Meet The Thomas Smith Fasteners Squad – Matt

TSF staff at counter

I’ve arrived into the world of fasteners this year with a gleam in my eye and a spring in my step. I’ve got a lot to learn, but as I had been told before taking this role, my team is incredibly experienced and will get me up to speed. They’re doing a great job so far, they’ve helped me to learn at a fast-pace and I think it’s about time for you to get to know them.


First of all we have Gary, our Sales Manager. Gary has spent the last 30 years here at Thomas Smith Fasteners starting at the age of 16, as part of our progressing department. As described by Gary he, “left school on the Friday, and started working on the Monday”. Starting off in our progressing department chasing orders, then becoming part of our export sales team. Gary then progressed on to Assistant Manager before then becoming Manager a position he has held since 2004.

Gary stated that, “Watching the business grow from being a local supplier to becoming a UK and global supplier is what I’m most proud of”.

Outside of work Gary is a keen athlete being a member of a running club and runs on his lunch breaks at work (possibly to get away from me and Sue) no matter what the weather, true commitment. He also enjoys his time socializing with friends and family. Gary also loves travelling, visiting various cities around the world such as Las Vegas which included a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Canelo Álvarez fight Daniel Jacobs at the T-Mobile Arena. Gary is also an avid football fan, supporting Manchester United.

Given that I adore media I’ve asked this question to everyone, Gary’s favourite film came down to two options, his standout Frank Darabont and Steven King’s masterful, “The Shawshank Redemption” starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. When asked why, Gary stated “The characters are excellent and the story of an innocent man being sent to prison to then his eventual escape is excellent”. His alternative pick was Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas”, due to it’s cast of Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta.


Suzanne, the one who’s always laughing. She has worked for the business since she turned 16, so she’s been here for 10 years (you better appreciate that line Suzanne). Nicknamed either Tinny or Trouble by other members of the team Suzanne is proficient in the workplace.

Suzanne said, “My favourite moment in my time at Thomas Smith was moving from the old workplace in Atherton to the new state of the art factory in Hindley Green”. Now when asked whether this was due to it being 20 minutes closer to Hindley Green or the increase in what the business could manufacture, declining to comment.

Suzanne’s main hobbies include socializing with friends whether that be for food or for drinks around her local Hindley Green residences. She’s also a fan of travelling to anywhere with a bit of sun with her summer holiday already booked for this year.

Suzanne’s favourite film is Tony Scott’s “Crimson Tide” starring Gene Hackman and the legendary Denzel Washington. When asked why this is her favourite film, she stated “It (Crimson Tide) has always resonated with me and I think the performances are superb”.


John, has been with Thomas Smith Fasteners for 38 and a half years and currently holds the title of warehouse manager. He keeps the team organized and makes sure our orders are completed and dispatched on time. John also runs the trade counter here at Thomas Smith Fasteners. He is the first point of contact for customers who are looking to identify a product that they need.

His proudest moment since arriving at Thomas Smith Fasteners is marrying his wife, Sandra (good choice John).

Outside of work John spent years competing in various events, including running, triathlons as well as completing the Iron Man race. Consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride and finished with a 26.22 mile run. Basically if John tells it’s Tuesday, no matter what day it is, it’s Tuesday. He also enjoys relaxing with his wife who supported him through all his athletic accomplishments.

Finally, John’s favourite film is an 80’s classic, the Tom Cruise epic that is “Top Gun”. Filled to the brim with action and drama, it’s John’s favourite film. He stated, “I can watch it anytime and never get bored, I must’ve seen it over 50 times”.

Little Rammy

Little Rammy, has been with Thomas Smith Fasteners for almost 20 years and within that time has worked in virtually every department. Whether that be in the manufacturing team where he used to work in the cutting department and has now joined us in our warehouse team.

Rami ranks joining the warehouse as his best moment of working here. He finds it to be his favourite place he works within the business, and there’s been a lot.

Outside of work, Rammy is devoted to his football team, League One Playoff contenders (at time of writing) Bolton Wanderers. If there’s one thing I wouldn’t want to do on the weekend after a hard week at work it’s watch Bolton, but someone’s got to support them I suppose. Through the good times and the mostly bad times Little Rammy keeps supporting The Trotters, well after many would’ve thrown in the towel. (In case you’re wondering I support Wigan and have been given free agency to write about Bolton Wanderers. that’s an open goal even Stuart Holden couldn’t miss, and he missed half his career through injury). Rammy also enjoys getting his head down after a shift and going for a sleep, me too Rammy, me too.

Rammy’s favourite film is the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence buddy cop film “Bad Boys 2”. His reason being he loves the action and the comedy, stating “it’s a great film and I can re-watch it without getting bored”. And who can blame him, the “You wanna date my daughter?” scene is hilarious.


So I thought I’d leave myself until last as I don’t like to talk about myself (I’m lying). But also as I’m the newest addition to the team starting January 2023. I spent 3 years studying English Language at Edge Hill University and whilst there began working in retail for O2. Whereby I progressed from part-time sales to Manager over the course of 7 years departing on New Years Eve 2022. Starting at Thomas Smith Fasteners at the beginning of 2023.

Outside of work, my hobbies are playing football and going to the gym but my biggest passion is music. Since 2019 I’ve been writing and performing music in Rivver, a particular highlight being playing Wigan Athletics’ Party in the Park 2022 to a crowd of around 2000 people and being on stage with the League One trophy. (Take that one Rammy).

My favourite film is a tough one as I love both film and TV. For myself I’m bending the rules and I’m picking a TV show. Phoenix Nights is by far the best TV show ever to air. If you don’t find it funny you’re only lying to yourself. Endlessly quotable and with the entire cast all on top form throughout for me it’s the best hangover cure. “Hey toilet-mouth! There’s a child’s bike outside!”, to me, Phoenix Nights will never not be funny.

How it’s done – How I went from Blank to Part-Thread on Bolt Making Knowledge by Matt

To begin this post, I would first like to state that I’m new to the Fastener world, but being located at Thomas Smith Fasteners I am learning a lot in a very short space of time. One of the main benefits of being situated at Thomas Smith Fasteners is our manufacturer Smith Bullough being located on site. This has allowed me to understand very quickly what we sell here at Thomas Smith and how it’s manufactured. So to avoid basic copyright infringement, we’re showing ‘How it’s Made’, but calling it ‘How it’s Done’.

Hexagon Head Bolt Zinc Plated

How much work goes into making a bolt?

Now, I’ll openly admit that less than two weeks ago, I didn’t have a clue where to start with making fasteners, in fact I said as much in my interview. My point being I just never really thought about it. It was a question I didn’t to know the answer to, like ‘why does a pizza come in a square box?’ (If anyone has the answer send me a DM).

I was going in blind. So I decided to do what anyone in a new job does, ask the bosses a million questions and hope they don’t get sick of answering them.

These questions, led to a tour of the factory, at which point I could see how our fasteners begin to take shape. I entered the factory at Smith Bullough, with the finished product in hand to watch ‘How it’s done’ (Discovery+ aren’t catching on, I hope).

Stage One – A Really Big Saw

We need to cut down our steel rod to size for manufacturing, given that we make both metric and imperial sizes, these can range massively. The team ensure that we have the right length to and then cut down to the right size with the Addison CB250A. When I say it’s a big saw, that kind of undersells it, it cuts through steel like a knife through butter, seriously impressive. I stood back about fifteen yards just in case.

Addison CB250A (The Big Saw)

Stage Two – Fire and Brimstone

Through the fire and flames (kind of). This is where we enter the forge, our pins are heated using an induction heater. They can range anywhere between 1,500 and 2000 degrees, and then are pulled out smoking like Pat Butcher on an EastEnders Christmas Special. The pin is then forged into a hexagon blank by being bit by the forge hammer. It’s at this point everything begins to look as you’d expect as the bolt is trimmed and set aside to cool down. I stood back around 20 yards for this one, and that felt like the Costa del Sol.

The Smoking Bolt (Pat Butcher)

Stage Three – Big Wheels Keep On Turning

Onto my favourite part. We have our blank and we now need to add the thread. But first we need to chamfer our budding bolt to be. Adding a smooth edge to end of our bolt by applying a lubricant and then filing away the rough edges using a spinning wheel. Following the chamfer process, we enter the area of hypnosis, cut threads. I’ll be honest, I could watch this process all day and not get bored, if Netflix were to come down and film thread cutting for a 20 episode series, they could double my monthly subscription and I’d happily pay just to watch ‘Wednesday’, ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Cut Threads’. Again using a lubricant and put through a spinning wheel the thread is cut into the bolt. Hypnotic.

Stage Four – The Final Bells and Whistles

Finally now our threads been cut we’re onto the final countdown our piece of steel’s been burnt, battered and cut and is now going to get cleaned up before we send it out into the big leagues. The first stage of this comes from thread rolling smoothening up those edges before we hit the CNC machine to get its final bit of pampering. We get a machine shank, and then a bit more chamfering to make it neat and tidy before one final bit of form threading then bang, you’ve got a bolt.

Now it’s done

So our bolt’s now made and ready to be used, well aside from quality control but we’ll chat about them another time. And as much as it’s probably took about 5 minutes to read this in that time our team have probably made 15 more bolts to go with the one you’ve just read about. Whether is be metric or imperial our teams have got it covered. For any enquiries contact Thomas Smith Fasteners.

And if Netflix want my ‘Thread Cut Hypnosis’ TV idea they can drop me an email, thanks for reading.

Special Fastener Manufacture – Special Head Shapes & Pins

We manufacture a wide variety of special fasteners in our onsite workshop, as these two recent examples demonstrate!

Our fasteners often have special head shapes or threadforms, for example these forged square square head blanks:

square head bolts forged

But some of our specials have no head and no threads, such as these clevis pins:

drilled clevis pins

We can produce special fasteners in most materials (steel, stainless steel and exotics) and grades, and offer threadforms including Metric, BSF, BSW, BA, UNC & UNF.

To enquire or for further information, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you in finding the right fastener to fit your requirements.

Onsite Special Bolt Manufacture – M48 x 200 Grade 12.9 Bolts

m48 x 200 grade 12.9 bolts cnc machined

Here’s another great example of our how our onsite special fastener manufacturing capabilities complement our extensive stocked range of standard industrial fasteners and fixings.

These M48 x 200 Grade 12.9 Hexagon Bolts were manufactured in our machine shop using a CNC.

The order, for a customer in Sweden, was won due to our quick delivery time, and was despatched to the customer within a few days.

The customer was very impressed with the quality of the bolts and in particular the threads.

We stock standard bolts, nuts and fasteners in Metric, BSW (Whitworth), BSF, BA, UNC and UNF threadforms, and can manufacture non-standard sizes in most materials, grades and surface finishes. We also offer in-house quality testing facilities and are fully accredited to ISO 9001:2008.

For more information, contact us. Alternatively if you’d prefer to speak to someone, call our technical sales staff on 01942 520260 (Wigan) or 01698 826464 (Glasgow).


Made in Wigan – proudly supporting local economy

A Wigan Borough Council photographer visited our premises on Monday 9th January and took plenty of good manufacturing shots for a new eCommerce Framework brochure.

We are delighted to help the local economy.

As a relevant aside, we have plenty of pictures and videos of our products and facilities that will be uploaded to our site soon, so be sure to keep checking the site!