Custom Machined Barrel Nuts and Screws

I’m working on a line of furniture that utilizes fasteners quite heavily. The problem I’m running into is there really doesn’t seem to be many alternatives to the standard Chicago barrel nut. Right now my prototype is being held together with socket screws and a hex nuts. For the final versions I would like to have the same type of hardware on both sides (looks neater etc.).

Because I would need quite a few of these made I was thinking about overseas manufacturing. Currently I’m based out of Melbourne, Australia. I did some preliminary investigations into CNC services here and they were quoting about $7-10 for a nut and screw set.

Did any of you have any good experiences with custom machined hardware from China? If so would you be able to provide some recommendations?

I have attached photos of the project I’m working on and an existing product that is similar to what I would need (chainring bolts). The problem with using chainring bolts is they only come in a limited sizes and they are quite expensive (usually made of titanium).


Could you expand on what you don’t like about the standard sex bolts that are on the market? That might help determine what might work better for you.

That being said, I would poke around here for some more options:


Chainring fasteners are more often made from steel and aluminum than titanium. They are still quite expensive for a fastener, especially the titanium and aluminum ones. If you can find a source in Taiwan or China you might be able to get them direct from the manufacturer. The price I recall for a chainring nut or bolt was about 10NTD (manufacturing cost) when produced in the hundreds of thousands.

A simple alternative is to use three cheap fasteners: a round or hexagonal female threaded standoff and two screws. Find one that is just shorter than the thickness you are interested in clamping and insert the standoff in a thru hole. Add a screw from each side. It will cost less than $0.50 for each set of fasteners if you use aluminum standoffs with 10-32 threads and stainless steel or black oxide cap screws.

Nothing from McMaster Carr will work for you?

That’s a great solution sprockets! Now that you’ve mentioned it I don’t know why I didn’t do it that way all along :slight_smile:

Thanks for the input everyone!