The Space Needle's Nuts

Wikipedia has a picture of someone rudely touching one of the Space Needle’s nuts:

They’re smaller than I expected.

I’m afraid Tikki last posted here about eleven years ago.

Welcome all the same!

I imagine they used a wrench about 100 feet long to hold the nut fixed in place and tightened the bolt from below with a 100 foot screwdriver . If you take the Underground Seattle tour, I assume you can see the screw heads.

I wonder if it’s metric or US customary. It would be annoying if the nuts turned out to be 250 mm when all you have in the toolbox is a 10" crescent wrench.

Those are fairly normal “nuts”. I am used to seeing such bolts being tensioned (tightened) using pneumatic or hydraulic bolt tensioners :

That’s what she articulated.


As the actress said to the bishop.

Always fun when your entendres get doubled.

That’s what she said

wait, what?

So … not so much a space needle as a space weeble,

It was difficult to see exactly how that hydraulic tensioner applied torque to the nuts, but the cool thing was seeing that it could torque multiple nuts at the same time to assure even pull-up around the entire flange perimeter.

Some years ago I saw a documentary that I think showed a large naval vessel on which many fasteners along the length of a shaft had to be tightened in close synchrony. Every few feet along its length there was a sailor with a wrench on a fastener, and every few seconds a particular individual called out a command - and every sailor would give his wrench a single turn.

It’s been tried.