[TowerTalk] Update on Tower Bolts and Sidemounts
Stan or Patricia Griffiths
Tue, 14 Mar 2000 00:25:20 -0800
I received a comment from a knowledgeable ham and towertalker who knows about
plating processes and he wanted some more info on the "mechanical plating
process" I described a few weeks ago here on towertalk. Well, I have a more
complete story now and I will share it with you here and now.
My beautiful hardware shipment arrived today so I have excellent plated bolts
and nuts to make up bolt kits for 25, 45, and 55 towers. I also have
beautifully plated ubolts for 25G rotator shelves, house brackets, etc. and
ubolts for 45 and 55 shelves as well. The bolts are grade 5, same as Rohn
uses except the plating is vastly superior. It is as smooth as
electroplating but as tough as hot dip galvanizing . . . the best of both
The plalting process is indeed mechanical . . . not electrical and not hot
dipped. I originally said that zinc particles were hammered to the surface
by small metal balls . . . wrong . . . they are small GLASS balls and the
zinc is powdered. The glass balls are from about the size of a BB to very
fine, like powder, which is how they actually get the plating INSIDE of the
nut threads and also why the hammering process does not damage to hardware.
They first treat the surface of the unplated bolts to make them super clean
and free of any oxide. The hammering process smashes the zinc particles
producing about three times their original surface area which is also free of
oxides. These metels "cold weld" to each other during the hammering process
and the result is truly beautifully plated hardware. I have never had the
opportunity to see any of this hardware after it has been exposed to the
weather for any length of time, but I am confident it will hold up very
well. Microflect uses it on their huge broadcast towers, which is good
enough for me. Anyway, I have not had time to price bolt kits of this
hardware yet but I am sure it will compare with the genuine Rohn kits and I
will post that info on my web page as soon as I figure it out :
<www.reprise.com> Click on "Antronics of Oregon".
Sidemount update. Look on the above web page for the new sidemounts, now in
stock. ( Click on Custom Metalworks.) Several pictures and pricing info is
there. I have yet to weigh the individual pieces and the entire kit so we
can estimate shipping charges. The first ten kits have all stainless steel
bolts and nuts except for the ubolts and nuts which are hot dip galvanized.
Since I have lots of the new hardware, described above, I can supply that or
the stainless/hot dipped stuff, your choice, until I run out of stainless/hot
dipped and then I will supply only the new stuff.
While you are on my web page, click on Telesat International and take a look
at the preliminary info on Clone 45 and Clone 55 tower sections. These are
manufactured here in Oregon and are made to mate to their Rohn equivalents.
Unfortunately, I don't have any in stock at this moment. I have 30 sections
of Clone 55 on order and was told it will take about 3 weeks to get it. The
first 9 sections of Clone 45 were not as perfect as I would like them so I
sold them at a reduced price to N6TR, so I expect he will become even MORE
dangerous in the near future. As soon as I see that the Clone 55 sections now
on order are up to par, I plan to build up some stock of both 45 and 55.
There are a few other good ideas on the back burner as soon as we get all the
bugs worked out of the stuff now on the table. Keep watching towertalk for
announcements about improved rotator shelves for 25, 45, and 55 as well as a
gin pole that will work on all THREE of those towers. Custom Metalworks will
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