Micro screws

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by w8jy, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. w8jy

    w8jy Member

    Does anyone know of a source for an assortment of tiny machine screws and washers?
    Yesterday, after installing a DCC decoder in a new N gauge Proto 0 - 8 - 0,
    I managed to drop the screw and washer that fasten the drawbar to the locomotive. Naturally, it disappeared, never to be found again.
    When I called Walthers, they advised that they don't have parts for that unit yet, as it was just released. The man I talked to said he would see if he could find one that would fit, however.
    Since this is not the first time I have had a problem of this sort (and I am sure it won't be the last), I need to get a supply of screws and washers.
    I haven't been in the hobby long enough to build up a supply - besides that, I am sure I can lose them faster than I could accumulate them!
    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Google on MicroFasteners. I think that is the name. Lots of itty bitty washers/nuts/screws and reasonably priced. I have ordered from them twice and am pleased with the service.
  3. w8jy

    w8jy Member

    Thanks, Gary. I went to their page and searched - their machine screws start at 1/4 inch - I am looking for some about half that size.
  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    You are talking about 1/4" long, right? So you need 1/8 inch long? What I have done with brass screws that are too long is thread a nut on the screw, then cut the screw with rail nippers, then remove the nut from the screw. This reforms the threads were the cut was made.
  5. w8jy

    w8jy Member

    Well, I guess I can give that a try - I have often done that with larger machine screws. The size of all these N scale parts makes G scale look more appealing every day! It seems that the parts keep getting smaller and the fingers keep getting clumsier! The most often used tool seems to be a magnifying glass!

  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    One part of the hobby I really enjoy is modifying junk rolling stock and getting them in working order. I have enough trouble handling the HO scale stuff, I can't imagine doing N scale.

    Good luck on your hunt for the parts.
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Just as a note, whenever I get ready to throw something out, I try to take out as many screws as I can, especially tiny ones. I haven't a clue as to what their thread sizes are or if I'll ever need them again, but, hey, they don't take up that much room.

    There must be a place in some fifth dimension where all small screws go when they leave your workbench.

    BTW, one day at a train swap meet, someone had a unit with about twenty plastic drawers full of things. I paid $15 for it and found all sorts of things like N scale trucks, wheels, tools, an N scale track gauge, springs, misc parts and.... yes, a drawer with lots of tiny screws.:thumb: :thumb: Someone was apparently getting out of N scale and I got there before anyone else.:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  8. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    my guess is you may soon discover the screw is also metric or some other odd thread size. Or that it is a special type of thread for screwing into plastic. I'm like don and save tiny screws off of things just for this reason.

  9. GN.2-6-8-0

    GN.2-6-8-0 Member

    NEVER - EVER throw away those itsy bitsy screws from old motive power , especially those shouldered screws for siderods and such.
    Couple of weeks ago i ran an PFM articulated that had been in storage for ages ....had just updated it by installing a NWSL can motor and DCC decoder.
    Added fresh grease to the gearbox and gave her a through oiling and she performed beautifullly :thumb:
    Couple of day later opened the box to check something and saw the the siderod on the firemans side of the front engine was totally disconnect'd from the crosshead....ARRRRRGH! :curse:

    Must live a charmed life though cuz the itys bitsy tiny little shoulder'd screw was still in its hole on the siderod. ....absolutly amazing!!
    And I'm sure those are just plain impossible to buy.
    Here she is beginng the climb to the summit.

    Attached Files:

  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Depending on how itsy-bitsy it is, eyeglass screws are about 00-90. You can get an eyeglass repair kit at most drugstores; probably no washers.
  11. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    Look at McMaster Carr...

    ...'s website.


    Just type in minature screw and see what comes up.

    Mark (still lurking)
  12. w8jy

    w8jy Member

    Mark, thanks for the pointer to the website - that looks real promising.
    Thanks to all of you for the advice and comments. I agree with you about saving every little screw, etc. My problem at the moment is that I don't have any old stock to scavenge from - time should cure that problem.
    Thanks again, everyone.
  13. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member


    ...from AB3AO.

  14. w8jy

    w8jy Member

    Always good to meet another ham, Mark - hope to meet you on the bands.
  15. dwight77

    dwight77 Member

  16. w8jy

    w8jy Member

    Dwight, thanks very much for the help - that site should cure my problem.
    I will place an order with them later today.

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