Originally Posted by Blue Stocking
If you can find a supplier of Nettleford(s) bronze fasteners, you will have IMHO, some of the highest quality English
made bronze screws and threaded gear
These were proper cut screws, and used to come with Glen-L kits,
I have thousands of 3/4" to 1 1/2" in #6 and #8.
Maybe one of our UK sailors can help?
If you enjoy history
, here is a Wiki of GKN (N=Nettlefold's)
It doesn't appear they're still in the fasteners business, but I had fun learning
1759 to 1900
Main article: Dowlais Ironworks
The origins of GKN lie in the founding of the Dowlais Ironworks in the village of Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales by Thomas Lewis and Isaac Wilkinson. John Guest was appointed manager of the works in 1767, having moved from Broseley. In 1786, John Guest was succeeded by his son, Thomas Guest, who formed the Dowlais Iron Company with his son-in-law William Taitt. Guest introduced many innovations and the works prospered.
Dowlais Ironworks by George Childs (1840)
Under Guest's leadership, alongside his manager John Evans, the Dowlais Ironworks gained the reputation of being "one of the World's great industrial concerns". Though the Bessemer process was licensed in 1856, nine years of detailed planning and project
management were needed before the first steel
was produced. The company thrived with its new cost-effective production methods, forming alliances with the Consett Iron Company and Krupp. By 1857 G.T. Clark and William Menelaus, his manager, had constructed the "Goat Mill", the world's most powerful rolling mill.
By the mid 1860s, Clark's reforms had born fruit in renewed profitability. Clark delegated day-to-day management to Menelaus, his trusteeship terminating in 1864 when ownership
passed to Sir Ivor Guest. However, Clark continued to direct policy, in particular, building a new plant at the docks at Cardiff and vetoing a joint-stock company. He formally retired in 1897.
1900 to 1966
On 9 July 1900, the Dowlais Iron Company and Arthur Keen's Patent Nut and Bolt Company merged to form Guest, Keen & Co. Ltd.
Nettlefolds Limited, a leading manufacturer of fasteners, had been established in Smethwick, Birmingham in 1854 and was acquired in 1902 leading to the change of name to Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds.
These mergers heralded half a century in which the name GKN became synonymous with the manufacture of screws, nuts, bolts and other fasteners.
The company reflected the vertical integration fashionable at the time embracing activities from coal and ore extraction, and iron and steel
making to manufacturing finished goods.
After the First World War it became apparent that Britain was likely to follow France
and more recently the USA in developing a large scale auto-industry. GKN acquired another fastener manufacturer, F. W. Cotterill Ltd., in 1919: Cotterill already owned a subsidiary named J. W. Garrington, which specialised in forgings, and it was the forgings produced at the Garrington Darlaston plant, later supplemented by a large plant at Bromsgrove, that enabled GKN to become a major supplier of crankshafts, connecting rods, half-shafts and numerous smaller forged components to the UK auto-industry during and beyond the period of massive expansion between the two world wars.
The next year, in 1920, GKN purchased the steel company John Lysaght and their subsidiary, Joseph Sankey and Sons Ltd. Joseph Sankey was an orphan from Bilston whose career had started with an apprenticeship to a manufacturer of steel tea trays. When he went into business on his own account, Sankey himself became a major tea tray producer. He was also a pioneer motorist and a personal friend of car manufacturers in the area including, notably, Herbert Austin, becoming a supplier of sheet steel components to the industry. By 1914, the company's customers for sheet steel bodies included Austin, Daimler, Humber, Rover, Star and Argyll. Sankey's most substantial contribution was probably in respect of wheels, however, and was a response to complaints from pioneer car-makers about the propensity of the wooden wheels on early cars to disintegrate on the slightest encounter with any roadside kerb. Sankey developed a pressed steel wheel
, applying some of the techniques already mastered while producing pressed steel tea trays. Sankey's steel wheels went into production in 1908: early customers included Herbert Austin and William Morris. In addition to his original factory at Bilston a new plant was established near Wellington, Shropshire which was devoted to wheel
production. By the time the business came into the GKN fold, the plant was supplying wheels to many UK manufacturers: within GKN the business continued to grow with the industry, so that by 1969 the by now highly automated Wellington plant was turning out some 5½ Million wheels a year at a maximum rate of approximately 30,000 per day. Nevertheless, the Sankey business was never exclusively devoted to wheels: in the 1960s they were supplying the chassis for the Triumph Herald and its derivatives. They were also at this time building the versatile GKN developed GKN FV432 armoured personnel carrier which would continue in production long after the disappearance of the Triumph Herald and its ill-starred manufacturer, BLMC.
1966 to 2000
In 1966, in a programme of diversification, GKN acquired Birfield Ltd, a company that since 1938 had incorporated both the Sheffield based overdrive manufacturer, Laycock Engineering, and Hardy Spicer Limited of Birmingham, England
, a manufacturer of constant-velocity joints. Historically, such joints had had few applications, even following the improved design proposed by Alfred H. Rzeppa in 1936. However, in 1959, Alec Issigonis had developed the revolutionary Mini motor
car which relied on the Hardy Spicer joints for its front wheel drive technology. The massive expansion in the exploitation of front wheel drive in the 1970s and 1980s led to the acquisition of other similar businesses and a 43% share of the world market by 2002.
On the death of founder Tony Vandervell in 1967, GKN acquired the lucrative Maidenhead based Vandervell bearing manufacturer which was at the time already exporting more than 50% of its output to overseas vehicle manufacturers. This was part of a larger trend for GKN which during this period, under its Managing Director Raymond Brookes, was working to reduce its dependence on UK auto-maker customers at a time when the domestic industry was seen to be stumbling, in response to bewildering "Government interference
and fiscal short-sightedness", with British new car registrations in the first four months of 1969 a massive 33% down on the corresponding period of the previous year.
As a result of the large number of mergers, Abram Games was commissioned to developed a new corporate identity in 1969 when the distinctive angular GKN symbol was created and the new company colours of blue and white introduced.
During the 1980s, GKN sought to invest its earnings from constant-velocity joints in developing other nascent technologies. However, little success attended these efforts and in 1991 the company resolved to abandon further research
and to redivert its development efforts towards its constant-velocity joint business in which it was facing increasing competition from Japan
. During the same period, the company finally withdrew from the manufacture of fasteners and from steel production. Changing its name to GKN plc, it diversified into military vehicles, aerospace and industrial services.
In 1994, GKN acquired the helicopter manufacturing business of Westland Aircraft. In 1998 the armoured vehicle business was sold to Alvis plc, and subsequently incorporated into Alvis Vickers Ltd. In July 2000 Finmeccanica and GKN agreed to merge their respective helicopter subsidiaries to form AgustaWestland. In 2004 GKN completed the sale
of its 50% shareholding in AgustaWestland to Finmeccanica.
From the late 1990s, the company built a major global business in powder metallurgy, which operates as the GKN Sinter Metals group.
2000 to present
In 2006 GKN acquired Monitor
Aerospace Corp in Amityville, New York
and Precision Machining in Wellington, Kansas.
In 2008 the company acquired part of the Airbus plant at Filton near Bristol for £150 million.
On 28 July 2011, GKN made public a deal with Getrag in which GKN would acquire all of Getrag's axle business and axle manufacturing facilities.
The company is organised as follows:
Cylinder liners, Sheepbridge Stokes
Emitec Joint Venture
Wheels and Structures