Bolts have been with us in one form or another since 400 BC when Archytas of Tarentum developed the concept of the screw pattern.
The concept remained largely the same until it took off in 1500AD and evolved into many types of bolts to serve specific purposes.
There are hex bolts, squarehead bolts, carriage bolts, hanger bolts, and many more. How can you know which of the available bolts to use in your project? In this article, we will discuss the most common bolts.
Types of Bolts for Anchoring
Anchor bolts are used to attach a structural component (post, base plate, etc.) to a poured concrete slab.
These bolts are either set in the concrete ahead of time or glued in afterward.
It is crucial when setting these bolts to get the spacing correct so that they line up with the holes in the base plate you will be anchoring.
Carriage bolts are self-anchoring with a square section under the head that locks into an opening in wood or metal that allows you to tighten the bolt from the nut side.
These types of bolts are most effective at binding two pieces of wood, or wood to metal, or metal to metal.
Their most distinctive feature is that you can tighten or loosen them without the head of the bolt turning in response.
These have wood-screw threads on one end that come to a sharp point for driving into wood, and bolt threads on the other to hold a nut.
Hanger bolts are most often used to suspend electrical wiring overhead or to hang sheet metal from a wooden structure.
They are also used to attach porcelain bathroom and kitchen fixtures to wood framing.
These are screws, actually, and are typically thick and ruggedly built with a deep-set screw pattern.
A lag bolt is used to hold two pieces of lumber together. You might choose lag bolts over nails when you desire the tightest bond possible. They hold far better than nails, and unlike nails, they will not part from the wood with a pry bar, at least not without destroying the wood.
U-Bolts With Metal Strap or Without
These unique bolts are often used with a metal piece on the end so that you can attach a pipe to a wooden structure or metal structure.
You will find u-bolts implemented on vehicles to hold exhaust pipes and driveshafts in place.
You will also see them used to hold racks or pipes below a ceiling.
Eye Bolts (Open and Closed)
These feature a thread on one side and a loop on the other. They are useful for attaching a cable or rope to a pole or post to hold it in place.
The loop in the eye bolt can also be used as an avenue to run wires along a structure to keep them neatly in place to not interfere with other parts of the structure.
Another common use is to use them to hang something from overhead, such as a pot rack in a kitchen.
An Aisle Full of Bolts
When you go to the hardware store and confront bin after bin of different types of bolts you must make the right decisions for your project.
Now that you have a basic idea of the most common types and what they are used for, you can feel confident that you will choose the right bolts for the job at hand.
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