Jules

Where Do You Buy Your SS Hardware?

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I have been getting mine from West Marine but they don't always have what I need, even online.  Where else can one go to find decent quality SS hardware?

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swap meets and yard sales SS gear and parts last and ARE fine used

the hunt is a fun hobby

and waste marine is very high on some stuff

I call new stuff ''marine JEWELRY'' AS IT is PRICED LIKE GOLD

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Find a surplus/consignment store within range.

Boat wrecking yards the same.

Craigslist or the local equivalent.

Tampa Bay must be full of used and surplus gear.

Hit Harbour Freight for a small bench buffer like this image.thumb.png.8ec8e7c668f4e965cbf1b642b461ca3c.png

$50 plus a couple of sticks of polish and you can make old hardware look like new. It and my Snap-On 7" sander polisher are the most used tools on my boat restorations.

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For a wide selection of SS hardware, there is the Seadog stuff that I believe is imported from  China - a few dealers in Florida listed here https://sea-dog.com/dealers/top_dog_dealers

Their stuff is okay, a lot less than the name brand stuff - but the hardware has no load ratings so you have to  know what size you need.

Similarly there is the Victory line of SS https://victory-products.com/.  Not sure if there are dealers in Florida.

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11 hours ago, 12 metre said:

For a wide selection of SS hardware, there is the Seadog stuff that I believe is imported from  China - a few dealers in Florida listed here https://sea-dog.com/dealers/top_dog_dealers

Their stuff is okay, a lot less than the name brand stuff - but the hardware has no load ratings so you have to  know what size you need.

Similarly there is the Victory line of SS https://victory-products.com/.  Not sure if there are dealers in Florida.

I bought a set of Sea Dog table hinges.  They were crap.  Ended up buying Edson hinges.  OUCH!  But the quality is excellent. 

The problem with China shit is their quality control, if there is any.  I bought some "SS" China hardware.  It sticks to a magnet like iron.

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19 hours ago, nota said:

swap meets and yard sales SS gear and parts last and ARE fine used

the hunt is a fun hobby

and waste marine is very high on some stuff

I call new stuff ''marine JEWELRY'' AS IT is PRICED LIKE GOLD

I can't disagree but their hardware is pretty good quality.

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Fisheries supply, Jamestown distributers and Defender  are several notches above WM IMO.  If you have or have access to a really good Port Supply account WM can be ok but they seem a bit overpriced compared to the others.  For just fasteners, also add High Strength bolt, Tacoma screw and Fastenal.  There is another thread about SS fasners here that's not that old.

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Most cities of any size will have an industrial fastener supplier.

They are the only place to buy fasteners from - better selection, better quality and better prices than "marine" sources.

Locally we have Pacific Fasteners - they have never sent me away empty handed and usually cost little more than plain steel equivalents from hardware stores.

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“You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you find, you get what you need”

316L SS forms, machines and welds fairly easily if you have the means.

McMaster-Carr for 316SS fasteners and Online Metals for 316/316L stock.

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grainer.com   

Industrial supply; not marine. Way less dinero.

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I am one of those guys who chops up dead sailboats, sorts everything, stores the good looking things,  and slowly sells the parts. 
As my shop also maintains a few hundred boats we have to buy lots of new stuff. We love Blackburn Marine Supply in Houston. Port Supply is convenient but I dislike doing business with store staff that is clueless about what they are told to sell. 
We buy fasteners from all sorts of vendors. Blackburn has a pretty good stock and eagerly orders anything they don’t have. Austin has three well stocked locally owned bolt companies. Austin was invaded by Fastenal a few years ago and I find their prices to be high. 
@Jules didn’t mention exactly what he is trying to buy or expects to need so I can’t give specific answers about  my best sources....or whether I have it...
 

I am developing a difficult to store stash of bow pulpits, stern pulpits, stanchions, winches, bow chainplate contraptions, horn cleats, booms, and mast heads and bases. 
shipping is also a pain in the  ass so I have to be careful about telling people I will send things.... They usually mean this year 

 

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@Jules didn’t mention exactly what she is trying to buy

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9 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

Jules didn’t mention exactly what she is trying to buy

This time it's 1-1/2" x 1/4" SS flat washers.  Next time, who knows?  I just don't want to buy hardware claiming to be SS only to find magnets a good tool for picking them up.

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The  1 1/2 x 1/4 backing washers on Tillotson Pearson built J-boats were way thicker than anything I have ever been able to buy off anybody else’s shelves. 
     All the others need a second Smaller washer to spread the load or they simply bend. 
     As I always have a small stash of the thicker ones, I haven’t ever called Tillotson pearson  to beg info about their source, but if I ever need fifty I certainly will pester them. 

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Probably the best online industrial resource is Mcmaster Carr.  Their web site and search is far better than most.  If you don't know exactly what you are looking for you can mine down fairly easy to get the correct name.  Like above, oversize washers.  Lots of options and handy info like correct faster size for X.  

 

https://www.mcmaster.com/fasteners

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4 hours ago, Jules said:

This time it's 1-1/2" x 1/4" SS flat washers.  Next time, who knows?  I just don't want to buy hardware claiming to be SS only to find magnets a good tool for picking them up.

Industrial fastener suppliers, not "marine" places or hardware stores.

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6 hours ago, Jules said:

This time it's 1-1/2" x 1/4" SS flat washers.  Next time, who knows?  I just don't want to buy hardware claiming to be SS only to find magnets a good tool for picking them up.

Just to be clear - ALL Stainless Steel is magnetic to some degree

In general terms, austenetic SS (300 series) are considered weakly magnetic and have the best corrosion resistance. 316 is very weakly magnetic to the point of being almost "non-magnetic".  304 (aka 18-8) is slightly less "non-magnetic" and has less corrosion resistance, but better mechanical properties.

So if a magnet sticks to SS doesn't mean it's not SS, it just means it is not 316 or 304 or likely any austenetic (300 series)SS

Martensetic and Ferretic SS  (generally 400 series SS) are magnetic and the Ferretic ones are generally cheaper than 300 series.  While they have less corrosion resistance than 300 series, they tend to have superior mechanical properties.

As a general rule, the more magnetic a SS item is, the less corrosion resistant but stronger it will be,.

If an item is not being sold as SS 304 or 316, I would expect it is not.

If it is advertised as simply SS, I would expect it to be a ferretic SS and hence magnetic.  The pluses as I mentioned are that in general terms they are cheaper and stronger.

For a fastener, I would ensure it is SS 316.  For a shackle?  I would probably opt for a cheap Seadog.  I have a 5/16" Seadog  (or Victory) D-ring shackle sitting on my desk right now that had been on the boat for over 10 years with no signs of corrosion that I can detect.  However, being in PNW means corrosion is seldom much of an issue.  If it were corroded, it is a cheap and easy replacement.

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The magnet test for good SS has been completely debunked. It is simply not reliable. Especially so for cold-worked hardware like most marine components.

If it looks like SS and is non-magnetic then it is probably some variety of SS. That is all you can know. The opposite is absolutely not true. Perfectly on-spec honest 304 and 316 can become magnetic (sticks to a magnet) by cold-working or welding. Most SS bolts have cold-rolled threads and cold-formed heads. Typically they are non-magnetic. But not always. Meaningless.

Buy from major suppliers. The Japanese make the best nuts and bolts by far. The fit and finish are often far superior to the rather rough generic parts. Helps if identifying marks are stamped on the nuts and bolts: Lends a bit of credibility.

In the Philippines they simply paint or plate plain steel to look like either bronze or stainless. But maybe it is from China.....

 

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Not sure if  1-1/2 x 1/4” refers to ID , OD or thickness but if you have access to a proper drill press you can make suitable washers from stainless stock and hole saws ( bimetal) and drills (preferably cobalt). 

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46 minutes ago, cyclone said:

Not sure if  1-1/2 x 1/4” refers to ID , OD or thickness but if you have access to a proper drill press you can make suitable washers from stainless stock and hole saws ( bimetal) and drills (preferably cobalt). 

You are a true sadist.

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4 hours ago, Dex Sawash said:

I've drilled a hole in a coin more than once.

They aren't S/S.

Anybody who has ever drilled S/S would never recommend it unless there was really no alternative.

Or they were a true sadist.

 

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2 hours ago, cyclone said:

Not really. Better example.

This would be more accurate I think.

 

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6 hours ago, Dex Sawash said:

I've drilled a hole in a coin more than once.

In high school there was this thing where you'd take a silver quarter and bang the edges with a heavy knife handle until it spread out like a ring.  Then drill out the center to finish the ring.  Many a silver quarter met its demise back then.

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9 hours ago, Dex Sawash said:

I've drilled a hole in a coin more than once.

Back in the '70's some friends built a traditional copper riveted dory. Copper washers (roves) were about $.05 each at the time, as I recall. The dory got fastened with pennies.  Worked fine- at the time pennies were still copper. The dory was later rowed from Santa Cruz to LA- another story. 

Strong 2nd on McMaster as a source for fasteners.

And yes, stainless is magnetic, particularly after it is worked into hardware. We produced instruments that, because of the sensors involved, required us to anneal the small stainless screws holding down the PCB in order to eliminate any magnetism. 

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