Newest FAQs

Assembly

Does Portland Bolt assemble accessory hardware to bolts?

Unless instructed otherwise, Portland Bolt will ship nuts and washers unassembled from bolts, with a few exceptions: Tie Rod Assemblies Tie rod assemblies are commonly used in heavy timber construction and in erecting architectural and structural steel. The assemblies typically consist of a threaded rod with right hand thread on one end and left hand... Read more

Thread Runout

What is “thread runout” and what specifications cover it?

The thread runout portion of a bolt is where the threaded section transitions into the bolt shank.  This area exists beyond where the usable thread stops.  In other words, if you were to assemble a nut all the way onto a bolt, the nut will stop, but there will still be a small portion of... Read more

Tightening Bolts by the Head

Can I tighten A325 and A490 structural bolts by turning the head of the bolt?

Yes. Per the RCSC Specification for Structural Joints Using High-Strength Bolts (2014), section 8.2, it says: “When it is impractical to turn the nut, pretensioning by turning the bolt head is permitted while the rotation of the nut is prevented, provided that the washer requirements in Section 6.2 are met”

F844 Plate Washers

Do Portland Bolt’s round plate washers meet the requirements of ASTM F844?

If a purchaser specifies an ASTM F844 washer with the dimensions of Portland Bolt’s plate washers, then the washers do meet the requirements of F844. According to ASTM F844, a specification for general use steel washers, the washer dimensions must conform to ASME B18.21.1, Type A, Tables 1A and Tables 1B, unless otherwise specified. The... Read more

Hex Nut

Hex vs. Heavy Hex Nuts

What is the difference between a standard hex nut and a heavy hex nut?

A standard hex nut, also referred to as a finished hex nut, has a smaller width across the flats and corners compared to a heavy hex nut, and a heavy hex nut is slightly thicker than a standard hex nut of the same nominal size. In fact, heavy hex nuts are exactly a 1/8” larger... Read more

Rural Utilities Service

What is the RUS or the Rural Utilities Service?

The United States Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is in charge of administering programs that provide rural communities with infrastructure or infrastructure improvements. The programs administered by the RUS include water and waste treatment, electric power, and telecommunications services. The RUS is a part of the USDA Rural Development Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. The RUS provides assistance... Read more

Pitch Diameter Bolts with Timber Connectors

Can I use reduced body bolts with shear plates and split rings?

Although ASME B18.2.1 allows for reduced body diameter bolts (where the unthreaded shank is equal to the pitch diameter of the threads), the American Wood Council does not.  In Section 13.1.3.3 of the 2015 National Design Specification for Wood Construction, it says: “Bolts used with split ring and shear plate connectors… shall have an unreduced... Read more

Custom Coupling Nuts

Can coupling nuts be made in custom lengths?

Hex and heavy hex coupling nuts can be made in custom lengths. Depending on the size and grade, however, there may be an extended lead time associated with doing that. Off-the-shelf coupling nut lengths have fairly few options for a given diameter. As long as the coupling nut is long enough to achieve the desired thread... Read more

Standard Flat Washer

F436 vs F844

Are you allowed to substitute F436 hard washers when F844 cut washers are called out?

In general substituting one grade of fastener for another is a bad idea, as that substitution can open you up to liability concerns, but does this apply to washers? ASTM F844 covers standard, unhardened steel washers for general use. ASTM F436 covers hardened steel washers used with most high strength bolts and F1554 anchor bolts. F844 is... Read more

A36M55

My plans specify A36M55. Is that a bolt grade?

A36M55 is an outdated call out for anchor bolts primarily used by the light pole and traffic signal industries. It was used to specify ASTM A36 steel (36 ksi yield strength) that had been chemically modified to develop a minimum 55 ksi yield strength. In 1994 the F1554 specification was introduced, and F1554 Grade 55... Read more