Thursday, March 10, 2016

My Fantasy

ScopeRoller gets enough orders to rent manufacturing space and become Horseshoe Bend's best employer.  I have four orders shipping tomorrow, one more order waiting for a quick release pin, and two more orders in today.

I had my wife pick up 300 1/4"-20x1/2" hex head bolts today.  (I use 24 for each caster set.)  I saw a deal on  boxes of 4000 on the Internet, and I almost pulled the trigger.

I am half tempted to change to set screws instead, much cheaper and less obtrusive.  Will people in the rest of the world have trouble finding Allen wrenches, or would I need to include one.


  1. Finding english allen wrenches might be hard for folks not in N. America. OTOH, they are REALLY inexpensive in quantity and including one could be a marketing aspect.

    It worked for Ikea :)

  2. Clayton,
    it seems to be common now to include an allen wrench any time hardware is included with a consumer product. This especially makes sense when you consider Metric and American Allen wrench sizes are not compatible, unlike quite a few hex head wrench types.

    In addition, often an extra screw or other hardware piece is added in case they lose one. You might be surprised how often people lose screws during assembly.

    One of the benefits of supplying the wrench is you can size it for the expected torque. Unless a person has a fair bit of experience working with aluminum, they tend to over-tighten screws, which is another reason to switch to Allen head hardware, besides improving the appearance. Just make sure you check that any wrench you determine is correct can actually handle the intended force. Very annoying to have one of them bend, or round off the drive surfaces.

    Oh, and make sure you are picking set screws with the proper tip design for your application. There are quite a few different versions, not including the meterial and possible coating/plating. You can even get them with plastic inserts in the thread to keep them from working lose, or even with a locktite style coating for the same reason.

    Another option would be a hex body driving tip. Smaller and lighter than an L-wrench, it requires a tool to drive it. Might not be a cost savings, though. Unless your design has dozens of screws, I would steer clear of it.

  3. Surprised to find cartons of Allen head wrenches below 18 cents each.

  4. It seems that whenever a product uses allen head bolts or set screws, they give me the proper key. One day I'll melt them down and cast a boat anchor!

    It is a nice touch, though, so the few people who don't already have a set of hex keys don't have to buy one. Especially if they are that inexpensive.