What Is a Carriage Bolt and When to Use It?

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Are you on the hunt for reliable, high-quality fasteners? If so, you will likely have come across the carriage bolt variety. Below, we take a look at what a carriage bolt is, when the best time is to use one as well as how to use it properly. 

What Is a Carriage Bolt?

A carriage bolt is a type of fastener that can be made from a number of different materials (stainless steel being the most popular). A carriage bolt generally has a round head and a flat tip, and is threaded along part of its shank. Carriage bolts are often referred to as plow bolts or coach bolts and are most commonly used in wood applications. However, they are much more diverse than people might think. 

Choosing the Right Carriage Bolt

If quality and longevity are important to you when it comes to carriage bolts, then it would be wise to purchase carriage bolts made out of stainless steel. These bolts will be corrosion-resistant, scratch-resistant, and strong. If the bolt is going to be used in exterior applications, then another good choice is hot dipped galvanized steel, which will also be extremely resistant to corrosion. Having said that, if the carriage bolt is going to be submerged in water, then the best choice is undoubtedly stainless steel.

When and How to Use a Carriage Bolt

Carriage bolts are ideal for fastening wood to metal. Alternatively, carriage bolts can also be used to fasten two pieces of wood together. Some specialty versions of carriage bolts allow for the effective fastening of two separate metal components. Furthermore, they can be used in a variety of different industries including the following:

  • Water conservation and treatment industry,
  • Railroad industry,
  • Farming industry, and
  • Mining industry, to name a few.

In order to use a carriage bolt, you will need a few additional tools on hand, including a hammer, a drill, a drill bit, a nut, and a washer. Remember, carriage bolts should only ever be inserted into pre-drilled holes. This is due to the specific shape of a carriage bolt’s head. It is always smooth and round, which means that it is not possible to utilize a drilling device in order to screw it into the material. 

Begin by drilling a hole into the material of an appropriate size considering the size of the carriage bolt itself. Slide the carriage bolt into the hole that you have created. If it is a tight fit, you can use a hammer to gently move it into position. You will then need to attach your washer and your nut. Place the washer on the rear side of the bolt, and follow it with the nut. A washer is important because it helps to reduce any damage when you use the nut to pull the carriage bolt into the material. Tighten the nut to move the carriage bolt into its rightful place. The goal is to get the underside of the head of the carriage bolt to sit snugly against the material. 

Removing the carriage bolt is also a relatively straightforward process and can be done by twisting the nut, but ensuring that it remains on the bolt. Hit the nut with a hammer to start easing the bolt out of the material and continue this process until you can remove the bolt by hand.

For world-class stainless steel carriage bolts, do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Marsh Fasteners today.

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