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A real hardware store, not the mega box shit hole filled with pre-packaged crap and clueless staff, but a true hardware store is one of lifes greatest joys.

I tinker, invent, repair, and basically DIY everything possible.

If i need an o-ring, a single ss metric machine screw, a brass bushing, a random length of tube or wire or pipe or chain I can go to my local hardware store and most likely find it. If not Mark or Gary or Allen will not only know my name but where what I need is in the store.

And a guy named Hillary sharpens my chains for .25 cents per cutter.

When I check out they dont open the box to see if I'm stealing something, or recount the bag of nuts and bolts. They just say hi Bill and put it on my account.

The only thing missing is old building ambience. They built the new store about 15 years ago just out of town limits. So I'll trade a large well lit and stocked building with no town tax for the old musty building.

If that store ever closes I am truly and sincerely fucked.

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Rolison Hardware.  Est 1914.  Moved across the street to a "new" storefront in 1923.   Still has the old creaky wood floors.  If you cant find it, John will.

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https://www.livingstondaily.com/story/news/local/2019/08/18/rolison-pro-hardware-wins-2019-best-hardware-award/1910949001/

 

 

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We had two in our town , if A didn't have it B did, and they were smart enough to tell you, I don't but A does and vice versa. And you could buy nails in a bag, so if you needed 30 2" ring nails you didn't need to store a 5Lb box for two decades. I miss them both.  We now have two major box stores, neither has the assortment of actual 'fix it' parts, but they have 45 kitchen faucets. 

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We have a sorta old school formerly family owned local hardware store here. They had lots of variety, great employees  and  quality stuff at a reasonable price all the time. Unfortunately, once the big boxes moved to within 10 miles they first aligned with national chain Ace Hardware and lost any variety, then sold out to a regional New England family franchise and lost the good employees. They're  now every bit as clueless as the big box stores, but they all have blue tooth in their ear so can enlist the aid of other clueless fools quickly and efficiently.

OTOH, when we go home to Erie, PA to visit Mom, we usually shop at Krause's Department Store at least once, if only to sniff the ambiance and see what's new and what's old on the shelves. It's located in a not so nice area on the East Side of town but still pulls in Jobbers as well as DIYers. It should be a historic landmark (133 years in the same location) and a tourist destination.

http://www.krausdeptstore.com

We're going home for Thanksgiving and I'm saving my Christmas shopping until we get there.

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I love hardware stores with all their bits and pieces but my favorite was always stationary stores which are also a dying breed.

"Why fix something when it's cheaper to buy a new one", has become the mantra and is another reason our planet is going to ruin.  Just wait until that doomsday hits and all our crap needs fixing. That will show them!

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1 hour ago, More Cowbell2 said:

Rolison Hardware.  Est 1914.  Moved across the street to a "new" storefront in 1923.   Still has the old creaky wood floors.  If you cant find it, John will.

Related image

Image result for rolison hardware

https://www.livingstondaily.com/story/news/local/2019/08/18/rolison-pro-hardware-wins-2019-best-hardware-award/1910949001/

 

 

We have a similar store established early last century. Changed hands forst time 10 or so years ago and still has great service. As a kid in the 60s I could go and charge on dad's account. We built a couple of boats and go carts with hardware from there.  It still has the uneven floors and a bag of popcorn when you check out. 

 

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Not many of those stores left. I want to the locally owned Ace Hardware a few weeks for a couple of bolts and wing nuts. Even there the help was MIA so I bumbled around to find what I needed.  Finally found what I wanted and bought a few other things for around the house.  The prices sill shocked me. I understand the reason to charge more for service but the prices were at least double the Home Depot/Menards prices. If I go somewhere willing to pay those prices, I need some help together me in and out quickly.

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1 minute ago, Rum Runner said:

Not many of those stores left. I want to the locally owned Ace Hardware a few weeks for a couple of bolts and wing nuts. Even there the help was MIA so I bumbled around to find what I needed.  Finally found what I wanted and bought a few other things for around the house.  The prices sill shocked me. I understand the reason to charge more for service but the prices were at least double the Home Depot/Menards prices. If I go somewhere willing to pay those prices, I need some help together me in and out quickly.

Youre exprinence is definitteley oute of the oridnarey.  My localle HW storre ist greate!                                    :)

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We're so lucky here on the SF Peninsula.  The Hassett family have owned and run four local Ace Hardware stores for years and years, Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay and a couple of others. 

Never ever have I failed to find what I needed, and always have been greeted on arrival by a friendly, helpful team member, some of whom have been there since I arrived 25 years ago.

It's interesting who you bump into in the fasteners aisles.  Last month it was Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate, ex-Director of Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and Secretary of Energy in the Obama administration.  Just looking for parts needed for a home project.

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My hardware store is eclectic but pretty good in MI. In IL, my hardware store is fantastic and if they don't have something, I always have Rural King. Both places have free popcorn and the King has a pet clinic 2x/month. They also give you a free pig ear when you bring your dog in any time, pet clinic or not.

https://www.ruralking.com/

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Even there the help was MIA so I bumbled around to find what I needed. 

Another thing that pisses me off about the big box stores. When you need help you can't find a living soul, and yet the cashier always asks sweetly "Did you find everything you needed OK?"

While I'm  tempted to go off on them, what good would it do?  I just bite my tongue and grumble off.

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We have a local store that is very old school.  I needed a replacement faucet handle for the tub and they sold in pairs.  Guy asked me if I needed both, no, he opened the package gave me one and charged me half what both would have cost.  The real charm of the place was the dog bed with dog on the counter next to the register.  The kind of place where old guys go to shoot the shit.  I believe every employee is retired skilled trade so the advice is top notch.  

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Hardware Sales in Bellingham is the best hardware store I've ever been in. Several large buildings and they've never sent me away empty handed.

We don't have any really good ones in Vancouver anymore AFAIK. The old Paines Hardware in North Van was extremely cool - a real time warp. Much like that Rolison place upthread complete with creaky plank floors. I'm pretty sure they could find you a buggy whip in the basement rafters but it burned years ago and nothing has replaced it.

We do have an outstanding fastener store in Pacific Fasteners and an outstanding tool store in KMS Tools - I've been buying my tools from Stan literally since before he had shelving in his first part-time storefront, just boxes opened on pallets on the floor. Now he has more than a dozen big stores all over western Canada.

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3 hours ago, The Q said:

All those recent stores have some way to go.. How about Odell's store in Stony Stratford UK, My favourite hardware  store when I lived nearby..

it was established 1740..

https://www.odellandco.co.uk/

Odells still run the business

A 279 year old family store? :blink:

Only in England you say?

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34 minutes ago, P_Wop said:

It's interesting who you bump into in the fasteners aisles.  Last month it was Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate, ex-Director of Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and Secretary of Energy in the Obama administration.  Just looking for parts needed for a home reactor.

FIFY

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2 hours ago, P_Wop said:

We're so lucky here on the SF Peninsula.  The Hassett family have owned and run four local Ace Hardware stores for years and years, Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay and a couple of others. 

Never ever have I failed to find what I needed, and always have been greeted on arrival by a friendly, helpful team member, some of whom have been there since I arrived 25 years ago.

It's interesting who you bump into in the fasteners aisles.  Last month it was Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate, ex-Director of Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and Secretary of Energy in the Obama administration.  Just looking for parts needed for a home project.

Did you recognize him right away? That's neat, I would like to meet him someday.

I go to my local hardware store, Meyer's, they aligned with Do It Best some time ago, and they have lots of varied stuff, it's fun to run into neighbors there. Sometimes they have stuff I can't get at the big box, like Schedule 20 pipe. But inevitably, I have to go to the big box anyway, because there is often one part for which I need the bigger stock, like a specific stainless steel washer, or a specific chainsaw part. Then I go to Home Depot and find most of the stuff I need, but inevitably they don't have some things either, so then the last stop is McMaster-Carr, I'm just not a Grainger guy. I should try to go to Meyer's first, but I'm often short of time and I just hit the big box. I'll try to be better, I do want to support my local hardware store, this thread is needed, they have to be struggling on some level.

But it also reminds me of that old Chris Rock bit when I try to keep the money in the community ...

 

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On Long Island there our a few old hardware but limited to locations who could survive box stores in smaller towns were DIY is still more common 

The mom and pop marine stores have done much better as there mostly only going against West Marine 

 

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12 minutes ago, tommays said:

On Long Island there our a few old hardware but limited to locations who could survive box stores in smaller towns were DIY is still more common 

The mom and pop marine stores have done much better as there mostly only going against West Marine 

 

There is a great one not too far from you on Broadway in Greenlawn.

 

Capture.thumb.PNG.ae6562fa7ce44d4db0f7225b7475b86c.PNG

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Our local hardware store is Pague and Fegan.  We've always said that if they don't have a part, it doesn't exist.

About 10 years ago, a new Lowe's opened in our town, and many thought it would bring the demise of Pague and Fegan.  Interestingly, the Lowe's closed last fall, and Pague and Fegan is still going strong!

Pague-and-Fegan-7_ea831104-5056-a36a-0bfee26f2a630c0c.jpg

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One of major laments is the death of real hardware and lumber/hardwood stores around me. Have one or two places for quality wood, and a local hardware in Seal that comes pretty close to the hardware stores of old. That’s pretty much it. Bummer.

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have two nearby here, an Ace in Edgewater, is very good. Home depot doesn't even come close to there inventory of actual tools and hardware for the trades. The Do-It Best in Deale is almost as good in tools and hardware, but they also have a truly well stocked Lumber Yard. If you know what you want, you buy it at the lumber desk.. drive around and into the warehouse and the kid in there has your purchase pulled from inventory and ready to go and loads( or helps) load yer truck.

The True Value in Deale is just ok.. but it's a mile from my house. There are certain categories of things I won't even bother going in there for. they might have them , but nobody in there knows where anything is. 

There's also an ok lumber yard in Edgewater, but their prices are rather precious. They do have a good inventory though.

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Along the same line of hardware stores there's an RV place down in Poncha Springs. I've been there many times for parts. If I'm not certain if a part is what I need the gal tells me to take it home and make sure it works. If it does I either call her with a CC or just catch up the next time I'm down there. Try that at a big box hell hole.

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44 minutes ago, Son of a Sailor said:
59 minutes ago, tommays said:

On Long Island there our a few old hardware but limited to locations who could survive box stores in smaller towns were DIY is still more common 

There is a great one not too far from you on Broadway in Greenlawn.

And Tom hase Karpes in Easte Nothporte to.

Karps.PNG

:)

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Seattle is blessed with local stores:  

Tweedy & Popp for the best name

Hardwick's Swap Shop (although it's moving to Idaho???)

Stoneway Hardware x 2

Dunn Lumber/Limback Lumber/Compton Lumber

Tacoma Screw

Pacific Iron & Metal

Crosscut Hardwoods

Morgan's

and best of all for sailboat stuff:  Fisheries Supply

 

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I really do want to support my local mom and pop hardware, but when you really need something, and your production is stopped because of it, you know there's one hardware store that will always be able to bail you out of the shit, each time, every time, no matter what  ... https://www.mcmaster.com/

Actually, I take it back ... McMaster-Carr isn't a hardware store, it's more accurately a hardware cult.

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1 hour ago, Bump-n-Grind said:

have two nearby here, an Ace in Edgewater, is very good. Home depot doesn't even come close to there inventory of actual tools and hardware for the trades. The Do-It Best in Deale is almost as good in tools and hardware, but they also have a truly well stocked Lumber Yard. If you know what you want, you buy it at the lumber desk.. drive around and into the warehouse and the kid in there has your purchase pulled from inventory and ready to go and loads( or helps) load yer truck.

The True Value in Deale is just ok.. but it's a mile from my house. There are certain categories of things I won't even bother going in there for. they might have them , but nobody in there knows where anything is. 

There's also an ok lumber yard in Edgewater, but their prices are rather precious. They do have a good inventory though.

I’ve had good luck with lumber at Ganhal but I always go back and pull my own boards. My hardwood place is pretty quirky......they are NOT beginner friendly. I’m happy I have a passable knowledge of the parlance. I’ve seen people who can’t “habla” wood speak get treated pretty badly....eye rolling and thinly veiled contempt. 
 

For tools, Woodcraft is my usual stop. I can wander in there for hours........

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2 hours ago, mikewof said:

Did you recognize him right away? That's neat, I would like to meet him someday.

Certainly. 

About 10 years ago as a volunteer chair with the Clean Tech Open, a CA non-profit, we were helping cleantech entrepreneurs get started and succeed.  We had many supporters and sponsors, and we thought that getting the National Labs aboard in support would be a good thing.  

A brainwave was a special dinner in a Palo Alto restaurant to which we invited the Lab Directors.  Sandia, NREL, Argonne, LLBL, LLNL, you name 'em.  Eight of these remarkable people turned up, including Steven Chu, and it was a long and very successful dinner with some excellent cross-table discussions.  Afterwards he told me that it was the first time, possibly the only time, that the eight had sat around a table together, and thanked us royally for facilitating.

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28 minutes ago, Point Break said:

 I’ve seen people who can’t “habla” wood speak get treated pretty badly....eye rolling and thinly veiled contempt.

Wood Snobs :lol:

Pretty sad life if that's the best ya got.

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Just now, SloopJonB said:

Wood Snobs :lol:

Pretty sad life if that's the best ya got.

That’s how a lot of the hardwood places are. This one is owned (and staffed) by a pair of brothers who are clearly crabby old carpenters. They cater mostly to guys in the trades who know their way around “board feet” calculations and aren’t afraid to purchase 5/4 material to size/mill themselves. It is definitely not DIY “do you have any 2x4’s” friendly. 

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3 hours ago, mainsheetsister said:

Our local hardware store is Pague and Fegan.  We've always said that if they don't have a part, it doesn't exist.

About 10 years ago, a new Lowe's opened in our town, and many thought it would bring the demise of Pague and Fegan.  Interestingly, the Lowe's closed last fall, and Pague and Fegan is still going strong!

Pague-and-Fegan-7_ea831104-5056-a36a-0bfee26f2a630c0c.jpg


 Yes the True Value has been good for many of the small hardware stores here 

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13 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

A 279 year old family store? :blink:

Only in England you say?

Oh there are older companies around, but that's one I used to use. The Otterton watermill is still in use, though has been rebuilt a few times it's earliest records are 1068 in the doomsday book, it was pre exisiting then. More famous in the UK is the Whitstable oyster company which has been running from the 1300s..

There are japanese businesses that can be proved to exist from the 500s..

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Sadly I have found for the more esoteric tools I need for work. like hook tools (also known as a cotter key extractor) or a genuine HYDE bar (often seen in the hands of beekeepers, glaziers & finish guys like myself like them too), the easiest way is ONLINE.

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23 hours ago, sailingk8 said:

I love hardware stores with all their bits and pieces but my favorite was always stationary stores which are also a dying breed.

"Why fix something when it's cheaper to buy a new one", has become the mantra and is another reason our planet is going to ruin.  Just wait until that doomsday hits and all our crap needs fixing. That will show them!

Me too, they are so much easier to find than those that keep moving about.

:D

19 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

We have a local store that is very old school.  I needed a replacement faucet handle for the tub and they sold in pairs.  Guy asked me if I needed both, no, he opened the package gave me one and charged me half what both would have cost.  The real charm of the place was the dog bed with dog on the counter next to the register.  The kind of place where old guys go to shoot the shit.  I believe every employee is retired skilled trade so the advice is top notch.  

There's a chain of what I think you refer to as "big-box" shops by the name of B&Q. UK and Ireland, possibly elsewhere. They sponsored Ellen McArthur. I mention them because there is plenty of help there, provided by retired tradespeople, who will tell you what you actually need, as opposed to what you think you need, and tell you how to do it. I like the approach.

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around here we had eliout's ,  the original location  was huge,  it might have been an old grocery store.. it had all the old geezers working there who everything about anything and could help you with any question about almost any project and if they couldn't answer the question they knew who in the store to ask...   unfortunately , the real estate location was too valuable and the box stores took a big hit out of their business , so they moved out  , downsized dramatically to a couple of locations, but nothing like it used to be.  i go to the one near my house ( it's like an Ace hardware)  for my nuts and bolts  as it's still cheaper then WM

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9 hours ago, The Q said:

Oh there are older companies around, but that's one I used to use. The Otterton watermill is still in use, though has been rebuilt a few times it's earliest records are 1068 in the doomsday book, it was pre exisiting then. More famous in the UK is the Whitstable oyster company which has been running from the 1300s..

There are japanese businesses that can be proved to exist from the 500s..

Yeah, I know there's lots of ancient stuff in England - C&N have been in business for hundreds of years.

But not run by the same family for all that time - that is extraordinary

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21 hours ago, P_Wop said:

Certainly. 

About 10 years ago as a volunteer chair with the Clean Tech Open, a CA non-profit, we were helping cleantech entrepreneurs get started and succeed.  We had many supporters and sponsors, and we thought that getting the National Labs aboard in support would be a good thing.  

A brainwave was a special dinner in a Palo Alto restaurant to which we invited the Lab Directors.  Sandia, NREL, Argonne, LLBL, LLNL, you name 'em.  Eight of these remarkable people turned up, including Steven Chu, and it was a long and very successful dinner with some excellent cross-table discussions.  Afterwards he told me that it was the first time, possibly the only time, that the eight had sat around a table together, and thanked us royally for facilitating.

Woah. I have to admit, obvious as it may seem, I don't remember even a single event where more than two lab directors got together.

What are the specifics of something like that? Do you have to budget for an honorarium to pay for the the transport, hotel and dinners for all of them? Of the eight who showed up, how many did you invite? Of those eight, were they mostly lab folks from the Valley area there, or did you get some far-flung directors like PNNL, Fermi, etc.?

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On 11/11/2019 at 9:50 AM, SloopJonB said:

old Paines Hardware in North Van was extremely cool - a real time warp.

I loved Paines. I went in trying to find a replacement glass globe for the cabin's gimbaled kerosene lamp.

"Certainly sir. What size? And do you need any wicks too?"

They must have had a dozen different sizes available. Sadly that's a lot of capital that sits on the shelf for 15 years until somebody wants one. The big giants only stock what they know will sell. Esoteric stuff just isn't available.

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On 11/11/2019 at 12:37 PM, Point Break said:

One of major laments is the death of real hardware and lumber/hardwood stores around me. Have one or two places for quality wood, and a local hardware in Seal that comes pretty close to the hardware stores of old. That’s pretty much it. Bummer.

The Ace in Seal is great, been going there for decades while I wait for my Nicks Burrito, the other Ace, Billings Hardware on 2nd St in LBC is also fantastic.

GSA in the port is also great, amazing stainless fastener collection there, many of the Dencho boats we did were GSA all the way!

Haven't been to GSA in a while so in not sure how it looks today, but back in the day it was pretty darned good.

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2 hours ago, Coolerking said:

The Ace in Seal is great, been going there for decades while I wait for my Nicks Burrito, the other Ace, Billings Hardware on 2nd St in LBC is also fantastic.

GSA in the port is also great, amazing stainless fastener collection there, many of the Dencho boats we did were GSA all the way!

Haven't been to GSA in a while so in not sure how it looks today, but back in the day it was pretty darned good.

Oh yeah, both Bay Hardware and Nicks are stellar.

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