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End Cap Bolts Revisited

I did not get as much time in the workshop as I would have liked. Still, there were some important parts completed.

First I replaced the end cap bolts. 

Wood moves, expands and contracts as moisture levels change, whether it is a process of drying out or the humidity levels in the air. The need to ensure that future adjustment - when required - would be easy, has motivated me to redo the end cap bolts for a third time. There will be no fourth time.

I have incorporated features from a discussion on the Ubeaut forum, plus added a design feature of my own (although no doubt this is not new - is there anything "new"? ... probably just re-inventing the wheel).

The probability is that, over time, the bolt and nut will weld themselves together through rust. Tightening the connection will be difficult unless the nut can be immobilised. One way is to remove enough waste to slide in a wrench or spanner. Another is to immobilise the nut from the outset ...

The forum suggested using a square nut. However, while it has its advantages over the old nut, a square nut still requires a spanner to immobilise it. So I have made a elongated rectangular nut, where the shaft runs the length of the bolt hole (and so is restrained by the hole, per se).

Here are the three methods I had used. From the left ... First I tried coach bolts. These were removed as I did not trust their holding ability in end grain. In the middle is the recently removed nut-and-bolt connection. Finally, on the right, is the new system, a bolt and elongated rectangular nut.

The nut plate was made from 1/4" thick x 1" wide O1 steel. Mike Wenzloff gave me an 18" length a few years ago. Nice to add a connection to a friend.

The second feature was the tapered ends to the bolt. Having used them this way now I can confirm that this makes connecting nut and bolt a much easier job.

Here is the set up ...

And here are the end cap bolts installed ...

Tightening now can be done completely from the end cap alone.

Note that both LV and Benchcrafted make excellent connectors. I did consider them.

I decided when starting out on this bench, where possible, I would build what I could - not for cost reasons but just because I like to make/invent/fiddle. The Benchcrafted end vise is one exception and was purchased because making an equivalent was down right impossible, as was the wooden screw for the leg vise (although I did consider turning one).

Connectors of all types are not easily available in Perth, certainly not of the LV/BC type. I therefore use what I can from the local borg (Bunnings), and modify/beat it to fit.

After this I stripped the legs (they had a sealer), filled all the nail holes and places where resin had dried and fallen out (this happens a lot with some Jarrah), and then sanded smooth. 

The bench was morticed to receive the legs, and the mortice and tenons for the front and rear stretchers were completed. Below is a dry fit. Now it is starting to look like a bench (Australian style - upside down  ) ...

The leg mortices were really hard work. Each is 3" x 3/4" and 2" deep. I drilled out most of the waste, then pared to fit. Exhausting!

I am pleased the way the figure is presented. For ex-roof trusses, these are striking. These pieces were selected to show. 

The stopped chamfer on the legs meant that I needed to match this where the stretcher joined. The legs and stretchers are all flush/coplanar.

Regards from Perth


February 2012