Home Depot Week: T-Nuts

So, you bought a cheap old flash on eBay with a busted hot shoe for $5.00. If you've got 69 more cents you can mount it to a light stand.

That thingie mounted onto the back of the (perfectly good) Vivitar 285 at left is called a "T-nut." They are pretty easy to find in 1/4x20 or 3/8" sizes. It is fastened with "JB Weld" glue.

Long story short, anything you can stick a T-nut to can be mounted on a light stand. In fact, you could purposely destroy the hot shoe of a flash without a PC jack to get access to the synch wires and easily fashion your own pigtail 1/8" synch cord, using the T-nut to mount the flash. But that's another post.

You can also get spiked t-nuts that would mount to the underside of a small piece of wood (which would increase the surface area for the gluing) if you are concerned about strength of the bond.

Added bennie: The t-nut mount gets the flash head very close to the axis of the umbrella shaft, if you are softening your light that way.

(Thanks or the heads-up, Chad!)



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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been using adhesives for over 50 years and would offer this bit of caution. Reliably bonding metal to plastic may NOT be as easy as squirting out a bit of J.B. Weld and I wouldn't want to use this "T" nut mount unless I were prepared for it to fail someday. Things that will help are careful cleaning of the metal and plastic along with using a bit of clean sandpaper to roughen the bonding surfaces. Measure and mix your epoxy carefully. Use mechanical back up fasteners if possible. Consider a safety lanyard to save your gear (subject's head?) if your bond fails.


October 25, 2007 5:38 AM  
Blogger Andy T said...

I like this, how about combining these with some velcro (adhesive or straps) to make them removable?

October 25, 2007 7:25 AM  
Blogger James said...

What a great band name: "Spiked T-Nuts"

October 25, 2007 10:32 AM  
Blogger GeoWulf said...

You may be able to make them removable by gluing a 'slide' like bracket to the flash! that way you have more strength than a piece of velcro.

October 25, 2007 11:50 AM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Hmm... I'd be very interested in that "other post" of converting a broken hot shoe into a pc cord.

October 25, 2007 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I'm missing the point. Would the light stand plug in to the t-nut, thus making the flash stand on its head?


October 28, 2007 7:50 PM  
Blogger Joseph Hoetzl said...

And don't forget how much fun a t-nut and some foam core is...well, that is until you discover the threaded 1/4-20 rod connectors and fender washers...

October 29, 2007 7:04 PM  

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