View Full Version : The Bolt Wedge

05-27-2009, 12:01 AM
Tired of grunting and groaning as you spread those forks? The wife make colorful comments about you bending over as your face changes colors? Or maybe you just can't pull those forks apart by hand for what ever reason? Well, one thing you could do is apply what you learned in that physics class way back in high school and extent the legs to apply some principle of physics you knew you would never use in the real world so never bothered to remember. The other thing you could do is make a simple bolt wedge for about US$4, not worry about blowing your back out, and not have the wife ogling you like a piece of meat and makeing you feel like a piece of property... ok, so maybe that one ain't so bad.

Anyways, before I ramble along more, whith out further adoo...

The Bolt Wedge

You will need:
Two long bolts. I find those sold in the hinge section of hardware stores to work best and my bolts were 5/8" so... what ever will fit I would say should be the size of your bolt. :)
Four Nuts
Four sturdy washers. You can usually get one nut and washer with each hinge bolt you buy and these should match the bolts in size.
Two Threaded Rod Couplers 1/4 to 1/3 the distance between the forks to be spread.
A good wrench... well, any wrench would do, but it's an excuse to get a new one if you want...


With your parts I am hoping that you can figure out how to put it together by looking at the picture. The washers are to spread the pressure coming up from the nuts. The four nuts are to hold the bolts in place, and to make your life easier when attaching, thread one of the couplers up higher on the bolt and then couple the two bolts together a bit to help with linign things up.


In this picture you can see how one coupler is holding the two bolts together and I am about to attach it to the forks. Make sure to tighten those nuts up that hold the bolts to the fork. If you have them, a couple of those washers with the locking tabs would be useful too.


And then I back off the coupler to release the other bolt and advance the other coupler to touch the first coupler.


Now comes the wedging part. Your gonna want to unscrew the couplers towards each other so they push on each other. I just used a regular 8" adjustable wrench. I turn the wrench up and over on one, release and grab the other nut, and then swing my arm back over. As you get out a bit, the couplers will want to try and slide off each other. Avoid this, the bolts may snap and they hurt when they hurtle at you gut and leave a threaded red mark... Anyways, just tap it back a bit with a rawhide mallet or something.

Here is the finished bit. From getting the wedge out of the tool chest to finish took me all of about 3 or 4 minutes and I didn't break a sweat or anything.

{{{See next post for finished pictures}}}

Your gonna want to keep an extra bolt on hand in case you snap one mid-project. I keep one full bolt set up and one couple as back up... manly cause the bolt and coupler pack I bought has three in them... :D

So yeah, if you have any questions about this just ask. If someone else posted this, well... here it is again. And if someone gets hurt cause of this... well, it was your own fault for doing something wrong.


05-27-2009, 12:02 AM


05-27-2009, 12:04 AM
Looks like a good tool. I've never had any problems just standing on one fork leg and bending the other by hand though, especially with the cheap mild steel forks on donor bikes.

05-27-2009, 12:43 AM
i used a similar teneque, but i used a peice if all thred left over from anothe priject, and four nuts(yess my employies helped)

05-27-2009, 07:27 AM
That is what I like about the Zombie forum. Instead of talking about where to buy a finished part (we talk about that too), they talk about how to make it. A small car scissor jack and a few blocks of wood to keep it from marring the fork legs works well for this too.