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Folks Of Interest Anybody Else have a Bolt hoard or Bolt hoarding problem?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by LilBlue82, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. LilBlue82
    Joined: Dec 16, 2015
    Posts: 102


    Hi my Name is Ian and I have a Bolt Hoarding Addiction................. Nah not really but i am curious as to who else has a huge pile of bolts that some might call junk but to others would call gold. I am bringing this up because recently I saved a 5 gallon bucket of washers, bolts and nuts ( and more!!) from the scrap pile. this pile came from the 40 pluse year collection that my father and grandfather added to while fixing the tractors, Machinery and cars over the years. My cousins thought it was junk even though they never sorted through the damn thing and now i'm doing the deed of sorting and picking through the pile of bolts. I will post pictures as soon as I can but anybody else a hoarder of parts, bolts , tools etc show your pride!!!.
  2. desotot
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,805


    I may have several 5 gallon buckets full of important stuff, but I never saw it as a problem. What I call a problem is what happens when I don't have something I need. Old cars are made of such things. A media blast cabinet goes along well with such buckets of stuff.
    A typical hardware store flashplated grade 2 bolt is not a car part and many automotive pieces are specific, so with fewer parts cars laying around to retrieve these pieces from , a personal stash is necessary.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  3. We all have them, but my time is more valuable that sorting through buckets of bolts. So even though they are out there, my NEW bolt bins get reached for much more often.
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,405

    from Ojai,Ca

    Really not a bad idea to save nuts, bolts, screws and washers. Usually they are not new and pretty but in a lot of cases it does not matter. I have saved many a trip to the hardware store by looking through my "hoard".. If you check prices on these items threes days they ain't cheap.I have a lot of them sorted and stored in little plastic drawers, some in coffee cans ( I used to use baby food jars but during the 71 earthquake here they made a mess of broken glass on the floor). Washers in one container (s) bolts in another ect. If you have a lot of one size then separate them from the misc. ones. Don't be afraid to share them with a fellow hot rodder.
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  5. PoRodder
    Joined: Sep 28, 2014
    Posts: 90

    from St. Louis

    I usually have a bolt shortage problem. Especially the shouldered bolts of the automotive type. It makes me mad when I order a bolt kit and receive a selection that could have just bought from Ace Hardware.
  6. I keep mine AT THE STORE.
  7. B Bay Barn
    Joined: Dec 27, 2009
    Posts: 399

    B Bay Barn

    Ian: I finally sorted thru my hoard last winter while my house was being rebuilt. The look on "honey pies" face when i dumped a load of fasteners on the kitchen table one night was priceless. A separate container for nuts, bolts, screws and misc has made my fastener life much simpler.
    loudbang and michael knight like this.
  8. The stuff I hoard is AN and NAS bolts - and titanium.
  9. Only five gallons?.... LOL. I've always saved bolts (and trim screws, grommets, dash knobs, etc, etc, etc) as a lot of the hardware store stuff doesn't match OEM. Plus living 30 miles from the nearest bolt store makes having a 'stock' a real time and money saver. But having them 'mixed' in buckets, boxes or whatever can be an exercise in frustration so I broke down and built a 'bolt bin' using some cheap HF rail bins some years ago.

    bolt bin.jpg bolt bin 2.jpg

    120 bins in the top unit, 108 in the lower. The initial sorting took seemingly forever, but if I stay on top of it now, it isn't bad.... And did I mention that the bins lift out?.....
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  10. LilBlue82
    Joined: Dec 16, 2015
    Posts: 102


    Heres the start of my organization, all of the bolts were thrown into mass of metal so I'm sorting them into 3 different drawers of this cheaper made craftsman........ but i'm not even half through the hoard
    wraymen likes this.
  11. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,541


    It's not the price of new hardware, it's the quality. Spent an afternoon at PullaPart a while back, and didn't find anything big I needed. To keep it from being a wasted trip, I started looking at pre 70 stuff.
    Ended up with a large pile of nuts and bolts in my wheelbarrow, all pre 70. 1/4 up to 1/2".
    Take a good look at that stuff. It just plain looks and feels better than modern hardware store crap of unknown quality. The counter guy thought I was nuts, and gave it to me for free.
    I decided it was a good day, afterall.
    loudbang and desotot like this.
  12. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,369


    I save all good bolts,nuts and washers but still have to buy new when I need more then two that are the same length and most times its quicker to buy them then to try to find them.
    47ragtop likes this.
  13. raymay
    Joined: Mar 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,323


    Yup, I have a few 5 gal pails, several tin and plastic containers, some boxes and drawers with a variety of nuts, bolts, screws, washers, nuts and misc. fittings. Most are in the garage but I also keep some on the basement workbench. If I take something apart, I just can't seem to toss out any hardware that looks like it is still good.
    My biggest problem is that only some of my stash is properly sorted. It is amazing how handy it comes in when you need something.
    michael knight likes this.
  14. I had a cardboard drum with 40# of assorted hardware that I bought in 1973. There was a screw/bolt company in the west bottoms in Kansas City. All of the stuff on the floor was swept up and put in these drums for sale to the public.

    Apparently, it was not cost effective to sweep and sort them so they just swept them up. The drum lasted me at least 30 years when I started to have to go buy some stuff. I still have a big coffee can of cotter pins. A couple pounds of cotter pins lasts a long time!
  15. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,436


    I have several 5 gallon buckets of 'Gold'. I hire my grand kids to separate them into, Nuts, Bolts, and Washers. If they ever get caught up I will have them sort by Size, Thread Pitch, and Length.

    When I taught Auto Shop, used bolts were free to the students but they had to pay for new ones. Since they all liked shiny ones, I borrowed a cement mixer form the Building Trades class, and tumbled them over a weekend. They came out beautiful. The nuts and washers were perfect, but the bolts all had locking threads. :D
    wraymen likes this.
  16. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,891

    scrap metal 48

    You can never have to many nuts and bolts...
    41 C28 likes this.
  17. I know a guy whose dad was a mechanic's mechanic.
    By this I mean he was ( at that time), nearly 85, had a stock Model A that he drove, started working as a professional mechanic in the 1930's. He knew EVERYTHING, had mastered Babbit bearings, flathead fords, every L head 30's 40's 50's motor and pre electronics 6 or V-8 motor you could name.
    He always told Tom that if you see a bolt or washer lying around, pick it up, take it home and put it in a jar.
    So he did. Got quite the collection too.
    One day Tom was wrenching his OT very fast 69 Camaro, needed a weird size bolt, washer and nut......
    went to the jar....THERE IT WAS !! The exact stuff he needed!
    Whatta ya know!??
  18. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,824

    Jalopy Joker

    yep, got a problem (?) - every time that I am not able to find the nut, bolt, etc that I need when I go to the store to get what is needed I always buy extra multiples of whatever I needed. if I needed it once likely that I will need again at some time. my best story on this is when I was given the task of handling an estate of a older relative that had passed. he never threw away anything. had a couple of rentals on property so, when ever someone moved out and left old beds, washer machines, etc he kept them over many years. but, his love was bicycles. had a old caravan camper full of bikes, etc. but, the kicker in this long story was cans/jars with nuts & bolts hidden everywhere. in clothes closets, under sinks, even in a shed that had no windows or obvious door. it took a bike foot pedal crank to turn the bicycle chain that opened the door. his secret treasure was many more containers of nuts & bolts - no gold or diamonds
    loudbang likes this.
  19. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,255


    You only have *one* bolt bin? LOL I will have to post pictures later. I have more than Home Depot. I looked at the price for One Bolt at HD--$6!! Either thats insane or I am rich!
    michael knight likes this.
  20. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,255


    [QUOTE="Jalopy Joker, post: 11853542, member: 19213" a shed that had no windows or obvious door. it took a bike foot pedal crank to turn the bicycle chain that opened the door.[/QUOTE]

    I like that idea!
  21. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,198


    :D This thread reminds me of a fellow that I knew in Florida.To say he was "OCD"about nuts,bolts and all sorts of fasteners would be an understatement.Just before we moved to Tn in 1985,he finally finished sorting all of his collection.Took him about 18 months.Of course,he only had 6 55 gal drums of the stuff.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
  22. drttrkcwby
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 52


    A small hardware store was going out of a business awhile back, my dad and I bought a ton of the stores organizing bins with the bolts in them! Makes life way easier. When we get low on a bolt we just buy in bulk cause it's cheaper and fill up the bin. Part of wants to take an empty bin in to the New ace hardware and swap it for a full bin and see if they say anything!! Lol.
  23. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,088

    from Berry, AL

    The folks that lived through the great depression, especially those in rural America, learned to save everything instead of throwing it away. My old man saved nuts, bolts, washers, bent nails, pieces of wire, card board boxes, you name it. Everything seemed to get reused sooner or later. I guess I just picked up on it, I still save nuts and bolts and screws. Got a couple of old small tool boxes full, have to look through everything to find what you want if it's in there. I have a drawer rack that came out of an old Telephone truck I bought years ago that I have a bunch of them in also.
    One of these days I might sort them out....
    michael knight, RMR&C and CowboyTed like this.
  24. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    from SW Wyoming

    In addition to nuts, bolts and washers, I have a huge pile of v-belts. Grandpa would be proud.
    pat59 likes this.
  25. CowboyTed
    Joined: Apr 27, 2015
    Posts: 340


    My dad lived through the depression like yours, and learned the same habit. For the past fifty years since he settled in one place, he's been collecting stuff, including fasteners of all kinds, but mostly nuts and bolts. He has an entire wing of his shop, roughly fifty by fifteen feet, where the walls are lined with coffee cans. Each coffee can has a different size of bolts, in a different length, longest on the bottom, and growing shorter as you go up the wall. Right above the bolts, a can of washers, above that, a can of nuts, all in the right size to fit the bolts below it. Move over one can, and the next size smaller or larger. It's every bit as well organized as a typical hardware store, but he has a much, much larger selection than the typical hardware store.

    Dad does this largely because he lives on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, and trips to the hardware store are an all-day affair, which he hopes to avoid if possible.

    He also makes a habit of attending "farm sales" which are something like an estate auction for a dead or retiring farmer or rancher. INvariabvly, nobody bids on the buckets of nuts and bolts, so dad buys them for next to nothing and takes them home, then spends a pleasant (for him) afternoon sorting the other farmer's nuts and bolts into his bins.

    My dad is now mostly retired, but still lives on the ranch. He's started encouraging me to help myself to anything in his shop that I could use. I'm in the process of building myself a wall of coffee cans so I can take home a part of his nut and bolt collection. I live in the country too, though there's a hardware store very nearby. Even so, I love the idea of having a collection on my own shop wall.

    I'll take a photo next time I go home to the ranch, so you all can feel better about your own addictions. :D
  26. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,466

    from Colorado

    I've got you all beat! When the local Coast to Coast store went out of business, I bought the entire inventory for $1100 10 years ago. Saved time and money as well as having some odd ball stuff.
    brad2v and kiwijeff like this.
  27. I have been saving nuts and bolts all of my life. I make sure to remove every nut and bolt from anything I ever throw away. I even used to stop and pick up nuts and bolts I saw lying in the street when I was on the job. My dad was the same, a lot of the ones I have were left to me by him...unusual inheritance, huh?
    michael knight likes this.
  28. choppedtudor
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 661


    I worked as a service tech for almost 40 years, fixing and installing all kinds of mechanical equipment. I drove a fully stocked service van and was constantly picking up hardware for jobs and whatever was leftover went into my private stash...well, I retired 3 years ago and it took me almost 2 years to sort though and organize all that hardware, fittings, electrical stuff and just basic materials and TOOLS. I have a yard sale every year now to try and sell off all the duplicate tools I own and my friends and neighbors know me as the local hardware store. I'm that go-to guy when they need a nut or bolt or need something fixed. It keeps me busy and motivates me to continue working in the garage.
  29. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,014


    I too save bolts, I grew up on a farm, dad having also grown up in the depression as many of you had noted, saved lots of stuff. Over the years I saved as I went, I didn't have a real good organization plan but a few years ago I bought a pickup load of metal drawers at a garage sale for ten bucks, gave lots of them away but still had plenty to organize my bolts, not that they are sorted by length but each diameter is sorted separately and it is fairly easy to find what I need. I have a little problem with OCD:)
  30. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,344

    phat rat

    My stash sorted by diameter and length

    Attached Files:

    Ron Brown, michael knight and i.rant like this.

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