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Old 06-02-2004, 04:02 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
Tampa Bay , ^
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Ace is the place!

I needed a spring for the step mechanism for my trailer, so I went to Lowe's and searched their hardware department. Nothing even close. Then I went to Home Depot. A very nice employee took my spring and with great enthusiasm lead me to the appropriate area to look. He was surprised to see that such a simple item wasn't available, and was apologetic that they didn't carry it. He then said, "Try and find a small specialty hardware store. They might have it." I laughed and said, "Since Home Depot and Lowes moved in, there are no more." He just smiled.

However, Ace Hardware has an amazing collection of hardware, with old time hardware guys that know what they are doing, and totally blows HD and Lowe's out of the water. Unfortunately, the nearest one to me is a 20 minute ride, as opposed to 3/4 of a mile to Lowe's.

My 77 Sovereign Renovation
Out in the woods, or in the city, It's all the same to me.
When I'm drivin' free, the world's my home....When I'm mobile.

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Old 06-02-2004, 04:17 PM   #2
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I also have an Ace Hardware near me and its awsome!
We also have a Sears Hardware store. Its small easy, and the allternative
to the big boys.
Has all that flotsom and jetsome ya need in a hurry.


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Old 06-02-2004, 06:19 PM   #3
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ace IS the place!

i must be lucky!

my local ace is 3 blocks from me, same family owned since 1939!

tin ceilings, maple floors, hardware in bins not blister pacs, first name basis, on account, pay the bill once a month!

they even survived the onslaught of lowes, home creepo and menards!

my first choice!

did i mention i get a 20% discount at ace? that brings the price of hardware in line with the big guys, even if they did have what i wanted, they usually don't!

best part is, i don't get waited on by a pimple faced kid who sez "dude" every other word. that is when he isn't on his cell phone!

life is good!

you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
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Old 06-02-2004, 07:56 PM   #4
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I hear you, loud and clear.....
I am fortunate to have my business in a city that was founded in the very late 1800's, and has a healthy mix of industry and residences. There are unbelievable resources here, machinist supply, specialty hardware, basically everything a Yuppie homeowner does not need....and I need every day.
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Old 06-02-2004, 09:24 PM   #5
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Ragsdale ace. Could walk to it in 10 minutes in a pinch. I'm a Grade 8 Junky and they keep me in my smack.
HD and Lowes irritate me. Just remodeld the master bath (well still doing it.). Do you know that Home Depot no longer stocks the hard Chrome line for hooking up sinks and toilets? Serious, they don't have it. It's hose or nothing.
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Old 06-02-2004, 09:51 PM   #6
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Ace has saved my bacon more than once on multiple trailer projects, just yesterday in fact when I needed to replace the rusted out drain petcock on Bambi's water heater. I go looking for stuff like that at the big-box stores and they just look at me funny. At our local Ace the guy in hardware takes me back to the bins, digs around until he finds it, and compares it to the old one to be sure it will fit before they send me on my way. When I rebuilt the faucets on the Caravel, the guy practically rebuilt them for me, trying to make sure he'd picked out the right washers. Can't get that kind of service at HD!

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Old 06-02-2004, 10:49 PM   #7
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My local Ace is no longer locally owned, $1.25 each for 1/4X1 1/2 elevator bolts. We don't have a local Home Depot or Lowes, between Ace and Wal-Mart they have put all the mom & pops out of business.


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Old 06-03-2004, 07:30 AM   #8
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I was just ranting about this recently. Isn't it amazing that such huge stores have such crappy stock? how can that be? aisles that go on and on forever, with so much "stuff"...but some particular piece of hardware or fastener? forget it.

unfortunately, this is their "MO". they only stock the most commonly sold stuff. nothing sits on the shelf there.
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Old 06-03-2004, 12:12 PM   #9
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Unlike both Lowes and Home Depot the Ace Hardware near me actually knows what a #30 drill bit is (and has them in stock too).
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Old 06-05-2004, 05:09 AM   #10
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I have found that the good Ace hardware stores are generally ones that were there before ACE came into the picture.
Nothing more fun and useful than a great local hardware store or lumber yard.

Actually I believe ACE is just an affiliation into a buying group and the rights to use the ACE concept. i.e. the stores are independently owned and may stock varieng amounts of ACE branded products. Unlike company owned Lowes & Home Depots which are pretty similar in inventory.

My point being that not all ACE stores are equal and if you find one you aren't crazy about don't give up on all of them.

Another buying group of hardware stores is the Trustworthy affiliates which also are both good and not so.
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Old 06-05-2004, 10:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by chuck
Isn't it amazing that such huge stores have such crappy stock?
The Despots and Wall Mart can provide discount prices by careful control of inventory. They have their place and do a wonderful job for the mass market. (contrast to Harbor Freight for another niche!)

But when it comes to the custom market, there is nothing like a small shop that knows what it has that the big guys don't. (and one of the big advantages of the big guys is that of forcing the little ones to pay attention to what it is that they do best).

Both Ace and Tru-Value provide brand recognition and some inventory, marketing and other business support for local hardware stores that cater to the hobbyist and customization market.

I have a Tru-Value up the road a couple of miles. They know me very well. They are where I got the socket for the trailer ball nut. They are where I can find fittings for plumbing repairs. They are where I can find a couple of fasteners for some project or other. The price may be kinda' high, but it is often cheaper than a run into town.

But there are things the local hardware store has that the despot doesn't - and vice versa. Big projects are usually best handled using the big store. Small projects often from the small store. Each has its focus and specialty and it is very nice to have the options available for what I need to do.
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Old 06-19-2004, 12:52 PM   #12
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Paint it BLACK...

Hello Everyone....
...Kinda FUNNY realy, how things turn out, my MUM, ( 80 yrs YOUNG ) dropped a vase on2 her gas fire, & scratched the black she bought a tin of paint & redone the entire top, L@@KED great...UNTIL it got HOT, then went cold, Got HOT agn...then it FLAKED OFF....Ooops !...
What She needed WAS a HEATPROOF paint...Could She get any from Her local big Town...SIMPLY NO...none of the BIG stores had it....funny how the LITTLE GUY who OWN'S the hardware shop, jus less than 1/2 a mile away...HAS GALLONS of the stuff....A JOB well done....I'm the same...I don't C the point of Going into town for say TYRES...when I go the other way, & still get a GREAT deal in the country...NO hassle, NO traffic queues, NO waitin....even get a cup it's WET 'N HOT...LOL This SMALL Fish has been servin My D/D & myself 4 many, many's the PERSONAL thing I kinda like, U KN, the BIG Guys don't even SMILE....let alone LISTEN....jus grab Yr money & yell NEXT....Good manners aint gone out of fashion....What they ALL seem to 4get is...That it's Guys like US...who KEEP Guys like a JOB....Have a Safe 'n HAPPY DAY...Chris.....

It's NICE 2B Important...but it's more Important 2B NICE...Chris.....
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