Origin of Hex Head Nuts/bolts?

Can anyone here point me toward an authoritative history of
hex head nuts and bolts? I see square nuts and bolts in old
machinery and tools in museums, but I don't think I've seen
a hex head nut or bolt in anything built before 1900. Does
anyone know who invented/developed the hex head nuts and
bolts? When, where, why, etc? Any info on this topic
appreciated.
Many thanks.
Reply to
CWLee
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Probably Sir Joseph Whitworth - he standardised the threads used in screws and bolts in 1841 and must have standardised the heads as well. There was a TV program about him recently here in the UK.
Leon --
Reply to
Leon Heller
This isn't authoratative history, but I've seen photographs of Civil War era seacoast mortars where it can be clearly seen that the carriage is assemled with square head bolts and HEX head nuts. David
David Lindquist snipped-for-privacy@aol.com
Reply to
Davidlindq
||> ||> Can anyone here point me toward an authoritative history of ||> hex head nuts and bolts? I see square nuts and bolts in old ||> machinery and tools in museums, but I don't think I've seen ||> a hex head nut or bolt in anything built before 1900. Does ||> anyone know who invented/developed the hex head nuts and ||> bolts? When, where, why, etc? Any info on this topic ||> appreciated. || ||Probably Sir Joseph Whitworth - he standardised the threads used in screws ||and bolts in 1841 and must have standardised the heads as well. There was a ||TV program about him recently here in the UK.
And every kid who bought a ratty TR4 in the 1960's knows the name Whitwort, although most thought his first name was "Goddam". Texas Parts Guy
Reply to
Rex B
You know Snap On still shows Whitworth 3/8" drive sockets and combination wrenches in their catalog! Just looked at their site to confirm.
Erik
Reply to
Erik
|||| ||> ||>
||> ||> ||> ||> Can anyone here point me toward an authoritative history of ||> ||> hex head nuts and bolts? I see square nuts and bolts in old ||> ||> machinery and tools in museums, but I don't think I've seen ||> ||> a hex head nut or bolt in anything built before 1900. Does ||> ||> anyone know who invented/developed the hex head nuts and ||> ||> bolts? When, where, why, etc? Any info on this topic ||> ||> appreciated. ||> || ||> ||Probably Sir Joseph Whitworth - he standardised the threads used in screws ||> ||and bolts in 1841 and must have standardised the heads as well. There was a ||> ||TV program about him recently here in the UK. ||> ||> And every kid who bought a ratty TR4 in the 1960's knows the name Whitwort, ||> although most thought his first name was "Goddam". ||> Texas Parts Guy || ||You know Snap On still shows Whitworth 3/8" drive sockets and ||combination wrenches in their catalog! Just looked at their site to ||confirm.
Yep, and I saw them in a catalog recently, probably KD Tools And I think I've seen reference to some current use in some unlikely assembly - aerospace item? Texas Parts Guy
Reply to
Rex B
Not to mention the "constant depression" carbs (as opposed to "constant area", among other adjectives). and Lucas, the prince of darkness (and the reason the brits drink warm beer: Lucas refrigerators), but I don't have an answer to hex vs square heads.
Reply to
The Masked Marvel
Aw c'mon now guys , be honest. Lucas electrics weren't really all that bad except when they were on poorly maintained machinery. I've been a motorcycle mechanic for years and my personal experience is that Lucas electric components have actually been a bit more reliable than Nippondenso and other popular brands. YMMV
Reply to
PAROADHOG
Wrong. Even on impeccably maintained vehicles the stuff was was simply poorly engineered. For example BSA, Triumph, and Norton all sold motorbikes with the archaic zener diode "regulator" technology, that was simply not up to the US DOT requirements for full-time headlight on use. The batteries would simply go dead because the charging system was improperly designed.
The diode would sink 50 watts max, so the dynamo (that's what the brits termed them) could only put out that much at maxiumum.
The total load on the bike was 45 watts for the headlight, 5 watts tail light, plus an amp or two for the ignition system. Add them all up and the buss voltage was typically 11 volts. Not enough to charge. God forbid you should have turn signals or a brake light.
Never trust a bike with an ammeter in the headlight bucket.
Honda understood the frustration that faced riders, and marketed their vehicles with absolutely bulletproof charging systems. This was one way they were able to eat the brit manufacturer's lunch.
Jim
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Reply to
jim rozen
Wonder if the Hex head nuts were from Henry or Sharps - e.g. Threaded rifle barrel that failed for other reasons.
Seems logical - need two wrenches anyway - might be the production issue.
Martin
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
Seem to recall reading somewhere ... sorry no references, my books are still packed...
Hex stock had so many obvious advantages ... far more efficient use of material to turn a bolt from bar stock ... less waste, far less machining time ... ditto for simpler box wrenches, sockets etc. Less stress on the box wrench corners, also more compact. Reckon it became the norm pretty much as soon as the mills became capable of making it.
None of this applies to hot-forged or cold-formed bolt heads, and rolled threads, that represent virtually all the common fasteners today. But there was a long period where all machine screws and bolts were turned from hex (or square) stock.
Bob
Reply to
Bob Powell
Hahahahaha Which Honda would that be , Jim? I've never come across that particular model although I did send a few 10 year old Hondas out of here because the parts were no longer available .
Reply to
PAROADHOG
The American Sellers coarse thread is a copy? of (the same as) the Whitworth coarse thread. The thread angle is different - whit. 55degrees, Americian 60, but all are interchangable as all pitches line up accept half inch where one has 12TPI the other 13.
Before our country went metric this caused considerable confusion amoung engineers not in the know and still does for our vintage restorers.
Doug New Zealand
Reply to
Doug
Some car makers are using non-standard fasteners in Europe. I did a cam belt change on a Rover recently. The engine mounting nuts were M12. That should be 19mm AF. No metric or AF socket fitted. Finally found a 7/16 Whitworth one that went on perfectly. Rover aren't the only ones, Ford fit non-standard bits as well.
John
Reply to
John Manders
OK, I admit our Lucas electrics were a bit of a joke in the 60's. The carbs were good though, SU or Zenith. One jet and it was big enough that it didn't get blocked. Change the air filter regularly so that the piston stays clean and it works perfectly. Then out came the TR5 with fuel injection. Now that was another story. I don't think they exported that to USA. You had the TR250 with carburettors. A lot of UK cars have been converted to carbs for reliability.
John
Reply to
John Manders
Obviously the hex nut came about along with the development of the three jaw- self-centering chuck--(and turret lathe)--Compare this with the difficulty of centering a 4 sided bar-(and grasping it firmly)----They continued with 4 sided nuts by making "hot pressed" square blanks , dropping them into a fixture & drill & tap.
CWLee wrote:
Reply to
jerry Wass
||Before our country went metric
Metric?? When did that happen?? Texas Parts Guy
Reply to
Rex B
"Bob Powell" snipped-for-privacy@dogpatch.com
OP Can anyone here point me toward an authoritative history of hex head nuts and bolts? I see square nuts and bolts in old
Bob
As Bob points out, all you need to make a hex-headed bolt or a hex nut is hex stock. Part of the problem here is in the question. Most simple mechanical devices do not have an original attribution, to a person or even to one industry.
I don't have any really good early cites, but hex-headed bolts and nuts were common in some applications in Western technology by at least mid-nineteenth century. The oldest tradition probably comes out of hot forging with a header (nail and bolt headers are common). But machinery for making screws was also well developed by the 1840s. (I'm not talking about "screw machines," but about machinery for making screws, such as bolt cutting machines and nut tapping machines. Screws with tapered points show up, for example, about that time.) Index milling machines for milling the sides of nuts and bolt heads are also in evidence from about then--at least by the 1860s, in the U. S. At the same time, much classic machinery, such as the common engine lathe, retained the use of square-headed bolts/screws, more as part of the style than not, I think, throughout most of the 1800s. Machine builders were conservative, and would want to fulfill the buyer's expectations as to what the product should look like, work like.
Frank Morrison
Reply to
Fdmorrison
I was a mechanic at the local Triumph motorcycle dealer in the mid to late 60's and at least 80% of all repairs were electrical. We actually offered a complete (except for the alternator, points and handlebar switches) replacement of all electrical components, including wire and connectors (which were also shite), for $200 US (a tidy sum considering a '67 Bonneville sold for $1472). About 20% of our customers had the replacement done before taking delivery of the bike, about a third of the rest were back for the modification with 6 months. Maybe Lucas got better later, but it was absolute crap back then.
Reply to
Bob Robinson
Not which, but *who*. The man's name was Soichiro and he had a vision for how to gain entry into the world's mtoorcycle market. He effectively unseated norton, bsa, triumph, indian, harley davidson.
He did this by understanding what the common pitfalls were in the motorcycles of the day. And engineered his vehicles to absolutely avoid them.
I am certain that there is more than one honda engineer who lost his job over a drip of oil on a showroom floor, or an electrical switch that failed during a test run.
Jim
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Reply to
jim rozen

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