Metric Hanger Bolts – Handier Than You Might Think

Metric Hanger BoltsPity the poor metric hanger bolts. In the world of the highly endurable, super strong elevator bolts and shoulder bolts, these don’t have much a role. Or do they? I must confess that when I first think of them, I tend to dismiss their importance. These bolts that feature a wood thread on this side of it and machine thread on the other side. Almost like it’s some rejected step-child, half of this family, half of that. Sometimes brass, sometimes stainless steel hanger bolts, but always slightly odd. But then I remember all of those small projects. And a nagging memory comes to mind: Was it possible that I could never have done those projects without a few trusty metric hanger bolts?

Metric Hanger Bolts Do have Their Uses

Metric Hanger Bolts In The Bathroom

  • I think, for instance, of the pedestal sink I recently installed in the bathroom. Installing it was in some ways a tricky project. To attach it to the wall, I needed a cleat between the studs to support it correctly. After using a stud finder to locate the studs and then removing just enough wall covering to reveal the studs, I notched these with a hand saw and chisel and then secured the cleat to the studs with screws. I then reinstalled the drywall and secured it to the studs with nails.
  • All nails and screws so far, right? Ah, but then, to install the sink-mounting hardware, I needed have the hardware attached to a cleat and the cleat attached to the wall with these hanger bolts. Never seen, but oh so important to hold the sink in place. Such is the lowly hanger bolt. And then there was that antique table project. The materials I needed for this were a handsaw, drill and bits, spray bottles, and an orbital sander. Oh yes, and metric hanger bolts, along with carpenter’s glue and some screws.

Making A Pine End Table With ShelfMetric Hanger Bolts

  • My project was making a knotty pine end table with shelf. So I cut the necessary trees down and pruned branches and removed the tops to leave about 24 inches of workable tree. I debarked these and let them dry. I then bought the shelf lumber and table top from the lumber yard. I used my jointer to rough-mill the pine, taking material from both the bottom and top of the boards. I glued together the table-top boards and the shelf boards after I completed milling the stock to their ultimate dimensions. I scraped the glue, scraped the surfaces and sanded them.
  • Then it was time for the hanger bolts. Along with some t-nuts. I recessed those t-nuts within the tabletop, making each one of them 3″ from the corners. I then inserted the lowly m8 hanger bolt into the legs, and then screwed each leg into the t-nut I had designated for it. Screws helped to hold the shelf 7 inches from the ground. Using a cardboard template, I made sure to get the right shape around each leg, and I traced this shape onto my pine board lightly with a pencil. I then cut around this pencil line with my band saw just before I attached it with screws. I hid the screw holes which joined the shelf with plugs. I finished the project by sanding the table and applying a couple coats of shellac and then adding screw-in levels to each leg.

The Result

My metric hanger bolts were no longer seen. But remembering it now, I know they’re there, on the job, and doing that job well. That’s the way it is with these bolts: usually unseen, but nothing else quite does their job the way they do. And they’re easy to use. The hardest part is learning how to install hanger bolts. But after that, it’s a breeze.

 

 

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