not a DIY enthusiast
February 5, 2012 12:34 PM   Subscribe

DIY nuts and bolts question.

So I am trying to find 1/4 inch brass hex nuts online to make bracelets like these and these, but all the websites list the sizes as 'BA', what size should I be searching for? I'm in the UK if you are linking.
posted by ellieBOA to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
BA is a standard which controls the threads on the nut - the number of threads per inch, the depth of the thread, the pitch, the tolerance, etc. For your use, I don't think it really matters. You probably couldn't use those nuts to replace ones around the house, but they'll braid into jewelry just fine.
posted by muddgirl at 12:40 PM on February 5, 2012

Response by poster: so 2BA from the link is 1/4 inch?
posted by ellieBOA at 12:50 PM on February 5, 2012

Response by poster: or follow your wiki link and 0BA=1/4 inch?
posted by ellieBOA at 12:51 PM on February 5, 2012

BA isn't a standard that measures length. May I introduce you to McMaster-Carr? Also the contractor section of your local Home Despot should have these as well for cheaper than McMaster, McMaster just has EVERYTHING.
posted by edbles at 1:21 PM on February 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks edbles but I'm in the UK, also really want to buy these online rather than waiting till I can go to a DIY store.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:27 PM on February 5, 2012

And you're in the UK... 3.5 mm nut should be same as 1/4"

Brass Nuts
posted by edbles at 1:29 PM on February 5, 2012

You'll be better off searching for metric nuts in the UK. Assuming you're looking for 1/4" inner diameter, M6 will be your closest: try this.
posted by bullox at 1:34 PM on February 5, 2012

@edbles comment - if it's 1/4" outer diameter then M3 would be a good bet.
posted by bullox at 1:35 PM on February 5, 2012

And you're in the UK... 3.5 mm nut should be same as 1/4"

Er, what? 1/4" = 6.4mm.

However, do you mean 1/4" across the flats? Because M3 is a 3mm diameter hole through the nut. From any picture you can extrapolate the rough size of the exterior (being as the accurate size doesn't matter.
posted by Brockles at 1:43 PM on February 5, 2012

Your best option would be to go to any hardware store and actually look at some nuts, to see what size works best for your designs. They'll have steel nuts even if they don't have brass, but the sizing will be the same. Then if they don't have exactly what you want, or the price isn't right, you'll know how to find the right thing online.
posted by Mark Doner at 1:51 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

How many do you want - if you're just wanting a few, McMaster is not the place to go. If you want a hundred in brass (and not zinc plated steel) McMaster may very well spank every local hardware store on the Earth, price wise. That said, I'm sure there is a UK equivalent of McMaster but I don't know what it is.

Nut sizing is based on diameter and thread pitch of the associated bolt. So a six mm nut will have a hole that's smaller than that by the height of the threads and be about 12 mm across (flat to flat) on the outside. The wall thicknesses get bigger as the diameter gets larger, but it's going to tend to be two fold bigger, more or less. (The threads will be every mm or half mm on an M6 nut depending on if you're using coarse or fine thread but this has no bearing on what you're doing so just buy the cheapest.)

BA and other such thread standards (and there are an amazing number of these) will not matter to you unless you go out and buy an metal lathe and start making your own. Also, count yourself lucky that metric threads use mm all the way down. The SAE system switches over to No. 10, et al below 1/4 inch. (No. 12 = 0.216 inches, No. 10 = 0.190 inches, etc. I'm sure a Victorian engineer or maybe a kabbalistic rabbi could explain these numbers, but I can't.)
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:12 PM on February 5, 2012

Do you want a 1/4" interior hole on the nut? If so, then a 0 BA would work.

Nowadays the British standard is metric - you would be looking for an M6 I believe (but I don't usually work in metric).

But if you want, say, a 1/4" height on the nut or 1/4" across the flats, it's going to be a little more complicated than that.
posted by muddgirl at 7:57 PM on February 5, 2012

Well, depending on how close you want to get, the 0 BA might be slightly too small - I think that the dimension is .23" at the widest part of the nut thread (the maximum diameter), which means the minimum diameter is around .2"
posted by muddgirl at 8:23 PM on February 5, 2012

I'd search for the nuts in terms of their corresponding DIN standard.
Try this website for calculations.
You could be looking for a M3.5-0.6 DIN 934 Brass Hex Nut or something like that.
posted by Thug at 5:56 AM on February 6, 2012

Response by poster: Late update, but was too confused by the online choices, so waited until I could get to a brick and mortar store, and looked at the sizes in person. Thanks for all the advice. Won't best answer anyone as I still don't quite understand the terminology!
posted by ellieBOA at 2:09 PM on February 25, 2012

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