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Pins for French Braces?

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The (old) flats at my church hall are held up by French braces weighted with sandbags. Each brace has a pair of eyes on the back of it (rather than pin hinges) and the braces have a pair of metal pins fixed to them which slot through the eyes and hold the flat up. I'm short of one set of these pins (I have a brace with no pins!) but wouldn't know where to start trying to buy some. Ideas? This is what one of the complete braces looks like:


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38852308570_af0c082306_c.jpg 25791737927_1989a00d96_c.jpg

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If it is just as it looks - a bit of round bar and bent - I reckon a bit of round bar, a vice, a hammer and a hack saw.Might even be lucky enough to find the right sized nail to do the job rather than having to buy a long length.
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cut off the end and bend in a vice

Thanks - that looks more plausible than cutting the head off a woodscrew (which likely wouldn't bend!). I'm fairly sure the inside end is a wodscrew-style thread screwed in, not a nail which would split the quite thin timber of the brace.



Discard the plastic bit, might avoid the bend, one of the few which has some dimensions listed!



or these (although I don't need stainless - is everything on ebay now made in A2 by default)

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  • 4 years later...

Four years on, I unscrewed one of the existing ones of these. It turns out the existing brace pins have a machine thread on them, not a woodscrew thread!

The originals are (I'm nearly certain) 1/4" steel bar, bent and with a thread cut on it. I found I had a length of 6mm steel bar (I'm not quite sure what or where, but probably cold rolled mild steel) and managed (after a false start with a cheap die) to cut an M6 thread on it, so I now have made the required two to sort out the last brace. I've no idea how the original holes in the brace were made - they had clearly been used before and the M6 bar screwed straight in (with about 40mm of thread buried in the softwood, it seems to hold just fine).

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This has been bugging me since resurrection because I have seen these things in various former lives. They are variously described as "L bolts", foundation bolts or anchor bolts and can be bought off the shelf in various sizes with both screw thread and woodscrew fixings. If you search the web try using the three descriptors then using combinations like "L-type anchor bolt." You can get them in all sorts of combos including rawl bolts or with washers welded on.

I still can't empty the rummage box of my brain for how I know these useful little beasts but it will come to me sometime. If then I can remember why I was searching for the memory I will return. 


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On 3/28/2022 at 6:09 PM, themadhippy said:

If you've threaded the wood a drop of superglue will help strengthen the thread

I find thread inserts are great for this sort of thing where you want a machine screw thread secure into timber.

I think these are designed for threads into chipboard (like kitchen cabinets) but I find them useful when making set items and props.

example (I searched for "thread insert" or "wood insert"):


Edited by kgallen
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