We call them "Chicago Screws". What do you call them? Learn what are Chicago Screws and where the name came from.
What's a Chicago Screw?
Known by a lot of names, one thing is for sure about Chicago Screws: they're easy!
One of the go-to fasteners with leathercrafters is the Chicago Screw. Handy and reliable, it is one of the most used, most versatile items on any crafter’s bench. A Chicago Screw is a threaded barrel nut and screw that can combine many layers of material without having to sew.
WHAT ARE CHICAGO SCREWS USED FOR?
They were traditionally used to connect the headstall and bit of a horse harness. Cowboys also used these screws on their rifle slings to easily adjust or re-adjust the rifle strap. Nowadays, Chicago Screws are commonly used on belts to easily switch out buckles. They are also used on purses, handbags, luggage straps, satchels, and even leather armor and costumes.
See how to install Chicago Screws for craft projects and making leather goods like belts & handbags.
The design is very popular due to it sitting flush on both sides with flat heads. It offers strength on both sides of the leather because you have a male side and female side to the screw much like a saddle stitch. They are also popular because you can set and remove them without needing any special tools.
WHY ARE CHICAGO SCREWS CALLED "CHICAGO SCREWS"?
Chicago Screws were invented back in 1872 when the Chicago Screw Company first established its business. Simple enough the name was conceptualized with its manufacturer “Chicago Screw”. But it didn’t stop there.
Over time the screw has picked up a few more names. Depending on where you are living, you may know the screw as Sex Bolts, Screw Post, Binding Post (books), Tee Nuts, Chicago Fasteners, and Chicago Bolts. Take your pick.
Chicago Screws can be made from many metals, including solid brass, which is durable, stylish, and doesn't rust!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SCREW FOR YOUR PROJECT
At Buckleguy, we offer a wide range of solid brass Chicago Screws finished in Antique Brass, Black Matte, Brass Natural, Nickel Matte and Nickel Plate to match our other brass hardware with the same finishes. You can view our inventory and watch a video along with a sizing chart here.
CHICAGO SCREW TIPS AND TRICKS
Add a small dab of glue to your screws. Screws tend to loosen over time and this will help them hold tighter, longer. If you don’t have a Chicago Screw tool, use a rubber or vinyl surface, such as our Pricking Pads, as a base while applying pressure to the screw side. This will allow you to tighten the screw and keep it from spinning. Cheers.