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Bramblewoodbears Bramblewood Bears
Brooklyn, Washington
Posts: 309

Hello to all my wonderful artist friends!  I have a quick question about jointing bear heads.  I have just switched from the cotter pin jointing system to lock nut joints.  I have it down fine how to use them, my only dilemma is how to joint the head/neck to the body.  There is no way to hold the top screw from turning when it is already sewn into the head.  Do you still use the gather closure for the head for the lock-nut system? I used a lock-nut to hold the screw in place so I could attach the bottom joint and nut without the screw turning...but the screw is so short it made me nervous.  I was wondering if there is a better way of jointing heads to bodies with this lock nut system!  Thank you in advance!  Boy do I fee silly :)
Bear Hugs and Blessings,

Clarebear Fulrfun Bears
Alice Springs
Posts: 503

Not silly at all.  2 ways I do it are 1) superglue the bolt to the joint that goes into the head then it won't move and 2) which my husband came up with is to put a locnut on the bolt and do it all the way up and then insert the  joint into the neck as you would an arm or leg so that you are actually using 2 loc nuts.  There is a 3rd way which I have never used and that is to leave a gap in the gusset seam same as you would in an arm or leg, close the neck around the joint and continue as normal.  As to closing the neck some people use a gathering stitch but I much prefer to just ladder stitch it closed from front to back after inserting the joint.  If you need further clarification or if someone can explaiin it better please let me know / or go ahead and explain it.  Iam very much a visual person and find it difficult to describe in words how I do it.

lovenshire Love and Cuddle Nursery
Posts: 945

I always glue the bolt to the disk with E6000...never had a problem.  Just let it sit over night to insure it is dry.

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,798

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I also glue the bolt to the disk that goes inside the head.  I use Loctite super glue and let it dry overnight.  And yes, I do gather stitch the head opening around the bolt (screw) . . . just use a longer screw and it should work okay.

rowarrior The Littlest Thistle
Posts: 6,212

I superglue too, and I have, on occasion, used a normal nut instead of a lock nut.  Maybe start with that until you feel confident to exert the pressure you need for the locknut.  I just grip very tightly onto the disk inside the head when I'm screwing the nut on

Bramblewoodbears Bramblewood Bears
Brooklyn, Washington
Posts: 309

Great!  Thanks so much for your help!  I used the lock nut last night and it worked very well, just had to switch to a longer screw.  My hubby actually used bondo on the other joints to secure the screw so it won't twist acutally worked very well, those babies are not going to move for a semi-truck!
Thanks for the great ideas!  and thanks for all those husbands who love to help us bear making wives!

teeeej Brisbane
Posts: 623

I use grub screws!! You end up with a nut at either end. You use an Allen key to tighten these.

Heres some grubs screw to give you an idea..


Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

I use "grub" screws also. Here in the US they are called "set screws". I can't be bothered to take the time to be glueing anything, letting it dry, etc. I was taught to use the standard screw like you do for the limbs and leave an opening in the back of the head in a gusset seam so there'd be access to the head of the bolt but I could never get the head stuffed properly. When an artist showed me set screw joints I was so thrilled!

A set screw is straight, no head so you put a lock nut on the end that goes in the head. The other end has a hole in it that you use an "allen key" in so that holds the screw from inside the body while you tighten the lock nut in there. So easy... no glue... only requires one extra little tool! They are available here: … 92364=S034 and work with the 1/4" or 1/8" nuts.

There is more info and a photo here of how to use set screws:

So many options... try them 'til you find what you are most cofortable with! bear_original

Bramblewoodbears Bramblewood Bears
Brooklyn, Washington
Posts: 309

hmmmm, I will be looking into the set screws for sure!  I am right with ya on the gluing....waiting....drying thing....takes waaay too much time bear_original  Thanks Daphne for the links!!!!

Woodbury Park Bears Woodbury Park Bears
Central Coast New South Wales
Posts: 1,033

I am a grub screw girl too they are so good to work with and no waiting time.


lovenshire Love and Cuddle Nursery
Posts: 945

WOW, I never thought of using set screws.  Of course the waiting doesn't bother me because I prepare them before I have the limbs and head ready to go...

jillanne UX'BEARies
Posts: 81

I use a regular glue gun .... glue the washer to the disc.  On the under side of the disc run a line of glue around the hole where the screw comes through.

Then to ensure the glue harden I place the glued disc into the freezer section of my refrigerator for approximately 24 hours. 

When doing this I am able to complete the head joint without the screw turning while I am trying to tighten it.


Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Lenora, I'm not that organized... I do everything on the spur of the moment! bear_rolleyes

Carlyle Bear Co. Carlyle Bear Co.
Ft Myers FL
Posts: 492

I also use the E6000 to glue the top of the joint as well.  If you use this just make sure that you use it in a well ventilated area.  It has horrible fumes.   bear_ermm

lovenshire Love and Cuddle Nursery
Posts: 945

Lisa...I agree about the fumes!  I always use it on my babies and have to let the head sit for quite awhile to dry and get rid of the smell... It is great glue though!

BearBottoms 'Bear' Bottoms Originals
Ft. Bragg, NC
Posts: 2,465

I also use set screws; I love them!  bear_wub

flowersm Fur-Ree Bears and Friends
Posts: 20

Will definitely have a look at set screws myself - can you get a kit with all the tools etc and do the set screws come with the nuts in a pack or is it a case of sourcing them from different places?

Bear hugs

honusms Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 71

I'm definitely a lock nut and set screw fan.  With large joints that have 1/4" set screws I do often have to use channel lock pliers to hold the ends of the Allen wrench because my poor fingers don't have the strength to hold it steady while turning the nut.  1/8" set screws are a breeze!  You can buy sets of 10 discs and 5 screw/nut units from Edinburgh - enough for 5 joints in a packet.


PrimitiveJan Burnt Woods Brier Bears
Toledo, Oregon
Posts: 2

[i]I love the verbal tutorials but I am so much better with visual. Is there any visuals of the lock nut joints attaching heads to bodies and to jointed necks?  :/
I wish we could have more visual tutorials and if I knew how to do some of the things that are being asked I would much prefer showing it visually then describing it. Or do both
Being new to this forum, I may be missing something that is already here.
Would love to find out how to make those soft as a babies bottom pads and toes from soft leather and the lock nut joints. Hehe
Thanks everyone.

BeauT Bears BeauT Bears
Posts: 190

Hi all, I'm a 'gluer'  bear_happy . I usually pre-glue a number of head joints in advance in several sizes. This way I always have a ready to use neck joint in store. If you worry about the fumes (and you're right about them), try either glueing outdoors or in a properly ventilated area e.g. in your kitchen where you can switch on the hood over your stove / range. It doesn't work for cooking smells only  bear_whistle .  And as some of you I am using longer nuts for the head joint.

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