12 December 2015

Fastener History

I mentioned fastener drive systems being designed to increase manufacturing speed or to lock the customer out of the machine.

I forgot to mention where the hex-socket drive came from!

A guy named William G Allen is the first person to manage to figure out how to make a hex-socket drive economically.  It's also why we commonly call a hex-key wrench an "Allen-key" or "Allen-wrench" here in The States.

His first product was a set-screw.

This is why the hex socket on many fasteners is ridiculously small for the the thread size on countersunk and cap screws.

The drive in a set-screw has to be smaller than the threads.  Metric standards have locked in the sizes based on the threads rather than the head style.  Thanks EU!

In the US we go willy-nilly on head standards for a lot of things.  This is how LaRue has a M5x0.8 threaded cap screw that uses a 1/8" Allen wrench.

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