Saturday, December 26, 2009
Roll Out The Barrel Nuts, New Stuff!
Our latest product is the Benchcrafted Barrel Nut.
Our Benchcrafted Split Top Roubo Bench is built with a knockdown base featuring these new fasteners. These are so nice we thought we'd offer them in solo form. They will work for making really sturdy knockdown joints in benches, shop furniture and even in modern furniture.
The Barrel nuts are made from solid steel. They are a few thou under 1" diameter so they fit easily in a 1" diameter hole. Zinc-plated to resist rust, they are 2-1/8" long and are tapped to receive a 1/2-13 bolt. They are designed to work with 1-3/4" stock (thinner or thicker stock will work--you just have to space things correctly), so when the bolt is centered on the thickness of the stock the nut protrudes past the inside face of the rail, exposing the V-groove grip so you can assemble the joint without tools. You hold the nut in one hand, insert it in the hole, and adjust it while turning the bolt head with your other hand. You can easily feel when the bolt starts threading into nut. Grab a socket wrench and finish the assembly. Easy!
Getting the hole for the bolt to line up with the Barrel nut hole is easy. Here's the procedure.
1. Layout center lines and center points for the bolt and the Barrel nut locations on the leg and rail. Drill the hole for the Barrel nut, making sure not to drill clear through the rail. You can drill clear through, but it looks nicer from the outside of the rail if you make a blind hole.
2. Using a drill press, drill a countersink (if desired) for the bolt head and washer, then drill clear through the leg with a 1/2" bit. The hole will blow out on the bottom side, but it doesn't matter, it will be hidden inside the mortise.
3. Assemble the mortise and tenon and clamp the joint together. Using the hole in the leg as a guide, place your bit inside the hole and drill into the end of the rail. We use a hand brace and auger bit for its long length, but a power drill and hex-shank auger bit will work too. Drill as deep as you can.
4. Disassemble the joint and extend the bolt hole to the Barrel Nut hole if need be. These are long holes, and getting them dead straight is not easy, since the bit tends to follow the grain. We make life easier and simply enlarge the hole in the rail to 9/16 or even 5/8. It doesn't affect the strength of the rail much, and it makes installing the hardware effortless.
Four Benchcrafted Barrel Nuts, with four, 8" hex-head bolts and washers is $40. These are also available as part of our Benchmaker's Package, pictured above (minus vises).
The Benchcrafted Skraper is also now finally available!
We've made a few subtle improvements to the tool since we first offered these earlier this year at the Woodworking in America Events. Most notably, the blade is a tad longer than the previous
version and offers a little more versatility in use. We've also branded the handle with our name and logo. This will be more durable than the dome label we used on the previous version. Price is $34.
An update about vise availability. We've been a bit behind over the holidays and we apologize for any delay in vise orders. We've had to push our lead time to 4-6 weeks, but that won't last too much longer. We just finished up a batch of vises this week and should be ready to begin shipping orders the first full week in January.
We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and we wish everyone a peaceful and prosperous New Year.