Adam Savage one-day build: making an Iron Giant screw


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Does it roll its way to Antarctica? I loved that scene.



This erotic fanfic is getting out of hand!


Please let it not be Dumbledore, please not Dumbledore!


I cringed every time they called the screw a bolt.


Iceland actually. I mean, how would a giant flying alien robot that detonated a nuclear weapon over New England end up in Antarctica? That would just be unrealistic.


“Making” an Iron Giant screw?

What part of “enthusiastic consent” do you not get?


TBH the fact that it looks like a sheet metal screw or a wood screw, or even a drywall screw bums me out.


Well crap. I thought it was a Giant Iron screw. I was all set to see Adam’s mad lathe technique :cry:



It seems likely that it was meant to fasten together two pre-threaded components, not to cut its own thread on insertion, which would make it a bolt.

(Or, if you want to be really picky, it’s probably not either–I mean, it’s tipped with an unthreaded cone with the same width as the threading. You can’t just stick that into a threaded channel and screw it down. It’s some kind of fastener, but it can’t work the same way as either screws or bolts as we know them.)

Why? It’s reminiscent of a wood screw, but it clearly doesn’t function like one. The design is saying “this serves the same basic function as a thing you’re familiar with, but its exact mechanism is alien and inscrutable.”

(I adored how bizarre and incomprehensible some of the Giant’s systems were. There was a thing that jabbed a bunch of pointed metal fingers at a spinning platter, and wherever they touched lightning bolts sprang forth. I love design that says “this item has no connection to any earthly technology.”)


Yeah, that was just nuts.


Maybe it’s designed to be hammered into some resilient material. The threads grip the material, but allow the fastener to be loosened for removal. Either a proprietary wrench engages the indentations on the head, or the cap on the head comes off to expose a square or hexagonal socket.

(Back in the days before ubiquitous cordless drills, I knew some old construction guys who insisted a hammer was the proper tool to drive screws in temporary structures. A screwdriver was just for taking them out.)


Obviously this new twist is intended to derail the thread.


It will just spiral out of control now.


If it were intended for a pre-threaded component, the screw wouldn’t be tapered, which it is.

Irrespective of that, they used the terms interchangeably, which is wrong, no matter which side of the screw/bolt divide you’re on.


Having sunk wood screws with a hand screwdriver before, I have some sympathy with that position and I wish I’d thought of it at the time.


I’ve done it myself to conserve battery power when I was driving long screws while repairing docks. If you hammer the screws in about 3/4 of the way, then drive them home with a drill, they seem to hold fine. I think the wood fibers spring back to lock onto the threads.


You did better than I did… I though “screw” was being used as a verb…