1 2
Steve
Steve New Reader
5/21/23 11:34 p.m.

Picture yourself, quickly fabbing up a battery hold down bracket before your family gets home. You're right about there when you go digging in your hardware bin only to realize that you're missing the right nuts for the job. Okay, so you go digging some more, no, no, no, NO, E36 M3!

In a pit of frustration, you end up using some other oddball nyloc nuts just in time for the family minivan to show up.

You want to melt down all of your hardware out of spite.

Now, picture yourself, but be me. That was me today.

I need some help with hardware. 99.99999% of the time, I need metric fasteners. Usually, I have an endless supply of "bolt bin" quality fasteners from tearing down other cars, engines, etc, good stuff, just not matching. For some reason or another, that supply is dwindling. Less weight reduction through missed fasteners as I get older I suppose. 

How do you all keep organized? What do you keep "in stock"? Any better suppliers than McMaster that I should be aware of?

Come on, let's talk about your nuts.

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
5/21/23 11:45 p.m.

Whenever I buy fasteners, I make a point of buying by the box of 50 or so. Not just what I need or just a blister pack.

Works out cheaper too.

If I notice that I'm getting low, I keep a list in my phone so I can shop when I'm in town.

fasted58
fasted58 MegaDork
5/21/23 11:56 p.m.

I buy nuts, bolts, washers by the pound in Grade 5-8  at TSC or RK. Sometimes SS if needed from HD or Lowes, or online. AN washers from aircraft suppliers online with the best price/ hundred. 

I store them in clear plastic containers from snack peanuts or sunflower seeds. They store nicely on a shelf. Larger stuff goes in an old slide drawer file card cabinet with removable drawers.

Reminds me I gotta clean up my shop and take inventory.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UberDork
5/22/23 7:52 a.m.
fasted58 said:

I buy nuts, bolts, washers by the pound in Grade 5-8  at TSC or RK. Sometimes SS if needed from HD or Lowes, or online. AN washers from aircraft suppliers online with the best price/ hundred. 

I store them in clear plastic containers from snack peanuts or sunflower seeds. They store nicely on a shelf. Larger stuff goes in an old slide drawer file card cabinet with removable drawers.

Reminds me I gotta clean up my shop and take inventory.

Almost excatly how we do it at home. 

DocRob
DocRob Reader
5/22/23 8:00 a.m.

Grade 5 bolts, washers, and nuts by the pound from Tractor Supply Company. 

AN bolts, washers, and nuts by the dozen from Aircraft Spruce or Pegasus Racing.

I have a bunch of pull out hardware store fastener drawers I got in a deal somewhere along the way. They are deep and narrow. So, leaving the fasteners in their bags from the store and toss them in the drawers. One drawer for bolts one for nuts and washers. 

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/22/23 8:25 a.m.

For Imperial sizes I also do the Tractor Supply by-the-pound thing.

For metric, which is my most common application, I get used stuff from the junkyard off of any Toyotas or Hondas I'm goofing with. A few minutes with my impact each time I'm at the yards supplies a decent stock in the bottom of my tool bag.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
5/22/23 8:35 a.m.

I'm with cousin eddie. I NAB as much from part-outs and junk yards as I can of good Hardware. Then because I'm anal retentive I send it all down to aeroplating in Texas to have it replayed it so it's just like new hardware

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UberDork
5/22/23 8:35 a.m.
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) said:

For Imperial sizes I also do the Tractor Supply by-the-pound thing.

For metric, which is my most common application, I get used stuff from the junkyard off of any Toyotas or Hondas I'm goofing with. A few minutes with my impact each time I'm at the yards supplies a decent stock in the bottom of my tool bag.

At the junkyard I go to often it's crazy how many people take stuff apart and leave the bolts behind. Into my pockets they go. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/22/23 9:10 a.m.

I used to have a card file cabinet with each drawer labeled for every size, then inside each drawer I had a couple clear plastic bins - nuts, bolts, washers, etc.  I found that I didn't use it enough to justify the real estate so I sold it at a yard sale.  Now I miss it.  I currently have a box full of random stuff that I end up dumping out on the floor and digging through to find what I need.  Not ideal, but it works.

DocRob
DocRob Reader
5/22/23 9:44 a.m.

In reply to Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) :

I think it varies by location, but my local Tractor Supply has metric 8.8 by the pound. But to be honest, I never know what sizes of metric fasteners to buy...Part of that is probably because I work primarily on Imperial vehicles. So I never know, do I need a pound of M10-1.5, or M10-1.25, or M10-1.0? Which of these is most common? So, I think the scrounging fasteners off of the Makes and Models you're working with is the best solution. Because you can have a high likelihood they will fit. You also get a much better assortment of flange head bolts. 

Otherwise, if I'm working on something, I'll get it disassembled and then use my bolt size gauge to measure the bolts I need, make a list, and then go buy them by the dozen. Local Ace Hardware stores usually have a nice assortment of metric in 8.8 and 10.9. It's more expensive, but it guarantees I get what I need. For the few I have left over, I have metric drawers for nuts and bolts. 

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/22/23 9:49 a.m.

Amazon hardware assortments and bins. They have a large assortment of sizes and bins. Being able to walk into the shop and grab the exact bolt, nut, and washer is worth every penny. I still have a misc bolt box but it's only used for really odd stuff now. 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
5/22/23 9:53 a.m.

Related video for when you need to take that bin of jumbled hardware and start organizing it. 

 

ToManyProjects
ToManyProjects Reader
5/22/23 9:56 a.m.

I must have about 50 plastic organizer bins, each bin has a dozen or so compartments, some have adjustable dividers, some don't. Each compartment holds a different size. Nuts are easy, each diameter gets a compartment (separate for different styles; plain, locking, etc.) but bolts require a lot more storage as each length gets separated to the best of my ability. Each bin has the range of sizes marked on the lid. It makes life easy, until you run out of something and forget to replenish, the next time I need that fastener I get really pissed at myself for failing to replenish.

DocRob
DocRob Reader
5/22/23 10:11 a.m.

For sizing, I bought some of these L-Gauges from Bolt Depot - https://www.boltdepot.com/L-Gauges.aspx - By far and away the best 20 bucks I've spent. I use them probably 3-5 times a month, maybe more. 

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/22/23 10:16 a.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

I used to have a card file cabinet with each drawer labeled for every size, then inside each drawer I had a couple clear plastic bins - nuts, bolts, washers, etc.  I found that I didn't use it enough to justify the real estate so I sold it at a yard sale.  Now I miss it.  I currently have a box full of random stuff that I end up dumping out on the floor and digging through to find what I need.  Not ideal, but it works.

I do the same thing!  One ammo can full of metric, one full of standard and household stuff, one full of brackets, bushings, washers.  It drives my OCD friends crazy, but dumping it on the floor, finding what I need, and putting it all back in the can only takes a few minutes vs the HOURS it would take to properly sort and store it.  We only have so many hours on the planet, and I don't want to spend them sorting my nuts.

newrider3
newrider3 HalfDork
5/22/23 10:20 a.m.

The black and yellow organizers from HF are the stuff for organizing hardware. Don't bother with the clear ones I also have, they're trash.

 

Same as others have stated, I get bulk standard hardware in Gr5 and Gr8 by the pound from the farm store, and metric hardware is almost all recycled JIS from parts cars and the junkyard. Local hardware store metric stuff just isn't a good substitute for Japanese hardware sizes.

Sometimes McMaster comes in handy for proper flange head JIS metric hardware when you need more.

DocRob
DocRob Reader
5/22/23 11:10 a.m.

In reply to Tyler H :

So, sunk cost fallacy in reverse. The time you think you're using sorting nuts and bolts vs. the time you think you're not using looking for nuts and bolts in a pile I'd be willing to bet that the amount of time spent pouring things out, searching, and picking things up adds up pretty fast.

BUT the caveat with sorting your fasteners is this: Once sorted they have to STAY sorted. You can't sort them once and then get lazy and start throwing them all back in one drawer/box

I'm an organized chaos sort of person, so the little individual bins, each neatly labeled, with each little box having a lid or little sub-organizers actually makes me incredibly anxious as a person. It's make me twitch right now.

It's actually why I buy hardware by the pound. Not only is it convenient, but you buy it in it's own little container (a plastic bag) which I then just shove in its respective organizer drawer. The bags are labeled, though by now I rarely need the labels. But I can't have each bolt size in its own little drawer or take them out of their bags and put them in little boxes or something. That's uhh...maddening to think about. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/22/23 11:40 a.m.

Having been there myself, spending a weekend organizing hardware into whatever bin system you have room for can help reduce future frustrations. For those in the northern climates, it's a good winter project when it's too cold to work in an unheated garage... or conversely, I suppose a good summer project to do in A/C when it's 100+ degs out in the garage.

MiniDave
MiniDave Reader
5/22/23 12:13 p.m.

I work almost exclusively on cars that use Imperial fasteners, so it was fairly easy to set up my nut and bolt supply. I found on Craigslist a nice A frame with bins with lids, filled it up with inventory from Bolt Depot and labeled the bins. Now anytime I need a fastener I have it right at hand. The bins tip out so they're always closed if I'm not picking something out and the top keeps the dirt and dust out of the bins. I've used open top or the box type bins pictured in Toyman's post but they get dirty in a hurry.

I buy all grade 8 fasteners from Bolt Depot, in most cases they're cheaper than grade 5 and while I don't need grade 8 for everything - I also don't have to think about whether this is one of those cases where I should use one. Plus, I like the gold colored plating!  laugh

This pic is from when I was first setting it up, so lots of grade 5 stuff still in there......one of the things I like about Bolt Depot is being able to buy 1 or 100 of an item, or any number between.....

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) SuperDork
5/22/23 12:33 p.m.

I used to have really nice bolt bins and they were unorganized and sparsely populated. 

I sold them, and consolidated into some of the clear plastic fishing tackle boxes and it's worked out significantly better so far. I will go buy individuals at Ace (and cry about spending $1.10/bolt instead of $0.97/bolt for a box) and go to sleep happy I saved the space.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/22/23 4:22 p.m.

We have a guy (The Bolt Guy) who goes around to the local farms with a Sprinter van and tops up their bolt bins. I built my own bins years ago and got him to fill them. It was way overkill at the time but was a great investment. He knows I only need topping up maybe once a year now so he drops by randomly and fills the odd bin. I have saved thousands in frustration, time wasted and short trips to town for a bolt. 

May be a business idea for someone......

obsolete
obsolete GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/22/23 4:37 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

I'm with cousin eddie. I NAB as much from part-outs and junk yards as I can of good Hardware. Then because I'm anal retentive I send it all down to aeroplating in Texas to have it replayed it so it's just like new hardware

What about stuff that's greasy/dirty/rusty? Do you soak or tumble it first, or do they do that too?

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/22/23 4:45 p.m.

Bought the Agriline one as a package then bought more tray/containers all from Amazon.

Much like you I snapped one day and marched into the house and spent the money.

Pictured is just Metric, I have the 5gal bucket full of SAE. I hate it.

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/22/23 5:10 p.m.

In reply to obsolete :

I'll answer because he uses my local plating shop. There's several people on this board that mail their stuff down here for plating.

I degrease the stuff in a bucket of Super Clean or similar. Arrow does the rest. Their process includes degrease, acid dip, then zinc plate.

Probably my degreasing stuff beforehand is overkill, but I look those dudes in the face when I drop my parts off and I want to be courteous to them.

DocRob
DocRob Reader
5/22/23 5:10 p.m.

The benefits of having Grade 5 and Grade 8 on hand - if you overtorque a Grade 5, it will tend to bend/twist, but not shear. Allowing you to still remove it. If you overtorque a Grade 8, it will usually shear and you're stuck removing whatever you can.

I hate broken bolts WAY MORE than I hate having both Grade 5 and Grade 8 bolts on hand. And since I subscribe to, "One more tug on the wrench ought to do it" levels of tight - I have broken a few bolts.

 

 

1 2

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
iIyHeHit2S52T5ehWPIqQpQW5WJcWntEp0TZk31FaQZUQIeDUoHUzGNjNK9bodwg