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Intro to Fasteners

Welcome to the tools section of the construction documentation! For the first part of this section we will be taking a look at fasteners. Fasteners are essential for locking in paramount pieces that allow the robot to maintain form. Each type of fastener comes in many forms, shapes and sizes; while we may not cover every one of them in detail, we hope that this documentation gives you a strong foundation with using construction tools.


Screws are for wood. Screws are the basic fasteners used to secure planks of wood to another piece of wood. Some companies to sell sheet metal screws but our team prefers to use bolts as an alternative. Something not to do with a wood screw would be to drive it into metal. Another thing you shouldn't do with any screw is to strip it, which is essentially nullifying the edges of the plus-sign on the screw so much that your driver would be unable to get a grip to drive it in. Any stripped screws should be tossed in the trash to avoid miscommunications and incidents.


Bolts are like screws but for metal Although sheet metal screws are offered by various sellers, our team tends to use bolts. You can identify whether or not something is a bolt or screw based on whether or not it's rounded on the edge or sharp and pointy. Bolts are most often accompanied by a fastener typically a lock nut, on the end to secure the bolt. The bolts that our team use are most likely a size 10-24 or 10-32 size, ranging from 0.25" to 3.00".


Using the right size wrench is the MOST important thing when it comes to tightening bolts because if you don't, then it will either be impossible or extremely difficult to do so.

Lock Nuts

Lock nuts are most often accompanied by bolts and are used to fasten bolts in place. One might attempt to fasten a lock nut by holding a lock nut in place with a wrench of the correct size, while using a screwdriver or Allen key to bolt the bolt into place.


Each screw or bolt has a "head", which is that thicker part on the top of the screw or bolt. A majority of the times, washers provide the spacing that a spacer cannot do due to its thickness. The other use of a washer would be to spread the screw or bolt's head size by using washers slightly larger than the head diameter. Looking at this in another perspective, this might not be particularly useful in the event that one would not want to separation between the head and the desired platform.


There are two types of spacers: the snap-on, and the old-fashioned slide-on. Our team often uses snap-on hex spacers that are 3D-printed. The sizes that our spacers come in normally range between 0.125" and 1.00" in length. The difference betweenn a spacer and a washer is that screws and bolts can go through the washer to provide spacing, whereas spacers are just space providers. It is not possible to thread a screw or bolt through one of our snap-on hex spacers because that hexagonal part of the spacer snaps onto an axle. One may use a spacer in order to provide spacing between wheels or rollers The advantage of using a snap-on spacer is that it literally just snaps on. No taking out anything on either side of the axle to slide in the spacer. But this means that a snap-on spacer is more likely to fall off after enduring a hard impact.


Sort of self-explanatory. Staples are used for stapling things to each other. FRC High School teams typically use staples for putting together bumpers (see Robot Mechanisms & Parts of a Robot page).

Last update: 2023-11-14