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Is the SS screws, nuts and bolts from Home Depot good enough?

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Is the SS screws, nuts and bolts from Home Depot good enough?

Old 02-21-2018, 08:55 AM
  #41  
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They sell 316 here. Shipping costs are cheaper than the gas to get to the store: https://www.boltdepot.com/
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Texas 17 View Post
No, it doesn't. Not all of it at least. I have used it in several locations as a test in a SFL boat stored outside on a lift, without any discoloration at all, much less outright rust. I have not put the West Marine or BOW stuff in side by side and tested it with repeated dunking, and I would not be surprised if it were better, but the Lowes stuff has not been junk.
I will have to get some pics from my boat. Every time we bought HD SS, it was rusted out leaving long streaks on the boat. Multiple different areas on the boat as well
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:11 AM
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Take a magnet and check them out. Magnets will pickup the cheap ones.
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by skmag357 View Post
I will have to get some pics from my boat. Every time we bought HD SS, it was rusted out leaving long streaks on the boat. Multiple different areas on the boat as well

Well, I guess this goes back to the possibility of variation from batch to batch, or HD uses worse stuff than Lowes.

Come to think of it, could be cleaner differences, too. My buddy had a boat come back to the shop with nasty rust all over and they use all Gemlux hardware and 316. Best he can figure the owner was using Mary Kate or similar all the time and not rinsing well.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:05 PM
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Any stainless steel will eventually rust in a high chloride environment (i.e. saltwater), it's just about how long it takes. 304 less time than 316. However, I've seen old boats with polished SS hardware that looks as good as new. If it's rinsed and cleaned/polished, 304 or 316 will last. The stainless steel wheel (I suspect 304 rather than 316) on my 36 year old boat looks great.

One thing that I see happen a lot at work is carbon steel flakes/dust getting onto stainless and causing some rust bleeding or staining. This can happen to boat hardware too, especially from trailering.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:26 PM
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I own a fastener company so let me chime in on the basics briefly here as I sell up to a billion fasteners a year.


316ss is "marine grade", its slightly stronger than 18-8/304 and resists corrosion slightly more than 18-8 due to its higher molybdenum and nickel content BUT it will rust eventually if not maintained. 316ss also handles heat better


18-8/302/304SS is all the same family of products ( depending on what the fastener is) and its softer than 316ss and rusts SLIGHTLY quicker than 316ss.
Neither 18-8 OR 316ss will have a salt spray rating
You are correct that not all 316ss or 18-8ss is created equal. There is some substandard hardware out there that is more likely to fail ( and yes mostly from China not Taiwan).....especially when installed improperly or not suitable for the application.


The #1 complaint I deal with on stainless is "heads breaking off" or "galling" on installation and this usually occurs with tapping screws which are used heavily in the marine industry. Virtually every time I see this issue the fastener is being overworked and installed incorrectly. Hole size and installation speed/torque are super critical with stainless regardless if you are going into fiberglass or metal. If you don't have a proper pilot hole size and you run the screw too fast....any stainless fastener will heat up extremely fast and fail ( usually the head pops off and 18-8ss will fail faster than 316). I would trust Fastenal or Mcmaster more than Lowes or Home Depot but I would rather have Lowes hardware installed correctly than Fastenal installed incorrectly.

Also...316 will have slight magnetivity due to the higher nickel content. 304ss will have very little if any
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Last edited by bg2085; 02-21-2018 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bg2085 View Post
I would trust Fastenal or Mcmaster more than Lowes or Home Depot but I would rather have Lowes hardware installed correctly than Fastenal installed incorrectly.
That's the gist of it
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:53 PM
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I use home depot and Lowe's SS screws. I check them with a magnet. I they attach to the magnet I don't get'em. If the attraction is very light I get em. So far no screw/washer/nut or O bolt has rusted in 6 years. Of course you need to rinse them every time you go out in ocean. Drying them is even better. But I just hose them with the hose for a few seconds or so.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bg2085 View Post
316ss ... will rust eventually if not maintained.
..I would rather have Lowes hardware installed correctly than Fastenal installed incorrectly.
Further to this, "rust streaks" are often due to installation flaws, not the quality of the stainless

Salt water attacks and removes the "passive layer" which makes stainless steel corrosion resistant.

If rinsed and allowed to air dry, that passive layer will naturally re-form.

But in crevices where seawater is not removed -

under screw heads or improperly bedded hardware -

even the best quality metal will "rust" and create those streaks.
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:36 PM
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Also, tightening a SS screw with with s raw screw driver bit, like the ones commonly used in power drivers will contaminate the SS and cause rusting. Use a coated or SS bit or tool.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by krabill View Post
I agree with ACE.

I bought a number of the west marine stainless fastener kits on their clearance sale and the damn heads keep wringing off, they are almost unusable (even with a pilot hole)
And here I thought it was just my Popeye forearms....

I too have a rash of screw heads breaking off. I try to get full thread contact but the glass is just too hard. (2001 boat) I started drilling and tapping course threads instead of using screws. I'd use screws if I could find taps to match.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:20 AM
  #52  
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I get all my hardware from Mcmaster Carr. They have all the properties defines for each type of bolt screw down to the mechanical drawing for each. Very high quality and they have very fast shipping usually next day for normal shipping.


https://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-h...crews/=1bogc0m
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:41 AM
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Funny how the answers range from "garbage" to "just as good as marine grade."

12 years ago I repaired the seat in my Avon inflatable with, among other things, about 12 SS 1/4" nuts and bolts (and washers) from HD. The screws are securing a 1/2" thick piece of marine ply to the old fiberglass seat panel. It has been used only in salt/brackish water, and stored outside in the salt air (though often under a carport). The nuts and bolts and washers still look like new.

I also used some HD GALVANIZED bolts and washers to secure an aluminum dock ladder to my pier (salt/brackish water) in 2011. The washers are just now starting to show a little surface rust, but nothing on the bolts (and no "dissimilar metals" issues between the hardware and the ladder).

Real world info. Take it for whatever it's worth.
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:49 AM
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Just being difficult

Originally Posted by 6104696 View Post
Funny how the answers range from "garbage" to "just as good as marine grade.
Quality control can be a huge cost, so cutting costs there results in a variable finished quality level.

Originally Posted by 6104696 View Post
12 years ago I repaired the seat in my Avon inflatable with, among other things, about 12 SS 1/4" nuts and bolts (and washers) from HD. The screws are securing a 1/2" thick piece of marine ply to the old fiberglass seat panel. It has been used only in salt/brackish water, and stored outside in the salt air (though often under a carport). The nuts and bolts and washers still look like new.
Stainless steel is dependent on the presence of an ultra-thin protective oxide film (passive film) on its surface, but it is possible under certain conditions for this oxide film to break down, for example in halide solutions or reducing acids. Embedding stainless into wood could result in crevice corrosion, where the exposed portion will look fine, but the embedded portion will rust and eventually fail. The bolts or screws will look like little cones when they eventually fail. Silicon bronze is the recommended fastener for such an application.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Riverbend View Post
Letís me think about this a minute. You probably need four bolts, 8 washers and 4 nuts to fasten the SS mount, and a sealer as a bedding compound. How much money and time are you going to save shopping around to save on 12 pieces of hardware. The bedding compound will probably cost as much as the hardware. Please donít use cheap screws and bathroom caulk for the bedding compound. One more thing. If I had to use a substandard fastener, I would want it where I could observe it and replace it before it failed.
Good point, but I was just using the antenna as an example. It seems like I am always needing a few bolts of screws etc. the cost really isnít an issue except that Home Depot is 5 miles away and the nearest west marine store is about 30. Plus it chaps me that west marine is sooooo expensive on everything. The local ace just closed down, the whole neighborhood really misses not having it here.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:13 AM
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Your right and I apologize. I should not have been hard on you.

Screws, shackles and other fasteners have been a problem since the beginning. Years ago when I was a ironworker, workers were getting hurt, killed because of counterfeit bolts. In the tightening process a worker would lean over the side of the steel and tighten the bolt with a spud wrench. The bolt might break, in in the hole he would go. Counterfeit bolts would be marked with a brand, in some cases Bethlehem Steel or othe named brands. The union and the contractors had to go to Congress and get a law passed banning counterfeit bolts.

I imagine the quality of some small fasteners today is doubtful. Even though you spend a lot of money for your product doesnít mean you are getting top quality. There is no assurance even the selling vender knows what he is selling. Fasteners of a certifiable brand could be helpful.
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:50 PM
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Realize that the basic makeup of stainless steel is carbon steel ... the kind that rusts ... chromium is what makes SS in amounts of from 10% to 20+% ... anything over 20% is usually too difficult to work the end product and so generally 19% is as great an amount of chromium as we commoners will see ... the 304SS that is made domestically from ore is better than the 316 from Asia that has been reconstituted from scrap ... and sometimes the magnet test will help with that, but be aware that commercially there are many more varieties of magnetic SS than non-magnetic SS ... FIY

.
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:56 PM
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Didnít see this mentioned, by Marsh Fasteners is a great place to get 316SS screws/bolts from.
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisjb View Post


Stainless steel is dependent on the presence of an ultra-thin protective oxide film (passive film) on its surface, but it is possible under certain conditions for this oxide film to break down, for example in halide solutions or reducing acids. Embedding stainless into wood could result in crevice corrosion, where the exposed portion will look fine, but the embedded portion will rust and eventually fail. The bolts or screws will look like little cones when they eventually fail. Silicon bronze is the recommended fastener for such an application.
I fed this through the bat-translator, and this translated into "blah, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah blah. Blah."

But, returning to geekspeak, I am sure what you say is 100% correct. But after 12 years I have no failures, no rust streaks, nor any indications of anything other than a solid repair. Good enough for me in this application, my cheapie Homer D. Poe SS fasteners.

I might be a little more discerning in a more substantial project, or if repairing a connection where a life or limb might depend upon it's integrity.....
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 6104696 View Post
I fed this through the bat-translator, and this translated into "blah, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah blah. Blah."

But, returning to geekspeak, I am sure what you say is 100% correct. But after 12 years I have no failures, no rust streaks, nor any indications of anything other than a solid repair. Good enough for me in this application, my cheapie Homer D. Poe SS fasteners.

I might be a little more discerning in a more substantial project, or if repairing a connection where a life or limb might depend upon it's integrity.....
Yet the preferred material is 316 so why not pony up an extra couple cents per screw and just use them? I donít worry about structural integrity so much as rust stains
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