this process on both kinds of blades below and have found that the cold cutting blade has significantly less burring than the abrasive style blade.

The abrasive saw also generates significantly more heat which can make the threaded rod hot to the touch so wear gloves. The cold cutting blade reduces this increase in temperature significantly. Still wear gloves for safety!

Abrasive Vs Cold Cutting Chop Saw Blades

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DeburringGrinding and deburring threaded stud

Now that you have a piece of threaded rod cut down to size, the next step is to remove and burring caused by cutting the rod, to do this you will need a grinder. Simply, take the threaded stud you cut and press the end against the grinding wheel to remove the burrs and smooth out the cut end.

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Chamfering

Chamfering is the process of removing the end of the threading and cutting an angle into it. Chamfering is done to clean up the start of threads so a nut can be easily fastened to the rod. To perform this process we use a tool called the Uniburr. A Uniburr is a cone shaped tool that attaches to a drill and quickly chamfers away the edges of a fastener.

Nice Work!Chamfering Threaded Rod

Now that you have cut, deburred and chamfered your threaded stud, the only thing left to do is go use it!


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

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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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