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Technical Nuts and Bolts.....when you don't have em

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ekimneirbo, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,993

    from Brooks Ky

    One thing I have learned over the years is that you can't have too many nuts and bolts on hand, but also that its often hard to find just what you need. To that end, every time I disassemble an engine or even part a car out, I save those bolts. Especially engine bolts.
    Following that thought though is the fact that its often hard to find quality bolts for assembling frames and even body panels. Tractor Supply is a handy place where you can get some good bolts, but still somewhat limited.
    Ebay has turned out to be a gold mine for me, and I thought I would pass it along. Who wouldn't rather use bolts and nuts with flanged washer heads and even serrated mating surfaces. Ever try to find the extra thick washers locally ? Maybe Fastenall, but they won't be cheap.
    Anyway, my point here is that you can buy all these really nice flange head bolts and nuts and extra thick washers in bulk.....and they are pretty darn reasonably priced. I know this is the HAMB, but you can even get metric ones.
    Now I don't have any affiliation with any of these people but I have bought from some of them. My reccommendation is to get a bolt bin and stock it and then you don't spend half your day being disappointed trying to find some decent bolts....and then pay thru the nose for them. Your time and your gas is worth more than many of them cost. Shop for the larger quanities by the same vendor, as often you can get twice the quanity for just a few more dollars.!40109!US!-1
    (600 1/4" flanged serrated nuts for under $12 enuff for forever in your shop)

    (Thick Washers)!40109!US!-1

    Something you probably never heard of....but great for old cars. Sidewalk Bolts
  2. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,419

    from Oregon

    I sometimes find a needed bolt or washer in the gravel or when I sweep the garage floor.
    nochop, bobss396, Just Gary and 2 others like this.
  3. When I can't find what I need in my stash, Ace Hardware is just a few short miles from my house and they carry a huge line of nut's & bolts, and a lot of specialty pieces in stainless & chrome. HRP
    VANDENPLAS, dana barlow and Just Gary like this.
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,289


    yeah, I haven't had to run to Ace Hardware for a few special screws since...uh...yesterday
    nochop, VANDENPLAS, RICH B and 3 others like this.

  5. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,785


    Country of origin is what I'm suspicious about. Especially if it's an application that requires strength. I will admit that when I noticed the Taiwan was being replaced with China as a source at TS, I bought a few packs of 5/16, 3/8, 7/16 stuff if it said Taiwan or Canada.
    A good trip to Pullapart is when I strip the easy to get to hardware off of 70s back American stuff. Makes me feel good, plus the threads are great, too. The times I've left there with only nuts and bolts, they don't charge me a dime, just think I'm nuts.
    TS isn't any different than Home Depot or Lowes for hardware, I think.
    partssaloon and Beanscoot like this.
  6. Any time I part a car, when it leaves for it's appointment with the crusher there's not a single fastener left on it....

    bolt bin 2.jpg
    … The bottom doors open to same thing.

    One thing I've noticed lately is that quality control seems to be slipping when I have bought hardware. I've run into stuff with odd-sized heads lately, including one with standard threads but a metric hex head. This wasn't at just one place, that's from several up-to-now reliable suppliers.
  7. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,025

    Jalopy Joker

    when I have to make a special run to a store for a bolt, etc always buy extras - if needed once likely need one again - old shop had more bolts, etc than a small hardware store - went to a NAPA store while looking for that certain bolt - guy behind counter not sure if they had one - so, took me to back room where top of large rolling cart had a big pile of bolts, etc - " you can try here" - Ha!
  8. little red 50
    Joined: Feb 19, 2011
    Posts: 192

    little red 50

    I have a brother in law that owns a large fastener company, He has been giving me his "floor sweep" for 30 years. I don't have to go to ace hardware or any where else for fasteners. But what a pain it is to sort. He actually sells to some of the local hardware stores, I am amazed when I see the prices they charge. About 10 times their cost on some items. But if you need it you need it.
    nochop and monkeysmooks like this.
  9. KevKo
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 592

    from Motown

    Crazy Steve, nice cabinet. I assume you made it.

    I have an Ace Hardware that I can walk to. But then I get Are you an Ace Rewards member? No. Would you like to join? No. I just want to give you money and get back to what I was doing. Yes, I know I'm a curmudgeon.
  10. I very rarely need to buy any new bolts. Ive got bolt bins. when I tear down a engine I place all the bolts in a used gallon oil jug. then put some used engine oil in there. that way the plastic jug contains all the bolts needed to assemble a engine. I got a lot of 5 gallon buckets of bolts that need sorting. sometimes I set by the fire in the shop on a cold day and sort a bucket of bolts and restock them in the bolt bins. Ive got selections of things like flywheel bolts , hedder bolts , driveshaft U bolts ect all in sorted easy to find. Some real good hard quality bolts are those that hold the crossmember and front suspension on the square cab chevy trucks. I was on a job where they Hauled in a D8K 77V dozer. They got stopped at the scales and had to remove the blade. So a guy with a boom truck and torch came and cut the heads off all the bolts and loaded the blade assembly on another trailer. So Im supposed to put it together. another guy was trying to get the cut off bolts off with a pipe wrench. He failed. I took a larger nut and welded it to the stub. and used a big impact and got every one out. The boss went someplace and got some new bolts. I looked at them and shook my head. told him to get Caterpillar bolts. I refused to use the bolts. So him and the operator put it together. And the threads sheared off those bolts quicker that it took to install them. So I got the serial number from the tag on the blade called Caterpuillar and ordered a complete set of bolts.. got then in a few days and put the blade back together. It held up. When The boss seen the bill for the bolts he wasn't too happy. They where not cheep.
    VANDENPLAS and RICH B like this.
  11. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,019


    Nice bolt bin! I 'd venture to say say you have several beers invested in sorting those.
    We have brand new hardware in vidmar cabinets here at work (big $), and I notice more and more that brand new stuff wont even assemble with just your fingers like the old stuff would. Pipe fittings seem to be the worst about the quality being crap.
  12. If you can plan ahead, and I am in no way affiliated, just a very happy customer. My bolt bin has become very well stocked with 5 years of leftovers, and 50 years of hoarding.
  13. HF bins on sale (20 for $10) and stuff scrounged from work; used oak veneer plywood, leftovers from trimming some solid-core doors for my workbench top for the hinge sides, and used door hinges from same. Put together with sheetrock screws...

    A guy could whomp one of these up for about $200 with all new material I think with a bit of price shopping... Makes finding hardware way easier...

    Took bloody forever to sort the buckets of bolts I had....
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    VANDENPLAS, RidgeRunner and brad2v like this.
  14. 36cab
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 747


    Most of the big part stores can get flanged and SEMs bolts. Search their websites using "body bolt" as the key word. Some of the flanged heads are serrated and the SEMS bolts have the attached washer that spins. I have also found they can get the body bolts with the dog point end for starting the bolt easily in a blind hole. My local O'Reillys store did not have any 5/16 dog point body bolts in stock so they ordered a box of 25 and let me buy the eight that I nedded and they put the rest on their shelf.
  15. 6-71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2005
    Posts: 542


    Back in the early 70's we had an old fellow who called on the shop selling surplus tools and hardware.He sold coffee cans full of "floor sweepings"from the Chevrolet plant at lordstown Oh.nuts,bolts springs,gum wrappers,cig butts etc.I think I paid $1 or$2 per can.
  16. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,648

    from NKy

    I worked in a trade where bolts , nuts and stainless fittings were laying everywhere . They would get swept up and in thrash once the job was completed . I have a lot of stash . Fastenal is my go to , if I need something . I have an ac pint and they will deliver straight from warehouse to my door .
    1oldtimer likes this.
  18. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,493

    from red oak

    Bolts and such sold at hardware stores are of lesser quality. I buy from Fastenal. You don`t have to worry about quality. Never understood why someone would install Chinese parts to put on there nut and bolt restorations. I buy hardware at 100 pieces of a particular size at a time. You spend less time going back to get more of the same size. For special orders, I give them an example and let them look it up and find it. If it`s wrong, it`s there fault.
  19. Same here. Learned that from my dad. I even have a lot of bolt stash left over from his stuff from way back when.
    I find the hardest bolts/nuts to get are the fine thread in larger sizes. I like Tractor Supply because they sell by weight instead of by the piece like Lowes does. But there aren't many fine thread choices at either place.
  20. glrbird
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 556


    That is a cool cabinet, where did you get it, my standard bolt bin collects lots of dust and dirt!
  21. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,584


    I'm not sure about new bolts but there were mid 70's GM bolts that had a metric head and standard threads.

    When I lived in Texas in the 70's I had a big old tin double wash tub that was about 3/4 full of nuts bolts and other fasteners. My buddy would bring me floors sweeps from the machine shop he worked in and I had some nice stuff in there. I heard noise in the garage one Sunday morning and go out in the garage and he is in the garage digging through the tub with my 110 lb Shepard/ border collie leaning up against him. I still think he must have come over and got the dog to go riding in his truck with him early on Sundays as they were big buddies.

    I've got another tub under the bench in my garage with fasteners in it now. It usually provides and saves a trip to town.
    ekimneirbo likes this.
  22. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 6,751


    We've a place somewhat local called Farmers Blacksmith...maybe overseas...dunno...dun't care...been buying hardware by the pound there for 40+ years.

    If I need a bolt...I'll head back and buy another pound.

    I bring this up, cause many these days don't look out and see what is around them...lif didn't start with the internet.
  23. Vimtage Iron
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 552

    Vimtage Iron

    Watch out on the ACE hardware bolts, they have no marking on the heads they are grade 2 at best, junk in most cases, they do have grade 5 in the small pull out drawers, the grade 8's are gold colored so you can't miss them, the stainless is pretty decent I've not had any trouble with those, the rest of the stuff is marginal at best, the lag bolts will break even with a pilot hole in doug fur.
  24. 1oldtimer
    Joined: Aug 21, 2003
    Posts: 8,031


    I go with junkyard, then McMaster Carr and then Bolt Depot. I spend too much on hardware (Box of 50 or 100 when I need 10) but I work a lot at odd hours so I need a semi parts store in the garage. For that fact I TRY to buy at least 2 of universal shop type stuff I need (I need a battery cable or brake line I get 2).
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
    ekimneirbo and RICH B like this.
  25. Ace is the place. The one by me has a selection of alloy A286 stainless... the bomb for exhaust manifolds, they never rust and take the high heat. They also have Ford fender j-nuts in fine thread, those fillister head trim screws too.
    46international likes this.
  26. I buy my pop rivets from them, a vast selection of every diameter.
  27. I find them in the driveway, must fall out of where I drop them when I was building the car.
  28. There was a hardware manufacturer, Bowman (IIRC) that we used in one place I worked. Real nice nuts bolts, studs and washers. I just came across a bunch of new ones that followed me home years ago. We do retrofits of military equipment at work, often old hardware is scrapped.. but not all makes the scrap bin. I grab anything stainless steel.
  29. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 485


    My local Ace Hardware happens to be owned by a long time local hot rodder so along with a great selection of nuts and bolts, theres always a lot of other useful bits and bobs, and since the store is split with a market, you can get beers and snacks there too. If it's something I need a bunch of, or something common that I use a lot of, i'll order through McMaster Carr and get a surplus of them, but even if I just need ones and twos of something, I always get a few extras just in case and to build up some stock for future needs.
    46international likes this.
  30. The worst thing about needing a bolt that you don't have is the time going to the store not the price.
    stanlow69, VANDENPLAS, blowby and 7 others like this.

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