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broken element bolt


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I am replacing elements today, and one of the kiln's element bolts broke. Do I need to buy the specific one from L&L, or is it ok to buy one from the hardware store? I also need one new nut, because the one in the photo is stuck on there hard.  I'm not opposed to buying it from L&L, it's just that it's too late to order it today, so it will be two days before I can finish this job. Whereas I could run out to the hardware store tomorrow morning.

brokenbolt.jpg.f5d0ab7a0da37cc5a7cc0c78e4a5fc50.jpg

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39 minutes ago, GEP said:

I can finish this job. Whereas I could run out to the hardware store tomorrow morning.

IMO
I think a stainless bolt and washer from the hardware should be fine. That looks like it was the jamb nut or stud nut BTW. I also would consider decent wider washers both sides to trap the wires nice and tight, one against the jamb nut, then the wires, then a washer on top followed by the nut. Looks like 8-32 from the picture, sample nut ought to confirm. 

Edited by Bill Kielb
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24 minutes ago, GEP said:

Is a jamb nut or stud nut different  from a garden variety nut?

I still have all the other washers and nuts. 

No, just a nut to turn the screw into a stud. All nuts in the picture are the same, just common nuts. I would get stainless though as well as stainless washers. Just me though, those don’t look to be stainless.

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30 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

No, just a nut to turn the screw into a stud. All nuts in the picture are the same, just common nuts. I would get stainless though as well as stainless washers. Just me though, those don’t look to be stainless.

They don’t stick to a magnet, so I think the existing parts are stainless. These are 18 year old parts, which is probably why they don’t look polished anymore. Thanks for the help!

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Yes on the stainless and the larger washers as well. I like some high heat lube as well if you have any just a super small amount of say never seize or electrical anti oxidation paste whatever to keep the nuts at high heat from galling again and breaking bolt. Just at the threads hit where it the nuts

Edited by Mark C.
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Aye. A few more pennies for low series stainless (300 series generally more corrosion resistant), worth it, imo.

I use Permatex anti-sieze 80078 ("Prevents seizing and galling of all metals on chassis and engines. Withstands temperatures up to 1600°F.") on just about all threaded fasteners, soo good.

For more than a few pieces, try Albany County Fasteners; their deal on twenty five o' these and a hundred of them (beat the hardware store at just under 14% price, and better material, fit and finish) for our steel door restoration project.

Carry on.

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@GEP This is not uncommon. Get a stainless #10 panhead machine screw. It's near impossible to find the hex heads that will fit the same. The panhead won't sit into the recess on the back side of the block, but that's okay. Put a lock washer and nut on the front side to hold everything tight before putting on the elements. Get new fender washers and nuts, too. It's good to put a fender washer on either side of each element and just make one loop with the element. That will keep the nuts from tightening at an angle and being more likely to cross thread/strip/seize.

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Thanks @Mark C. and @Hulk! I was wondering if there was a lubricant that would be fine to use in a kiln. Looks like I can get the Permatex 80078 at a local auto parts store.

@neilestrick, thank you for letting me know I can deviate slightly from the exact bolt shown on the L&L website. Hopefully, this makes it easier to find it locally. If Ace Hardware doesn't have it, then I'll go ahead and get the parts from L&L.

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2 hours ago, neilestrick said:

I get mine at Ace.

The Ace did not have 1.75 inch bolts, so I got some 1.5 inch and some 2 inch. Would either of these work? Or does the exact length make a meaningful difference?

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24 minutes ago, GEP said:

The Ace did not have 1.75 inch bolts, so I got some 1.5 inch and some 2 inch. Would either of these work? Or does the exact length make a meaningful difference?

Either likely fine as long as the 2” have enough clearance  and  are a reasonable distance from any metal and the 1.5” isn’t so short that you cannot get the wires onboard. Neatly stacked it looks like the 1.5” would work. If you have a set of wire crimpers many come with the ability to cut 8-32 & 10-24 to exact size.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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48 minutes ago, GEP said:

The Ace did not have 1.75 inch bolts, so I got some 1.5 inch and some 2 inch. Would either of these work? Or does the exact length make a meaningful difference?

Either will work. I usually use 1.5" with Easy Fire kilns, and 2" on DaVinci since they have 3 elements. The 2" will work on an easy Fire and give you a little more space on the bolt to work with.

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1 hour ago, GEP said:

Thanks @Bill Kielb and @neilestrick! I just finished lunch and I’m headed downstairs to try it. 

Not that you want to hear  this now but may help someone in the future. If those bolts are #10 (10/24) let’s say, they have a tendency to overload or strip  the threads of the bolt because of the high non symmetric loading and small number of threads to carry the load. An old mechanics trick was to use the equivalent rod coupling instead of a nut which distributes the load to many more of the threads. Might be something someone here has a use for at some point.

 

CEBBD7B9-A4F5-483A-89F2-65606D6475BE.jpeg

Edited by Bill Kielb
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1 hour ago, Bill Kielb said:

Not that you want to hear  this now but may help someone in the future. If those bolts are #10 (10/24) let’s say, they have a tendency to overload or strip  the threads of the bolt because of the high non symmetric loading and small number of threads to carry the load. An old mechanics trick was to use the equivalent rod coupling instead of a nut which distributes the load to many more of the threads. Might be something someone here has a use for at some point.

 

CEBBD7B9-A4F5-483A-89F2-65606D6475BE.jpeg

Good idea.

I wonder if some of the tendency to stick is related to the repeated heating and cooling of the metal as well, not just the load on the threads, though?

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10 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

Good idea.

I wonder if some of the tendency to stick is related to the repeated heating and cooling of the metal as well, not just the load on the threads, though?

I am sure it’s an Issue but the thread surface to bear the load of stiff elements is probably light. One of the best element attachment system out there though IMO. All the rest have bigger issues than a nut and bolt replacement every ten years. Simple, pretty leak free, it lasts, and no special parts needed.

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It turned out the factory installed bolts were 1.5 inches after all. I assumed they were 1.75 inches, because that's the size of the replacements sold by L&L. So the new 1.5 inch bolt from Ace worked perfectly. Knock on wood. The first test firing is on, and so far everything is behaving as normal. 

Thanks for all the help everyone!

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When repairing the old L&L over the years I walk down to Ace hardware to peruse the screw and nut bins. Often found SS screws for the housing mounts, electrical poles, nuts, and washers. Some parts like the power blocks I would order in from L&L when available, but this last year much of that was not available. Local hardwares are a blessing, and a great place to explore in the spare time as you will often remember seeing exactly what you need in the studio.

 

best,

Pres

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