Cost of hardware (rant)

While I have been collecting nuts, bolts etc. for over 55 years, occasionally, for a new project I would like to have bolts that are the
right size, right look, right strength etc.
Wanted to bolt down my new 'garage sale' vise to my metal table. Bolt required would have been a 9/16" by 3 inches long. Well, my local ACE (and the other ACES) in my area have just come up with a new hardware vendor. The selection is amazing, BUT, the prices are out of this world. Said bolt would be $ 1.82 each, with nut and lock washer it would be it would come to $ 2.70. I was not going to spend $ 5 (need two bolts) to mount my vice. As before, I went through my stock and ended up using bolts that are much longer than needed. Washers and shims did the rest.
HD is not any better. Needed some machine screws (# 10-32). Many signs in the aisle say "buy by the box and save", however, there are no boxes. Said screws come in envelopes, three for $ 0.99 including washers. Don't need washers. Talked to the manager and was told that they are using a new vendor, the signs are old, and they will not be selling boxes any more.
Back to garage sales, where hardware is still about $ 1 for a coffee-can's worth.
I feel better now!!!
Ivan Vegvary
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I buy this stuff almost exclusively at McMaster, or garage sales. E.g consider item 91247A409. I have a very fine collection of 10-32 screws, which I use almost exclusively where I need to use machine screws, I try not to use 8-32 or 6-32 if I can avoid them. They are relatively inexpensive there, arrive the next day, etc.
As for your vise, would you be harmed if you used regular 1/2" bolts? (a lot cheaper)
i
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For new hardware, unless you still have a hardware store worth keeping in business (and you should do so, if you still have one, as it's hard to have everything you ever need in stock at home) buy in boxes on-line or via catalog. MSC has a good selection and lightning-fast shipping, if not the rock-bottomest prices. Similar at McMaster, and the one often has what the other does not. Not only are the prices at most hardware stores and pseudo-hardware big box stores high, the hardware that comes at such a high price is now usually the lousiest stuff that China can crank out, for a double-whammy.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

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just bite the bullet and buy a hex head assortment from MSC, comes with the dispenser rack.

(and
bolt
to
As
in
Said
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Ivan,
I share your frustration about these ridiculous prices.
Of course, you realize that these places sell to the homeowner that just needs a screw or two - pun bypassed.
I try to buy 'by the box' and I enjoy the very low prices.
Recently, I have used these folks: http://www.acebolt.com/index.html (800.223.2658) & 800.292.5890 and have been very happy with their prices.
I don't like it when places don't have their prices online but they will give you a quote over the phone. Please let me know if you like them or if you find cheaper prices.
b

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buffalo wrote:

Yet, "acebolt" does *not* have their prices online.
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Hardware stores and home stores are terrible places to buy hardware as the prices are ridiculous. Find a farm store with bulk bins, or a surplus store, or a supply house. Fastenal has 9/16"-12x3" long for 89 cents a piece. A local surplus store has a fair selection on metric and standard bolts. Grade 5 for $1.19 a pound. That same bolt there would be 29 cents! I often buy a box of screws when I just need a small hand full. I figure I will use them sooner or later. Many times a box of one hundred is only a few dollars, the gas for the trip was more. As for the rummage sale blot selection, I don't have the patience to deal with it! my neighbor has a five gallon bucket full of bolts. He dumps in on the floor and digs until he finds what he wants. I walk over to my labeled bolt bin and get what I want. Greg
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Agree - searching thru tins etc can take ages, and its ultimately futile - especially if you need more than 1 of a particular size (actually, number of bolts in tin is N-1, always) - and then theres the separate issue's of the washers and nuts...
I have 2 by kilo tin of small metric stuff salvaged from VCR's etc - 2 categories, self tapper and threaded. Works for the odd one or two,. (usually/sometimes/yes its futile but I persist)
Can anyone in Australia tell me where to get the McMaster style prices? - bought a box of 3/4 by 1/8th Whitworth at Blackwoods a few weeks ago, was SHOCKED at how much it was.....(yes, imperial - used it all me life, only recently changing, reluctantly, to metric as my school course is all in metric. But it drives me BONKERS - I have to do a maths unit, primary school stuff, as part of the course - work out materials etc needed for a job . Do it in Metric, meaningless answer. Convert all the figures to imperial, do the calculation, look at the answer, and can mentally say "MM, about right" - cant do that with Metric not having grown up with it...)
Andrew VK3BFA.
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All you need to do is sort the bolts all at once. After a short while, you'd become pretty good and figuring out the bolt size without having to measure it.
I have piles of salvaged hardware, which I sort periodically.
i
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On Tue, 20 Feb 2007 22:08:59 -0600, Ignoramus1582

Ditto. I also do the same with electronic parts scavenged from dead/obsolete equipment. Rough categories get tossed into whatever boxes or jars are handy, after sorting, parts go into labelled ziplock sandwich bags or parts drawers.
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Try murphyjunk.com in San Diego This guy has almost every concievable size of bolt and nut and many are aircraft grade. He ships also lots of cool stuff 619 444 7717
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Ignoramus1582 wrote:

...
I'm pretty good at sorting on sight (been doing it for 45 years 8-) ). But recently the occurrence of metric stuff has been creeping up and it drives me crazy. Some SAE and metric sizes are just too close. When I have to check the pitch it just isn't worth it and my recycling has been cut way back.
Bob
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all depends Andrew... where in aus are you, and what kinds of fasteners do you most often use? blackwoods is typically more expensive than the competition; coventry fasteners are quite often cheaper, or any other local supplier of fasteners depending on where you are. We are pretty lucky in a way in aus that we dont really have a 'standard' considering we import so much.... but its a mixed blessing; many mechanics have 4 or 5 spanner/socket sets to cover all the standards. There are many specialized fastener suppliers that offer individual as well as kit for replacement fasteners for a wide variety of interests, be it fine electrical, classic cars, japanese motorbikes, american muscle cars or whatever. hunting them up is usually a matter of buying a magazine based on your interest, or calling around to a few clubs.
Shaun
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wrote:

Ta Muchly Shaun. Am in Melbourne. And what do I use - its in a state of flux. Up till now, mainly small stuff to homebrew radio gear - hence the reference to 1/8th Whitworth. Doing Cert 11 at Moorabin TAFE in Production Engineering, its getting REALLY interesting at what possibilities are opening up...constantly being amazed at what can be done with bits of metal ands some metalworking skills....I started it to aid in homebrewing radio metalwork, its assumed a life and a fascination all of its own now...
And thanks too for the magazine tip - know of one place thats pretty good, in Tullamarine -(cant remember name, but have his catalog, got some brass round bar from him- Wayne??) model railroad stuff type things. BUT he refuses to sell any metric stuff......and I aint quite competent enough yet to start to build steam engines (Envy those who do have the skill though...)
Andrew VK3BFA.
Andrew VK3BFA. .
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On 20 Feb 2007 19:46:39 -0800, "Andrew VK3BFA"

If you are in Perth I can recommend Searle fasteners in High Road Willetton. They have no minimum order.
just to test this I asked for one 5mm socket head cap screw one day. the guy went out back and fished one out. 5 cents in my hand.
Stealth Pilot
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Greg O wrote:

My friend Buz puts his random hardware in a cafeteria tray. He mounts the trays in a box with saw cuts for sliders. Makes it pretty easy to sort hardware.
Steve
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Ivan Vegvary wrote:

Find a Tractor Supply Store. They carry Hillman in grades 2,5 and 8 by the pound. Mix and match within grades. From 1/4" at least 1" and lengths from 1/2"-6" 2- $1.58, 5- $2.48, 8- $3.88 per pound. They also have a lot of specialty fasteners from bronze bushings to push nuts. Every visit I grab a pound of mixed sizes in each grade, toss them in the wall mount bins I have.
--
Steve W.

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On Tue, 20 Feb 2007 23:20:09 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm,

Whenever I buy bolts/nuts/washers/screws/lags, I look at the prices for poly-pack and 100-box. It usually works out that about ten of the poly-pack pieces is just over the price of a box of 100, so I buy a box. So far, I've been back to those boxes more often than I have my new jars of odd lot hardware/fasteners. I left all my old hardware jars in CA when I moved and haven't missed them at all.
-- If it weren't for jumping to conclusions, some of us wouldn't get any exercise.
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wrote:

Ditto. You can buy a lot of fasteners for $20. They are cheap enough that you can grab a handful each visit if you think you may be getting low. Spread them on a work bench and sorting is quick. I keep all lengths in 1/4 to 1/2".
--Andy Asberry-- ------Texas-----
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wrote:

look in your phone book for Nut and Bolt vendors. Here in certain places in California..they are on alternating street corners.
The bolts I bought in HD for $1.25 each, cost me $0.35 at the fastener places
Gunner
"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western civilization as it commits suicide" - James Burnham
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