Hardware Sources for Roorkee Chairs

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Projects, Reviews, Roorkees | 0 comments

IMG_3510Since posting photos of my Roorkee Builds I’ve had a few people ask me where to find the brass and other specialty hardware for the chairs. Some of it was easy to find and some of it took much more work than I expected we’ll start with the easy stuff.

- Nuts, Bolts and Screws: You can find this stuff anywhere. My two favorite choices are my local Ace Hardware Store or Fastenal.com. I stripped off the zinc and oiled all the steel on the first pair of chairs, but I wasn’t happy with the color so I tried a baked flax oil finish suggested by Jameel over at BenchCrafted. Due to the small size of my parts, I was able to get good results with three rounds in my countertop toaster oven at a baking time of 1 hour each. I DID NOT bake the lock nut. If you apply light coats there will be minimal smoke. I was much happier with the look of this finish.

The brass fittings that allow you to tension the arms (they will stretch… a lot) consist of a threaded insert and a knurled brass knob. Here’s where you can get them:

1/4-20 x 1″ Knurled Thumb Screw in brass –  ZieglerBolt.com  – As you can see from the photo, I’ll have a little polishing to do. I don’t really care for the pattern on the head of the knob, so I sand it off.  NOTE: they have a $10 minimum order value to ship, so if you’re not ordering a lot of these parts you might want to consider picking up your brass screws and finishing washers here too.

EZ Lok Knife Thread Wood Insert in Brass – Fastenal.com - I bought my original supply of knobs from this supplier too, but they were out of stock when I came back for more. Make sure the internal threads match the ones on your knobs. You can get your screws and finishing washers here as well, but their warehouse had a  hard time getting the sizes right.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you install these inserts. The knife threads have a tendency to lift the grain of the wood when they first begin to cut and they require a good deal of torque to install.  My miserable excuse for a screw driver mangled the first piece I tried to install, so I decided to change tactics. I put together a hardware set consisting of a short bolt with threads to match the insert, a pair of nuts locked together on the nut, and a washer with the smooth face toward the insert. I use two nuts because occasionally the insert grabs the bolt and I have to unlock the nuts to back the bolt out.  The washer protects the brass and presses any lifted grain on the face of the leg back into position as you drive the insert home.

The buckles are a 3/4″ Bridle Buckle from Tandy in solid brass. I’m pretty happy with these, except for the price. The next time I build I’m going to give Buckleguy.com a shot. Their 1210 Buckle seems to be a pretty close substitute.

The last piece of hardware was much harder to find than I expected. I got nothing but blank stares when I went into my local Grainger asking for Ball Studs. After explaining what I wanted in detail and pulling up photos from the Lost Art Press Blog we were still unable to find them. I tried the Auto parts store next and thought I would suffer the same fate. Auto parts databases are sorted by make, model, year, etc, so if you don’t have a a really experienced person at the counter, you’re out of luck. My counter guy was experienced enough to know who to call and we found what I needed. It was categorized as a Lift Support. Since then I’ve done a little research and found a site called LiftSupportsDepot.com that seems to have all the options you would need. I used a smaller ball diameter than recommended, and it worked out fine, but if you plan to double up the leather on your arms, you should probably go with the 13mm stud. I used the Baked Flax finish on this part as well.

- Mark Hicks

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