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Spiral-threaded bolt toolkit

Spiral-threaded bolt toolkitThis particular article is part a how-to guide, part an homage to the truly amazing things that SketchUp does rather easily.


For several projects now, I've wanted realistic, spiral-threaded bolts - not the concentric-ring facsimiles I've been able to download from the Warehouse.

More - I wanted different sizes and lengths and styles of bolts.

That's what lead to my "bolt template". Mix and match components, resize them, and you can build any spiral-threaded bolt you want.

The components are based on a standard 1/4" bolt with 20 threads-per-inch (tpi) design, but you can adapt them to anything you want.

In this example, I'll be "building" a 3/8" bolt with 16 tpi, 5" length, for a kids' workbench I've been working on.

finished 3/8" by 5" hex bolt, created in SketchUp

First, I re-save the file "bolt toolkit" to the unique name of what I'm building. I don't want to destroy the original bolt template file.

Next, select your components. It's a hex-head bolt, so that's the head I want. I delete the others. Multi-select with Shift-Click or Ctrl-Click (I prefer Shift-Click, as a second Shift-Click will unselect the same item, if I need it to).

use Shift-Click to select SketchUp components to delete

Hit delete.

This bolt has a 4" length of smooth shank. I need that. Plus a shank-to-spiral transition piece:

bolt components we'll want to use

These, you'll want to keep.

Finally, I'll want the main bolt spiral component, and the end spiral piece. Additionally, I'll want to keep the matching washer and nut.

more components we want to keep


Leaving us with our final building blocks:

SketchUp components used to create a hex head bolt, with nut and washer


Next Part 2: Create the spiral bolt thread

- PD


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