Did you know the first screw factory was a failure? Sadly, it's true.
In 1760, two English brothers from Burton on Trent, Job & William Wyatt, patented a screw-cutting machine (Patent No. 751) which appears to be the first major advancement capable of true mass-production. Their machine could cut 10 screws per minute and was considered one of the precursors to mass production machinery. The Wyatt’s machine made a labor of several minutes into one of six or seven seconds while producing a much higher quality product. It took the brothers 16 years to raise the capital to open a factory but for some reason, the Wyatt brothers’ business was not successful.
Poor Job and William.
So this week we're thankful for our customers that keep our doors open.
Thanks to all of you! Here is an advertisement from an old nut & bolt company back in 1884 from Darlaston, England.
The first screws go back to the Ancient Greeks (or Ancient Romans, depending on where you look for information.) Both Ancient Civilizations would press olives and grapes to make olive oil and wine (still loved today by both the Greeks, Italians and many others) and they used screw presses, a type of machine press in which the ram is driven up and down by a screw...like this.
From Wikipedia's Screw Press Page: the screw shaft can be driven by a handle or a wheel. It works by using a coarse screw to convert the rotation of the handle or drive-wheel into a small downward movement of greater force.
Basically the screw press creates a strong force to be exerted on an object with minimal effort from rotating the handle or wheel - the screw makes it possible.
Thanks to the deliciousness of olive oil and wine, the screw was invented - so thanks grapes & olives!
Our month of gratitude continues with us showing the difference between a spiral and a helix - we're thankful someone figured this out as all of our screws and bolts depend on it:
The words spiral and helix can be confusing as both are used to reference curves that "wind around". I have heard people refer to the length below the head, including the threads, of a screw as a spiral but that's wrong - it is a helix! A spiral is a curve that winds around a fixed point with a continuously increasing radius and a helix is a three -dimensional curve that twists around a cylinder at a constant inclined angle. If anything, sometimes a screw starts as a spiral and then turn into a helix...meaning the the point is a spiral but the shaft is a helix. Have a look at the helix on a bolt and screw:
Fasteners are an integral part of infrastructure - our buildings, our objects, our cars. We can find fasteners in just about everything. All the things that facilitate our productivity, our happiness, our safety, all being held together with these sometimes little and sometimes large things that clamp parts together called fasteners.
And since it's November, we're going to show a little gratitude by sharing some interesting fastener facts, starting with this one:
The difference between a 'bolt' & a 'screw': bolt refers to a male
fastener that requires a nut to function, whereas screw refers to a male fastener that is mated into
a matching female thread in a work piece. The bolt and nut assembly requires two tools to tighten or
loosen, whereas a screw only requires one as the part with the female threaded hole is typically stationary.
Over at a website called Life PreKARIous.com there is a tutorial on how to make your own neck bolts. You must click over to learn how but here's a sneak peak...she uses ear plugs!!! I'm not telling how (click over!) but look how good they turn out!
Our favorite costume every year is Frankenstein's Monster. Why? Because he's got bolts coming out of his neck! We love seeing how different people attempt this. Here's a collection of our some of our favorites from all over the web. It's fun to see how different people do the bolts in the neck.
This photo from a make-up kit you can buy on Amazon.com
Once the washers have been given adequate tension, orange silicon that is embedded in the depressions under the bumps squirts out! So you know exactly when you have tightened them enough. Pretty brilliant!
Underneath those bumps...
When inspectors see the orange squirts, they know that they have been tightened appropriately.
We found another assembly diagram that shows lots of fasteners - and it is very creative - so we love it.
This diagram was made by Doug Chayka for Fast Co. Exist's feature on "World Changing Ideas of 2015", The title is: GEOENGINEERING. I think the diagram, in reference to the article, is suggesting that maybe one day someone will come up with a plan for humans to cool our planet...clever way of expressing it. There are a bunch of fasteners in the diagram, which is also awesome, but at this size they are hard to see so be sure to click over to the artist's website to see a big version of it - to see all the fasteners in all their glory: http://www.dougchayka.com/. Perhaps fasteners will help save the planet.
Typically we don't like to talk about nuts coming loose from bolts but sometimes it is necessary when you need to remove something, and often quite difficult. So we found a pretty decent tutorial on the Do It Yourself Network that gives you 5 ways to loosen them yourself.
Of course sometimes it is easy to separate a nut from a bolt, like in this video:
As I was out and about on Sunday, I came across some motorcycles that took my breath away!
First off, they are nice bikes...I guess. I don't really know but they looked fancy & expensive. But what filled me with joy was seeing all the fasteners in place, holding each bike together - this bike was my favorite!
Look at all those - nice one, Yamaha!
Then there was this one...it isn't as impressive, fastener-wise.
So what is the difference between Lucite and acrylic?
It's simple: Lucite is a brand of acrylic, that's it. Just like Plexiglas, Perspex, Policril, Gavrieli, Vitroflex, Limacryl, R-Cast, Per-Clax, Plazcryl, Acrylex, Acrylite, Acrylplast, Altuglas, Polycast, Oroglass, Optix - they are all brands of acrylic.
Bulletproof glass however is something different, it's polycarbonate.
Anyways, the real reason I love seeing things made of acrylic (even polycarbonate, like at banks) is, in general, they are being held with fasteners and I like that you can see right through the material to see exactly how the fasteners are assembled.
People are putting those Lucite/Acrylic fasteners to good use! We found a Lucite/acrylic nut cracker that utilizes a large screw which goes up and down to put pressure on that tough nut that needs cracking...I feel like a proud parent watching their kid play ball that says, "That's my boy." because when I look at it I feel like saying, "That's my product."
I'm not really sure why but Lucite or acrylic paperweights filled with fasteners became very popular in the 60's & 70's...I wish I could have found some historical context but I didn't. Despite that acrylic or Lucite is clear many of them have turned yellow from age - have a look.
Here are a few we found online and then of course, last but not least, our very own at the bottom.