Wanna See My Shapelier New Nuts?


I wasn’t happy with the “hurricane” nuts on the Holy Roman Workbench. So I sat down with a compass and French curves this morning to sketch some new nuts.

Those weren’t working either, so I put away the drafting tools and just drew the dang things on a sheet of scrap paper. Sometimes I get too deep into decoding something when the simple solution is three quick lines on a piece of paper.

hurricane nuts

These nuts are much more presentable. Though they still look like hurricanes.

The photo above shows them in a partially finished state. I didn’t want to take them all the way to done until I was sure that these nuts were suitable.

My afternoon is shot because of this rework, but at least I won’t see ugly nuts in my dreams tonight.

— Christopher Schwarz

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27 Responses to Wanna See My Shapelier New Nuts?

  1. Being a North Carolinian (these days) I can get along with the hurricane vibe, but any thoughts on the reason for the shape? It seems like it would give you more torque when loosening, but I would have guessed that increased torque in the opposite direction might be more helpful.

  2. I might be way off here…. But, it looks like it’s curving the wrong way.

  3. Lee Pickart says:

    That new “Mr Peanut’ catch phrase.

  4. toolnut says:

    I know it won’t look like the handles in the drawing, but how about something as simple as a handle shaped the way a child would draw a flower?

    Something like this: http://cliparts.co/clipart/2348002

    You also won’t have to worry about the “points” sometimes being proud of the bench top.
    (Unless of course you want the full Holy Roman Empire experience while you put the bench through its paces.)

  5. nordichomey says:

    Good style points.

  6. mjbukrey says:

    Much more pleasing to the eye. Well done sir!

  7. To Mr. Schwarz,


    Mr. Klepper

  8. KampWood says:

    “No more ugly nuts in my dreams tonight” the new hot single from Chris and The Dead Bench Rats…. from their forthcoming album Bench.

  9. karlfife says:

    I keep thinking that the shape/handedness of those nuts may have something to do with one direction being friendlier toward the whacking end of a mallet, the other friendlier to the human hand.

    I can see the meaty part of my hand fitting nicely into the nuts’ concavity to turn one direction, and the whacking end of a mallet being able to create considerable force in the other without concern about breaking off the pointy bits.

    The current (historical) form would suggest there’s advantage to whacking it tight, and hand-turning it loose versus the inverse. I’d be very curious to know if this proves out in actual process/workflow.

  10. Rachael Boyd says:

    all this talk about nut handles and the shapes I was wondering if you used your test nickels to even them up. I like this style better than the first set.

  11. abtuser says:

    As long as your nuts don’t display any unsightly bulges, I think you’re okay. So these seem to work well as seen in the photos.

  12. Is it possible that they were using left hand threads?

  13. Paul Straka says:

    I there any good evidence that the Roman’s used right hand threads? Looking at the Loffelholz face vise nuts I wonder if it was left hand threads given the way the “hurricane” symbol spins. Can’t imagine any benefit of left handed threads but part of me wonders how far back standard righty tighty-lefty-loosey convention goes.

    • I don’t know. But this is a bench from 1505 – Germanic. My guess is that they are right-hand threads because the threadbox shown in the same codex is for cutting right-hand threads. Scotty Ray Parker’s comment is a strong possibility. So far I actually need more torque to release these.

  14. Joshua Allen says:

    Seeing ugly nuts in your dreams is just…just the worst.

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