Two Letters Re: Storing Nails–Crucial for Preparedness


[You had mentioned in yesterday’s post: “…one of my unfulfilled quests in life has been to find a small hardware store that is going out of business and getting to ask the owner: “How much for all of your fasteners?” (Hopefully, at or below their scrap metal value.) That would be quite a coup.”] FYI, never be shy! Several years ago the local Scotty’s [hardware chain store] was going out of business; after many weeks of slowly reducing the prices.On the final weekend I approached the “soon to be unemployed” manager and offered to buy all the remaining large screws and bolts for $300 cash including the bins. After listening to him whine about my low offer for five minutes he accepted. The only catch was that an employee had to ring everything up at the retail price first and then [write]a separate invoice for the “sale” price. I will make this a short ending. When everything was finished it took two trips in my 3/4 ton pickup truck to carry it all home and the retail price was over $12,000. Good deal for us. – Duane


The note on nails made me think of a few things. I have bought nails by the 50 pound box in the past but the best bargains have been at rural auctions and estate auctions. Some retired men will buy things they might need then when they die another will buy the same item at auction. The thing might be sold 5 or 6 times over a 30 year period. The best deal I ever saw was about 10 years ago. It was air gun nails, a skid with 500 to 600 pounds sold for 8 or 10 dollars! An older guy bought it. Lots of hand tools sell cheap.

As for screws, a [hand-powered] drill called a brace will drive them very well and the drill bits (called auger bits) sell cheap because most people have no use for them. I’ve found several adjustable bits, also. One adjusts to 2 1/2″. There are adapters with a drill chuck so you can use regular drill bits, too. Another drill is brace with a plate on the top to lay your chest on so you can use upper body weight to put pressure on the drill bit.

My father built his house with all hand tools in 1953. No electricity was available on that dirt track until the house was finished. I was born in 1951 and saw a lot of screws installed and holes drilled with that Craftsman brace. I hope this helps some folks. – Frank from Indiana