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(Thanks to Flickr user moyix for this great CC-licensed photo.)

Everyone here has probably suffered the plight of searching through a high-volume store which may or may not have that fiddling little part you need to finish up a project. A can of stain, a loose bolt, or a bit of sheet metal can be devilishly hard to find, especially in massive chain stores with their wares stacked forty feet high and maintained by salespeople who may not have any idea where to find what you need or what you’re talking about.

The answer? Most toolmongers probably know it: the local hardware store. Though they won’t be able to sell you enough drywall to put a second floor on your house, that little two-room hardware store at the end of the block is a great way to find what you need. The owners are usually the ones manning the counter, and tend to know their inventory inside out and backwards. You enter with a question, leave with a solution, and your money stays close by.

(Thanks to Flickr user moyix for this great CC-licensed photo.)


6 Responses to Mom and Pop Places

  1. Toolhearty says:

    Yeah, we used to have a hardware store like that. No matter what picky little part or tool you needed, they either had it, could offer a reasonable substitute, or would order it for you and have it within a few days.

    The place was family owned and had been around for generations. The people that worked there actually did stuff and could offer advice on how to go about something or what you’d need before you got into a job.

    Sadly, they closed up shop when the “big box” stores went up.

  2. kyle says:

    our town has one and I remember many times when we needed one small inexpensive thing and it was quicker,easier and cheaper to go 3 miles up the road insted of traveling 15 minutes to home depot to get a hex key or bolt or drill bit

  3. kdp says:

    And you can usually park right in front. Easy in, easy out and no looking for your vehicle.

  4. Lex Dodson says:

    The reason for this post was the discovery of Detroit Hardware on Woodward. I needed a can of clear-coat for a project, and they were within a brisk walking distance. Highly recommended to Detroiters in search of knick-knacks.

  5. Joe C. says:

    Believe it or not, at the end of my dirt road (where it meets the paved road), is Woody’s Store, where you can get plumbing fixtures, electrical supplies, hardware, paint, ammo, and produce grown on Woody’s farm. This is all in Silk Hope, NC (and you can look it up, the road is called Woody’s Store).

  6. Chuk Gleason says:

    Burke Brothers Hardware, 5227 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC. On the corner, parking in front or the side, you name it, they got it or else know where you can go. 15 pounds of hardware store in a 10 pound volume (is it related to a TARDIS?) Floors don’t all match in height, so you know they’ve expanded over the decades; that’s a GOOD sign. Smells like a hardware store should, too. In an area known for friendly people, they put the icing on it.

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