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DKForge

Question about providing lags etc. with products that need hanging

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So we all agree that nothing looks worse than a hand forged art piece, whether it is a hook, coat rack, grill, door knocker, or whatever that is then hung with a philips head screw or a galvanized nail because that is all the purchaser had available.

 

I have bought some of the Blacksmith Bolt Pyramid Head and Square Head Lag Screws  for specific hardware projects and they are great and have given the projects a finished look. The problem with them is they require an 8 point socket. Your average client who might buy your artwork at an art/craft fair, retail location etc. doesn't have an 8 point socket so even if I provide those lags they have no way of using them.

 

What are others doing in this matter?

Are you providing your clients with anything to hang the items they buy from you?

If so what are they and where do you get them?

 

I'd just like to see what others are doing.

Thanks

DK

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Occasionally I'll install hardware with countersunk finish washers, oxided black, and I'll use flat head wood screws. A square-x drive screw is neat appearing, nicer than a Phillips head or a slot.

 

Sayings and Cornpone

Does a pig have wings?

 

Yeah, Pigasus.

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8 point sockets aren't the only option ion these. There are quite a few "multi use" sockets out on the market today designed for the home owner who needs to tighten/loosen all sorts of "odd" fasteners. Last year at Christmas, I picked up a set of sockets on clearance at Sears. they are designed to drive standard, square head and start drive bolts, all with the same socket. I snagged them mostly because I can't locate where my 3/8" 8 points are right this instant. There are also a number of pin or grip type sockets marketed as "one size fits all". I'm not  a big fan of those, but it's one option.

 

The customer can always use a standard wrench. 90% of the time they are going into drywall anyways, and those little plastic anchors

 

I usually use standard screws for most normal projects. If need be I simply paint the heads with the same paint I use on the project and it blends them right in.

 

I wonder if you were to forge a small driver if it would be worth a few bucks extra as an "option". I'd probably turn the driver in my lathe and rough bore the drive end. Then heat the end and drop it in a bolster to hold it and square punch the drilled hole to match the lag, or forge an 8 point punch and punch it that way. You may not even need to turn it down if using say 1/2" or 3/8" stock as that will fit most chucks on cordless drills. Offer it as an option for $5 if the customer wants. It's called "upselling" in the home center trade. LOL

 

You might even be able to reshape one of the cheap nut driver bits. All the ones I normally buy are magnetic tough.

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I just supply them with those fasteners and its up to them to use it, and I just hope that they do. On one larger project the customer wanted me to make some large lag bolts but he didn't know how he would be able to thread them in. So I offered to forge him the socket that would fit the bolt head. I think he liked that part more than the actualy project lol

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I stopped offering fasteners for two reasons.  It adds to the cost but doesn't necessarily make the customer jump on the 'buy now' button.  And, there's no pleasing everybody.  If you give them nice wood screws, they'll want to install the piece on a masonry wall.  Give them masonry fasteners and they'll put the piece on sheetrock, between studs.  

 

In order to cover all the bases, you have to provide a type of screw/nut/bolt combo that will look good and cover all the bases.

 

Blacksmithbolt.com has a great selection and is my go-to source for all that stuff - including rub washers.

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And then there is the Liability question.  You supplied the fasteners and for some reason they weren't used correctly or weren't correct for where they were installed,and the item fell down, someone was hurt.  Who is the first person they look to?

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I picked up a tip from another poster and buy small lag bolts at my local HD, soak in vinegar to remove the coating, grind the markings off the top, heat a bit and then oil quench to match my piece.  They look good and pretty much anyone can work with a small lag bolt.   I keep some on hand, just toss 'em in the fire when I'm going to need some so I always have some fully prepped on hand. 

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This is an interesting topic and one that no doubt all of us have pondered over at some time, and thanks DK for posting.
I do not supply fixings with any of my hooks, handles, etc. You never know what they are going to be attached to and it's really up to the owner how they do that. However, it would be nice to be able to offer some options apart from the phillips heads. And for displaying your own pieces, galvanised posidrive screws don't cut the mustard as a professional fixing.
Ordinary wood screws look reasonable if sprayed first with a bit of colorbond paint. I have tried everywhere here for slot screws that are already black, but they are just not available, even from specialist cabinet supply shops.
Pyramid head forged nails look good, but of course nails are not always a practical or secure fixing for some surfaces. I guess we could use light coach screws with the plating burned off and enamel coated.
It would be great if some manufacturer could produce a slotted round or a square head 5/16 or 1/4 screw, finished in matt black. I would be the first customer.

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Nothing I've made has been sold to anyone, but for the hanging projects that are up around the house/yard/shop, I'll strip the zinc off of 1/4 inch bolt  or lag (depending on what is hanging where) with either vinegar or citric acid, toss them in the gas forge to get the heads nice and hot, clamp the threads in the vise with the copper jaw liners and quickly hammer the head, just enough to leave about half the thickness of the original hex head, but texturing the top of the bolt or lag. The bit of hex is usually enough for a socket or wrench to grab, but the look is forged and the same finish as the work.-

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I would also point out that the cost of the item will also determine how I look at the issue.  If you are paying me big money to make a gate or grill of some kind, or even a nice pot rack, I will be glad to provide fasteners that will look good.

 

Note, though, that these are big-money projects that I will have to have a hand in the installation, and know where they are going.  Not only can I provide a nice fastener that matches the piece, but I know what type of fastener to provide.

 

The cost of providing a generic fastener, like a simple black drywall screw, isn't just the 10¢ that the screw costs.  You have to figure in your time to go and buy the screw as well.  That's time, gas, buying a pound of screws when you only need one for the order, last-minute-screwups that mean a second trip to the store because you forgot the screws on the first trip....  All that and the customer is just going to throw them away because they don't work on a brick wall.

 

How many people provide some type of lag bolt, but don't provide a rub washer?  All that work to dress up a common lag bolt to make the head look nice and you don't supply a rub washer to prevent the bolt from scratching the piece?

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Michael, nice idea with the texturing of the bolt head. How about a before/after pic??

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I always supply fasteners. I use straight slot round head screws for cabinetry. you can get these black.

when I use lags I decorate the heads as appropriate and when done, I resize them with a socket to insure a correct fit.

when I make pyramid headed nuts, I will forge a wrench to fit.

I always throw in a few extras " for the Gipper".

in my opinion, most commercial fasteners look tacky with forged work. Usually customers are turned off by this combo and " blame" the forged iron, not the fasteners.

educating the public is an ongoing and never ending process

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I always supply fasteners. I use straight slot round head screws for cabinetry. you can get these black.

 
Where from?? Any Oz contributors know where to get 'em.

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my last quantity order was from BEE industries. it was for a variety of sizes and lengths. you could get zink plated, anodized black, or plain by order.


do a google search for straight slot, round head wood screws.

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I generally do not supply hardware unless I do the installation. Using the hardware you mentioned I use a tool called a Gator socket. They come in 2 sizes a cover a range up to 1". They have harden pins inside the socket to adjust to the shape of the head of the fastener

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I like the torx headed lag bolts. They are easily modified, or not, and easy to install. Another useful method is to make a deep dimple into the workpiece which somewhat obscures the fastener so even a Phillips head looks fine.

If I am at a show and a customer is looking at a piece with attractive hardware I make sure to use that as a selling point and this is often met with a positive response. If you don't supply hardware then you are passing a problem on to the buyer.

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