Fasteners (nails, nuts, bolts, screws, washers, etc.) hold together a myriad of things as we said last time. They are manufactured in a wide range of materials and are made to work with a huge number of materials. The choices are overwhelming and knowing which one is best for your job is difficult. Anchors, eye bolts, machine screws and simple wood screws are just a few of the possibilities you have to choose from.
So to make things simpler I am not going to talk about nails though they are fasteners, and I am not going to try to cover all the possibilities as that would be a near impossible task. What I hope to give you is enough information so that you can get into the ball park of what you are looking for. To also help break things down simpler I am going to group fasteners by the material you are going to use them in.
Metal Fasteners are the first group we will talk about.
Screws and bolts are the most common type of fasteners used in fixing or fitting various products. Screws are one of the most versatile and powerful fasteners. The basic purpose of a screw is for holding all sorts of things together, including metal. There are different varieties, made of different materials and in different sizes. These have been developed to maximize efficacy for particular applications. There are hundreds of options when you consider that screws come in different diameters and lengths.
Basically if you are fastening objects where both are metal or you want to fasten into metal, then you want a screw or bolt with machine threads. That basically means that the threads on metallic fasteners will be parallel with the head of the screw or bolt, whatever. These threads on the metallic screws or bolts come in two varieties: coarse or fine. Coarse-threaded fasteners will have a wider gap between each thread. And fine-threaded screws will have a small or “fine” gap between each thread.
So which should you use? Well, it depends on the nature of the objects being fastened together. If a lot of force will be trying to pull the objects apart, then fine threads work better. The more threads the fastener has, the greater the force required to sheer the threads. Otherwise, coarse-threaded fasteners should be fine and they are generally less expensive anyway.
Some metallic self-tapping screws will have hybrid threads that are a blend of the parallel and corkscrew threads. The corkscrew is not as pronounced on self-tapping screws nor do they extend out as far as those found on wood screws. Also, most self-tapping metallic fasteners are coated in a protective coating that helps them resist corrosion and rust. Self-tapping metallic screws are found all over your automobile and used primarily to hold body panels together. However, they have other applications as well.
Self-clinching fasteners provide strong, quality connection in metals too thin to be tapped. One of these types of fasteners for metal are rivets or pop rivets which are used in thin metals and are permanent. You install these by drilling a hole inserting the pop rivet with a pop rivet gun and presto it’s done.
There are many other types of fasteners for metal as almost everything around us in our everyday lives at home or at work are constructed from many different parts all put together. Screws, bolts, nuts, and rivets are the most common fastener manufactured for use with metals.
Now all you have to decide is the length and size for your particular project.