No announcement yet.

OT: Hit the deck, Incoming rant. Machine screws etc.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • OT: Hit the deck, Incoming rant. Machine screws etc.

    I'll set this up for you guys.

    I live in a small town POP 3000

    I need two 12-20 Set screws

    Do you think I can find the $%^&*() things here. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    No one here sells set screws, for that matter all you can find in any type of small screws are 4,6,8 and10 and your lucky to get a number 4 anymore. Forget most metric too.

    The only place that might have them is a store like Fastenal and that is a thirty mile drive to get two set screws, assuming that they will do over the counter sales which a lot of industrial suppliers won't anymore and if they do you have to buy at least a hundred or not at all.

    Am I right in assuming the world has gone for a $#!+

    Rant over.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at

    Southwestern Ontario. Canada

  • #2
    Well........ expecting a small town retailer to stock everything is probably going to put them out of business.
    It comes down to supply and demand, your probably the only one in town that needs them.
    Beaver County Alberta Canada


    • #3
      Are you replacing the set screws on something? 12-20 is an odd size these days, which is why no general supplier would be stocking them and they would be special order.
      Cayuga, Ontario, Canada


      • #4
        Unless you are replacing them on an heirloom (and maybe then, too) and you have the room, drill it out and re-tap at 1/4-20. 1/4" is only 0.034" larger in diameter than #12 (0.216"), which I suspect is mainly why #12 is hard to find nowadays.
        SE MI, USA


        • #5
          My local Ace Hardware had a very good selection of hardware and I would not expect to walk in there and find what you are looking for.

          I don’t think your rant is warranted over this, might want to go out side and find some clouds to yell at.


          • #6
            I live in a decent sized town and still have trouble finding the correct fastener sometimes. If you can't find it locally and can't make it or re-tap it, you just have to bite the bullet and wait for an order/delivery. 12-20 is an oddball, and yes the world has gone to ****.


            • #7
              Loose Nut
              I feel your pain having lived in a small town near you
              At first I thought you could rethread a 1/4-20 Setscrew, but the double depth of thread ( for 20 TPI) is .072 and with a major Diameter of .212 ( #12),
              That means a thread root diameter of .140 and the 1/8 " Allen socket has a major diameter near that ( .138) , so reworking an existing set screw is out.
              You will have to thread stock and slot it for a set screw I guess. That is a weird thread anyway, i think the standard # 12 threads are 24 and 28 TPI.

              Erich ( Below) says 24 and 32 which sounds correct, I said 24 and 28 because those are the taps I have
              Last edited by Rich Carlstedt; 12-24-2020, 12:50 PM.
              Green Bay, WI


              • #8
                I live in a city of several million. I have a go to hardware store that would have #12 screws, 12-24 and 12-32 because those are UNC and UNF. Never heard of 12-20. 1/2-20 sure, 1/4--20 too.


                • #9
                  #12 is all but extinct, but yes, few places stock much off the beaten path.
                  I just need one more tool,just one!


                  • #10
                    What the dickens are you looking for? A unicorn. A special BLUE unicorn. and you want that blue unicorn to be of a particular size and shape.

                    Those blue unicorns of that size and shape do not live in every forest, you know.

                    Even McMaster does not have 12-20. They DO have some in 12-24 and 12-32. So there is your issue, time to dust off your lathe.
                    CNC machines only go through the motions.

                    Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                    Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                    Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                    I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                    Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


                    • #11
                      Hey, have a bight blue unicorn for sale. Send me you Credit card and I'll ship it by Christmas

                      All kidding aside, 12-20 is very odd ball now. Make or modify it,


                      • #12
                        A few years back Fastenal here stopped selling to you unless you were a business and had an account. Mind you, depending on who was at the counter you could just tell them the account was "name of pretty much any large company in town" and no further questions would be asked. Recently I've been buying from "Fastener Force", who are happy to sell me a single screw of whatever size they have in stock - which so far has been everything that is not a unicorn. I'm not seeing that they have branches other than here on the Island though.
                        "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979


                        • #13
                          My brother works for a high tech oil field electronics firm. Just last month, he too was complaining about #12 screws in some of the vendor supplied apparatus they squeeze into their modules. I can only guess that some engineers are trying to maximize metal in available space and have rediscovered the “red haired stepchild” of machine screws.
                          Illigitimi non Carborundum 😎
                          9X49 Birmingham Mill, Reid Model 2C Grinder, 13x40 ENCO GH Lathe, 6X18 Craftsman lathe, Sherline CNC mill, Eastwood TIG200 AC/DC and lots of stuff from 30+ years in the trade and 15.5 in refinery unit operations. Now retired. El Paso, TX


                          • #14
                            I would need to make a 100 mile round trip to feel that kind of disappointment.

                            On the upside, I only need to drive 30 miles to find such disappointment in not finding a 1/4"-20x2" hex head..............
                            If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.


                            • #15
                              I had a Roper Whitney hand punch and in changing dies found out the set screw was an odd ball thread size.
                              About a 10 or 12 dia, I had to order that set screw from them while I had drawers full of fasteners.