history of coach screws by fixabolt

The History Of Coach Screws: Invention to Modern-Day Applications

If you've ever built a deck or assembled furniture, chances are you've used coach screws. These versatile fasteners with a hexagon head have been around for centuries and have played a crucial role in construction and woodworking.

But where did they come from, and how did they become such an essential part of our building toolkit? In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the history of coach screws, from their invention to modern-day applications.

As a nuts and bolts retailer specialising in stainless steel fixings such as coach screws, Fixabolt is passionate about educating our customers on the fascinating history of these fasteners. We believe that understanding the origins and evolution of coach screws can help us appreciate their importance in our daily lives.

After all, there are many fixings and fasteners out there, but there is a reason why some are more commonly used than others. Usually, it's their versatility - and coach screws offer plenty of that!

Whether you're a professional builder or just someone who enjoys DIY projects, read on to learn everything you need to know about the history of coach screws.

The Invention and Early Uses of Coach Screws

Let's go back in time to the early years of coach screws, where their invention and initial uses paved the way for our modern-day stainless steel coach screw offerings at Fixabolt.

Coach screws were first invented in the late 18th century by a British blacksmith named Jesse Ramsden. Similar to coach bolts, were originally used as a means of fastening wheels to horse-drawn coaches, hence their name.


Jesse Ramsden Coach Screw Inventor


Coach screws quickly gained popularity due to their strength and durability. They were also versatile, making them useful in a variety of applications beyond just securing wheels to carriages.

Today, we offer a range of coach screws at Fixabolt that are made from high-quality stainless steel and come in various sizes and lengths, such as M8 x 50mm coach screws to M12 x 100mm coach screws. These modern-day versions adhere to DIN standards of 571 and have been engineered with precision to ensure they meet all your fastening needs.

The Evolution of Coach Screw Design: From Wrought Iron to Modern Metals

The transformation of coach screw design has been a gradual process, with the earliest versions made from wrought iron. Subsequent iterations have utilised various metals to enhance their strength and durability. As technology improved, so did the materials used in coach screw production.


Wrought Iron Material


Bronze screws were introduced in the 18th century, followed by brass and copper in the 19th century. By the 20th century, stainless steel became the preferred material for coach screws due to its exceptional strength and resistance to corrosion.

In addition to changes in materials, there have also been modifications to the shape of coach screws over time. The earliest versions had blunt ends that required pre-drilling before installation. Later designs featured sharper points that could be driven directly into wood without drilling first. While it is always recommended to drill a pilot hole before inserting your coach screw, the pointed thread offers self-tapping functionality.

Today's coach screws have a hexagonal head with sharp points for easy driving, with deep, coarse threads providing maximum grip. These advancements in design have made coach screws an essential component in construction projects around the world.

Coach Screws in Construction: Building Bridges, Buildings, and Decks

Coach screws are like the trusty workhorses of construction projects, holding together everything from bridges to buildings to decks. These screws are used in a variety of applications where heavy-duty fasteners are needed. Their various sizes and materials, including stainless steel and galvanised steel, make them practical for outdoor use.

Here are three ways coach screws are commonly used in construction projects:

  • Building Bridges: Coach screws play an important role in the construction of bridges by helping secure beams and planks together, providing stability and support for vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Constructing Buildings: They can be used to attach roof trusses to walls or connect floor joists together and can be used as an alternative to coach bolts when securing large pieces of wood together.
  • Creating Decking: Coach screws have become increasingly popular for creating outdoor decks. Their durability and weather-resistant properties of stainless steel make them perfect for this application. Their sleek design also adds a modern touch to any deck project.


Bridge constructed with DIN 571 coach screws


Coach Screws in Woodworking: Furniture Making and Other Applications

As a woodworking enthusiast or professional tradesperson you might appreciate the versatility and strength of coach screws for creating furniture pieces and other DIY projects.

Coach screws are ideal for joining thick pieces of wood together or connecting timber to metal due to their strong grip and deep threading. They're easy to install with just a spanner or socket driver, making them great for DIYers that don't have plentiful woodworking experience.

One of the most popular applications of coach screws in woodworking is in creating rustic furniture pieces such as benches, tables, and chairs. With their coarse threads and durable construction, they provide a secure hold that can withstand the pressure applied to these types of furniture items.

They're also often used in outdoor furniture projects due to their resistance to corrosion and weathering. So whether you're building a piece of furniture for your home or garden, coach screws are an excellent choice for adding both beauty and functionality to your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are coach screws different from regular screws and bolts?

Coach screws have a tapered shape, coarse thread, and a hexagonal head. This design allows for better grip and strength when used in wood or construction applications without the need for a nut or in situations where you do not want to penetrate the screw through the other side of your connecting material.

What are the most common sizes and lengths of coach screws used today?

They are commonly used and available in sizes ranging from 6mm (M6) to 12mm (M12), and lengths between 30mm and 300mm. The most popular sizes of coach screw are M10 (10mm), with a length between 50-150mm.


M10 coach screw with shank

How do you properly install coach screws to ensure maximum strength and durability?

To properly install coach screws, we always recommend drilling a pilot hole slightly smaller than the screw's diameter. Use a spanner or socket driver to drive the screw into place until it is flush with the surface. For maximum strength and durability, avoid overtightening and use appropriate length screws for your project. A study found that using longer screws in softer wood increased pull-out resistance by 35%.


Are there any alternative fastening methods that can be used instead of coach screws in certain applications?

When coach screws won't do the trick, consider alternatives such as coach bolts, threaded rods, or even fully threaded bolts. These options may be more suitable for certain applications as they are fastened with a nut. 


You've made it to the end of our informative journey through the history of coach screws! Hopefully, by now you have a better understanding and appreciation for these essential fasteners.

From their invention in the 1700s to modern-day applications, they have evolved in design but have remained an integral part of building sturdy structures and furniture.

In conclusion, whether you're a professional tradesperson or home DIYer, having a basic understanding of coach screws is essential.

At Fixabolt, we have a wide range of coach screws. If you need any advice about using them you are more than welcome to contact us via our online live chat.

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