Stud bolt

For our VR research this week, we needed to attach one of those fancy Valve/HTC Lighthouse trackers to a flexible ceiling mount. Our ceiling mount and the Lighthouse unit both had a place where you could screw in a 1/4″ bolt.

Now, if either one of them had possessed an actual 1/4″ bolt, it would have been perfect — we could have just screwed the one into the other. But no, both the Lighthouse unit and the ceiling mount were “female” parts. Alas, hardware connections, ever blind to the winds of political change, remain resolutely heterosexual.

So I did a Google search for a bolt that bolts at both ends. And quickly discovered that such a part is called a “stud bolt”. Its specific purpose is to act as an intermediary, so that two female components can be attached to each other.

I love the word “stud bolt”. It’s one of those words that you can sprinkle into your party banter, so that people will realize that you know a thing or two about hardware. Sort of the way medical doctors insist on using words like “distal” and “sagittal” in casual conversation, no matter how often they get blank stares from the laity.

It also seems weird, on a whole different level, that two otherwise perfectly capable female components, obviously destined for each other, cannot get together without a male intermediary. There’s something about the whole transaction that just seems wrong, you know?

On the other hand, it’s not like either of them are having any sort of real functional relationship with that intermediary. True to its name, the stud bolt is good for one thing and one thing only.

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