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Combined Phillips/slotted head screws - another bad idea!


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I noticed that my local Ace Hardware store has done away with most of the slotted head screws in favor of ones with a combination head.  These won't look correct on a car of any vintage.  I was forced to buy some since there weren't any slotted head screws in sizes I wanted, will install them only where they won't be seen.  But, I don't think the screwdrivers grip as well.  So, these become equally bad in all applications.  Hillman apparently controls the supply of screws to Ace and the other BIg Box stores.  I know I can buy slotted screws from places like Restoration Specialties, but I hate bothering them for 6 screws, paying shipping, and waiting for delivery.   Grrrr! 

 

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They're trying to change screws to fix a screwdriver problem, in my opinion. All of us who are disorganized frequently find ourselves in the predicament of needing a phillips, but only having three or four slotted head screwdrivers within arms reach, and vice versa. They need to make most screw drivers reversible so that they'll work with either type screw.

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In my case it's worse than that, my 31 Buick has ZERO Phillips screws, everything is slotted in round head machine or wood screws or a few are oval head and lots of hex bolts with unmarked oversize heads.   There are square nuts all over the firewall as well.  I buy all the stuff I can't reuse from the original build of the car from Bolt Depot.  I did buy reproduction large head machine screws for the firewall insulator installation from Bob's Automobilia.  Bumper end bolts are full round heads (VS modern mushroom heads on carriage bolts) with no slots.  If you have worked on old cars you know there is a huge difference in the appearance of OEM fasteners and modern hardware store stuff.  I tried to explain that to an Ace Hardware clerk and he had no idea what I was talking about.

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My Lowes actually has a good selection of automotive fasteners. Of course these are good for cars from about 1970 to present. Slot head screws are impossible to find locally. As far as screw head types, torx are more popular than ever for construction fasteners. It seems like everyone has a different size though. We always have the wrong screw for the right tip, or is it the other way around.  Be nice if they came out with 1 for large and 1 for small.

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They make for a lousy phillip's and an even worse slotted head screw. Add to that the grade is typically -2. But the suppliers that cater to Harry home owner, who's only trying to stick a couple of boards together, only has to stock limited types of screws and hapless Harry never knows the difference...........Bob

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I don't dislike that new head it is actually a good idea, what I dislike is not being able to find slotted head screws anymore.

 

I'm not sure if that new head is really new, or just some Asian standard we never saw before. There are other differences. For instance, if you buy a wood screw in a given size, the shank is slightly smaller and it appears the taper may be slightly different. Perhaps it's a different standard that is only close? Or maybe a side effect of production on modern metric machinery? You would not be able to use one of those wood screws in a hole an old American screw came out of.

 

At my local hardware, some of the brass screws are still available in straight-slot, and the shape appears identical to old American screws. A one point I zinc plated a bunch of the brass ones because I couldn't find what I needed in steel.

 

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Gary, the screws that get my goat are the combo, phillips head and square head. Both the Phillips driver and the square slip because of less material to grab onto. Sometimes we should leave well enough alone. I get all my hardware from McMaster-Carr, they have everything I need.

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8 hours ago, padgett said:

Home circuit breakers particularly from Siemens often have a square recess in the screw.

 You know that square ( Robertson) screw head was invented in the early 1900’s, by a Canadian. I never understood why it never caught on in the US over the slotted screw head. Looks like the fabrication process would be about the same.

  I think they are as good as torx. I have a Canadian built motorhome that has all Robertson screws in the house part.

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16 hours ago, Bloo said:

what I dislike is not being able to find slotted head screws anymore.

McMaster Carr has and can get virtually any fastener and head style we need. Less special OEM parts. I don't even waste the gas or time going to the box stores for anything car related. They only carry what sells in high volume, which is mostly home repair related. It's depressing going there.

 

Ron

Edited by Locomobile (see edit history)
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17 hours ago, Bloo said:

brass screws are still available

Solid Brass screws is another thing I avoid, they are very soft and can twist off easily, okay for light duty. If I need brass fasteners, I use bronze. And instead of nickel plated, oftentimes 18-8 stainless buffed will suffice and they are very strong.

 

Ron

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One of the things I looked forward at automotive swap meets was to restock my screw supplies.

Slotted, stainless screws and nuts & bolts, washers to keep my 100's of little drawers @ the ready.   

Stopping for a frustrating trip to hardware stores kills enthusiasm.

Edited by Paul Dobbin (see edit history)
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Try “Totally Stainless” located in Hiedlersburg, PA. They have virtually any type of slotted head screw you will need, along with all type washers, nuts etc. The prices are often less than what the hardware stores charge for their junk, much stronger and better quality. They generally can ship same day too. Luckily we are only about 15 minutes from them so I rarely even  think about going to a hardware store. They have a website with their whole catalog to shop from as well.

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Phillips screws were introduced in 1936.  Also, recently I ran across a "three" slot screw head as compared to a 4 slot Phillips head.  Never seen one before.  It was used in a Mr. Coffee coffee machine.

 

Capt. Harley 😉

 

 

"Skirts are for women, not car fenders"

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Bolt Depot has a lot of different styles of bolts and screws also.

7 minutes ago, Captain Harley said:

recently I ran across a "three" slot screw head as compared to a 4 slot Phillips head.  Never seen one before.

That would be a tamper resistant screw. You can buy a tamper resistant screw removal kit from on line vendors.  

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Have a Whole Bunch(tm) of standard, tamper proof (holy), and oddball bits. Some I have wondered what they were for. Apparently this is a Robertson. Also spent a fin on this set and have a "Torx Plus" set.

 

Why I hate to throw things out, six month later I need it.

 

68459_W3.jpg

 

ROBERTSON.jpg

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One strange requirement for rear fender attachment on 20's/30's GM Fisher Body cars is for attachment of rear fenders to the body shell.  You need 5/16-18x1 bolts, locks, oval washers and cage nuts. 

 

I found the oval washers at Moss Motors https://mossmotors.com/fender-washer-upper

 

and cage nuts at Zoro  https://www.zoro.com/zoro-select-cage-nut-square-516-18-steel-pk20-1lbe8/i/G3463302/

 

You can get the cage nuts at numerous outlets but the oval fender washers are a little harder to find.

 

 

FW 0013.JPG

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18 hours ago, 46 woodie said:

the screws that get my goat are the combo, phillips head and square head

 

I love them! I do NOT have a slip problem with them using an impact driver to drive deck screws of this head design. I've installed thousands.  Maybe you have poor square #2 bits? I dislike having to change over to Torx bits, as that is the head Du Jour at the big box stores now.

 

2 hours ago, padgett said:

Apparently this is a Robertson.

Yes, Robertson is the square bit/screw head. Comes in 1, 2 and 3 commonly.  #1 is on most trim head screws.

 

3 hours ago, Captain Harley said:

Also, recently I ran across a "three" slot screw head as compared to a 4 slot Phillips head.  Never seen one before.  It was used in a Mr. Coffee coffee machine.

 

Tri-Wing. Very common on consumer electronics of large size. For small electronics you need the tiny sets sold with the Torx down to at least T-5. And same with security holes to pass the tamper resistant pin.

 

https://www.newark.com/performance-tools/w1725/148-piece-master-bit-set/dp/11X5716

 

And then there are Spline heads (no, not Torx in shape), Pozi Drive (no NOT Phillips), hex internal (Allen) and Hex external (typical hex bolt, but in miniature sizes).

 

And, GM trucks from the 60s, Clutch Head!!!!!! Or inside Powerglides also.

 

External Torx, Torx Plus......  And now, Pentalobe!!!!! Sort of Torx but 5 splines.....

 

Most electrical panels now take #2 Square (Robertson) which is very nice for electricians, they do not slip like Phillips (term is Cam-Out and is designed into the fastener, to limit torque on assembly lines).

Edited by Frank DuVal (see edit history)
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One other point, all those fasteners (screws and bolts) you buy from Lowe's and Home Depot (Hillmans etc.) are useless unless they are stainless.  I cannot tell you how many times I've had a screw or bolt sheer off while being tightened when they made of zinc and ???  The Bolt Depot is very good in it's assortment of sizes, head types and hardness.

Edited by leomara (see edit history)
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I've had plenty of stainless steel 18-8 fasteners shear off....... Not a cure, but better than the weak Hillman brand of zinc/low strength whatever. I also have had many stainless steel screws/bolts into stainless steel nuts seize/gall and need to be cut out. Always use dissimilar metal nut to a stainless steel screw/bolt.

 

Bolt Depot is good. So is MSCdirect (the old Manhattan Supply Corp) if you can navigate their online catalog. 

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I like grade 8. For some reason the two Robertsons in this set are marked S1 and S2. Square ? Have a set of the five spline torx marked Torx Plus and have the hole in the middle. Have gotten me curious to see what  other oddballs are in alla these tool boxes.

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49 minutes ago, CarlLaFong said:

No they're not. They are tamper resistant driverstamper.thumb.jpg.c4b53570ad91766ba792d83d095d4c1c.jpgtamper.thumb.jpg.c4b53570ad91766ba792d83d095d4c1c.jpg

Then I have a few repurposed screwdrivers for wheel assembly that would be great for tamper proof fasteners. To be honest, I don't see one of those bits that would work for that screw.

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1 minute ago, Locomobile said:

Then I have a few repurposed screwdrivers for wheel assembly that would be great for tamper proof fasteners. To be honest, I don't see one of those bits that would work for that screw.

Maybe not for that specific screw. I have to wonder why would a set of drivers, like the one pictured. come with a spoke wrench?? Does it come with a scaling tool so you can clean you own teeth? Those two pronged drivers wouldn't fit a bicycle spoke nipple. 

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1 hour ago, CarlLaFong said:

Maybe not for that specific screw. I have to wonder why would a set of drivers, like the one pictured. come with a spoke wrench?? Does it come with a scaling tool so you can clean you own teeth? Those two pronged drivers wouldn't fit a bicycle spoke nipple. 

I give up, you win 😁

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3 hours ago, Locomobile said:

To be honest, I don't see one of those bits that would work for that screw.

 

Ah, time for a fastener lesson. Go to the source and see these are the bits to fit their screws.😁

 

https://www.tamperproof.com/

 

I have not seen the spoke adjustment you mention, all my spoke work was on bicycles of 60/70 time frame, never a motor vehicle, and the spoke adjustment was on the end nut at the rim, adjusted from outside the rim with that Schrader valve 4 way tool.🤔

 

But I have seen the large screwdriver split tips, so they fit something that is not the two hole screw head!😉

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If you take the tire off of that 1960s/70s bicycle, and take the rim strip off, you can turn the spokes with a tool like the one in Locomobile's post. It's handy when lacing or truing wheels. Whether the tool manufacturer intended it for that or not I couldn't say, but it would work nicely. So would a regular screwdriver with a notch cut in it.

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If you're in the So Cal or Vegas area, I recommend a stop at a McFadden Dale Hardware store during your hunt for fasteners.

 

https://www.mcfaddendalehardware.com/

 

They have a ton of high quality fasteners and I even found automotive/industrial felt there that was thick enough to be used in the original cups to seal the rear axles of pre-war cars.

I don't bother with big box stores, I just make the 40 minute drive to McFadden Dale and get what I need in higher quality and for far less.

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yeah most of our small mom and pop hardware stores have retired and moved on. mainly big box stores left. love the mom and pop stores, could by the hardware by the piece or bulk. great when you need one or two of something. 

 

with a 1929 Chevrolet 80% of the hardware being round head slotted screws and .250 inch, i have opted to get my hardware from Fastenal 90%, if not in store can order it and have it to them in 2-3 days to avoid shipping I pick up in store. I also have ordered from Bolt Depot and in Bulk from McMaster-Carr mainly the only way they sell it for most items. Fastenal just has been convenient and good pricing for me plus finding something on their site is pretty straight forward. McMaster-Carr is easy to navigate but mainly bulk quantities and fast shipping 1-5 days, but have to buy enough to justify the shipping. Bolt Depot (more limited supply and selection) have all the specialty metric hardware for my 3d Printer :).

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Chinese bicycles maybe ?  Have a few ACE hardware stores around. Used to be every time I moved, a new K-mart would go up nearby, now the near one closed.

Today is a super Wally World 5 minutes north and south and a Sams a little further in both directions. Think I counted five HFs in the metro area. Complained when the Rat Shack drove out Lafayette and Allied Radio and now they are gone also, have to go to the surplus house (or Amazon) for resistors. Modern times.

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Every bicycle, motorcycle and early spoked car wheel with clincher rims I've ever seen used this type of spoke nipple. When lacing one up from scratch it's much easier to use the slots vs the wrench flats and why there are slots in them. Towards the end of the truing job the threaded spoke ends begin protruding into the slots which prevents the use of a standard flat blade screwdriver. The bits in that kit were possibly not intended for that but it looks as though two of them would be perfect for them.

 

It's really not important, but it's a little surprising this needed to be explained.

 

 

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4 hours ago, BearsFan315 said:

Fastenal 90%, if not in store can order it and have it to them in 2-3 days to avoid shipping I pick up in store

 

My dealings with Fastenal is if they need to order in a fastener delivered to the store for me I am charged the shipping anyway! 

 

2 hours ago, Locomobile said:

it's a little surprising this needed to be explained

 

Yep, memory rusty here. Always good for refresher learning.👍

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Working with the woodwork, and mainly with the floorboards in my 1927 Willys was quite a task until I figured out a few things. Lowe’s, for example, does stock a good selection of slot head screws, but they are in the specialty projects cabinets, rather than in the hardware shelves. Also, Tractor Supply has a great assortment of odd ball hardware including a good source of slotted, and machine screws. But, if I were in the advice business, I’d suggest periodic, but regular, visits to the Habitat for Humanity Store in your neighborhood. I have bought a lot of brass screws, bolts, nuts and other assorted stuff like NOS 6 volt light bulbs and switches that were no longer available. These stores take donations of left over and surplus materials from completed/cancelled building projects, as well as stuff thought to be stuff left over from (old) building projects.That may include grandpa’s collection of hinges, nails, upholstery materials.....well, you name it, cleared out to remodel the basement or storage area after 50 years of being locked up.

Jack

 

 

1927 Willys Knight Coach

1923 Dodge Roadster

Edited by Jack Bennett
Add missing words, correct spelling (see edit history)
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