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Over the years, I’ve shortened a fair number of long bolts to a desired size rather than going to the hardware store for just a few of the correct length. Unfortunately, I’ve always encountered two problems with sawdust bolts. The first was that it is difficult to mark a precise cut line on bolt threads. The second was that locking the bolt firmly in a sawing vise can be inconvenient because the head and threads have different diameters.
I finally figured out that the solution is to select a nut that is the same width as the bolt head, screw it onto the bolt so that its outer face lines up with the desired cut line, then clamp the assembly in the vise, tightening the nut and the head bolt between the jaws. Here it is! The assembly is now firmly locked and, by sliding the hacksaw blade against the nut, I can cut the bolt to the perfect length. –Brad Nixon
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