I know I have this problem at home when I’m assembling something or doing a simple home repair, maybe I’m tightening a bolt on a piece of RTA furniture, and I’m not sure how tight is too tight and how tight is just tight enough, so a lot of times I end up going maybe a little too far. Most of the time this doesn’t end up damaging whatever I’m working on, but sometimes it might split the board.

Stress Indicators Inc. has created a new kind of bolt that will take the guesswork out of the question of whether it’s tight enough. The company’s SmartBolts have a dot of color on the head that changes as the bolt is tightened. Once it gets to the target color, in the case of one bolt from red to black, it is plain to see that no further tightening is required.




There is a potential for time saving here. Someone using the bolt would not have to double check the tightness or spend extra time over tightening. The indicator would also reduce the risk of damaging the item being bolted from over tightening. No one would want a piece of furniture or a cabinet where the wood is split due to over tightening.

I know a lot of woodworkers out there probably aren’t using bolts of this kind in the shop, but maybe they could be used to put up a cabinet or something mounted to a wall or stud by an installation team out in the field. Maybe this technology can be further developed for use in screws or other fastening hardware.

This goes along with my previous post about the Hexapod CNC robot with the router bit head. Every day there are examples of new technologies being developed and it just takes someone with the imagination and knowhow to make new steps forward in technology a reality. What advances in technology have you seen that just made you say wow?

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