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Prokop
03-04-2008, 04:19 PM
The thread "How small is too small" reminded me my yesterday work. See, I do what any respectable pack rat will do - when something mechanical dies, I take it apart and throw out only what I really have no use for. Last summer the dishwasher kicked the bucket, and I salvaged nuts, bolts, some hoses, water pump, metal hose bands etc.

Yesterday, I flexed my old CJ7 too much and part of the clutch linkage between the clutch fork and the crossshaft fell off. There is a small ball joint exposed to elements and over the time it works itself lose.

Luckily I was not far from home and in '3' already and without a clutch, alternating between 2, 3 and 4 I got it home. Replacement part is available from 4wd.com, but time was an issue. I dug through my boxes and found parts of steering linkage from old Sears lawn tractor. All it needed was a thread to be cut and to fabricate a long nut for one end.:D

Carld
03-04-2008, 04:59 PM
When I was a diesel mechanic we cleaned the floor each night and the trash was full of new and used bolts, washers, lockwashers and nuts. I asked and was allowed to collect all the hardware on the floor. I did that for a long time untill they decided they wanted the hardware. We had to collect it and put it in buckets. After a while three 5 gal. buckets were full and they threw them out because it cost to much to sort them. I started collecting them again. I still have some of them left and that was 25 years ago.

mjm3xs
03-04-2008, 05:37 PM
Great thread this seems to be a problem with alot of us. i too tend to tear apart stuff thats broke keeping parts i might someday have a use for.as for the other thread (how small is too small) alot of great suggestions were made as to how to not get to far out of hand. i'm going to implement a few of those ideas in my own shop.

Your Old Dog
03-04-2008, 05:44 PM
I don't tear apart or salvage much stuff these days but I won't walk by a coffee can at a yardsale without having a look. I have a file cabined of small drawers filled with all kind of nuts bolts and other fasteners. I enjoy having what I need and not having to make a speacial trip or delay a project. It's worth my time to sort all these things out and categorize them. I found the tupper ware styled 3x5 bins in the super market and made by Glad company work fantastic as storage for such stuff.

tattoomike68
03-04-2008, 05:55 PM
My dad was a mechanic at Caterpillar for 25+ years and he had a few hundred pounds of good grade 8 bolts.

No way would I throw them out as scrap.

Anytime I have junk thats going to the dump I rob all the bolts and screws and bearings out of it. Even old dvd players and hard drives have good stuff in them.

x39
03-04-2008, 06:08 PM
I'm a hardcore scavenger and collector of hardware. Like Prokop, I strip any useful mechanisms and hardware from anything that's headed to the dump. Recently, a friend and fellow "collector" passed away. He had a two story building CRAMMED with obscure hardware and electronic components. Now his widow is stuck trying to get rid of the stuff, I don't envy her.

smiller6912
03-04-2008, 08:04 PM
My passion is collecting odd hardware. I have a plastic 15 drawer bin that is full of miscellanios pieces of this and that. I have springs and clips and clamps and whosits and whatforsums. I would bet you that I don't know what the original use was for nearly half of it. I was looking in there a while back and found a skate key. I'm not sure why but from time to time I enjoy just going through the stuff. And, you would be suprised how often there is something in there that I actually use, or something that I can modify to fill a need. It's fun.

tigmusky
03-04-2008, 09:09 PM
I'am a fastern whore!!!! I work construction, and on the jobsite I pick up anything shiny . I look at washers, like a .50 cent piece
daye

hoof
03-04-2008, 09:25 PM
When i was 7 or 8 my dad gave me a small coffee can half full of nut and bolts. I don't think one bolt fit any of the nuts. I recall thinking how neat it would be to have a bunch of them that you could do something with. Wait till I grow up I thought. Well at fifty something my cellar reaks of some kind of head disorder. BUT it makes me happy of having media made of steel to work/play with:D

JRouche
03-04-2008, 09:40 PM
I also save all the bolts and nuts from old machines or "stuff". They do come in handy, sometimes. My problem is when I am rebuilding something I tend to still want to use new fasteners cause its just nicer. So I still have a huge supply of old fasteners gathering up. They do come in handy for the emergency or fast job and I dont wanna make a trip. JRouche

wierdscience
03-04-2008, 09:54 PM
I save nuts and bolts both at work and at home.That way I have plenty of the four most common sizes.

Too big
Too little
Too long
Too short

BobWarfield
03-04-2008, 11:37 PM
Saving nuts and bolts heck. I was driving home tonight thinking that the next time I go to the shooting range, I need to grab all the loose brass that just gets left on the floor.

Copper alloys have gotten so expensive, someone is going around neighborhoods wear I live stealing the screw on covers for fire hydrants.

Best,

BW

Tim Clarke
03-04-2008, 11:40 PM
Well, I'll tell ya.... Iv'e worked at the local garbage company for[lemme see] almost 29 years. Just imagine all the good stuff !!!! When I started we were collecting the old school way, with carrying cans. The guys saw most of the garbage. Nowadays it's almost all automated, and the Gman never gets out of the truck. Lots of good stuff goes unrescued. I guess i've seen it all over the years, even a couple caskets [unoccupied!] Every so often one of the guys will bring a "treasure" to the shop, and ask "ya want this?" I guess i's a good thing I've spent my time fixing the trucks rather than driving them!!!

TC

Paul Alciatore
03-05-2008, 01:59 AM
We must all have the "collector" bug. Or perhaps just a fear if we throw it out, we will absolutely, positively have to have it the very next day.

Every place where I have worked has had what has been called the Hell box - a box or drawer full of nuts, bolts, washers, and other assorted small hardware that just accumulated on the bench and was swept into that container. I personally call it the "N - 1" box because it is absolutely guaranteed to have one less of any item than the minimum number required to complete the current task. Grrrrrrrrr!

And yes, I have added to these collections.

In my shop, I allocated a (ONE) drawer for small scraps of metal. When it is full, something must go to add anything new. That's how I control it. I have frequently found the item I need in there. Just last night I pulled out a sawed off 1" bolt head and made a test fixture out of it. Perfect shape as the hex head saved a good bit of rough cutting. I love bolts and parts thereof.

Your Old Dog
03-05-2008, 05:55 AM
Saving nuts and bolts heck. I was driving home tonight thinking that the next time I go to the shooting range, I need to grab all the loose brass that just gets left on the floor.

Copper alloys have gotten so expensive, someone is going around neighborhoods wear I live stealing the screw on covers for fire hydrants.

Best,

BW

My friend tried to scrap some once and they didn't want anything to do with them because of the primers. He asked again a few months ago and now all of a sudden the primers aren't a problem ! :D He was told the Chinese are so desperate for brass they will take anything.

DickDastardly40
03-05-2008, 06:38 AM
Hello Group, my name is Al and I am a Pack Rat! (amongst other things)

When going on a rummage through my come in handy boxes and trays or even somebody elses tool box (with their permission of course), I say out loud, 'OK looking for a 3/8 UNC nut/cross head screwdriver' when really I'm looking for a 3/8 UNF nut or a flat screw driver. That way at least I know the first thing I'll pick up which looks adjacent won't be what I asked for but possibly what I'm looking for! More often the nut'll be metric and the thing with a handle a nut spinner.

Prokop
03-05-2008, 08:31 AM
I was looking in there a while back and found a skate key.

That brings back a memory. My dad - apparently it is a family curse:) - long time ago found in his stuff skate key and used it as a wall clock key, it fitted the clock like a glove.

x39
03-05-2008, 08:35 AM
My problem is when I am rebuilding something I tend to still want to use new fasteners cause its just nicer.
I do the same, and to make matters worse I always buy a few extras.

ptjw7uk
03-05-2008, 12:11 PM
Only problem I have found with scavenging is that as someone else has said you never have the right number for the job and when in a hurry they all run and hide themselves. Very annoying as I remember that I have the things but not where I put them mind you still better than the lerge tin full of assorted odds and sods that takes an age to find that what you require is not in there.
Peter

smiller6912
03-05-2008, 12:20 PM
An interesting phenomena is, no matter what I am looking for today, I will always find what I was looking for yesterday. So, whatever you need, just be sure to look for something else.

davidh
03-05-2008, 05:40 PM
lets face it we are a bunch of pack rats. . . . the whole lot of us. i have three buildings full of crap i will never probably use. . . i just say it will all be fun for the widow at the auction. . . . .watch for the flier. . .

Rustybolt
03-05-2008, 06:32 PM
I work for a company that puts locktight on fasteners, by the tens of thousands to millions. most of the stuff is automotive, but there are occaisonally socket head screws of various sizes, along with other standard stuff. Everything that falls on the floor is dumped . I have a LOT of fasteners. Most with locktight on them.

JRouche
03-06-2008, 12:09 AM
lets face it we are a bunch of pack rats. . . . the whole lot of us. i have three buildings full of crap i will never probably use. . . i just say it will all be fun for the widow at the auction. . . . .watch for the flier. . .

And couldnt be a more true statement.. We ALL have a shop full of stuff that will be "given" the the lucky soul who happens upon our survivors in their time of need. Their time of need to clear our junk outta the garage or other space to make room for the new car they just bought LOL

We should have a calling list and a provision in the will, ok what will Haaa The provision is a member of the group here gets first stab, not at the survivor mind you, but at the bounty to be had. I would rather see one of you guys get my junk for a penny than the local "ebay it on up" scrounge. JRouche

Lessee, the black cabinet has about ten grand in brand new carbide inserts, go for that one first. Then the red cabinet with the end mills, dont forget that one... The monarch can be had for a hundred if you haul the red and black cabinet off for free!!! I see it already..

Rustybolt
03-06-2008, 07:21 AM
We should have a calling list
I told my wife that in the end everything goes to my nephews(my daughters aren't interested) Anything left over goes to the dump.

Orrin
03-06-2008, 08:43 AM
I always strip all the fasteners from everything that I discard or send to the recycler, especially the wee little metric ones. I don't think it would be and exaggeration to say that they've come to the rescue hundreds of times. In fact, I don't ever remember when they didn't.

It may take a few minutes to sort through the bins to find what I need; but, it takes less time to do that than to make a special trip into town, often to come up empty.

An elderly friend of mine keeps an old coal shovel in his shop. Whenever he needs to rummage around for a fastener he dumps them out onto the shovel. When he's done he merely dumps the shovel back into his coffee can, or whatever. Of course, a dust-pan might work just as well, but for him the shovel works best.

Regards,

Orrin

Prokop
03-06-2008, 08:48 AM
I have seen them more than once. Coffee cans with lids and labels full of sorted fasteners, electrical nuts (btw, overseas we use bus bars in electrical boxes, plastic electrical nuts drive me nuts:)) small brackets and such.

Apparently dumping grandpa's junk nobody wanted.