Category Archive: EDUCATION

What is a Trigger Snap?

Education is important to us here at Henssgen Hardware, and in this article we want to shine some light on the trusty Trigger Snap. Read on to learn just exactly what a trigger snap is, what makes it unique, and what a trigger snap is used for.

You are likely more familiar with the bolt snap, which is popularly seen at the end of a dog leash. It has a button that pushes down to release the leash from the collar. You may also know the all purpose snap that looks like a carabiner and is often used for keychains.

A trigger snap is different from a bolt snap or an all purpose snap because it has a little lever, or trigger, which opens the snap. The trigger makes it easy to open and close the snap with just one hand.

It also has overlapping pieces which make for a more secure hold, rather than a bolt snap. It is very hard for anything to slip through a trigger snap. The built-in trigger mechanism will not release accidentally – only when purposeful force is applied to it, which sets it apart from a bolt snap.

Because a trigger snap also offers a more reliable holding closure, it makes more sense for certain uses.

It is often used in the fashion industry for handbags, purses, suspenders, luggage and briefcases. It is often used for camera straps, binocular straps, and other fashion or utility applications in need of good solid snaps that won’t open accidentally. Crafters love the trigger snap for key fobs, lanyards and keychains.

You can attach a strap to one end, either a fabric one that’s sewn in as in the case of a purse or handbag, a leather one for a briefcase or bag, or a webbed one in the case of a leash.

More industrial uses include awning fabrication, the marine industry for ropes and knotting, pet leash and pet collar manufacturers, horse leads, harnesses and tack changes.

Our trigger snaps all have full swivel eyes which prevent tangles and come in a variety of shapes, for different uses.

Some of them have flat eyes for use in a strap, and others come with rounded eyes for use with rope and knotting.

We offer trigger snaps in brass and die cast zinc in many different diameters for any need you may have.

Browse our trigger snap selection now!

Henssgen Hardware has a complete line of the highest quality snap hooks, clips and other rigging hardware. We carry hardware in all types of metals and galvanized steel for all types of jobs, from hauling heavy loads to quick-release panic snaps.

Visit our website today and check our online catalog.

What Does WLL Mean and Why is it Important?

It can be confusing to decrypt all of these acronyms like SWL, NWL, WLL and MBS. But Henssgen Hardware is here for you, to educate you on terms like Working Load Limits and everything you need to know about our products.

Safe Working Load, SWL, (or Normal Working Load, NWL) is an outdated term that was used to indicate the amount of weight that a lifting device could safely carry without fear of breaking. It is a calculation of the Minimum Breaking Strength, or MBS.

The more up-to-date phrase for the term SWL is Working Load Limit, or WLL.

The specific definition for the Working Load Limit (WLL) is: The maximum mass or force which a product is authorized to support in general service when the pull is applied in-line, unless noted otherwise, with respect to the centerline of the product.

The manufacturer designates the right or approximate WLL value for each lifting device or use, and considers many factors including the applied load, the length of each rope or line, and many other factors.

It is critically important to heed this number, which is set forth by the manufacturer, when lifting with any device, including a line, rope or crane. The number is calculated by dividing the Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) by a safety factor that is assigned to that type and use of equipment, generally ranging from four to six unless a failure of the equipment could pose a risk to life. In the event that the failure of the equipment could pose a risk to life, the safety factor is ten.

For example, if a hook has a Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) of 1,000 pounds and a safety factor of five, then the Working Load Limit (WLL) would be 200 pounds.

The history to the change in terminology

There were legal implications to the term Safe Working Load, so USA standards phased this term out more than twenty years ago, followed by European and ISO standards just a few years afterward. This change took place because of the legal significance placed on the word ‘safe’.

The Americans and Europeans then developed a more appropriate term and definition for the maximum load capacity of a particular lifting device, agreeing to use the term Working Load Limit (WLL) for equipment such as hooks, slings and shackles.

 

In the cases of cranes, hoists and winches, the term Safe Working Load (SWL) was replaced by Manufacturer’s Rated Capacity (MRC), which is the maximum gross load which may be applied to the crane or hoist or lifting attachment while in a particular working configuration and under a particular condition of used.

Synonyms

SWL — Safe Working Load

NWL — Normal Working Load

WLL — Working Load Limit (Current term used)

Other Acronyms

MBS — Minimum Breaking Strength

MRC — Manufacturers Rated Capacity

Henssgen Hardware is committed to providing top quality products as well as all of the information you need in order to ensure the utmost in safety. Please contact us with any safety questions you may have and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs and which products are the best fit for you.

How to Age Metals for that Distressed, Vintage Look

These days, it’s next to impossible NOT to find dozens of DIY methods of decorating, designing, updating or changing metals like brass, copper and pewter to achieve the desired look on furniture, lamps, doorknobs, drawer pulls – and just about anything else.

Some techniques involve the use of toxic materials such as acetone; while others rely solely on natural ingredients such as vinegar, salt and lemon juice. The more natural methods may take a little longer. But, if you don’t like having things like acetone and chemical-based “agers” in the house, it might be worth the wait.

Here’s a simple method for “aging” brass, bronze and other metals naturally.

Step 1:
Using a very fine steel wool pad or fine sandpaper, first remove the shiny finish from the metal. Once the metal has been dulled, wash it thoroughly in hot soapy water, then rinse well and dry thoroughly.

Step 2:
Using a large glass bowl or container that will hold your brass pieces, use a solution of vinegar and salt (3 parts vinegar to 1 part water) and fill the glass container. Add the brass pieces and soak them for about an hour or longer (don’t worry if you have to leave in the middle of your project to do some errands – allowing the metal to soak for longer periods of time in the vinegar/salt solution will not damage it).

Step 3:
Preheat your oven to about 450 degrees and place the metal pieces on a cookie sheet in the heated oven for about 15 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it while it is heating. The longer you leave it in, the darker the metals will become.

Step 4:
Remove the pan from the oven and allow the brass to cool completely. If you still want a darker look, you can repeat the soaking and heating process. Once you are happy with the color, use car polishing wax and massage it into the brass with a soft rag. Note: car wax will not give the brass a sheen, so no worries there.

Other Methods
You can also use acetone (nail polish) and brass ager, which you can find online or in most stores that sell home cleaning products.

Step 1:
Place the acetone in a glass bowl and submerge your brass pieces into it. This will remove any lacquer that may be on the brass. Once you see the lacquer begin to get sticky, remove it from the acetone and rinse the remaining lacquer off in water.

Step 2:
Using a clean dry cloth, apply the brass ager and allow it to dry.

Step 3:
Use a fine gauge steel wool and gently rub the entire surface of the brass piece. If you want a more weathered look, simply add more ager and gently wipe with the wool.

There are lots of other ways to age or weather your metal lamps, fixtures, and hardware. But, there’s only one place to find all the rigging equipment and hardware you’ll need for your business, your farm, or for your boating needs.

Henssgen Hardware has a complete line of the highest quality snap hooks, clips and other rigging hardware. We carry hardware in all types of metals and galvanized steel for all types of jobs, from hauling heavy loads to quick-release panic snaps.

Visit our website today and check our online catalog.

Some Facts About “Eventing,” AKA the ‘Triathalon’ of the Equestrian World

Horse trials, otherwise known as “Eventing,” are often called the equestrian “triathalon.” The sport, which originated in cavalries in Europe as a way of gauging riding mastery, is a hugely popular sport and events can be found around the country and across the globe, in places like Germany, England, and Dubai – to name a few.

The competition consists of three days of events: dressage, cross-country (otherwise known as endurance) and show jumping. The rider with the lowest number of combined penalty points in all three events wins the ribbon.

The average person does not typically think of “eventing” when they talk about equine sport in NY. Most people automatically think of thoroughbred racing in Belmont, Aqueduct, Saratoga, the Finger Lakes and other racetracks. These people would be surprised to learn how many event locations and “triathalon” training centers dot the map of the Empire State.

Millbrook, NY’s “Milbrook Horse Trials,” for example, are recognized by the United States Event Association. Even closer to the update region, equine training centers like Winterwood Farm in the town of Milton, and Larkin Hill Farm in North Chatham, have been around for years and attract serious riders and their talented and stunning mounts for training and preparation for competition.

In eventing, horses are coaxed, pampered and patiently brought along as they gain mastery of difficult and beautiful movements. Their manes and tails are coifed and groomed into elaborate braids. Riders are required to wear elegant attire, consisting of cutaway coats, ruffled shirts, tight white, black or navy jodphurs and highly polished riding boots.

The horses chosen to train and compete for this sport are usually thoroughbreds or exotic breeds from Spain, Portugal and other countries. At Winterwood Farm, for example, regal Spanish Normans, known across Europe as the warhorses of the ages, are treated like royalty as they progress through jumps and other graceful movements.

While both horses and riders are trained and groomed to perfection, just as in any equine sport, the right equine hardware is critical to the safety of riders, trainers, horses and spectators. That is where Henssgen can help. Our company has been servicing the equine industry for nearly 40 years and we carry a complete line of snap hooks, quick links, panic snaps and other hardware.

In 2013, Rachel Shaw Novak purchased the business from her parents and went on to obtain a Women’s Business Enterprise/Woman Owned Small Business certificate.

We invite you to visit our website and check out our catalog for a complete listing of products we offer.

Enjoying Summertime Fun While Staying Safe

Summertime is water sport season. Boating, jet-skiing, tubing, water-skiing and parasailing are just some of the many ways water and sun-loving fans enjoy sea, wind and surf.

In the height of the summer season, seaside and lakeside resorts handle crowds of summertime thrill-seekers, looking to get harnessed up and hitched to a slender nylon rope attached to a floating dock or a fast-moving boat, as they are transported aloft for a scenic parasail ride overlooking the vista below.

Others, who want to stay closer to mother earth, but who have a “need for speed,” may opt for wake-boarding, wind-surfing, water-skiing or tubing.

It goes without saying that those harnesses and slender nylon lines that keep skiers, boarders, parasailers and others tethered to their boat or dock are crucial to the safety of sport. Unfortunately, we’ve all heard of connections that break, boat drivers who don’t pay attention and lose their riders, or equipment malfunction that results in injury or even death.

That is why it is important to make sure your equipment is in good working order and “up to snuff.”

Skis, wake-boards and tubes

In addition to making sure that the boots and hardware on your skis or boards fits well and are in good working condition, it is important to check the nylon lines that connect your riders to your boat. Make sure there are no knots, kinks or frayed sections. If you’re pulling your precious cargo behind your boat with a tube, make sure that the dacron/nylon blend straps are in good condition and the safety Dee-rings and snap hooks are not rusted, bent or otherwise damaged. Those rings and hooks are all that’s holding your tube, board or skiers to your boat.

Well, almost.

The cleat on the aft deck of your boat is really the first line of defense against aquatic mishap and mayhem. All cleats should be checked for loose screws connecting the cleat to the body of the boat. This is particularly important if you have an older boat. It’s far better to err on the side of caution. Have a screw driver handy and double check every cleat.

If you happen to be towing a jet ski around on the water, it is even more important to examine all quick connecting snap hooks, D-rings and O-rings before heading offshore. You don’t want to lose your jet ski in a rough surf now, do you?

Parasails

 

While parasailing is an activity that involves relying on commercial providers, that doesn’t mean you can’t check in advance to make sure your parasail company has a good record and is up to date on their licensing.
Even on the day of your parasailing trip, don’t be shy about checking the body harnesses, D-rings and snaps to make sure they are in good condition.

Henssgen Hardware is a leading distributor of marine and sporting goods hardware. For more information, please visit our website. And, while you’re there, check out our catalog to see our complete line of products.

Old Friends at Cabin Creek, in Greenfield, NY, Offers Home for Retired Thoroughbreds

It’s called the sport of kings, but far too often the majestic thoroughbreds that make up the royal family are sent off to slaughterhouses in Mexico or Canada, a cruel and unusual end to an all too short life of training, racing, and perpetuating bloodlines. It seems only right, then, that Saratoga Springs, home to the oldest thoroughbred racetrack in the country, is also home to Old Friends at Cabin Creek, a retirement haven for thoroughbred racehorses.

Mark and JoAnn Pepper are the owners of Cabin Creek, a forty-acre spread located on Sand Hill Road in the town of Greenfield Center. The long dirt road bends and winds down to the entrance, where a vista of tranquility and serenity greets each visitor. A stable that could have been in the movie, “Sea Biscuit,” is surrounded by paddock areas, each one home to a peacefully grazing animal. To the left of the stable is a small pond with a fountain spraying water at its center, adding to the feeling of peace. At the top of another hill stands the Pepper’s home, from which they can survey the scene below.

Photo Courtesy of Old Friends at Cabin Creek

The Peppers built the ranch from the ground up and – for them – Old Friends is the culmination of a lifelong dream to provide a home for these wondrous creatures. While the ranch itself is privately owned, Old Friends is a non-profit organization that feeds, houses, and provides veterinary care, support and – above all – love for the animals. The ranch has been open since 2009 and is currently operating at more than full capacity, housing and caring for 15 horses, ranging in age from 3 to 27 years.

This is the first and only satellite of the original Old Friends, based in Georgetown, KY, the brainchild of Michael Blowen, a retired sports writer from the Boston Globe. Blowen’s love of the animals and the sport prompted him to create a safe haven for horses as they reached the end of their careers.

Now, in its eighth year of existence, Old Friends at Cabin Creek is home to two Travers winners: Thunder Rumble, who is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his win this year; and Will’s Way, who took the title in 1996. The most senior of the equine family, Crusader Sword, winner of the “ Hopeful” 28 years ago, looks remarkable for his age, a ripe old 30. Of lesser fame – but no less pampered – is Moonshadow Gold, the first horse acquired by the Peppers when they opened the ranch. At age fifteen, Moonshadow is a veteran of a whopping eighty-nine races.

The Peppers love horse racing, but they also love the animals who give their lives to the sport. “There are too many horses out there without a plan for a full life,” JoAnn confided to me. “Being able to open Old Friends was a dream come true for us.”

Photo Courtesy of Old Friends at Cabin Creek

The horses that call Old Friends at Cabin Creek their home are free to roam their paddock areas, romping and rolling in the grass, munching on hay and feed. They never have to run in another race or have a saddle on their backs. They are pampered by a devoted group of volunteers, who care for their equine charges in fair weather or foul, rain or snow.

Of course, as with any other horse farm, it’s vital to have the best rigging hardware available in order to ensure the safety of the horses and their caregivers. Henssgen Hardware supplies the best and most comprehensive line of rigging equipment and horse hardware for places like Old Friends at Cabin Creek, as well as the many other thoroughbred aftercare and horse rescue ranches that are cropping up around the country.

Please visit our website and browse our catalog to find everything you need, from hitching plates and horse panic snaps to harness rings and hoof picks. We offer the sturdiest and most durable equipment, in a variety of non-corrosive metals, such as die cast zinc, brass, malleable iron and steel.

Henssgen Hardware, located in Glens Falls NY, has been supplying hardware for 39 years. Visit their website and their online catalog for more information.

Turn Your Store or Marina Into a “Go To” Destination for All Your Customers’ Marine Hardware Needs

If you own a sporting goods store, a marina or even a gas station/convenient store on one of the several beautiful lakes in the area, it’s only a matter of time before warm weather finally arrives and people will be putting their sailboats, power boats, kayaks and canoes on the water. Maybe those boat owners failed to read our earlier blog post about being prepared and doing a thorough checklist of their boats in advance of the yearly launch.boat on deck

That’s why you need to be prepared for any requests your summertime sailors will throw at you. When it comes to marine hardware, it’s important to have in stock an ample supply of boat snap hooks, rope cleats, double end hooks, rings, and eye snaps with fixed, open and swivel ends.

There are so many things that require repair, maintenance or updating on a boat, whether it is a kayak or a cruiser. For your sailboat and power boat customers, snap hooks are important to keep on hand for anchor chains or trailer safety chains. They may be rusted, bent, broken – which would be unfortunate when trying to hook up to a mooring ball or getting a boat safely secured on the trailer.

Owners of power boats that pull water skiers, tubes and other flotation devices may need to replace their safety hooks, rings and snap hooks. The last thing they want to do is lose their precious cargo in the middle of a busy lake. When your customers pull into your marina to gas up and buy provisions, be sure to ask them if they’ve checked their skiing and tubing lines for signs of wear or broken connections.

Sometimes, summertime boaters are more focused on having an ample supply of ice, fishing line, and fresh brews on hand. You can grow your base of loyal customers by making sure to let them know you are their “go to” destination for a complete line of marine hardware. Before they head out for a day on the water, be sure to ask them if they need their anchors, rope cleats, safety snaps and snap hooks replaced.marine hardware - white rope on deck

Kayaks, canoes and rowboats also need to be secured safely to docks and mooring balls. And, no matter what type or size boat your customers have, they need to check their life jackets and bumpers to be sure that the rings, snaps and hooks are in good working order.

If your store is located near a salt water body, Henssgen Hardware offers a complete line of products that are salt-and corrosion resistant. Our complete line of marine hardware includes brass, steel, stainless steel and die cast zinc. A well-stocked marina or sporting goods store should keep an ample inventory on hand in all these materials.

white rope with snap hook - boat on deckFor marinas that service a large number of sailboats, it’s also a good idea to have a good assortment of rope hardware in stock. Rope cleats, thimbles and clamps in stock can mean the difference between a great day of sailing or a trip cut short because a sailor couldn’t find a marina with the equipment they needed to be “seaworthy.”

Henssgen Hardware has the hardware you need for a safe summer out on the boat. Download our catalog for all our product offerings.

Have the Right Hooks on Hand for Those Lazy Hazy Hammock Days

Believe it or not, summer is just around the corner. That means hardware store owners should be stocking up on the right S-hooks, rings, quick-release snap hooks, swivel hooks and chain links for hanging hammocks, kiddie swings, porch swings and planters.

Before you can say Memorial Day, customers will be coming into your store looking to replace or repair broken or rusted chains, S-hooks and snap hooks for their toddlers’ swing sets. They’ll also be eager to get that hammock unrolled and suspended between two trees in the shade of the backyard. And don’t forget about the chains and hooks for hanging those cascading petunia planters.

How to hang your hammock

Find two sturdy oak, beech or maple trees that can support your weight and be the right distance apart; too close together and you’ll be scraping the ground; too far apart and you’ll put too much strain on the hammock and cause tears.

Most hammocks come with straps that wrap around the tree. The straps are made of sturdy nylon and have a Dee-ring that is used to connect the S-hook or the snap hook to the ring on each end of the hammock.

Before you get that hammock hung up and ready to hop into, be sure the rings aren’t bent or damaged. It’s also a good idea to check the straps for wear and tear. Also make sure that the chain links on the ends of your hammock aren’t bent or broken.

Getting the backyard swing set ready for your kids

Before you hang those swings back on the jungle gym equipment do a careful inspection of the parts. Make sure there are no rusty screws or chain links that can scrape and hurt your kids. As children get bigger, they put more strain on the hooks that keep the swing securely connected to the overhead bar. Make sure to replace any chain, links or S-hooks that look as if they’ve been bent or have become misshapen from wear.

Have the right hardware on hand for DIYs

The local neighborhood handy men and women, who like to make their own repairs, will be happy to see that your inventory includes the widest and best variety of hardware in an assortment of rust-resistant and sturdy metals, sure to keep that hammock properly suspended between your trees, or hold that hanging hammock chair suspended from the porch ceiling.

A local resource right at your fingertips

The benefit of having a major wholesaler of hardware like Henssgen right in your backyard is that you can still place your order and have it in your store’s inventory in time for the busy upcoming season.

Henssgen purchases only the highest quality hardware for backyards and boat docks, dairy farmers and  trainers, and backyard volleyball nets and batting cage nets. So, whether you are a hardware store owner looking for the best supplier of hardware for a range of industries and uses; or, if you’re a homeowner who likes nothing better than to lounge in your hammock after a busy day of yardwork,

Henssgen Hardware has the hooks, snaps, and rings you need to keep your backyard safe, secure and ready for summer. Download our catalog for all our product offerings.

Henssgen Hardware for Gym Equipment… Who Knew!

When Kathy Porcell, owner of Elevation Pilates in Glens Falls had to replace the hardware on her Pilates equipment, she thought her only option was to go back to the Pilates equipment manufacturer for the double-ended and single-ended clips and snap hooks she uses each day in her fitness classes.

“I waited four weeks for the manufacturer to get the stainless steel clips in stock. And then I had to drive all the way to Queens for them!” After waiting for so long to get them, she knew it would probably take at least another week to have them shipped from downstate. Not to mention the additional cost of shipment. You see, the Pilates machine manufacturer outsources their clips, hooks and other hardware from wholesale suppliers. Chances are, they don’t keep a lot of clips, snaps or hooks in their stock. More likely, they don’t stock them at all.

Hardware used at Elevation Pilates

Kathy had no idea that there was a wholesale and retail distributor of stainless steel hardware just minutes away from her own fitness studio in Glens Falls, NY. She could have saved herself at least a month of waiting, not to mention the additional time and expense of traveling to Queens.

Kathy won’t make that same mistake again. When it’s time to perform routine performance and maintenance checks on her specialized equipment, she’ll know exactly where to go to replace the all-important snaps and clips that make her Pilates equipment so versatile, allowing clients to work out each muscle group in the body.

It’s not just Pilates equipment that requires clips, snaps and quick release snaps. Think about the last time you were at the gym and you were changing the cables on the standing leg and arm apparatus. Or the seated rowing machine, the lat pulldown machine and the standing cable row.

Hardware used at Elevation Pilates

If you have a personal trainer, he or she relies on the quick release clips and snaps that enable a swift change of equipment – say, changing out the wide grip bar to a smaller grip handle or bar.

By quickly changing the cable grips on a machine from the handle grips to another bar or handle, fitness buffs will work out an entirely different set of muscles, or work out the same muscles in a different way. And, by having the ability to make these changes quickly and efficiently, it allows the person training to maintain a higher level of intensity during the workout.

Nearly every machine in the gym uses hardware that Henssgen Hardware carries in a whole range of sizes and in different materials, from stainless to bronze to nickel plated to aluminum.

But don’t take my word for it. If you’re the owner or manager of a gym or fitness studio, it’s fast and easy to set up an account online at Henssgen Hardware. While you’re there, browse their catalog to learn more about their products and pricing.

Hardware used at Elevation Pilates

Snap Hooks Keep Us in Line!

It may come as a surprise, but there’s a small, yet mighty important little piece of hardware that’s instrumental in keeping us all in line, making us look good, and working hard alongside us in our businesses, on our farms or at the kennel. The crazy thing is, you can find it in our catalog in a variety of metals, finishes and sizes. What are we talking about?

Snap hooks, of course.

We took these photos on a family trip to Disney! It was a pleasant surprise to see how many different uses there were for snap hooks in the theme park.

This seemingly insignificant and innocuous piece of hardware is not only versatile – as it turns out, it is an integral component of many industries, from banking to boating; entertainment to equestrian; even from farming to fashion. The list is endless.

And we mean that literally. Whether you’re at the bank, the movie theater, waiting in line to climb on a ride at Disney World – even the red carpet in Hollywood or Cannes.

Have you ever shown up for a fancy event, and the attendant quickly unhooks the rope to allow an impatient VIP to move to the front of the line? Those velvet ropes that keep us in an orderly line are attached to their metal bases by snap hooks and you can find them whether you’re waiting to see the newest action movie or do some star-gazing at a celebrity event in Hollywood.

Think about the last time you waited in line with your eager kids to climb on a ride at Disney World. Those snap hooks kept the kids right where they needed to be and safe from wandering off the line into who knows what!

A snap hook is easy to release with just the flick of the wrist and thumb. It comes in a variety of metals and finishes, so it can go from a utilitarian stainless to a polished brass. The snap hook is just like that woman you know who looks just as great in jeans and a tee shirt as she does in a little black dress! Versatile, flexible and adaptable.

And snap hooks can be either fixed or swivel – so important when you’re in a tough space with your horse, for example, and need to unhook him quickly from his harness. Snap hooks can also be spotted on runways or in designer boutiques, adorning the softest suede handbag you’ve ever seen, or keeping that cool leather and gold trimmed belt resting just right on your waist.

So, before you think that snap hooks are just a small, insignificant piece of hardware – think again. Snap hooks can keep us in line, make our livestock and pets safe and secure, add flair to our fashion, and so much more.

Henssgen Hardware, located in Glens Falls NY, has been supplying snap hooks and other rigging hardware for 39 years. Visit their website and their online catalog for more information.