Large Faux Aluminum Nut

I was in need of a large nut for a custom industrial looking light fixture I was working on. However, I couldn't find any large sized nut for a reasonable price or one that was a nice looking material. So I decided to make my own. Here is a list of what I used:

  • Aluminum (this is a soft metal that is easy to cut and sand) cut rod (any diameter you want to make the size nut you need)
  • Table saw with a metal grinding blade
  • Belt Sander
  • Drill and large bit
  • Compass
  • Pencil/pen/sharpie

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Step 1: Instruction on Creating a Hexagon From a Circle

1. Start with paper and a compass. (pic 1)

2. For instructional purposes, draw a circle and size you'd like with the compass. The important thing is to not change the angle of the compass after drawing the circle. (pic 2)

3. After you have drawn the circle, place the point of the compass anywhere along the edge (circumference) of the circle and then make a mark that crosses the edge of the circle. (pic 3)

4. Now move the point of the compass to the mark/intersection you just made and then make a second mark along the edge of the circle. (pic4)

5. Now repeat step #4 four more times until you have 6 intersections on the circumference of the circle. If you did not change the angle of the compass the marks/intersections should all be evenly spaced around the circle.

Step 2: Connect the Intersections With Straight Lines

Now draw lines between each intersection on the circle. (pic 1-6). Now you have a hexagon. I also drew a circle in the center to get an idea of how the finished nut would look.

Step 3: On to Creating a Nut Out of Aluminum

Now that you know how to make a hexagon on paper, transfer that knowledge to the aluminum circle (pic 1).

I decided to sand the aluminum on one side due to how rough it was from how it was cut. (pic 2)

First I found the center of the circle so I could set the compass to the radius of the aluminum. After finding the radius I made six marks/intersections around the edge of the circle (pic 4).

Next I connected the marks with lines to create the hexagon. Finally I drew a circle inside the hexagon to provide an idea of the hole I would be drilling (pic 5).

Next you'll want to use a table saw and grinding blade to cut along the orange lines in pic 5. Then drill out the center of the hexagon to create the finished nut. I also spent some time sanding the nut to give it a brushed look.

Step 4: Final Results

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    2 Discussions

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    1alembic

    4 weeks ago

    Thank you. I worked on the cutting and sanding on a different day and was not thinking about taking pictures. So I am sorry to say that I did not get pictures of that process. I wish I had. But it really is basically using a table saw to cut along the lines with a metal grinding blade. and then using a drill press to make sure the center hole is straight.

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    seamster

    4 weeks ago

    This is very impressive! Do you have any photos of the process as it was taken from the round puck shape to the finalized nut shape? That's something I'd really love to see. Hope you have some photos of that process, and decide to add them! : )