PDA

View Full Version : Another episode of "What's wrong with the world"



loose nut
07-17-2009, 09:34 AM
I needed four 1/4-20 Allen head screws 3/4" long to bolt together a couple of parts (these would fit in the tight space, regular pan heads wouldn't) on my latest project.

The town I live in is small (3000) with limited places to get the bit's and pieces I need and after going to the hardware, the CT store and the auto parts store I still couldn't find any.

The salesman at the last place suggested going to the local farm equipment dealer a little way's out of town and it turned out that they had a selection of Allen head screws.

Now comes the crazy bit. Those screws are worth about two bits each, so what did they want for the four screws, $18.00. I declined saying I wasn't after the gold plated type.

I was after a couple of screws not trying to get screwed. It's no wonder that that business can't make it with costs like that.

Tinkerer
07-17-2009, 10:23 AM
:eek: Wow $4.50 a piece what the hell... I'd a asked them if they read the right line as that seems like a price for 1 1/4-8. If no one closer offers... PM me your address and I'll pop some 1/4-20 cap screws into a envelope and drop it in the post for you I know I have a box 1" so you'd have to knock a tad off of them.

Evan
07-17-2009, 10:25 AM
That is pretty extreme. You should ask them how much for an entire box of 100. I pay about $12. That might embarass them a bit.

lazlo
07-17-2009, 10:27 AM
I was annoyed yesterday when I needed 4, M6-1.25 socket head cap screws. I go to Lowes, and of course an American Big Box stores carries virtually no Metric hardware.

So I find the drawer of "specialty" screws, and they have Hillman M6-1.25, each individually wrapped in a plastic bag, for $.90 each. To make matters worse, the damn screw was Made in China.

That must have been a 1,000% mark-up.

Evan
07-17-2009, 10:28 AM
Call Acklands/Grainger. They do mail order. I would send you a catalog but it weighs about 15 pounds.

# 1-888-602-0000

RKW
07-17-2009, 10:29 AM
Mail order not an option for you? Even with next day shipping it would be a better deal. McMaster will normally get things to me next day by regular ground.

I would have told them to forget it and good luck.

Evan
07-17-2009, 10:36 AM
He's in Canada, eh?

McMaster isn't an option.

Falcon67
07-17-2009, 10:36 AM
http://grizzly.com/products/Allen-Head-Cap-Screw-Kit/G4972

$15, 145 pieces.

Forrest Addy
07-17-2009, 10:41 AM
When I need a few Allen screws I go to my blue compartmented box with the hinged lid. Inside is a selection of commonly used SHCS. I got a box of US and a box of Metric, plus machine screws, set screws etc. You can get a LOT of misc fasteners and hardware in a couple of cubic feet. Saves tons of money and inconvenience having the basics on hand. Of course, I've been collecting for 45 years. But when I die I'm gonna win the stuff race.

lazlo
07-17-2009, 10:46 AM
When I need a few Allen screws I go to my blue compartmented box with the hinged lid. Inside is a selection of commonly used SHCS. I got a box of US and a box of Metric, plus machine screws, set screws etc. You can get a LOT of misc fasteners and hardware in a couple of cubic feet.

That's exactly what I did Forrest -- I was so annoyed at the prospect of spending $4 for 4 small cap screws that I ordered a Metric cap screw assortment from MSC: 265 pieces for $125.

So now I have to wait 4 days to get them, but next time it'll save me a lot of time and money...

Evan
07-17-2009, 10:57 AM
Fasteners:

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics2/stor3.jpg

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics/storage1.jpg

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics2/stor2.jpg

loose nut
07-17-2009, 11:22 AM
The simple solution for me was to get some pan head machine screws and turn them down until the head diam. fit the space. Problem solved. Next time I hit the "big city" I'll hit Fastenal and stock up again,

Falcon67
07-17-2009, 11:38 AM
I could swear that Griz also stocked fasteners by the box but I can't find a link just now.

Also - if you have a Tractor Supply near by, they sell their fasteners by the pound. Even Grade 8 stuff. They don't stock a tremendous amount, but most of the normal english sizes are there and by the lb is about a billion times cheaper than Lowes or HD.

radkins
07-17-2009, 11:49 AM
Aah, Tractor Supply! When returning home from a 10 day trip recently I was surprised and absolutely delighted to see some excavation work going on in a lot beside the highway less than 10 miles from my house, the large sign posted in front of this construction work proclaimed "Coming Soon TRACTOR SUPPLY" :D



This is big for me since I live so far out in the country buying anything in the way of fasteners or most any hardware means a virtual cross-country trip.

RKW
07-17-2009, 11:58 AM
I noticed that. McMaster will not ship anywhere other than the US or is it the import/export/VAT thing that makes it not as good of a deal?


He's in Canada, eh?

McMaster isn't an option.

JoeFin
07-17-2009, 12:02 PM
I needed four 1/4-20 Allen head screws 3/4" long to bolt together a couple of parts (these would fit in the tight space, regular pan heads wouldn't) on my latest project.

The town I live in is small (3000) with limited places to get the bit's and pieces I need and after going to the hardware, the CT store and the auto parts store I still couldn't find any.

There are no Crisis only Oppertunities

Sound like you should consider opening up your own part time "Fastener Supply"

Opening hours - when you feel like it

Buy the bolts, nuts screws washers in bulk for about $2.50 per lb

Rustybolt
07-17-2009, 12:31 PM
I get mine from the sweeping off the floor at work. The upside of that is I have a huge collection of allenscrews. The downside is they're mostly Harley screws with the washer attached.
Most of the work we do is automotive so most of the fasteners are specialized.

Funny storey. One of the guys I work with saw that the price of stainless was through the roof. He started going through the scrap bins and collected every stainless fastener he could get his hands on. In about a year he had better than a 55 gallon drum worth of stainlesss fasteners. Then the bottom fell out of the stainless market.

rancherbill
07-17-2009, 01:09 PM
You're right.

As a former business owner, pricing is my decision. There is probably a good story behind the price. A bonehead mechanic probably busted a bolt and they had to buy and ship a box to get the one they needed. It was priced this way so that it got costed out of the system.

I would never think of farm equip dealers having them and I wouldn't expect Walmart pricing.

pcarpenter
07-17-2009, 01:35 PM
As a former business owner, pricing is my decision.



I would never think of farm equip dealers having them and I wouldn't expect Walmart pricing.


...and *buying* is the decision of your (potential) customers. I will go out of my way not to do business with a company that I have seen try to screw me on one product....even if the product I want is reasonable. Whether you stay in business screwing customers (pun intended) is the decision of the market.

I think we can conclude 2 things:

1. There is no "WalMart" pricing on the items in question...WalMart doesn't carry them, but other cheap sources do.

2. Even the expensive sources are a fraction of the price that was being charged. There is the issue of high price due to overhead costs...and then there is using that as an excuse to absolutely gouge the customer.

If the business owner had to buy a box to satisfy a previous customer and that was too expensive to be a wise business decision, you don't take having mis-made that decision out on your other potential customers. As mentioned before, a business owner can create an impression of his business that will cost him more than the few bucks he thinks he is making by ripping people off on 1/4" socket-head cap screws.

Paul

Carld
07-17-2009, 01:54 PM
There is a company the model airplane builders use called Micro Fasteners, web site, http//microfasteners.com email info@microfasteners.com and you will love them. They are reasonable and sell in small or large quantities. Try them.

Evan
07-17-2009, 02:22 PM
McMaster doesn't ship to Canada for reasons that don't seem to matter to most other suppliers. Obstensibly there is too much paperwork. Apparently hardly anybody else thinks so. Many suppliers that I buy from in the US are happy to ship here and have their web sites configured to even figure out the shipping charges in advance by various carriers.

lazlo
07-17-2009, 02:43 PM
McMaster stopped exporting after they were fined for 8 separate violations of the post 9/11 Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2003/mcmaster_carr.htm

I would imagine MSC or Grainger would stop exporting if they were lucky enough to receive the same scrutiny.

Falcon67
07-17-2009, 03:06 PM
Tractor Supply carries all kinds of other stuff too - trailer parts, hydraulic lines and parts, bearing, fittings, metal, welders and parts, some tools, etc. Good place to prowl. I think some of the couplings used by the home CNC folks - Lovejoy?? - they carry some of that too.

When I hooked up my new compressor (Campbell 3.5HP 60 gallon) to the air system, I used a flexible 3' x 3/4 hydro hose from TS to connect the compressor to the iron lines. It was about $15 for the hose.

juergenwt
07-17-2009, 03:13 PM
Lazlo - M6x1.25???? Are you talking about a M6 screw with a 1.25 pitch?
If "yes" - that would be a very special screw and $.90 would not be out of line.
Frankly - I never heard of one.

Evan
07-17-2009, 03:23 PM
I would imagine MSC or Grainger would stop exporting if they were lucky enough to receive the same scrutiny.


Apparently Grainger doesn't think so. They do business in Canada as a partner with Acklands. The Acklands/Grainger catalog here is three inches thick. Neither do the vast majority of US companies. That is why Canada is the USA's largest customer and supplier. McMasters decision to forego sales to Canada is costing them about 10 to 15% of North American market share, most of which ends up being shipped back to the US in value added products that also provide jobs in the US.

lazlo
07-17-2009, 03:42 PM
Lazlo - M6x1.25???? Are you talking about a M6 screw with a 1.25 pitch?
If "yes" - that would be a very special screw and $.90 would not be out of line.

Nah, I just botched it -- you can tell how often Americans use Metric fasteners :)

I just doubled-checked, and the Hillman M6-1.00 x 25 was $.90 each.

Doc Nickel
07-17-2009, 04:12 PM
Well, besides the roughly six dozen drawers of small new stuff, the 20+ drawers of sorta-sorted used stuff, and the 'leventy-hojillion cans, boxes and old Tupperware containers of jumbled used stuff, there's a Home Depot and a Lowes about five miles away (and this is a small town of less than 7K) plus an Alaskan-chain hardware store (ours is the largest in the state) only about three miles away, and about 12 miles in the other direction is a specialty "bolt and chain" supplier.

I've had to ask for some fairly oddball stuff in order to not be able to find it here in town. Like 3/4" 10-32 allen drive button head stainless. The bolt place had to order it, box of 100 was something like $11.

Since there's lots of marine and inlet oilfield, stainless anything is on the shelf. Need some stainless 1/2" allthread? You need 1' or the 3' piece?

Metric is easy. Everybody has a selection- stainless, grade-8, galvanized, you name it.

Not braggin' just sayin'. :D

Doc.

websterz
07-17-2009, 05:03 PM
The simple solution for me was to get some pan head machine screws and turn them down until the head diam. fit the space. Problem solved. Next time I hit the "big city" I'll hit Fastenal and stock up again,

+1 for Fastenal! I have one about 5 minutes from home. :)

I watch for Enco's free shipping on $50.00 specials and pad out the order with a box or two of common sizes. I am now quite well stocked on 1/4-20 and 8-32, my most common needs. I buy in 1" lengths and cut to size, saves storage space. They are import, but for grade 8's at $6.00 per hundred I can forgive their source. :D

http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=430-0076&PMPXNO=943656&PARTPG=INLMK32

BadDog
07-17-2009, 05:59 PM
I bought a bolt-bin off CL for $80 (guy said he wanted $1 a bin, and would throw in the cabinet and a few extra bins for free, and about half were "pre-filled" :D). It is the type the Enco sales with 96 bins, but I only got something like 89 of the bins. You can see it in the upper left if this image, past the drill press. I've got bolts for 1/4" (in 4 bins) up to 3/4", plus some metric. There are a variety of hex, socket, counter sunk, etc. And some various other non-bolt collections of stuff. Each bin has a label indicating contents. I generally buy box quantities of whatever I need, which has me now provided with a better bolt selection than many hardware stores...

Stuff smaller than 1/4" goes in one of those smaller bins with plastic drawers about 2" wide and 6" deep. I've got screws there down to "tiny" and beyond. :D

Click for larger image, then click that image for full size:
http://img4.pictiger.com/3d3/16239715_th.jpg (http://baddog.pictiger.com/images/16239715/)

ammcoman2
07-17-2009, 06:36 PM
KBC in Mississauga can ship these to you at a reasonable cost . They charge a 20% premium for less than a box quantity but still cheaper than say Crappy Tire.

Years ago I bought a box lot of SHCS (6-32 to 10-32, from 3/8" to 2" long, about 750 pieces in all) from Fastenal for about $75. Still feasting off them. I don't know if they still offer this kit, though.

Geoff

beanbag
07-17-2009, 06:47 PM
I needed four 1/4-20 Allen head screws 3/4" long to bolt together a couple of parts (these would fit in the tight space, regular pan heads wouldn't) on my latest project.

Now comes the crazy bit. Those screws are worth about two bits each, so what did they want for the four screws, $18.00. I declined saying I wasn't after the gold plated type.

I was after a couple of screws not trying to get screwed. It's no wonder that that business can't make it with costs like that.

You could always buy some tool steel rod, cut the threads on a lathe, and then machine out the 6 point socket on a mill and turn table.

oldtiffie
07-17-2009, 07:06 PM
Generally in a retail situation, its the seller/traders call.

He has set his price and takes his chances.

How or why he sets his prices is no business of the buyer.

If what he is asking is beyond your needs or price-point - go without it.

If you have to have irrespective of price - buy it.

Given that there has been so much griping about this topic and any change has not been substantially in your favour as a buyer thus far, its reasonable to assume that it won't change much your way in the near future either.

Grizzling won't solve that problem, but if all you want to do is grizzle for the sake of grizzling and just need something or some-one to provide the opportunity or hook for you to grizzle - even about nothing of substance or something that grizzling won't change - then by all means - keep grizzling.

Haven't you noticed that when you have this grizzle that you seem to want people to listen to that all too often all you get is an opening "sorry for you" followed by a long tirade of their own that swamps your gripe anyway.

Now, there's something to grizzle about.

Go for it!!

davidh
07-17-2009, 07:41 PM
When I need a few Allen screws I go to my blue compartmented box with the hinged lid. Inside is a selection of commonly used SHCS. I got a box of US and a box of Metric, plus machine screws, set screws etc. You can get a LOT of misc fasteners and hardware in a couple of cubic feet. Saves tons of money and inconvenience having the basics on hand. Of course, I've been collecting for 45 years. But when I die I'm gonna win the stuff race.


NO you ain't ! ! ! !

davidh
07-17-2009, 07:48 PM
Well, besides the roughly six dozen drawers of small new stuff, the 20+ drawers of sorta-sorted used stuff, and the 'leventy-hojillion cans, boxes and old Tupperware containers of jumbled used stuff, there's a Home Depot and a Lowes about five miles away (and this is a small town of less than 7K) plus an Alaskan-chain hardware store (ours is the largest in the state) only about three miles away, and about 12 miles in the other direction is a specialty "bolt and chain" supplier.

I've had to ask for some fairly oddball stuff in order to not be able to find it here in town. Like 3/4" 10-32 allen drive button head stainless. The bolt place had to order it, box of 100 was something like $11.

Since there's lots of marine and inlet oilfield, stainless anything is on the shelf. Need some stainless 1/2" allthread? You need 1' or the 3' piece?

Metric is easy. Everybody has a selection- stainless, grade-8, galvanized, you name it.

Not braggin' just sayin'. :D

Doc.

doc, that would be the creative businessman that found a need and satisfied it up there in the frozen northland. good for him. he did the right thing

Evan
07-17-2009, 09:29 PM
Fasteners are easy to get here as well. This is a mill town with a lot of equipment, light and heavy. Metric is no problem, that 20 year old backhoe I had here for a month is all metric as is most heavy equipment.

Carld
07-17-2009, 11:04 PM
There is a company the model airplane builders use called Micro Fasteners, web site, http//microfasteners.com email info@microfasteners.com and you will love them. They are reasonable and sell in small or large quantities. Try them.

tryp
07-18-2009, 11:48 AM
McMaster will ship to Canada but you probably have to be a big Co. that has had an account for a while. Our lab(or research center) had an account with them until recently. It was wonderful to be able to pick up a catalog, point at a 3/4 hp industrial duty blower and have it here in two days to cool something for a big test. Everything in one place, and fast, with reasonable pricing to boot. I'll admit that some people I work with are a little dumb, like ordering wd40 from McMaster when we have a Canadian Tire right down the road.

I'm more than a little po'ed that our company got bought by a foreign co that is run by accountants and they have decided to stretch their credit lines with companies such that we no longer have a McMaster account, we also lost our account with Sigma Aldrich too, and they will only sell to us on a cash basis.