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Winter Project

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by ship, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Zen for adults, good training for the kids.
    I save up scrap fasteners and wiring parts thru out the year that are not worth my time to put away either at work or home. In winter when its cold, the car is in the garage and I’m out of projects I can do; I start to restock my bins for the coming year. Most bins are full now/again and surplus once sorted for bulk amount goes back to work. If no room in the bins at work for the pre-sorted fasteners, they go into pre-packaged overstock which hopefully I check before ordering for a project or running low.
    Trick is to store the misc. scrap parts in small containers like the petri dishes / electrical tape containers or in small boxes, rather than in large intimidating containers. Little baggies of four screws left over from a new NEMA 1 box not used, two pack of screws from a wall plate also not used...etc. Much easier to sort many small containers or baggies than having to dump a large container. Trick is to not get active projects parts mixed up with fasteners to restock.... found the missing wing nut for my currently worked on box spot, along with some other parts for it. Also forgot in the pile, a furniture handle assembly I was supposed to fix or find a replacement for, for my Mom.
    Small containers unless it’s stuff like drywall screws and bolts. Them I used to save and dump on a table for theater board meetings. They would sort such things while discussing saving money. And in general collecting up all the fasteners removed from a show is easier in a five gallon bucket to sort by many while all around a table... discussing stuff. This collecting and training time, as long as for such buckets one finds time to actually dump and sort properly - takes supervision to sort properly, and specifically a plan as to doing the work. Kind of like the difference between having a text book and reading it. It can be fun and a learning experience - should become that and a party almost.
    Sorting with supervision is a really useful training thing, you get to teach the hardware and with time - say a few thousand drywall screws, upon just looking at a drywall screw you can tell its length, gauge and thread class. Mostly the same with bolts in even today, I have sorted enough bolts over the years I can even tell if metric or standard and get really close to size and length. Can pick up on little details like the color of zinc or black coating and normally tell all about it. This if you have sorted enough so as to just look at something and tell metric or standard, Its type and class etc.
    My Father started me sorting fasteners for him since the time I was tall enough to see the top of his work table. Dad had less bins... think I even own some of them today, I have a wall of bins at home and even more at work. My Brother and Dad would be busy fixing cars, I got to sort the fasteners, but it became a part of me as per a part of my Brother in difference. Easier back in the early 70's to figure out what fastener was what - less of them in types. I think next year my daughter will start sorting my bolts. She is anxious to help Daddy in any way garage related she can, and has enjoyed our garage time.
    Can be good (not clean) but family fun... spread out a bunch of nuts, bolts, washers etc. on a table. Just start sorting what is what like a puzzle. Find matches etc. Enough bins to put them away at work or home at some point what's saved. Good winter project.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
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  2. Amiers

    Amiers Lighting Phoenix 1 Lamp at a Time

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    And thus Fastenal was born. For a fee they come in and keep it organized and stocked with all the nuts, bolts, odds, and ends. They even give you fancy bins for free, that you have to put together yourself, but well worth it when you have a large house and nobody willing to take on the job of the bolt wall.
     
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  3. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    In my section of our shop, electrical and automation, we had the small "bolt wall", (everything from 10-24 / 10-32 down to far smaller than 2-56) with all of the same "dump and run" problems that Brian's talking about.
    WORSE than the "bolt wall" was the "AMP 'CPC series' connector components wall" which people could rapidly turn into a total nightmare of incorrectly sorted plastic parts and they were ALL BLACK.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
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  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Sort of forgot about Fastenal. My view of them is sort of like ACE Hardware of local industrial suppliers. Very little in stock and normally the sales staff has no idea of what they are doing on say a expert level. Ask the other three suppliers below and if easy question you will get almost immediate response, if more difficult... within a few hours have an expert answer to any question.

    I have used Fastenal at times for tour support in getting parts to shows in other states and it worked out well. This as long as I had time to wait for a quote to get back to me, do the PO than, and wait on inter company transfer orders to be written. Such show support so far has worked out well and on-time, but chancy by way of levels of purchase orders and communications that have to get done on time to get done.

    I found it a little difficult and time consuming to use them while on job site in another state or area of account. Here I am installing something in Vegas and I'm running short on some parts. Call them up to get the parts, but it would seem that I don't have a direct account with the local branch - everything has to work thru my area branch and I had to come down to the branch to get it figured out with a lot of phone calls. Took a lot of time to coordinate. Grainger doesn't work that way amongst others.

    Knew about Fastenals stocking and labeling your bins for you for free, but avoided it. I like a more personal sense of stocking, but also don't have time for it, nor is the bolt wall near me at this point.

    Limited parts in stock at Fastenal but frequently better pricing. I mostly use McMaster, Grainger and or MSC for what is needed in bulk and next day in that I know whats in stock, and can get it. Fastenal website is hard to use and doen't as easily see what is where in getting it or workable. I prefer making an order thru a company that has it in stock and can get it to me next day. At times Fastenal is good at getting orders, but also at times orders get lost or I have to wait on them seeing if/what they have in stock. This much less waiting on a quote for it or a lost order.

    I would prefer to write up a purchase order and get it printed out in being done, than having to send a request for pricing, see what's going to come next day and or buy some from one source and more from other sources, than wait on a quote, than later have to sit back down at the computer while busy building stuff... to finish the po. At times it takes days to get parts. And or if needed parts, at times it could be on a delivery truck... but who knows when it will get there.

    Used to have and got used to with McMaster... same day delivery while still locatd near civilization. I like to buy parts, have the price, see they are in stock and if before 11AM the purchase order sent in. Than get them delivered at about 3PM from McMaster for 95% of what I need like right now, or if after 11AM I get it the next day by 10 if no delivery drivers were not in the area for Will Cal. Unfortunately where I work has moved out of that same day delivery area and now unless I pay extra, its at least always next day normally by 10AM. Dependable in even often shipping overnight from other states with no extra charge for next morning delivery.

    Ran into our Fastenal rep. today, never really understood the company... why is the area manager sorting bolts for our fab shop? Wouldn't it be better for the most experienced person to be training local branches and while not doing that on the phone so I don't have to explain what I'm looking for to someone at the local branch who worked at McDonalds last week answering the phones?

    Why do Fastenal branch managers, much less area managers do deliveries and restock bolts for free? Call the Fastenal branch to ask where is my powertool I sent in for repair, or ask to get a part difficult to describe to an amature... and get the the unskilled staff at the branch. Why are the skilled labor making the deliveries? Many times told our to our branch head, now area head, that I would hang a memo pad around his neck, by way of amount of forgotten requests in... contact me direct, not responded to... or too late in finally getting to me at best too late?

    How can you foget so much in a log history in being a great guy, at times great in doing the job, but at random forgetting what I need? Call him, he is out for delivery but I'll leave a message.... a few days later I call back or no re-call. I have to remember frequently to re-contact this supplier especially about special order goods nobody else at the branch knows about, this in not getting returned calls or messages. Fastenal lost a drill I sent in for repair for Months! I'm the customer and often more busy than the Fastenal service people, only person at the store that's useful, why do I have to remember to try again to ask about something?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  5. Amiers

    Amiers Lighting Phoenix 1 Lamp at a Time

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    Once your rep gets more familiar with the shop and the bins it will get better.

    I will say that when I call them for something if my girl isn't in I don't even bother but 95% of the time she is and she is good about getting what I need. Granted it's not a whole wall generally it is the odd nut or bolt but she hooks me up with what I need and has it at the store the next day. They are close and it gets me away from the farm.

    Longest wait time was a week wait for some keystock for a lovejoy coupling that they couldn't find anywhere but was in their books and dirt cheap compared to everywhere else.

    I will say that like all places there are some people who like what hey do and do it good and others that just want to come in so what they need and go home. I try not to work with those people when it comes to vendors and suppliers cause like you mention it just turns into a chaotic mess.

    If You do go with them just make sure to tell the rep what exactly you want done and how and if he can't cut it then call them and ask for a new one.

    Skilled labor.
     
  6. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    In my shop days we tried Fastenal, and one of their competitors, Bolt & Nut Supply. They both probably work well supplying traditional assembly lines where what's being built, and how many per day, is more consistent and predictable. In the world of our custom theatrical scenery and automation shop we were in the world of 'perpetual prototyping'. By the time we knew what we needed, we'd built, tested and shipped it thus had now moved on to our next custom prototype. Neither Fastenal nor Bolt & Nut Supply were geared to our world's constantly evolving chaos. Welcome to the world of custom one-offs.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
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  7. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    Mcmaster rocks for having everything in stock and shipping wicked fast, but only charging ground prices.
     

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