Just observing how you can't get hardware like Ford used at the hardware store, or anywhere else except the used bolt boxes.
The carriage bolts used throughout the body are just one example. The heads of the Ford carriage bolts used in the 1923 body have shallow heads and the square locking feature fits the bolt hole properly. The modern Chinese version has a higher, bigger diameter head that has to be ground down so it won't interfere with finished upholstery. And the locking feature is too large to pull into a sheet metal hole.
Even the nuts are wrong - original Ford nuts for 1/4-20 carriage bolts used a 1/2 wrench. Modern ones made in China kind of /sort of fit a 7/16" wrench. I suspect they are a convenient metric dimension, close enough for the price.
One of the things I watch for at auctions and swap meets is old nuts & bots, which are surprisingly scarce. Apparently a lot of them got thrown away. A "restoration" with Phillips screws and modern cad-plated fasteners looks pretty cheesy.
It's strange how things change. I remember when slotted screws were the common type and Phillips was actually sort of an "oddball" thing that you seldom ran across. Now, the slotted screws are the "oddball" in most hardware stores. Actually, what I consider a true "hardware store" has also become pretty much a thing of the past! Yeah, Lowes & Home Depot are nice in their way, but not like the old "Killinger's Hardware Store" in the Chicago suburb where I grew up. Killinger's had hardware, and only hardware! No pots and pans, Corningware, or even home appliances. JUST HARDWARE! And if you wanted three particular screws or bolts, you could buy exactly that,...not a "blister pack" that you had to use "tin snips" to get the darn thing open! Hey, this is turning into a rant,....sorry......
Oh, one other thing that for some reason came to mind when I opened this thread,.....I made an interesting discovery in my Dad's shop that I "inherited" when he passed away years ago. I have a pretty extensive socket set of my own, so for whatever reason, never opened the toolbox containing Dad's socket set. His set is pretty "extensive" too, and actually includes a full set of half-inch-drive sockets for SQUARE nuts! Pretty cool thing for a "T" guy like me to find, huh? Okay,...I'll shut up now,....harold
A restoration with Robertson heads looks better Steve!!!!
That depends on where the car was made.
I too was frustrated by the lack of correct fasteners, so I made (and still make) a lot of the correct bolts and nuts. The body iron carriage bolts are one example. They have the correct small diameter head and correct square shank. I also supply the correct 1/4-20 hex nuts in the two thicknesses that Ford used. I also make the correct carriage (square) nuts in the same 1/4-20 size: 1/4" thick and 1/2" across the flats.
Some other correct fasteners I make are: runningboard and fender mounting bolts/nuts; gas generator mounting bolts/nuts; metal coilbox mounting bolts and nuts, early colbox mounting brackest with correct nuts and washers, brake rod support bolts/nuts, correct brass T-head cotter pins for the key strap assemblies, correct early style door hinge pins, early spindle bolts, wood wheel hub bolts, and many more correct fasteners.
That's exactly how the hardware store in Pacific Beach Ca was 50 years ago. You could get any combination of nuts or bolts or other hardware. The man at the counter would write the prices on an invoice, draw a line and add the total. He didn't need to go down the list column by column. Just write the numbers and than the total. I always checked the totals and never found an error.
I think original fasteners are good if you have access to them and they are not rusty. If they have rust, they are weaker. You can file off the raised marks on the heads of modern bolts to make them look more like the old ones if you wish. The most important thing is to have all the fasteners in place and if possible match them so they will be less conspicuous. Those which show should be matched to the original if possible. Drivetrain bolts should be the best and strongest you can find.
Actually a car is "original" only once. After you change something, even new paint or upholstery, it is renovated or restored.
Harold could that be Kinders hardware that you remember? in Des Planes Ill
Here is a link to a fastener supplier that has banned zinc plating and phillips heads.
Justin, thanks for the link, a very good source for us early car guys. I have a 1908 Reliable Dayton High Wheeler. I have hoarded and collected all the early style carriage bolts, step bolts, early style square nuts, and straight slot screws, etc. , for years to use in its restoration. One thing I found out on it is that most of its original bolts must have been individual made for the car. You can have four identical looking bolts removed from the same places on the car and the nut from one bolt will not work on another bolt. I thought I was messing up the threads when I was removing them till I noticed that most of the nuts and bolts were match marked. Even the shackles U-Bolts are that way. You can run the nuts by hand but if you swap them out for each other they do not fit. So now I am very careful to make sure that the nut stays with its bolt. I'm not sure when "standard" nuts and bolts became common, but Reliable Dayton was not using them in 1908 ...
Here's a small sample of over three hundred lb's of period correct parkerized finish square head machine bolts ,carriage, nuts bolts and rivets from a 1918 corp. of engineer ware house auction at a TVA site. I gave .25 cents a pound and wish I had bought a ton as tons went to the scrapper. KGB
I struggled with this dilemma when preserving my coupelet. In the end I decided to remove the aftermarket fasteners for correct Ford fasteners. Luckily my grandpa had several containers full of fasteners. Just took a little work to clean them but I'm happy that my car has 99% factory hardware on it.
Model T's are just my latest interest in restoring old junk. One of the great satisfactions
in making old stuff functional again is dialing in all those little details like fasteners.
Things just look SO good when everything has that period correct look !
BTW - if one can find the right bolts, but they are plated, place them in a plastic shopping
bag that has been poked full of small holes by poking it with a knife on a chopping board.
Then dunk them in muriatic acid for about ten minutes, or until they stop fizzing. Lift bag
out of "soup" and allow acid to drain back into container, then rinse thoroughly with cold
water. They are now raw steel and ready for paint.
As a kid, I HATED slotted screws and square head nuts/bolts. Phillips were self-centering
and so much easier to keep from slipping off the driver. Square heads were great for open
end or adjustable wrenches, but unusable with hex sockets. I went out of my way to "upgrade"
everything I worked on. NOW, I go way out of my way to save all these old style fasteners
and remove all the old "upgrades" !!!!
I spend a lot of time at my bench grinder with the wire brush wheel cleaning up bolts and nuts. It's not pleasant work, but they look like brand-new ones when I'm finished with them. It's worth the time spent.
Paul Iverson - Nope! Killingers Hardware was on Grand Ave. a block west of 25th Ave. in Franklin Park. And come to think of it Paul, that was a very long time ago! We only lived two blocks from there, and when Dad was in the middle of a project and needed some little item from the hardware store, he'd ride my bike over to the hardware store instead of getting the car out of the garage. Yup,....a long time ago!
R.V'S bolts and nuts are great, especially his new spindle bolts. I have a number of his bolts on my '13s. The first concern in the bolt world is you have to know what Ford used in the first place. I built a '25 awhile back, and every nut and bolt on it is an original bolt. It's not hard to do, just a little research. One fastener question I have is the early cars use a lot of 1/4-20 square nuts, 7/16 across the flats. The later ones in the twenties went to 1/2" across the flats. This doesn't fit Fords normal way of doing things!
The muriatic acid bath and the wire wheel are both effective. I use the acid for removing the plating from new hardware. You do have to be careful not to breathe any of the fumes. I grind off any modern markings and make any other necessary changes, then treat with metal prep before painting. Using the wire wheel, I hold the piece with a Vise Grip to save my fingers, brush off the rust from half of it, let it cool enough to handle while I work on the others, then do the other half. Those pieces also get metal prep before painting.
Donnie B, et al, Reliable Dayton for all practical purposes was an old carriage manufacturing business, and probably was a bit slow changing their ways.
Attempts to standardize nuts an bolts began in the late 1800s. But they were largely unsuccessful as every individual that tried to standardize what they did, did it differently than every other individual did what they did. It was the automotive industry that made the first really successful effort through the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) to standardize diameters, thread counts and pitch as well as head and wrench sizes. Their efforts began in the earliest years of the 1900s and began taking serious hold only about 1905.
I have read that Henry Ford was a staunch supporter of the SAE, but don't really know just how much so. I am sure that Ford recognized the advantages to him for his suppliers (which in the beginning of the Ford Motor Company) was a lot of small companies) to all use interchangeable hardware.
Cadillac was awarded the Dewer Trophy (in England, and awarded world-wide) for engineering excellence in 1908 for interchangeability of parts. The interchangeability of parts included all hardware of same size.
So your 1908 Reliable Dayton is rightfully on the tail end of the way things used to be done. A man made a bolt. Then that man (or another one) made a nut to fit that bolt. And they worked together. But they may or may not interchange with another one.
I need to see pictures of your car!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
In the older hardware specs before about 1940 they had some "standards" that were easy to remember for instance bolt head thickness was the same as nut thickness and both were generally as thick as the diameter of its thread thus most 1/4" diameter fasteners had a 1/4" thick bolt head and a 1/4" thick nut. I found some of these specs from "drafting standards" that the draftsmen used to make the drawings for the various fasteners. Square nuts were chamfered 20 degrees on their corners and hex nuts were 30 degrees. 1/4" -20 threaded carriage bolt nuts became 7/16 long before the Chinese started making things. 1/4"-20 carriage bolts were 5/8" diameter until about 1940 when the "standard" then became 9/16. My son who is in software and tech support once told me that the "nice" thing about "standards" is that you have so many different ones to choose from