In an effort to find stainless steel hardware at a price that didn't make me feel like I was being suckered out of my hard earned money I went on a mission last Saturday. I was starting to get embarrassed when I would start to cry in line at West Marine just looking at the price tags on the items I could carry in one hand. Plus I would get strange looks.
Now we all know that if it says "marine" anywhere on it it will be waaaay more expensive that if it just said 304 stainless. (I know, not everything can be made it 316 stainless, give me a break will ya!!) (Opps I'm still in my West Marine mode.) Where was I oh, yea, so Saturday I head out to find descent prices on stainless nuts bolts, etc. I tried home depot. (Want to have fun, tell the "hardware" guy there you need a 3/4" stainless steel nylock nut. You can actually see the question mark come out of the top of his head while his eyes start to glaze over.) Lowe's. (Refer to remark about about home depot.) Mom and Pop hardware stores and finally Ace Hardware, BINGO, WE HAVE A WINNER! Can you hear the bells? Ace Hardware has 304 stainless steel hardware, all thread, screws, oh the list goes on, bins and bins of the stuff, like I died and went to hardware heaven All at a good price! How do I know it is 304 stainless, well it is stamped on it. When is the last time you ran across a lying stamp? Ya, I thought so, never sucker. (Opps my city talk is coming out, please pardon me). But wait they carry "marine" hose clamps, holy bedsheets look at that price and I thought West Marine was expensive.
Be careful....your mileage may vary. All stores named in the above story are innocent until proven guilty at the cash register. Shop for marine items at your own risk.