View Full Version : Screws that I can purchase from a hardware store

30th Nov 2012, 01:13 PM
My fellow NSN-ers

Over the years, as wagons have come and gone, I have acquired quite a substantial collection of 'loose' bogies (trucks), without their screws/ inserts (the centre pivot which holds them in place against the bolster on the wagon underframe).

I want to re-use them on wagons, but cannot find the correct size of screw / insert to use to do so.

The nearest LHS has no interest in 'N', so it would seem that the only way to get the right sized screw is to go to the local equivalent of Walmart or a big box hardware store, but it is at this point that the problem arises - what sized screw to purchase?

What I am looking for is some sort of list of 'real', screw sizes (in metric measurement only - imperial is no longer available) that I can use to go into the local hardware/walmart-type store and say that I want to purchase so many of (presumably wood) screw, sized 'X'.

Having purchased an amount of 'Screws, size 'X', I then want to be able to come home, get out my collection of bogies and start attaching them to the wagons.

As I am not technically-minded, and only have a pair of side-cutters to trim things, I want the process to be as simple as possible, ie, 'pick up screw, pick up wagon, insert screw through hole in bogie, put screw into wagon, tighten, put down completed assembly and go onto next bogie and repeat. . .'

The bogies are a mix of B'mann, Atlas and Lifelike.

Can anyone help? I have used the site 'search' facility, but no such list seems to exist.

(Added after further research): If in fact such small-diameter screws do not actually exist in the hardware world (as they may well not), what are the readily-available alternatives? Small-diameter Plastic rod/tube (from, for example, ballpoint pens). Whatever there is must be readily available and inexpensive.


30th Nov 2012, 09:07 PM
try a 2-56 size for your trucks. It is fairly standard although not metric which may cause you a problem.

not a hardware store but I get some stuff from:

30th Nov 2012, 09:26 PM
Very few stores serving the home repair market have supplies that is jewelery sized.

It's wrong thinking that everything has to be specific to N scale trains. Check out the scratch building section of the hobby shop for the brass hardware. There you may find Hob-Bits brand nuts, bolts, screws and washers. They also may be in the RC section of the hobby shop.

I hope you're not one of those guys that throws out the extra parts from installing Microtrains trucks. Those come in handy when they drop out of your cars. But maybe a kindly N scaler will offer you some of their extras.

You also check out electronics catalogs in their hardware section. You're looking for stuff about 1.5mm in diameter and 2.5mm long. Flatheads work best to center the trucks.

ozzie Bill.
30th Nov 2012, 09:41 PM
Keith, my local LHS has a wide range of screws for just such needs. maybe contact them through their website and ascertain your needs from them. I can then go down, buy and post. it will be the work of a few moments, but after Christmas I am sorry to say. Otherwise, try your local "radioshack radioparts or jaycar" type store. they tend to have lots of the very small sizes.
my LHS website is: http://www.trainworld.com.au/ cheers for now, Bill.

4th Dec 2012, 06:35 AM
maybe try the screws from an old pc's cd or dvd drive or other components.Can be a good source for little screws and other fittings.

4th Dec 2012, 09:59 AM
I found them at Walthers they are #2 sheet metal self tapping, 3/16 long.


4th Dec 2012, 12:22 PM
Thanks folks - an update.

Based on CNW's excellent suggestion, I went to the sole-remaining LHS (the other one being now closed-down) and asked if they sold small screws measuring 1.5 mm wide, and 2 mm long; flat-head type. As this shop sells R/C aircraft and cars I expected some success.

No such luck :cry: . 'Sorry, sir, we don't sell anything that small'. (Me) 'Oh! But you're a seller of R/C aircraft,' ,'Yes, we are sir, but we NEVER sell anything THAT small'.

With that sort of answer what can one do? :cry: :cry: :eek:

Ah, well, on the strength of that reply I've now purchased some 2 mm-diameter plastic rod to see if it will do the job. The intention is to cut it into short lengths, then use a soldering iron on one end to create a mushroom-head (to keep the bogie in place after putting said rod into the hole on the bolster) It should work, but what an incredible amount of messing around.

The 'experiment' continues. . .

4th Dec 2012, 03:54 PM
No such luck . 'Sorry, sir, we don't sell anything that small'. (Me) 'Oh! But you're a seller of R/C aircraft,' ,'Yes, we are sir, but we NEVER sell anything THAT small'.

With that sort of answer what can one do?

I doubt that very much! Someday if you've got the time go back and browse the RC parts department yourself and see.... Then again, maybe it's not worth trying to support their business since they dont' seem to want to support you. It's possible the RC department is just a bunch of radio's and RTR's and they don't have any parts at all.... Seems like very few shops I go in stock any parts anymore.

4th Dec 2012, 05:30 PM
Sorry to hear of the incompetence of the shop owner.

Good Show on your quick thinking on the jury rig. I hope it works.

4th Dec 2012, 07:00 PM
As this shop sells R/C aircraft and cars I expected some success.

I tried the same exact search at a similar type shop out here - all R/C, and a lot of it. They didn't give it much thought and said "sorry - no trains parts...", but they did pull out the little tray of screws etc and confirmed that they didn't have anything. I won't be going back there in search of anything else though because they obviously didn't want to help by looking any further.
I did buy a few parts kits from MicroTrains (#003 12 040) that did have the screws I needed, although I also paid for a bunch of other parts in the kit that I don't need. The above suggestions will be helpful for the next search. I was recently in a LHS (not so "L", but anyway...) and they had some Kadee kits hanging on their parts wall that were an assortment of small screws... maybe another option in the future...