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ron ll
11-09-2012, 01:54 PM
I have a stainless tube railing with cables on the deck at home. It had to be dismantled for the remodel, and some of the original nuts were lost, thinking no big deal to buy new ones. The original nuts were 1/4" x 28, no problem, except that they were small profile meaning the outside hex was 3/8". I still have some of the originals so I know that's what they were. But they are not available anymore. Tacoma Screw can have them made, but for a $700 setup charge.

The hole shown on the right side is only big enough for a 3/8" socket that has been belt sanded down to paper thin. The socket for the standard 1/4" x 28 nut is way too big, even if sanded down. It would be very difficult to drill the hole bigger as it is stainless and would have to be taken off the deck (too close to wall for a drill). Besides, I would rather not have the hole bigger anyway if I can help it.

So, I need to make a tool that will fit thru the hole and hold a standard ss 1/4" x 28 nut, and it has to be deep enough to allow for the rod tail as the nut tightens. It doesn't have to be really strong, I only have to tighten it enough to take the slack out of the cable. I thought of copper tubing pounding around the hex nut, but haven't gotten that to work yet, altho I may keep trying that. Better would be a tube that could be attached to the face of the nut but with enough strength to turn the nut but release when done.

I know the system is not ideal design, but it's what I have. I would rather not buy new cables with turnbuckles exposed. So, clever ideas hereby solicited.

http://i1171.photobucket.com/albums/r560/ron_ll/cable.jpg?t=1352485808

Ian McColgin
11-09-2012, 02:00 PM
Why not a little jig so you can evenly grind off each flat on the nut and thus bring it down to size. You could even get it close enough by jamming the larger nut on a bolt against the smaller and then use the flats on the smaller as your guide, just working by eye freehand. I have more than once adapted nuts in just this way and if a machine klutz like myself can do it, anyone can.

ron ll
11-09-2012, 02:01 PM
How much exposed threaded rod is showing, on the left of the stanchion? If you unbolt the stanchion itself, and move it to the left, is there enough slack to adjust the nut outside of the larger hole... and then replace the stanchion?

The stanchion is welded to the top railing and welded at the corners, all fixed.

ron ll
11-09-2012, 02:03 PM
Why not a little jig so you can evenly grind off each flat on the nut and thus bring it down to size. You could even get it close enough by jamming the larger nut on a bolt against the smaller and then use the flats on the smaller as your guide, just working by eye freehand. I have more than once adapted nuts in just this way and if a machine klutz like myself can do it, anyone can.

That's good. Might be worth a try.

ron ll
11-09-2012, 02:08 PM
Well, Ian's idea seems the most practical. doesn't sound all that difficult. In fact, you really don't have to get the nut perfect... just reduce each flat enough to fit in the thin-wall socket. I'd go after each flat with a belt sander or grinding wheel, holding the nut in vice-grips, until all 6 flats have been reduced enough to fit the socket.

I'm going to give that a shot. I have visions of little nuts being shot off into far corners of the shop, or burned fingers, or shorter fingers, or all three. :)

Paul Pless
11-09-2012, 02:09 PM
Tacoma Screw can have them made, but for a $700 setup charge. That's ridiculous. Find a smaller, job shop, type machine shop. Instead of starting of with a larger nut and grinding the outside down, start with a nut that is the proper outside dimension and have it re-tapped to your thread dimensions.

TR
11-09-2012, 02:12 PM
Rather than grind down the big nut, use a smaller size nut and tap for the 1/4" thread?

Or what Paul said.......

Paul Pless
11-09-2012, 02:14 PM
Rather than grind down the big nut, use a smaller size nut and tap for the 1/4" thread?

Or what Paul said.......

genius! :d

wharf rat
11-09-2012, 02:15 PM
Well, Ian's idea seems the most practical. doesn't sound all that difficult. In fact, you really don't have to get the nut perfect... just reduce each flat enough to fit in the thin-wall socket. I'd go after each flat with a belt sander or grinding wheel, holding the nut in vice-grips, until all 6 flats have been reduced enough to fit the socket.

Better yet, thread he nut onto a 6" long bolt --thread another nut on first to jam the worked nut--you'll have much more control of the grinding. No clamping and unclamping the visegrips--which tend to slip and let the nut fly if you don't get a good grip.

ron ll
11-09-2012, 02:17 PM
That's ridiculous. Find a smaller, job shop, type machine shop. Instead of starting of with a larger nut and grinding the outside down, start with a nut that is the proper outside dimension and have it re-tapped to your thread dimensions.

That's good too. If they weren't stainless, I would try tapping them myself. But maybe Walrus Machine Works might be able to do that. He's good at this kind of stuff if you can ever find him. :)

Paul Pless
11-09-2012, 02:19 PM
whereas tapping the nut for a larger thread could be hard.Ever run a tap before? Drill hole, lube, twist in tap, twist out tap, done. You could do the whole thing with a cordless drill if you wanted. Hell, by starting with a nut, you already got a pilot hole to work with. . .

ron ll
11-09-2012, 02:20 PM
Ever run a tap before? Drill hole, lube, twist in tap, twist out tap, done. You could do the whole thing with a cordless drill if you wanted. Hell, by starting with a nut, you already got a pilot hole to work with. . .

Yeah, but stainless?

David G
11-09-2012, 02:21 PM
Have you checked other suppliers? I've found Mt. Hood Fasteners (ss specialists) in Portland to be quite adept at finding oddball fasteners.

Nicholas Scheuer
11-09-2012, 02:25 PM
I'd check more sources to determine whether you can purchase stock nuts. Otherwise, what Ian said, or have a machine shop mill standard nuts to the smaller dimension.

I have a few hex nuts in my baby food jar collection that go the other way; having a larger hex than standard.

ron ll
11-09-2012, 02:28 PM
Have you checked other suppliers? I've found Mt. Hood Fasteners (ss specialists) in Portland to be quite adept at finding oddball fasteners.

Another good idea, but alas, I just talked to them and they can't find them either.

Paul Pless
11-09-2012, 02:30 PM
Yeah, but stainless?As long as you don't harden the nut when drilling it out I think you could do this with an off the shelf tap from NAPA. This isn't some deep piece of machining your basically cutting about 3/16" or less worth of threads. . .

ron ll
11-09-2012, 02:34 PM
BTW, here is the railing in question.

http://i1171.photobucket.com/albums/r560/ron_ll/rail.jpg?t=1352489554

Keith Wilson
11-09-2012, 02:39 PM
McMaster-Carr has 3/8 Hex 1/4-28 coupling nuts, 7/8 tall, in 18-8 stainless for $1.18 ea, a little pricey - 90268A325. Look here. (http://www.mcmaster.com/#stainless-steel-hex-nuts/=k3bltq)

http://images1.mcmaster.com/Contents/gfx/small/90983a205p1s.png?ver=12220722

OTOH, tapping a #10 nut for 1/4-28 is dead simple.

Paul Pless
11-09-2012, 02:39 PM
How's come we ain't getting super telephoto web cam shots from your deck?:d

Canoeyawl
11-09-2012, 02:40 PM
Drill the hole larger?

ron ll
11-09-2012, 02:42 PM
How's come we ain't getting super telephoto web cam shots from your deck?:d

Simple. I ain't got a super telephoto. :)

ron ll
11-09-2012, 02:48 PM
McMaster-Carr has 3/8 Hex 1/4-28 coupling nuts, 7/8 tall, in 18-8 stainless for $1.18 ea, a little pricey - 90268A325. Look here. (http://www.mcmaster.com/#stainless-steel-hex-nuts/=k3bltq)

http://images1.mcmaster.com/Contents/gfx/small/90983a205p1s.png?ver=12220722

OTOH, tapping a #10 nut for 1/4-28 is dead simple.

I knew this was the right place to ask, all great ideas and got me redirected away from trying to make a special tool for the wrong nut. Thanks.

ccmanuals
11-09-2012, 02:49 PM
these guys carry everything!


http://www.chesfast.com/

http://www.chesfast.com/cat-01-07.pdf

Lew Barrett
11-09-2012, 03:04 PM
Drill the hole larger?

I thought of that too. But if for some reason that's not possible, the tapping procedure sounds good to me.


Nice deck. Great view of Shilshole.

ron ll
11-09-2012, 03:15 PM
I thought of that too. But if for some reason that's not possible, the tapping procedure sounds good to me.
Nice deck. Great view of Shilshole.

Drilling the hole larger is problematic both practically and aesthetically. I think either the grinding or tapping will work.

In that photo, Snoose is parked just behind the two standing 2x6s and my office is just off the edge of the photo in the upper left. A nice compact life in Ballard. :D
But I don't have a tractor.

Canoeyawl
11-09-2012, 03:19 PM
#10 nuts are thinner than 1/4 nuts there may not be enough thread engagement.

But why not use the coupling nuts?

http://images1.mcmaster.com/Contents/gfx/small/90983a205p1s.png?ver=12220722

ron ll
11-09-2012, 03:22 PM
#10 nuts are thinner than 1/4 nuts there may not be enough thread engagement.

But why not use the coupling nuts?

http://images1.mcmaster.com/Contents/gfx/small/90983a205p1s.png?ver=12220722

Actually, that may be the best.

ron ll
11-09-2012, 03:25 PM
Boy, am I jealous of the deck and view! That's quite a property you have.

But the part you don't see is that it is 30' from a 300' shear face. And unfortunately it's not rock. :)

Flying Orca
11-09-2012, 03:27 PM
But why not use the coupling nuts?

Never pass up a chance to use the coupling nuts... Luke. :D

ron ll
11-09-2012, 03:33 PM
Done deal, ordered the coupling nuts. Thanks Keith and all.

Katherine
11-09-2012, 03:34 PM
Yeah, but this is stainless. not quite that easy.Not rocket science either, even I've done it. Don't forget the tap oil.

Tom Wilkinson
11-09-2012, 04:39 PM
http://aircraftfast.com/MS21042-4.html
Available in stainless. Common hardware on aircraft.

Keith Wilson
11-09-2012, 04:46 PM
http://aircraftfast.com/MS21042-4.html
Quantity on Hand: 304,221Well, that ought to be enough.

Tom Wilkinson
11-09-2012, 04:50 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/25-ea-MS21042-4-Self-locking-Nuts-/290532733947?pt=Motors_Aviation_Parts_Gear&hash=item43a519b3fb&vxp=mtr

Not stainless but cad plated and doubt you would ever have corrosion issues with them. A little anti seize compound when you install and you would be good to go.

beernd
11-09-2012, 05:23 PM
genius! :d

I second that, simplest is bestes. ;)

ron ll
11-09-2012, 05:58 PM
I second that, simplest is bestes. ;)

I like the added length of the coupling nuts. Should make it easier to hold it in the socket in the blind inside the stanchion, plus it gives added room for the rod tail before bottoming out.

Bob Adams
11-09-2012, 08:11 PM
If you wanna have the socket grip the nut a little more securely, put a thin peice of paper over the nut before you put it in the socket.

Canoeyawl
11-10-2012, 11:56 AM
If you need a deep socket outside diameter turned down I'll do it for you, only a day away w/ UPS. Heavy grease is my favorite for holding nuts into sockets, but with the longer coupling nuts, masking tape would be justthe thing.

ron ll
11-10-2012, 12:32 PM
If you need a deep socket outside diameter turned down I'll do it for you, only a day away w/ UPS. Heavy grease is my favorite for holding nuts into sockets, but with the longer coupling nuts, masking tape would be justthe thing.

Thanks, I've gotten reasonably good at it on the belt sander, even tho I'm reminded of the aforementioned burned and/or shortened fingers and parts rocketing into hidden oblivion in corners of the shop. :D

Canoeyawl
11-10-2012, 05:02 PM
Thanks, I've gotten reasonably good at it on the belt sander, even tho I'm reminded of the aforementioned burned and/or shortened fingers and parts rocketing into hidden oblivion in corners of the shop. :D

It's bad when they hit you in the teeth...