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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Bolting on rock skids: How to make square holes?

I purchased some 5' lengths of 3x3x1/4 steel angle iron for my rock skids. I want to bolt them on using 3/8" SS carrage bolts but how do I get square holes in 1/4" thick steel?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 03:56 PM
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Re: Bolting on rock skids: How to make square holes?

Before I got a plasma cutter, I just drilled a hole, then squared it off with a hand held power jigsaw. It's a little work, but with patience and quite a few metal blades, you can get it done.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 03:57 PM
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Re: Bolting on rock skids: How to make square holes?

This is going to be a tough one for me to answer since I work in a machine shop and dont really know a good "home" solution. The square holes can be put in by drilling a pilot hole and using a square broach. You might be able to get it done at a local machine shop. Another way is wire edm which is probably going to be a bit more expensive. If you have to do it at home the only way I would be able to suggest is drilling the pilot holes, laying out the squares, and using a dremel to get it close and then use a hacksaw blade or file to knock the corners out. If you want to skip the hacksaw blade you can get tricky and before you drill the pilot hole, drill the corners of the layed out squares with a small drill, (maybe a 5/64 or so) and then just use a dremel to clear out to the the corner holes. Hopefully someone else can come up with a better backyard solution.

Here is a crappy sketch of what im talking about with drilled out corners.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 07:34 PM
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Re: Bolting on rock skids: How to make square holes?

The bad news is that it's tough to do a good, neat job without a broach or stamping die. The good news is that you don't really need a square hole.

Drill a round hole just a little smaller than the corner-to-corner size of the square on the carriage bolt. Then take a good, big cold chisel and give it four good whacks around the hole. With a good eye and a BIG hammer (and somebody you don't like holding the chisel) you can cut pretty big corners into the hole. Then line up the corners of the carriage bolt with the notches in the hole, and drive it in.

It's good enough to hold the square while you're tightening the nut, and that's all you neek.

See the attached drawing.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 07:38 PM
 
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Re: Bolting on rock skids: How to make square holes?

why do you need carriage bolts?

you can get hex, or torx bolts with the same profile of the head, but then you dont need a square hole.

that would be my route, unless I had a punch or some other easy way to make the holes.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 07:43 PM
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Re: Bolting on rock skids: How to make square holes?

The advantage of carriage bolts is that they have rounded heads which means they won't snag on stuff. You won't find any hex head bolts like that, possiby something with an allen or torx head though.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 11:10 PM
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Re: Bolting on rock skids: How to make square holes?

How about button head for rounded.

Maybe he needs something that will hold the bolt in place while he tightens the other side. I have a few bolts like that on my tj. There is no way to hold the back side.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 11:31 PM
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Re: Bolting on rock skids: How to make square holes?

On my rocker guards I used tapered allen bolts. The bolts are 5/16" and have a tapered head that sits flush with the surface of the rocker. I bought a chamfer bit at a local tool supply. I drilled all of the 5/16" holes and then used the chamfer until the bolts would sit flush. Worked great, and the heads blend right into the 1/4" steel.

Later,
Tom

You could also grind the corners off of the carriage bolts or drill the holes large enough for the squares to fit in.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Bolting on rock skids: How to make square holes?

I'll try and drill the hole oversized on one. If I can get the bolt to tighten without spinning, I'll go that route. If not, I'll try the cold chisel trick.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-02-2003, 12:15 AM
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Re: Bolting on rock skids: How to make square holes?

I was waiting to respond until you came back and explained why you wanted to use the carriage bolts but you didn't so. You could achieve almost the same thing using hex socket button head screws. Drill and tap the angle and thread the screw in then they wouldn't turn when you tighten the nut on the inside.
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