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Thread: Old fasteners

  1. #1
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    Default Old fasteners

    What do you do with them? I have boxes of these probably some dating back to my dad. It’s an old habit hard to break. But just about anytime I need a fastener thes days, I buy new specific ones. The times I might paw thru these for something I need are extremely rare. Yet...
    it is so hard to throw them out. Take them to a metal recycler? Goodwill?

    52FE5C97-42C0-4A7C-BD66-4CC3A10D6631.jpg

    73CDAEF9-A959-4924-B1EA-B07AF3413705.jpg
    Last edited by ron ll; 04-15-2018 at 12:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I never pass up a nut or bolt, or screw either. So far, my "farmer's" assortment has never failed me. Sure, when you are hanging some drywall, you go and by a box of the appropriate screws, but when it is a one off you will save many a trip to the hardware store by pawing through the box.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    No sooner had I posted this and I was fixing an old electric motor and I needed a nut and lock washer and of course found just what I needed in one of the boxes. I guess my strategy will be to sort and thin them a bit. My shop is very small and the space these take up is precious.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    You need one (or several) of them transparent plastic screw organizier boxes with labels and some time to sort everything. Only way I know to make the collection shrink.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I got boxes at home and boxes on Woodwind 5000 miles away.
    The screw or bolt I usually need in in one of the "other" boxes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    I got boxes at home and boxes on Woodwind 5000 miles away.
    The screw or bolt I usually need in in one of the "other" boxes.
    Yep - the tool I need in VT is in ME & vice-versa.

    When we were kids, my brother & I would lose shop/tool privileges when we didn't put a tool back where we'd gotten it from. Sometimes, dad would let us work off the time by sorting through the boxes of nuts, bolts, & screws & putting them in the proper jar. Can you say tedious?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    The last time I flew to my late father-in-law's house to repair stuff (shortly before he passed away), I sent some essential tools there via UPS. Local handymen would not work for him. As I was doing repairs, I found he had about a dozen old pickle jars full of screws, nuts, and bolts. Sad to say, as I was going to fly back to Minnesota from his house in California, I had to leave them for whoever bought the house.



    Rick

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I collect bronze screws and melt them into ingots.
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I used to save just about everything, figuring that the time/space/energy to do so was less than the energy to make a run to the hardware store or lumberyard.

    But my position has evolved. One big factor is downsizing to a condominium. The other is the fact that in using the part I had on hand, I was often settling for something that was seldom exactly what was required. It would be not quite the right size, or material, or color. Its use was justified solely by its easy availability.

    I now think that I build better things by making the effort to use exactly the right piece, rather than almost the right piece.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I'm just itching to sort through that box, will do it for a cut, maybe those eye screws?

    Since I was a kid I've had a fascination with sorting things, Legos, coins, seashells, semi-precious stones. I don't find it tedious, and sometimes prefer doing it to whatever I set out to do before I came across the unsorted box. Therefore I have very few unsorted stashes of fasteners around.

    Those clear fishing tackle type boxes work well; I know the system and don't even need to label anything.

    If I find a fastening in good shape on the ground somewhere I pick it up; you never know when you might need it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Quote Originally Posted by BOI View Post
    I'm just itching to sort through that box, will do it for a cut, maybe those eye screws?

    Since I was a kid I've had a fascination with sorting things, Legos, coins, seashells, semi-precious stones. I don't find it tedious, and sometimes prefer doing it to whatever I set out to do before I came across the unsorted box. Therefore I have very few unsorted stashes of fasteners around.

    Those clear fishing tackle type boxes work well; I know the system and don't even need to label anything.

    If I find a fastening in good shape on the ground somewhere I pick it up; you never know when you might need it.
    Oh man, if that little box looks good you’d love the multiple giant bins of screws nail bolts etc that I have after a thirty year career as a carpenter/woodworker. I’d post pics if they weren’t too embarrassing.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    If it's in usable condition, I keep old fasteners and have them roughly sorted in separate biscuit tins. They have saved my bacon many a time.
    If damaged or otherwise unusable, then it goes into the metal scrap box and eventually to recycling.
    Nick

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I've got boxes like that, recently I noticed some fastenings that I picked up nearly 50 years ago! They have a distinctive star washer as part of them.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Made use of some screws out of my collection today of just the size needed to test fit my forehatch hinges. I will replace with some 316 stainless ones next time I get to the shop, but for now my collection is allowing me to get on with the job. The better sorted these collections are the more likely they will get used as needed... conversely, one big bucket of everything is just too overwhelming... so my advice, invest the time needed to sort well.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I have similar collections. Some were started by my father in the forties.
    As I have a good hardware store nearby, I seldom look for something in it.
    If I ever do try to sort it out, I'll concentrate on the non-magnetic items (bronze and stainless). A strong magnet will be useful.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Quote Originally Posted by BOI View Post
    I'm just itching to sort through that box, will do it for a cut, maybe those eye screws?

    Since I was a kid I've had a fascination with sorting things, Legos, coins, seashells, semi-precious stones. I don't find it tedious, and sometimes prefer doing it to whatever I set out to do before I came across the unsorted box. Therefore I have very few unsorted stashes of fasteners around.

    Those clear fishing tackle type boxes work well; I know the system and don't even need to label anything.

    If I find a fastening in good shape on the ground somewhere I pick it up; you never know when you might need it.
    This guy could probably use your expertise:



    Ship Marine Hardware Lot 500+ bins Massive lot for Bulk Sale

    https://boston.craigslist.org/nos/bo...562588800.html

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I have masses of old fastners, quite often they get used for temporary fixes on dry builds, with new materials for the final assembly.
    A lot of the scrap timber gets made into bird boxes and that uses up a lot of old screws.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I learned early in my house renovation career to not keep stuff and leftovers. If at the end of a job if something was unused and could be returned it was, everything else was ruthlessly sorted at the job site. Cause once you took it home it was there for life and took up valuable shop space. Life’s too short to go digging out that perfect piece of scrap “free” ply that ends up being 1/8 too short or the wrong species or damaged in the most inconvenient place.
    I live in a house that’s 140 years old, it came with 140 years of saved bits and bobs and nuts and bolts, 17 years later I’m still getting rid of other folks rainy day stash.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Apart from a lot of normal nuts, screws, washers and bolts we have a lot of more specialised fasteners. Frequently they come in boxes of two or three times the number required for project X and not only that, they are relatively expensive.
    So we keep them, ready for the next project.
    Periodically, we'll sort out the mixed bucket --- the real scrap goes off to be reclaimed and the usable ones get put away.

    One of our restoration projects needed a large number of small inserts to repair damage - we tend to deliberately minimise the loss of original material - from a similar species. These came from the offcuts bin rather than chop bits off expensive new timber, intended for more major replacement sections.

    Similarly, some long lengths of otherwise scrap material gets turned into cover or corner beads, rather than buy new ramin ...

    Pieces of scarp plywood get used for mixing resin / filler ...

    Neighbouring joiner regularly donates pieces of MDF to us, these become router jigs after some protective work.

    The list goes on - doing this saves us, and the project's owners, quite a sum of money. It also prevents material going to landfill. The smallest offcuts, shavings and sawdust end up in the workshop heater, as do scrap pallets from another neighbour.
    Last edited by StoneRoad; 04-17-2018 at 04:49 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I sort and reuse mine, but buy new if the needed quantity isn't there. I've a couple hundred little bottles; big variety of stainless; emphasizing Roberts drive when buying new.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Quote Originally Posted by L.A Marche View Post
    I learned early in my house renovation career to not keep stuff and leftovers. If at the end of a job if something was unused and could be returned it was, everything else was ruthlessly sorted at the job site. Cause once you took it home it was there for life and took up valuable shop space. Life’s too short to go digging out that perfect piece of scrap “free” ply that ends up being 1/8 too short or the wrong species or damaged in the most inconvenient place.
    I live in a house that’s 140 years old, it came with 140 years of saved bits and bobs and nuts and bolts, 17 years later I’m still getting rid of other folks rainy day stash.
    You are a better man than I Gunga Din!
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    If you are seriously going to throw them out, you might take them to a local school instead? My high school theatre Tech program built a lot of sets with odd sized recycled screws.
    Nicholas

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelirrojo View Post
    If you are seriously going to throw them out, you might take them to a local school instead? My high school theatre Tech program built a lot of sets with odd sized recycled screws.
    Nicholas
    That’s a good idea. Unfortunately the consensus here has convinced me to keep them. I spent this last rainy weekend sharpening all my old chisels and planes. I think the next rainy weekend has some sorting in store.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Eh, I keep mine too. It's saved me many times from having to run out to the hardware store and I don't have enough that storage is an issue.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Maybe just me, but I reckon the old fasteners in my collection tend to be better quality than what I can buy at the hardware shop today... particularly old fashioned types like slotted wood screws, but even some of my newer stuff like bolts from the 70s are pretty nice by today's standards.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    You guys are all pathetic. But so am I. My boxes and drawers full of "stuff" make me shake my head with my own disbelief. Incredible. But the world shines every so often.... a buddy will come into the shop and ask if I have a something-or-other. I pause for a moment, check the inventory in my increasingly forgetful brain, and fetch it for him. Whenever this has happened my friend has been shocked in disbelief. I know he's thinking: "How is that possible? How can anyone actually find anything in here?" Then I spend the next 20 minutes looking for the tool I was just using when my friend came in. The tool that I set down absentmindedly on my way to greet him. If brains are cheese, then mine's Swiss.

    Jeff

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    My experience is that older ferrous fasteners are better quality than contemporaries, i.e. slot head screws do not strip as easily
    Good luck

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    This is getting to be one of my favorite threads. Had no idea there were so many just like me.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldad View Post
    This is getting to be one of my favorite threads. Had no idea there were so many just like me.
    There are people who don't have stashes of old nuts, bolts & screws? Who knew? The real trick is having the ones you want in the first place you look.

    As a corollary - the kitchen junk drawer, which of course has various screws, nuts & bolts, as well as picture hangers, wire, tape, keys that fit a lock on a house you lived in 30 years ago (you think, but just aren't sure enough to throw out) & god only knows what else.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    A jar for nuts, one for bolts, one for screws and let's not talk about nails.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    There are people who don't have stashes of old nuts, bolts & screws? Who knew? The real trick is having the ones you want in the first place you look.

    As a corollary - the kitchen junk drawer, which of course has various screws, nuts & bolts, as well as picture hangers, wire, tape, keys that fit a lock on a house you lived in 30 years ago (you think, but just aren't sure enough to throw out) & god only knows what else.

    Keys, I forgot all about keys. As a retired builder and landlord, I have keys, keys, keys and no idea what or where they are from, except one that is from my apartment in Ozd, Hungary. Do not need it any more but...

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I actually find a big, shallow plastic tub is the best place for them. Just rummage through u til the right one turns up. Works a treat. A while ago my wife sorted all my old fastenings into seperate little containers. I had to throw them all out because I could never find the right one after that. Now starting my collection again.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    Good stainless and new ferrous all kept sorted in plastic boxes with divisions. Reclaimed ferrous roughly sorted in compact tubs and I have a big flat tub which I decant into to find what I want.
    Bigger boxes with off cuts of plastic, metal and rubber plus of course countless boxes of sailing fittings.
    I think this is a very important issue and goes very deeply into our personality type.
    Someone earlier throws old stuff out goes and buys what they need and probably has or buys a plan and sticks to it to the letter. My wife cooks like this, has to go and buy everything in the recipe and follows it religiously, costs a fortune. I myself just use the recipe as a vague direction and create my own dish which can never be repeated. Boating projects go the same way, I have an idea of what I want and adapt it depending on what is in the boat shed. A rig with outriggers was added to my canoe for less than 30. I will experiment and when happy build a proper one. It looks ok but is made of an old IC sail and centreboard, windsurfing masts, alloy from a proa project, leeboard bracket is the gudgeon etc etc. It took no time to make and because of the low investment I am constantly improving and discarding bits.

    typed on my phone so probably even more autocorrect errors than usual

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    It is a good thing to be able to use a recipe as a vague direction, some boat plans (even from famous designers) give little more than a vague direction and the rest is up to the builder... so in fact the boat builder is half the time designing stuff on the fly, and being able to design stuff on the fly is fairly doable, and satisfying, provided one has a good collection of bits and pieces to start shaping into whatever, and most importantly to design on the fly it is highly desirable to have a collection of every imaginable type of fastener with too many being ok and not enough always being a nuisance.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Old fasteners

    I think the secret of good hording is being organised. I can’t remember what I did yesterday but in seconds I can lay my hand on something I used ten years ago. To the outsider however my boat shed looks like a disorganised mess

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