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Fitting "bed bolts" (barrel nuts)

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I want my next workbench to be somewhat dismantlable, and so I think I am going to have the long front rails be bolted to the legs. The side rails will be glued to the legs.

I am thinking of using some M10 bolts with barrel nuts, two per joint. The legs will be about 100x100mm and the rails 75x50mm.

Has anyone done this? ... how did you go about accurately aligning the bolt/nut? I guess if you don't get it spot on, you can just enlarge the hole for the barrel nut slightly?

 

sunnybob

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I would not use that kind of fixing for a work bench. the bolt is soft metal and can easily fold or even snap under heavy strain.

If I had to use bolts, I would go all the way through with the largest diameter bolt I could fit, and put large washers each end and nyloc nuts
 

colinc

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Hi,

Yes, I have just built the under frame of my new bench which bolts together with barrel nuts.

It is a Roubo style split top bench built to a free plan/instruction booklet published on fine-tools.com. I think it is a metric version of Benchcrafted’s plans.

Here’s the link https://www.fine-tools.com/pdf/roubo-ho ... lan-en.pdf

You can buy the hardware kit for it which from memory is £70 from Classic Handtools in the UK. As I have a lathe, I bought M12 bolts and made my own barrel bolts from 25mm steel bar. I did turn the diameter down a bit as I had a 25mm Forster bit and wanted some tolerance for the reasons you describe. I actually managed to drill them smack on in the legs using the pillar drill then assembled the stretch to it and used the leg hole to guide the hole in the stretcher’s tenon. I then took the stretcher out and expanded the hole by wiggling the drill around to create some clearance.

Commercially made barrel bolts have a lead-in to the hole and the bolt sometimes has a slight taper on the end to get the thread engaged easily.

I think you just need to mark and drill accurately and it should all work out ok.

I was lucky enough to have an M12 drill that had a welded on (accurately) m12 bar extension. Without it I would have struggled to deal with the depth. If you want to borrow it, let me know and I can mail it over.

Hope all this gives you confidence to go ahead.

Colin
 

Suffolkboy

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I am currently making a collapsible work bench and sunmybobs is the method I have chosen.

I would have thought bolting through to be stronger and less prone to movement.
 

Bodgers

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transatlantic":2vnthfyx said:
I want my next workbench to be somewhat dismantlable, and so I think I am going to have the long front rails be bolted to the legs. The side rails will be glued to the legs.

I am thinking of using some M10 bolts with barrel nuts, two per joint. The legs will be about 100x100mm and the rails 75x50mm.

Has anyone done this? ... how did you go about accurately aligning the bolt/nut? I guess if you don't get it spot on, you can just enlarge the hole for the barrel nut slightly?

See my Hayward Workbench build thread.

I made a simple jig to drill the holes accuractly.

Works well, happy with the result.

hayward-workbench-build-t112721-45.html#p1232920
 

Osvaldd

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I used this type of fixing on a garden seat/bench. It was a major pita to align them, had to make a jig and even then it was difficult. The problem I found was the barrel nut just didnt have enough surface area and it just kept sinking into the wood(pine) while tightening. Maybe this would not happen with denser timber
 

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Osvaldd

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One more thing, I recently purchase these so called snake anchors, they are for concrete but I found they work really well in timber too. Its basically a barrel nut that screws into concrete or wood and then you can use a standard M8/ M10 bolt to attach stuff to it. It's very easy to install.
 

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Steve Maskery

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Mine bench uses that kind of construction, but ordinary M12 bolts and nuts. There is a picture of it on here somewhere but I can't find it, neither on here nor on my computer, unfortunately.
If it doesn't turn up (I bet someone here remembers it) I'll take another photo tomorrow.
S
 

dzj

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You might find a square nut easier to fit than the barrel kind.
 

sunnybob

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I'm prepared to slightly modify my opinion if as suggested above you can get them in 12 mm thread. I've never seen anything bigger than 8 mm.
But even then, size for size, a through bolt with large load bearing washers just HAS to be stronger.
 

Bodgers

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sunnybob":7mjuy75w said:
I'm prepared to slightly modify my opinion if as suggested above you can get them in 12 mm thread. I've never seen anything bigger than 8 mm.
But even then, size for size, a through bolt with large load bearing washers just HAS to be stronger.
I used M10. Fairly easy to get hold of.

Sent from my Redmi Note 5 using Tapatalk
 

AndyT

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Osvaldd":1qzzp6xx said:
@sunnybob
How are you going to attach a leg to rail with a through bolt?
If I was doing that, I'd plough a groove along the rail (wide enough to take a length of studding, central on the face of the rail, deep enough for the studding to sit central on the thickness) and bore holes through the legs.

I expect Bob would do similar, but using a router or circular saw for the grooves.
 

Trevanion

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I would've done it as dzj said, mortice a m12 square nut into the rails and use that with a m12 bolt through the legs.
 

Steve Maskery

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I've found a diagram of how I do mine:
bed rail 1.png

bed rail 2.png


And a photo of a bed I made in a previous life:

40 assembled joint.JPG


That particular one is blind, i.e. there is no bolt head to see on the outside, but my bench is done with the same joint but with an exposed bolt head. The ends of the rail are hollowed out slightly so that the rail makes contact at the top and bottom, leaving a very slight gap in the centre so that the bolt can be wound up as much as is physically possible.
 

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Bodgers

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Bodgers":2e109zim said:
sunnybob":2e109zim said:
I'm prepared to slightly modify my opinion if as suggested above you can get them in 12 mm thread. I've never seen anything bigger than 8 mm.
But even then, size for size, a through bolt with large load bearing washers just HAS to be stronger.
I used M10. Fairly easy to get hold of.

Sent from my Redmi Note 5 using Tapatalk
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F222885508783

These are the ones. They are beefy enough to deal with the Beech legs and cross sections on my bench.



Sent from my Redmi Note 5 using Tapatalk
 

GrahamF

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On a bed frame I made with a similar problem, each end of the side rails locate on two 1" dowels (not glued into rails) and then the screws hold them in place. No movement after use by quite a few heavy weight visitors. Bolts and captive nuts could replace the screws.
 

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rafezetter

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Far too complicated, why make life harder? - If you don't want to go down the "through bolt and 2 nuts" route you might want to consider how I did mine.. I used these:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Screws/THREA ... B00JKIQ5C0

Got mine from the bay - I used M10's, but then my legs are chunky 80x80 or something, reclaimed spruce, I used 2, one each face 90 deg from each other set about 40mm apart in height as my bench has side rails and end rails of 40mm x 100mm thick reclaimed pine (old panel door stiles).

Rock solid and dismantleable - Just in case I needed to remove them completely (so the m10 threaded section isn't sticking out) I ground down 2 flats opposite sides at the base of the thread - the bit that's inside the wood - so I can get a spanner on it to wind out.

Setting them was easy - clamp the board to where I want it and drill a small pilot through the rail into the leg... you know the rest.

I also did the same for the bottom of the legs - bench is as solid as it gets.
 

Orraloon

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P1010003.JPG
A few years back when I built my current bench I looked for barrel nuts and even considered tapping my own. In the end I just used a regular nut and bolt. You just need enough of a recess to get a spanner on.
Regards
John
 

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