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#858105 09/10/21 1:42 am
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Why are many British bolts domed headed? Perhaps airflow, or a smooth look paying homage to the bald headed executives.
All joking aside why the dome? There must be a logical solution.

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I have always been under the assumption that the domed bolts were for "looks"

You will find them on fenders, and various other locations in which "details" matter

For Triumph / BSA, they seem to have ditched that style around 1969-ish when hardware was switching to American

Just my thoughts

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Probably "domed" due to the machining process.

There are specialty bolts, not "general hardware," so they were probably made in the machine shops of BSA itself.

As they are a special British thread, they were probably made on automatic screw machines and the rounded head may be a result of the "cut-off" process when the finished and threaded bolt was separated from the hexagonal bar stock by the cutting tool.

(My Dad was in the screw machine business. I have seen how it's done.)

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[Linked Image]I made them for my 66 A65 by mounting stainless bolt in drill press and ran it against a file. Look the part.


Bill
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Nice job, Beach. Looks original to me.

I have copied the circular indentation to signify "unified" treads in a similar way, by putting USA-made bolts of the proper threads in a lathe, then placing an end mill in the tail stock and cutting the circular marking that way.

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Birmingham was the workshop of the world, even in the 80's when I was working in the Auto industry there were hundreds of these multi spindle machines around. My first job was to convert a shop of 20 of these machines from HSS to Tungsten carbide tooling.



I believe the domed head was for both clean lines and less likelihood of a bolt head catching on a branch etc, a lot of off road riding at weekends in the UK. Just a guess.

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perhaps the question is the wrong way round ...... why not domed heads on oriental and American bikes?

They used domed because that is what should be used if you have a bit of pride in the way you design bikes, and how they look. A pointless expense you say? well that depends on your perspective.
They stopped using them when they had to compete with the souless bikes built to appease the gods of the balance sheet, where every cent has to be shaved, every dollar grabbed.

When rebuilding my bikes I also domed the heads of the stainless bolts using a rednecks lathe, i.e. a cordless drill and an angle grinder. Quick, simple though perhaps a tad hazardous.

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I think there were a few reasons, if you are making your own in house Fasteners, why not reduce the head size to save space and weight and materials.
The better quality marques like Ariel made a point of having particularly well made Fasteners.
If you are starting with hex bar a reduced head Across the flats size saves a lot of machining, also allows for neater construction, many of the clearances around fastener heads are tight on a motorcycle, designers made stuff as tight as possible to look pleasing ,and save weight/ materials.
Once you have done all this you might as well add a dome/ chamfer, thats what separates machinists from the animals.


71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
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Strong Fasteners are forged then may be machined if a precision fit is required like on a rod bolt..They may also be heat treated...When I do a bike build I generally scrap the common sized old bolts and nuts and try to install new bolts with the heads showing the grade markings....Original domed bolts seem good quality, some new replacements have die cut threads that distort easily....


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I think Irish Swede had it right .

The domed head is an artifact of the Machining process .
its easier to "part" a piece without parallel sides .
a straight Plunge parting tool is forming a Groove on 3 sides at once .
( you have to have your tooling more precisely placed to pull this off )

if you "part" as a decreasing wedge you can face the dome as the "parting " cut is made deeper and more narrow

the cutting can be done with a pointed tip and not a forming tip .
The Parting cut only becomes a parallel cut right before the piece is ready to fall off anyway

Last edited by quinten; 09/10/21 8:34 pm.
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Quote
''Once you have done all this you might as well add a dome/ chamfer, thats what separates machinists from the animals.''


All my bolts should have 2 inch square heads then..................................

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You can always take standard hardware and make them more "original" looking like others have stated

On my '68, I took standard 1/4" American fine thread bolts, then turn the head down to remove any markings then added a chamfer on the ends

Mounted in a 5C collect chuck

Then cadmium plated

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

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The only domed nuts on my '71 A65 were the ones on each end of the rocker cover. Domed or not I had to modify a ring spanner to get a tool on them. What were they thinking?
They really should have used dome nuts to mount the carbs, the nuts would have bottomed out before Mongo could warp the flanges.


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SO, building a "Thruxton," are you, C.B.S.?

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Last month I decided to change up “Trusty Rusty” my TR6 into a moderate “Thruxton” style model

BCC53C06-8385-43A5-AF05-D15D546D35DB.jpeg
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Rather accurate, including the "bent forward" kickstart lever to clear the rider's leg, and the extra rear braces for the mufflers.

How does it feel when riding it?

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Thank you

Feels great, more "sporty"

Very responsive

Had to fabricate the brake pedal and machine the peg hangars

I have more photos if you would like to see..

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I think it unlikely that these bolts were " made in the machine shops of BSA itself".
I lived and worked in the Midlands for a few years shortly after the demise of BSA and even then I was surprised and a little charmed by the existence of the traditional industries seemingly unique to each village. Wednesbury for locks, Dudley for chains, Bloxwich for metal stampings, engine blocks were cast in Wolverhampton, and nuts and bolts were made in Darleston. Each small industry provided the pieces for the large manufacturers. I worked in several, even the upholstery for Leyland Cars was made in small factories.

The demise of the large auto producers, both car and motor cycles, was devastating to not just the actual communities around the assembly plants.

I think it much more likely that the domed bolts, in all their array of threads, were bought in. In the glory days of the '60s, with little competition, the extra cost was nor particularly relevant. They were abandoned about the same time that using the "right" thread, was changed to using the "cheapest" thread.

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Wiley were one supplier of Fasteners for BSA in the 50s.


Myles Raymond, Glasgow, Scotland.

1934 BSA R35-4 DeLuxe, 1949 ZB32 Clubman Gold Star, 1955 BSA A7ss, 1961 DBD34 Clubman Gold Star and others.
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Originally Posted by DavidP
The only domed nuts on my '71 A65 were the ones on each end of the rocker cover. Domed or not I had to modify a ring spanner to get a tool on them. What were they thinking?
They really should have used dome nuts to mount the carbs, the nuts would have bottomed out before Mongo could warp the flanges.

David, they're not talking about domed nuts as like the center nuts on the rocker cover (which I'm used to referring to as "acorn nuts"). They're talking about bolt heads like the lower triple tree pinch bolts on a dry-frame A65. The heads of the bolts are rounded and have no markings on them.

I'm convinced BTW that this was done for appearance, as the bolts that are rounded like this are all in very visible spots, where markings on the bolts and square corners would detract from the appearance.

ps. I have a thin-walled 1/4" BS socket that fits nicely on those center rocker cover nuts.


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The old head bolts from my A65 say Rubery Owen on the head.


"The Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, once they've tried everything else" Winston Churchill
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
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Originally Posted by DavidP
The old head bolts from my A65 say Rubery Owen on the head.

From memory I think this was only on bolts of special grade or high tensile strength. The torque arm stay bolt on my 68 is marked up as such maybe also on my 71.. I’d have to go check.


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Don't forget the Bradleys shock mounting bolts.


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I would say that domed bolts nuts are used for aesthetic reasons only.

None of the photos I have seen in this post show what I would call domed heads. They all look to me like they have a radius on a big chamfer, which looks nice but does not fir the proper description of a domed head.

When you haver access to tons of stainless Fasteners but they are all metric it is rather frustrating when you really want BSF, or Cycle etc.

Still I have been known to delve in and rob some metric stainless Fasteners for those areas where it doesn't really matter what thread is on them. smile

I always expect domed heads to look like the nut I picked out of the stores today and photgraphed.

IMG_2286.JPG IMG_2287.JPG IMG_2288.JPG IMG_2289.JPG
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Originally Posted by Kevin E
I would say that domed bolts nuts are used for aesthetic reasons only.

None of the photos I have seen in this post show what I would call domed heads. They all look to me like they have a radius on a big chamfer, which looks nice but does not fir the proper description of a domed head.

When you haver access to tons of stainless Fasteners but they are all metric it is rather frustrating when you really want BSF, or Cycle etc.

Still I have been known to delve in and rob some metric stainless Fasteners for those areas where it doesn't really matter what thread is on them. smile

I always expect domed heads to look like the nut I picked out of the stores today and photgraphed.
Here we call those acorn nuts


Bill
1974 Norton Commando
1966 Lightning
1965 Lightning Rocket
1966 Norton Atlas
1967 Norton Atlas
1948 Panhead
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