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Old 03-10-2019, 12:45 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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Default Nut & Bolt Thread Checker (Inch & Metric)

I'm sure you have all seen and probably used some type of nut and bolt thread checker in the big box stores.

Years ago I bought a set similar to the first attached image from Menards. The version that Menards sells is two separate sets, one for inch and one for metric threads. As I recall they were either $17 or $27 a piece, but they are available on Amazon for $33 for a set which has them all mixed together. I quickly returned the one I bought from Menards, as the pieces were only labeled with a clear sticker that could easily come off.

I had a set of the style you see in the second attached photo in my Amazon wish list for quite a while, hoping they would go down in price, but they didn't seem to fluctuate much, so I went ahead and ordered them last September for $85 for the set. I've since learned that Menards carries these on their website for special order for only $34.99 each, so I would have gone that route had I known.

I really like the style that I purchased, but the drawback is that you have to be able to bring the fastener to the fixture to check the size. More often that not, it seems I want to check a thread where it would be more convenient to bring the gauge to the nut or bolt instead of the other way around. For that reason, I've been considering buying another set of gauges, similar to the first style that I described, but I knew how big of a pain it would be not being able to remove them from the cable to use them individually.

My solution was to spend a few hours last Sunday and take my gauge sets to a local farm supply store to try and purchase one nut and one bolt (or screw for the smaller sizes) to fit each different size of fastener included on the gauge sets. My local TSC would have had many of the fasteners I needed, but I drove about 15 minutes away to a different farm store, because I knew all their Grade 5 hardware was colored green. As a bonus, it turns out all of their metric hardware was colored red. I didn't need all these fasteners to be colored, but I like it and it will help to ensure things don't get mixed up.

In the third attached photo, you can see both of my gauge sets with the various nuts, bolts, and screws added to it. The only bolt I still need to find is a 3/4- 16 fine thread. In the fourth attached photo, you'll see I have the 1/2-20 fine thread green bolt laying loose, while I was verifying the bolt I was matching up was indeed that size.

In the last photo, you'll see the green nut is missing from the 5/16-18 coarse thread bolt, as I had removed it to check to see what size knob I needed to purchase to replace the missing one from the hydraulic pump on my shop press.

The last thing I plan on doing to these gauge sets is to mount some magnets on the bottom of them, so I can stick them to the side of one of my pallet racks to store them in an out-of-the-way, yet easily accessible spot.
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Name:	SAE and METRIC Bolt Gauges Check a Thread Nut Fastener Size.jpg
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2019, 10:32 AM
Barks Barks is offline
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Couldn't you have accomplished the same thing by adding nuts and bolts to the Menards-style checker cable in the first photograph?
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2019, 10:59 AM
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MetalWolf MetalWolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
I'm sure you have all seen and probably used some type of nut and bolt thread checker in the big box stores.

Years ago I bought a set similar to the first attached image from Menards. The version that Menards sells is two separate sets, one for inch and one for metric threads. As I recall they were either $17 or $27 a piece, but they are available on Amazon for $33 for a set which has them all mixed together. I quickly returned the one I bought from Menards, as the pieces were only labeled with a clear sticker that could easily come off.

I had a set of the style you see in the second attached photo in my Amazon wish list for quite a while, hoping they would go down in price, but they didn't seem to fluctuate much, so I went ahead and ordered them last September for $85 for the set. I've since learned that Menards carries these on their website for special order for only $34.99 each, so I would have gone that route had I known.

I really like the style that I purchased, but the drawback is that you have to be able to bring the fastener to the fixture to check the size. More often that not, it seems I want to check a thread where it would be more convenient to bring the gauge to the nut or bolt instead of the other way around. For that reason, I've been considering buying another set of gauges, similar to the first style that I described, but I knew how big of a pain it would be not being able to remove them from the cable to use them individually.

My solution was to spend a few hours last Sunday and take my gauge sets to a local farm supply store to try and purchase one nut and one bolt (or screw for the smaller sizes) to fit each different size of fastener included on the gauge sets. My local TSC would have had many of the fasteners I needed, but I drove about 15 minutes away to a different farm store, because I knew all their Grade 5 hardware was colored green. As a bonus, it turns out all of their metric hardware was colored red. I didn't need all these fasteners to be colored, but I like it and it will help to ensure things don't get mixed up.

In the third attached photo, you can see both of my gauge sets with the various nuts, bolts, and screws added to it. The only bolt I still need to find is a 3/4- 16 fine thread. In the fourth attached photo, you'll see I have the 1/2-20 fine thread green bolt laying loose, while I was verifying the bolt I was matching up was indeed that size.

In the last photo, you'll see the green nut is missing from the 5/16-18 coarse thread bolt, as I had removed it to check to see what size knob I needed to purchase to replace the missing one from the hydraulic pump on my shop press.

The last thing I plan on doing to these gauge sets is to mount some magnets on the bottom of them, so I can stick them to the side of one of my pallet racks to store them in an out-of-the-way, yet easily accessible spot.
I have been looking for something like this but have you ever ordered from Menards? the reason I ask is if you order both do they charge separate shipping cost for each item as BangGood and others do? Also, I think you have a really good idea on being able to have the use of checking a thread "On The" instead of "Off Of" the workpiece... Smart thinking makes a lot of sense to me and would be very helpful in my work as well...
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Last edited by MetalWolf; 03-11-2019 at 11:06 AM.
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2019, 12:58 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barks View Post
Couldn't you have accomplished the same thing by adding nuts and bolts to the Menards-style checker cable in the first photograph?
Yes, it could be done, but not only didn't I think of it at the time, I think the stand-type fixtures are more suitable and user friendly for adding all the extra hardware to.
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Old 03-11-2019, 01:07 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalWolf View Post
I have been looking for something like this but have you ever ordered from Menards? the reason I ask is if you order both do they charge separate shipping cost for each item as BangGood and others do? Also, I think you have a really good idea on being able to have the use of checking a thread "On The" instead of "Off Of" the workpiece... Smart thinking makes a lot of sense to me and would be very helpful in my work as well...
I've only placed two online orders with Menards and neither of them were satisfying experiences.

The first order was for some snow shovels they had clearanced for a ridiculously low price. These were shown on their website to be in stock at my local store, so the only reason I placed the order online was to basically reserve them before they all disappeared. Once I went to pick them up, it took them 35-40 minutes of looking for them and sending me to 3 different parts of the store to talk to 3 different people before they gave up and cancelled my order. They would not refund me their ridiculous 'convenience fee' that I did not even know they were charging me when I placed the order online.

The second time I placed an online order it went better. It was an online only item, so it got shipped directly to the store and I picked it up from there. They have a special area in the back of the store for order pick up and at the time (18 months or so ago) they still did not have their act together. They finally found my order and the order was right, it just took Tom, Dick, and Harry to find it.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:18 PM
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MetalWolf MetalWolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
I've only placed two online orders with Menards and neither of them were satisfying experiences.

The first order was for some snow shovels they had clearanced for a ridiculously low price. These were shown on their website to be in stock at my local store, so the only reason I placed the order online was to basically reserve them before they all disappeared. Once I went to pick them up, it took them 35-40 minutes of looking for them and sending me to 3 different parts of the store to talk to 3 different people before they gave up and cancelled my order. They would not refund me their ridiculous 'convenience fee' that I did not even know they were charging me when I placed the order online.

The second time I placed an online order it went better. It was an online only item, so it got shipped directly to the store and I picked it up from there. They have a special area in the back of the store for order pick up and at the time (18 months or so ago) they still did not have their act together. They finally found my order and the order was right, it just took Tom, Dick, and Harry to find it.
That sucks because I'm not finding one the IMO is better than the one they are offering. some look similar but look like cheap plastic. and that the printing will eventually wear off... Theirs look to be aluminum or metal but I could be mistaken.

Do you know if they are metal?? as they look it and look to have engraved writing theirs seem to be much better made?

There were some different ones on Amazon, but didn't like the style and were for sure cheap plastic,
They, would no doubt get broke by some fumblings around in the shop.
By me or someone else..... The price seems to be within a buck or two of the others offered.
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  #7  
Old 03-11-2019, 06:33 PM
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digger doug digger doug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barks View Post
Couldn't you have accomplished the same thing by adding nuts and bolts to the Menards-style checker cable in the first photograph?
Maybe you could make him one ?
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  #8  
Old 03-11-2019, 07:30 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalWolf View Post
That sucks because I'm not finding one the IMO is better than the one they are offering. some look similar but look like cheap plastic. and that the printing will eventually wear off... Theirs look to be aluminum or metal but I could be mistaken.

Do you know if they are metal?? as they look it and look to have engraved writing theirs seem to be much better made?

There were some different ones on Amazon, but didn't like the style and were for sure cheap plastic,
They, would no doubt get broke by some fumblings around in the shop.
By me or someone else..... The price seems to be within a buck or two of the others offered.
The ones I bought from Amazon are plastic, but identical to the ones that see daily use in my local Menards and in the local farm store. I have to concerns about them not holding up.

The ones I see offered on Menards website are identical to the ones I bought from Amazon, just a bit less expensive.

Link to the ones I bought from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Line to the ones from Menards:

Inch: https://www.menards.com/main/tools-h...3274091&ipos=3

Metric: https://www.menards.com/main/tools-h...3274091&ipos=4
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2019, 08:52 AM
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MetalWolf MetalWolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
The ones I bought from Amazon are plastic, but identical to the ones that see daily use in my local Menards and in the local farm store. I have to concerns about them not holding up.

The ones I see offered on Menards website are identical to the ones I bought from Amazon, just a bit less expensive.

Link to the ones I bought from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Line to the ones from Menards:

Inch: https://www.menards.com/main/tools-h...3274091&ipos=3

Metric: https://www.menards.com/main/tools-h...3274091&ipos=4
Well, I am going to order the same ones you have but from Amazon. they are the same price for the pair as Menards... with shipping cost to me, and not being local for an in-store pickup. but will get free shipping with Amazon... so it will be 84 bucks and some change, well worth the time saver.

But, I think I'll go the same route as you. And get some nuts and bolts as well to match the TC, for the same reason ya can't always use the Thread checker on the board in some places... but will figure out a way to string them like some of the others... and maybe engrave them as well.

So, I appreciate, you pointing me, in the direction of these.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:59 AM
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milomilo milomilo is offline
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I have the string type as well as the board type. Mine are aluminum and they are stamped for size. The sorting of nuts and bolts the last few days makes them invaluable to me. After sorting the fasteners for an hour, I was getting pretty good at identifying them visually without using the checker. Only had to stop about every 20th one. Usually between 3/8, 7/16 and 1/2 nuts.
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