Archive for December 9th, 2009
Some years back, I bought a lifetime supply of stainless steel machine screws in the usual sizes, all in 1- and 2-inch lengths. I was always cutting the things to length anyway, so why not start with nice screws?
The problem with cutting a screw is holding it securely enough that it doesn’t fly off into a far corner of the shop, but without goobering either the threads or the head.
The secret, at least as far as I can tell, is slitting a nut to make a secure clamp for sawing, filing, and grinding. I ran a slitting saw through a nut to get the result you see here. Although it’s awkward, a slit through a point means grabbing the nut on two parallel sides squeezes the slot closed: exactly what you want.
Slit a bunch of nuts whenever you get set up to do this, because those ugly thread ends on the cut screws tend to chew ’em up. If you have any foresight, you’ll thread the nut on the screw before you cut it, but that doesn’t work for really short screws.
Yeah, a lifetime supply of all different screw sizes and all different lengths would be nice, but I really don’t spend a whole lot of my life cutting screws…