Part: Bolts
Designers: Timothy Schmidt
Tools: Metal lathes


Fastening two or more parts together sometimes requires special tools, electricity or compressed air, sometimes damages the parts themselves, and sometimes cannot be undone.

Fastening two or more parts together should be quick, easy, produce a strong joint, and be a fully reversible process.


Bolts of different lengths are required to join one, two, and three thicknesses of frames to brackets, panels, and each other.

The combination of weld nuts and furniture bolts suggested in How to Build With Gridbeam loosens rapidly and structures built with them begin to wobble quite quickly. A drop of loctite on each nut's threads would help.


A selection of nuts and bolts have been chosen to interoperate with various frames and are listed in the Parts section.

Using nylock nuts is recommended to address the issue of bolted connections loosening over time.

Bolt lengths for any size frame are calculated using the following formula:

 Frame width (x1, x2, x3) + nut thickness x2

This allows for using two nuts to lock each other in place, nylock nuts, room for securing sheets, etc.


8mm frame

1 Bolt: M3x12
2 Bolt: M3x20
3 Bolt: M3x30

40mm frame

1 Bolt: M12x60
2 Bolt: M12x100
3 Bolt: M12x140

100mm frame

1 Bolt: M24x150
2 Bolt: M24x250
3 Bolt: M24x350

Life cycle

Degenerative transformation

Long bolts can be cut to form shorter bolts.

Last use

Stripped, bent, or abraded bolts degrade to abrasive pellets for ball mills.