Nut & Bolt Size Guide

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How often have your removed a nut or bolt from your bike (or anything else for that matter) and needed a replacement or it's double?  Did you know exactly what size and thread the nut or bolt was?  Well here's the under $10 solution.

Head for your local hardware store, the kind that will sell individual nuts and bolts and use their $50 model to choose the type and size hardware you think you'll use most whether it's metric, SAE or both.  Grab a bunch o' little bags and start marking sizes on them.   When you're finished, take the bags to the bins and put one nut and one bolt of the appropriate size in each marked bag.   Now you won't have to remember what sizes and threads you have when you get home.    /files/includes/images/bolt_guide_1.jpg (45899 bytes)

Next stop, should you choose to make a display as shown, an office supply store where you'll pick up a plastic sign display.   When you get home you should have bags and a display that look something like the photo at right.  If you don't care for the clear plastic you can always use a piece of sheetmetal with a hole drilled in it and hung from the rafters by a string.   Whatever floats yer boat.

/files/includes/images/bolt_guide_2.jpg (31190 bytes)Next step, you have an option or two (probably more so get those creative juices flowing).  What I did was cover the plastic sign holder with blue painters masking tape (left) to protect it from scratches while working on it.

Next I drew a grid on one side in 1/2 inch squares so I could test the/files/includes/images/bolt_guide_3.jpg (39452 bytes) placement of all the nuts and bolts and make a chart of their placement at the same time.  The options?  Well, after I went to all this trouble it occurred to me a piece of graph paper would have been much simpler, taped to the backside of the plastic.   You might have a straight enough eye to freehand the whole thing.  Your choice.   Notice I used a label maker to generate size labels for each piece of hardware.

/files/includes/images/bolt_guide_5.jpg (103748 bytes)After that it was just a matter of gluing (careful, you don't want glue on the threads) each piece to the plastic and sticking down the labels ending up with a fairly nice looking display.   Use the other side for your SAE collection.

Now when you want to know the size of a nut or bolt you can just try to spin it onto your display and head for the hardware store knowing you'll come home with the right size to fit your project.