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View Full Version : Why are zinc plated washers so oversized these days?



Brian Elfert
08-11-2011, 9:32 AM
Why are zinc plated washers so oversized these days? Every time I go to the hardware store to buy a standard zinc plated washer they are way oversized for the bolt. I end up buying the next smaller size washer in most cases. The washers I remove from old stuff don't seem to have this issue. It is the inside diameter that is the issue, not the outside diameter.

I really should just order a box of each common size of washer and nut so I don't do like last night and waste 20 minutes driving to the hardware store for a 9 cent washer.

Larry Frank
08-11-2011, 10:04 PM
My wife asked me why I had so many nuts, bolts and washers. You just answered that question. The other thing with cheap washers it that they are different thickness and some so thin you need to use two. I think that they must make them out of secondary galvanized steel and anything that is close is thickness is what they buy and use.

Jim Creech
08-11-2011, 10:18 PM
I could be wrong but I suspect it could have something to do with the large number of foreign made products having metric fasteners and the manufactuers trying to accomodate both metric and SAE sizes.

Brian Elfert
08-11-2011, 10:26 PM
My local hardware store still carries both metric and SAE washers so I'm not sure if that would be the reason or not. The quality seems to be pretty good too.

I know a lot of people who have huge containers full of miscellaneous nuts, bolts, and screws. Still, they go to the hardware store because it takes too much time to find something because the stuff isn't sorted. If I buy boxes of the common sizes I will keep them labeled and organized.

Stephen Tashiro
08-11-2011, 11:23 PM
I know a lot of people who have huge containers full of miscellaneous nuts, bolts, and screws. Still, they go to the hardware store because it takes too much time to find something because the stuff isn't sorted.

When you only have one or two of each of a hundred things, the big jar of miscellaneous nuts, bolts and screws is the only way to go. One of the best places for such a jar is the laundry room since one must often retrieved such hardware before washing clothes or after hearing it bouncing around in the dryer. As to taking the time to find things in the jar - well, it's fun to go to hardware stores even if you don't really need anything.

Phil Thien
08-12-2011, 9:02 AM
Because the larger the hole they punch from the center, the less material they sell you, the more material they have for recycling, the more money they make?

Pretty cynical, eh?

mike holden
08-12-2011, 12:27 PM
Actually,
Used to make parts for the auto industry, sheetmetal, would often add washer shapes to the dies and sell the washers separately. At the time the washers were more valuable per pound than the scrap, today - not sure.
Mike