Woodworker Mike Siemsen devised a clever way to make a three-way bolt for a folding stool using some off-the-rack hardware. He’s making 100 of these hardware sets for Lost Art Press, which we will sell for $12/each plus domestic first-class shipping, as soon as they are available.
When we sell out, Mike will sell them himself.
He sent me a sample hardware set and I installed it on a stool. The hardware works great. It is much less sloppy than the eye-bolt solution outlined in earlier posts. If you have a drill press, some lettered drill bits and a metal tap, you can easily make this hardware yourself using the instructions from Mike below. Note that this hardware is designed for legs that are 1-3/16” in diameter – a good diameter for modern Americans.
If you don’t have the tools or time, we’ll sell the hardware to you. Details to come. Below is how to make your own.
— Christopher Schwarz
Here is a shot of the tri-bolt set up. The parts required are:
• A 1/2-13 heavy hex nut. (Regular nuts will not work well; get low carbon, not hardened)
• Three 5/16-18 x 2-1/4” bolts (machine screws, get low carbon, not hardened)
• One 5/16-18 nut (for cutting off the bolts to length)
• Three 5/16″ washers.
You will also need a 5/16-18 tap, a drill for the pilot hole (F-size bit which is .257”; 1/4″ will probably work) and a drill press.
Center punch the center of every other face on the 1/2″ heavy hex nut, put it in a drill press vise and bore the pilot holes for the tap. You can then either run the tap by hand or put the tap in the drill press and turn it by hand, no power! Keep things square to the face being drilled.
Next take the three 5/16 bolts, screw the nut on them all the way up to the unthreaded portion and saw off the excess end. Remove the nut and file or grind the burr off. It is important that the unthreaded portion be around 1-1/4″ long. You can buy shorter or longer bolts to vary the length of the unthreaded portion. I typically blacken shiny hardware.
— Mike Siemsen