Review: Grattan Hardware

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Nuts, Bolts and Washers Galore (01-25-13)

One of the more practical gifts that Santa brought this year is a huge assortment of nuts, bolts and washers, in both SAE and metric sizes from Grattan. They're organized in two matching blue sheet-metal cabinets, each having five drawers that slide smoothly in and out on slides made from nylon or a similar material.

hw 01.jpg (160421 bytes) Cabinets of metric and SAE hardware

The metal cabinets are about 12-3/4" x 12-3/4" x 10-1/4" deep and have indentations in the top, to facilitate stacking, as well as  cross-shaped holes in the back for wall mounting.

hw stack.jpg (102334 bytes)   hw dents.jpg (88606 bytes)  hw holes.jpg (46465 bytes)

Space being at a premium in my shop, I decided to store them on a shelf on my roll-around "baker's racks" from Lowes, right above my round-stock storage tubes. This may not end up being their permanent location, but it'll work for now.

hw rack.jpg (239969 bytes)

Each drawer actually consists of a flat base on which rests a tough semi-flexible storage container that can be lifted off for better access or to be carried to a job site. On the front of each of the plastic containers is the master item number for the that box of hardware. While you can stack the drawers in any sequence that you like, when stacked in sequence by the master item number, similar items are grouped together.

hw 02.jpg (192859 bytes)    hw 03.jpg (151452 bytes)

Like nested Russian dolls, inside each of the containers is a collection of small cardboard boxes arranged to neatly fill the space of the container. During shipment, the lids on the boxes are closed to prevent the contents from scattering. Very small items, such as 4mm washers, are packed in plastic bags within the box to keep the parts from working through the seams of the box during shipment.

On the larger size cardboard boxes, the tabs of the box tops are perforated so that they can easily and neatly be torn off. The lids of the smaller boxes are not perforated, but I found that they can easily be folded down out of the way. Or, if you prefer, you could cut them off with scissors.

hw 05.jpg (164248 bytes) Boxes with shipping lids still in place

The individual boxes are coded by contents to a "map" on the inside lid of the box, showing at a glance the specifications for the contents of each box.  This information is handy if a specific size nut or bolt is called for, and also gives you the data you need   to order refills of a that item.  Grattan provides a downloadable web app to simplify reordering - just scan the barcodes from your iPhone to create your order. What could be cooler than that?

hw 04.jpg (177975 bytes)    hw 06.jpg (108858 bytes)

Taking a close look at the individual components, it's evident that they are high quality: smooth, symmetric, nicely-formed threads - worlds-apart from the junk sometimes found in hardware assortments. The nuts thread smoothly on and off of the bolts.

n&b01.jpg (265884 bytes)

On the Grattan website, you'll find lot's more hardware options, including stainless nuts & bolts, brass fittings and many kinds of specialty hardware.  I could spend a few hours just exploring all of the products that they offer, but now, it's time to get back to work...


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Mini-lathe:  Accessories   Adjustments   Capabilities    Chucks    Dial Indicators   Features   Getting Started   Glossary     Introduction   Materials    Modifications   My Shop   Operation    Reviews    Sieg Factory    Tool Grinding    Troubleshooting   Tuning     Versions