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Source of Machined Nuts

Supplier of Machined 1/4" BSF Nuts

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Alain Foote17/05/2019 19:07:09
25 forum posts
3 photos

I am looking for a supplier of machined 1/4" BSF Nuts rather than the rather mishaped cold formed nuts that most suppliers seem to stock.

Andrew Johnston17/05/2019 19:29:05
4950 forum posts
563 photos

Plenty of suppliers for machined BA and small metric nuts but not so for BSF. I've been caught by a supplier advertising machined BA nuts sending cold formed BSF nuts. I wanted the old style thicker nuts, so I made my own, 1/4" BSF full and lock and 5/16" BSF full:



Alain Foote17/05/2019 19:45:50
25 forum posts
3 photos

Yes that might be the final solution for me too Andrew!

Edited By Alain Foote on 17/05/2019 19:46:16

Swarf, Mostly!17/05/2019 20:58:30
498 forum posts
41 photos


Do I remember rightly that you have a dedicated repetition lathe? It might interest some members to recap on such a machine's capabilities?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

colin brannigan17/05/2019 21:08:24
57 forum posts
12 photos

Nookys Nuts online shop stock BSF/ cycle nuts, I use them on my motorcycle rebuilds, good quality. They are zinc plated.



Edited By colin brannigan on 17/05/2019 21:09:03

Alain Foote17/05/2019 21:12:39
25 forum posts
3 photos

Thanks Colin, really want unplated ones though.

JohnF17/05/2019 23:34:00
892 forum posts
114 photos

Are these chaps any good ? Accupro, **LINK**

Mark Rand18/05/2019 02:58:59
802 forum posts

0.445" AF hexagon steel is available from a number of suppliers, some on EBay or locally, Acenta in Paynes lane (although, the last time I looked, they weren't as friendly towards orders of smaller quantities (less than 1 tonne, unlike when they were Macready's). Might still do single bars...).


Haven't got a 0.445" hex collet, but the three-jaw will work for a limited value of working. Get me a bit of bar and I'll churn them out for you on the HLV.


For small quantities, it might be worth tapping some round stock, then milling/surface grinding it to hexagon, before parting off. Or vice-versa.

Edited By Mark Rand on 18/05/2019 03:04:05

Alain Foote18/05/2019 07:35:30
25 forum posts
3 photos

Not sure if the Accupro ones are really machined nuts, does anyone know?

vintage engineer18/05/2019 08:24:05
200 forum posts
1 photos

If you make up a saturated solution of table salt and malt vinegar, soak them in this and it will remove zinc plating overnight!

Posted by Alain Foote on 17/05/2019 21:12:39:

Thanks Colin, really want unplated ones though.

Anthony Knights18/05/2019 08:50:53
287 forum posts
109 photos

I used B&Q brick cleaner (Hydrochloric acid) to remove zinc plating when I wanted to blacken some nuts. You also end up with zinc chloride solution (killed spirits). Useful for soft soldering.

John Hinkley18/05/2019 09:59:03
772 forum posts
259 photos

Not knowing where you are on the planet, it's difficult to advise, but, when I lived in Leighton Buzzard, Beds, a couple of years ago, I helped a friend who was rebuilding a Lotus Elan with some machining for the window winding mechanism. This involved sourcing some odd flavoured specialised captive imperial nuts. I went to a local firm. I think it was these people :

Alfast Fixings

I offered a contribution to their tea fund in exchange for 40 of the nuts. No paperwork involved. You miht be able to persuade a forum member living nearby to visit for you?

I suspect if you want thousands, they'd be willing to take your money, too. There doesn't seem to be a type of fastener they don't manufacture.


P.S. It might equally have been : Astraeus Fasteners Ltd, Milton Keynes, but I can't find a web site, although the Google Earth location looks vaguely familiar.

Andrew Johnston18/05/2019 10:44:53
4950 forum posts
563 photos
Posted by Swarf, Mostly! on 17/05/2019 20:58:30:

Do I remember rightly that you have a dedicated repetition lathe? It might interest some members to recap on such a machine's capabilities?

Correct, I bought it locally from a two man band that were retiring.The lathe is a Britan, made in Cambridge, probably in the mid 1960s. Here's a picture with the key components annotated:

britan lathe - annotated me.jpg

It's quite a small machine, about the same footprint as a Myford ML7, but weighs about 1500lbs. It's similar to a capstan lathe, but is more versatile and is intended for mass production of small parts. Note that the tools are behind the work but the right way up. In normal operation the main spindle rotates clockwise. There are no dials or DROs, everything is done using adjustable stops. In industry the lathe would have been set up by a skilled man and then run by operators on piece rate.

The lathe has a two speed reversing motor; speed and direction changes can be made on the fly, no need to stop and start the motor. There is also an auxiliary motor that drives a coolant pump, a hydraulic pump that provides auto traverse and an air compressor for the bar feeder.

The lathe is collet only, I have the larger 1-1/4" version. The collets are dead length meaning the material doesn't move axially when the collet is closed. The collets are similar to the DIN6343 but are not standard, by coincidence this is a 0.820" hex collet for BSW:

dead length collet.jpg

Like all lathes of this type they are pretty much useless without tooling. Fortunately my example came with a significant number of collets and accessories. And I've managed to buy more tooling via Ebay. More collets are always useful, although I've got nearly a full set of imperial rounds. Here are some accessories:


I haven't used the lathe to anywhere near it's full potential but I've made most of my own nuts, bolts, washers, studs and threaded "rivets" for my traction engines:

bolts nuts washers.jpg

I'm currently using the Britan to shorten steel rivets before using them on the rear wheel strakes.


Edited By Andrew Johnston on 18/05/2019 10:47:44

Alain Foote18/05/2019 11:38:42
25 forum posts
3 photos

That's a very useful looking machine Andrew! Thanks for all the inputs so far. I am in Rugby so not far from MK.

Paul H 118/05/2019 12:33:50
28 forum posts

Andrew, have you made any collets for this lathe yourself?

Mick D19/05/2019 12:47:12
18 forum posts


Acme Stainless supply machined BSF nuts

Regards Mick

Swarf, Mostly!19/05/2019 14:46:36
498 forum posts
41 photos


Thank you for your very full response to my suggestion.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Alain Foote19/05/2019 18:32:41
25 forum posts
3 photos

Thanks Mick for the ACME Stainless suggestion, really want mild steel unplated.

Andrew Johnston19/05/2019 20:54:54
4950 forum posts
563 photos
Posted by Paul H 1 on 18/05/2019 12:33:50:

Andrew, have you made any collets for this lathe yourself?

I haven't, although some of the odder size collets I have look they have been locally made rather than purchased. It wouldn't be too difficult to make a collet if required. The main issue would be forming the hole if not round.


Edited By Andrew Johnston on 19/05/2019 20:55:34

JasonB22/05/2019 19:43:51
16574 forum posts
1772 photos
1 articles

I was just looking at Little Samson models and noticed this link to Historic Threads they have some nice looking nuts fully machined from round stock as well as other goodies.

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