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Thread: Getting Screws or Getting Screwed.

  1. #1

    Default Getting Screws or Getting Screwed.

    Have you noticed the high cost of hardware? The price of fasteners are ridiculous! You might as well drill a 1/4 hole in a quarter, which would be cheaper than buying a standard zinc washer the same size.
    So today, I'm wiring some plugs and for a furnace for my shop. First stop was a electrical/plumbing supply house; picked up 4ea. 2 gang boxes, 1ea. 2 gang plug cover, 2ea. 20amp plugs, 1ea. 2gang blank cover and 2ea. 1/2 conduit connectors. My cost was $12.29, (as shown in the top of the pic) Since the supply house was out a few items, I had to make a second stop at our local hardware store (items shown at the bottom of the pic) and they are 4ea. 1/2 conduit connectors, and 1ea. 2 gang plug cover, the cost of these 5 items were $8.69!! Almost 75% of the supply house invoice!

    Since we use so many hardware items it increases the cost of whatever we build and makes it impossible to build something cheaper than store bought. The hardware stores are capitalizing on the DIY market. Ace hardware I find is double (if not more) than Home Depot or Lowes. Then they complain about Amazon and the inter-net. This reminds me of the 70s when the American car makers were complaining about people buying Japanese car.

    I now am buying nuts and bolts at garage sales to restock my hoard.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    170

    Default

    I picked up plastic organizers at estate and yard sales. Then I went to Tractor Supply, grabbed a handful of each length of common sizes, paid by the pound, and loaded up the organizers.
    I did the same for 6,8, and 10 screws with an order from bolt depot.

    It's wonderful to be in the middle of a project and just walk over and pick up the fastener you need. I put the number and sizes of the fasteners I use into my phone, and the next time I'm passing by Tractor Supply, I stop in and fill a bag to replenish the organizer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    NW Illinois
    Posts
    774

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    Buying onesie twosie from the bins at the big box stores will bankrupt you. Farm& Fleet here in the Midwest sells nuts, bolts, & washers by the pound. For sizes not available at F&F I use McMaster Carr. I used to go to Fastenal but they decided to sell business to business only.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Chester, NH
    Posts
    5,525

    Default

    Instead of drilling a hole in a quarter for a washer, hang on to the slugs from those knock outs. You've got yourself a pile of free washers right there! :P

    You won't catch me buying hardware at Lowes, Ace Hardware, or the like. You can buy a box of 100 from McMaster (which is definitely not the cheapest place around for hardware) for the same cost as a bag of 2 at a place like Lowes... Plus I know if I order grade 5 or grade 8 at McMaster, that's what I'm getting. I'm pretty sure everything at Lowes is grade 2, even if it's stamped as grade 8

    Okay. I may be exaggerating slightly. But yeah, most "hardware" stores are not the best place to buy actual hardware.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Troy, Mi
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels17 View Post
    I picked up plastic organizers at estate and yard sales. Then I went to Tractor Supply, grabbed a handful of each length of common sizes, paid by the pound, and loaded up the organizers.
    I did the same for 6,8, and 10 screws with an order from bolt depot.

    It's wonderful to be in the middle of a project and just walk over and pick up the fastener you need. I put the number and sizes of the fasteners I use into my phone, and the next time I'm passing by Tractor Supply, I stop in and fill a bag to replenish the organizer.
    +1 for Tractor Supply. Last I bought, the grade 8 cap screws nuts and washers were about $4/#. They do not carry the 10.9 equivalent of grade 8 in metric fasteners. Only the 8.8 metrics.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    In the desert
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    There has got to be a decent fastener store near you somewhere. I am very lucky in that Fastenal (which I dislike) and Copperstate Bolt are both within a few miles of my shop with few lights or stop signs in between. BONUS! Copperstate is closer! Anyway I go out of my way NOT to buy that sort of hardware at most hardware stores. Often I can get 100 of something at Copperstate for the price of a handful at Lowes, Ace, or Home Depot. They'll sell just one (usually give it to me) or give me a small discount on 100ct boxes. Usually anything I need more than 3 of I buy atleast 100ct box of. I'll use it eventually for something.

    Example. Home Depot had a bolt I needed over the weekend. (3/8-16 1-1/4 stainless button head) $2.73 per bag. I needed 12 of them. How many were in a bag you might ask? ONE! I decided I'd wait until Monday. $27 and change (my price) for 100ct box. Cost me less money and I have enough extra to do the same job 7 more times. LOL.

    That being said, Home Depot does have 100ct boxes almost reasonably priced on things like plane old zinc plated washers. Just buy a box and you will have spares for next time.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    715

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    Most hardware stores are specialized convenience stores. You pay for the convenience.

    Ed
    For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    6,595

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    Quote Originally Posted by ed_h View Post
    Most hardware stores are specialized convenience stores. You pay for the convenience.

    Ed
    What convenience?? Every time I go there they never have what I need.

    If you want slightly better prices you have to go to an industrial hard ware supply store, and even their prices are high.

    I bought some stainless hard ware a few days ago. 3 bolts 1/2"-13 x 1 3/4", SHCS, 5/16" x 1/2", 3/4" & 1", a dozen of each.

    24 1/4" AN washers and 24 5/16" AN washers and that cost me a little over $11.

    JL............

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Kendal, On
    Posts
    1,779

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels17 View Post
    I picked up plastic organizers at estate and yard sales. Then I went to Tractor Supply, grabbed a handful of each length of common sizes, paid by the pound, and loaded up the organizers.
    I did the same for 6,8, and 10 screws with an order from bolt depot.

    It's wonderful to be in the middle of a project and just walk over and pick up the fastener you need. I put the number and sizes of the fasteners I use into my phone, and the next time I'm passing by Tractor Supply, I stop in and fill a bag to replenish the organizer.
    I did the same about 6-7 years ago. Whenever I notice I'm getting low of something I take a picture of all the organizers and head to TSC and restock up on the ones that are low by looking at the pics. Toss them all in a bag and bring them home for the kids to sort out . I've only got a couple more years before they realize it's not a fun game.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    496

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    Seems like around here,(southern Indiana) that supply houses, plumbing or electrical, seem to gouge an individual or small timer as bad as hardware stores. it is true that our local farm supply, Rural King sells bolt and nuts by the pound at reasonable rates. From Grainger on down, if you are not a well known contractor, look out.

    Sarge41

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