In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Thousands of 1/4 Inch Bolts

Years ago, I was in charge of a project that involved the expansion of a rail car inspection and repair facility. There were multiple large buildings, new rail, re-routing existing utilities and the components needed for the expansion. It meant a lot of hours, sometimes 7 day weeks, and some rest for me when it was completed.  

One part of the project was to assemble a paint booth. That involved completing the booth, hooking up the gas for the heater, and all the electrical work. At around 100 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 20 feet tall, it was shipped with all the punched panels, the heater, the stack, and the roll-up doors for each end.

As time has passed, the one thing that stuck with me is the amount of 1/4 inch bolts, with nuts, required to assemble the building. The parts list, which you usually verify when a shipment arrives, showed the amount of bolts to be counted....if I wanted to. The amount was 10,000 each, 1/4 inch bolts with nuts. I didn't count them, really don't know if it was correct, but we finished the project with having to only buy a few dozen more. I chalked the loss up to what was dropped during assembly, or left on the roof to never be found. That, or they were never shipped. That was a lot of fasteners to place, and I'm glad I will probably never be responsible for a project like that again. We were stretched thin, the pickings were slim for new employees, being salaried meant I missed out on a lot of overtime, and the customer was chomping at the bit to see the project completed. 


  1. I assume air tools were your friends?

    1. We had a handful of 1/4 inch cordless impacts. We had extra batteries, and backup impacts if one failed. When completed, the booth had negligible, if any, vibration. As far as I know, none of the bolts fell out after the booth was placed in operation.

  2. Wow, that...could not have been fun!

    1. I'll call it interesting. The best part of the project was placing the heater, and stack, on the roof. That will require another post to describe the event.