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  • Saving nuts and bolts

    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.

  • #2
    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.
    It's only ink and paper

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    • #3
      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.
      THE KEY TO QUALITY IS THE REDUCTION OF VARIABILITY!

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      • #4
        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.
        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
        Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

        It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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        • #5
          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.

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          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              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.
              "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."~ Thomas Jefferson

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              • #8
                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

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                • #9
                  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

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                  • #10
                    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

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                    • #11
                      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
                      I just need one more tool,just one!

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                      • #12
                        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
                        ---------------------------------------------------

                        http://www.cnccookbook.com/index.htm
                        Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:
                        http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCGWizard.html

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                        • #13
                          Sigh..........

                          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
                          I cut it off twice; it's still too short
                          Oregon, USA

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                          • #14
                            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.
                            Paul A.
                            SE Texas

                            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                            You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BobWarfield
                              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 ! He was told the Chinese are so desperate for brass they will take anything.
                              Last edited by Your Old Dog; 03-05-2008, 06:59 AM.
                              - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                              Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                              It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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