I don't recall who it was but McFeely's was bought by somebody and is
now run as a subsidiary...I think the expanded product line outside the
original focus on square-head and related wood screw products and the
range of grades stems from that change; it was after that the catalogs
started to grow in size.
If they're a subsidiary of Grainger now, that's a newer
realignment--they initially were bought by some (relatively) small
Michigan(?) outfit that promised they were going to leave them
essentially alone. I recall the letter from McNeely explaining how
nothing was going to change. That was when the mail catalog was still
only about 10-12 pages or so; almost all the square head and other wood
fasteners w/ only a few other things thrown in...
OK, I went anna' looked -- Safety Supply, Inc is the holder which is in
turn held by Grainger. But, they didn't buy McFeely until 2007 their
site says. I surely thought that announcement was quite some time
earlier than that. Came back to farm about this time in '00 and it
seemed to me it wasn't much after that....ah, well, it's amazing how
time all runs together as one gets geezery....
The original Mr McFeely was at another industrial supply outfit in
Lynchburg that was a full-line Delta distributor amongst a zillion other
things while we were there and left to start McFeely's about the time I
left VA for TN. They started out as primarily a custom sawyer and
millworks until after Bill was killed in mid-80s(?) in a mill accident...
Yeah I remember that now, going way back. IIRC McFeeley himself sold the
business to JIM? IIRC Jim? worked there already. The Grainger thing is
pretty recent, last 2 or 3 years. The other one you are talking about was
probably 20+ years ago.
"Real hardware store" is too fuzzy a concept to be useful. OLD hardware
store would be a better bet--one that has been around since before HD--at
least that's a well defined term. OTOH, does Rocky's Ace, founded 1926,
really stock better fasteners than HD? They do stock a wider range of
specialty fasteners, that I'll grant them, but are their packaged fasteners
really any better?
Most localities in the US have within reasonable driving distance a
Fastenal. In any metropolitan area there should be a section in the Yellow
Pages for "fasteners" or "screws" or "bolts". Near the water in any city
with a harbor there will be marine hardware places that have a good stock of
corrosion resistant fasteners--alas the packages come with a picture of a
boat on them so they'll cost twice as much as the same fastener without the
picture of a boat. Near any major airport there will be an aircraft
hardware place--they'll have fasteners made to military specification that
are very high quality, but they won't be cheap.
Any true craftsman examines the use that the fastener or part will be
subjected to, then adjusts the quality or grade of the part. It is common
practice in automotive where in some applications, a harder stronger grade
of fastener is required.
There is not a thing wrong with the soft steel flimsy stuff they sell at HD.
The fault lies in the fact that you used it incorrectly. 1/4" lag bolts
have a very low twist off pressure. But now you know that. How is this
going to affect your future purchases? How is this going to affect whether
or not you drill a pilot hole?
This is YOUR fault, and no one else's. Home Depot sells a lot of crap, but
if you know that going in, you don't put a cheater pipe on it during
It's very odd that you quote someone, omit the attribution, and leave
out ALL of the pertinent stuff that completely refutes your diatribe
and take a cheap shot at someone's craftsmanship. I'm afraid you've
failed Posting 101 for the semester. Here's the OP's original:
Isn't that curious? He used a small ratchet, choked up on the handle,
and drilled a pilot hole. What are you suggesting he did wrong -
forget to pray?
I have a Fastenal very close to me. Is that a good place to buy screws,
walk in? I was under the impression that they were more like a jobber
Speaking of which and talking about out side exposure, I have McFeeley non
coated screws out in my front yard that I used along rail road ties to
string Christmas light about 18 years ago. All are facing head up so water
collects in the square drives. All are still in good condition.
Ace. Tru-Value. Do-it-Best. Any hardware store with old wooden floors. The
quality of the fasteners is markedly higher at any of those places, and the
selection usually much wider, than at any of the big-box stores.
Well I will have to disagree but not totally. There is an old hardware
store in Nacogdoches TX, oldest town in Texas. The hardware store has
wooden floors that roll and dip and squeek. They have old oak display
counters and cabinets and if they dont have it, it probably can't be had, so
to speak. They have the cheap stuff too.
Locally we have a hardware store that has been in business for almost 60
years and still family owned and run. It is centrally located between 2
HD's and a Lowe's. They beat their competition's price on same thing items
and they some where along the way became either an ACE or Tru-Value. They
have great stuff, great service, and stuff they steer "me" away from the
crap that they also have.
" Real" hardware stores have crap too.
Perhaps a "real" hardware store has employees that know their product.
I really doubt that you can these days since they're all made in CHINA. I
called one of the suppliers for a specialty screw and asked them about
where their products are made, you can guess what his reply was. He also
told me that there is not any fasteners made in the US anymore. Unless it's
made for the Military.
"You can lead them to LINUX
but you can't make them THINK"
Unfortunately folks decided it was a good thing not to have
manufacturing and good jobs in the US so things are made in China.
Location of manufacture doesn't tell the whole story. As long as things
have been manufactured the buyer could specify they wanted a cheaper
version of something. Big box places maintain their profit by beating
suppliers to death (and driving them off shore) by demanding the lowest
possible price. Often that means the lowest possible quality.
There is no rocket science involved in making typical commodity
fasteners such as lag bolts. A manufacturer can easily make sure they
have the correct metal chemistry and use correct hardening methods. But
that costs money. Big box simply wants something that looks like a lag
bolt. A buyer can also specify they want an item that complies with
whatever standards are involved such as SAE. That costs more.
Hmmm, not so sure about that. We have a fastener store her in town (where I
picked up some *real* lag bolts today) that pretty much only sells US made
stuff. I know for certain every box of fasteners in their warehouse is US
made, and at the rate they continue to go through stock on a daily basis,
it's current production stuff.
I think your supplier might be passing off incorrect information.
ACE (San Jose off Alma), TruValue (Cupertino), Southern Lumber (San Jose off
Almaden), or the contractor's lumber yard (Pine Cone?) in Sunnyvale off
Maude will have the grades and knowledgeable employees necessary for
one-time purchasing of quality products...
I first twisted off lag screws starting in 1979. Lag screws in general are
not strong unless you get stainless steel.
IIRC I try to give to lag screws a polit hole size the size of the body or a
Even a "hardened" square drive #14 screw which is .246" thread diameter
requires a larger 5/32" pilot hole in soft woods.
Additionally you do not want to bottom out a lag screw, the point on the end
helps guide not pull the screw into the wood.
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