This is a great comment about The Wonderful World of Duct Tape send in by Gone With The Wind, because of its size and the value of the information it contains, I decided to make it a post. Thanks Gone With The Wind
P.S. Don’t forget garage sales for this kind of stuff. There are always miscellaneous boxes of hardware in almost every garage sale.
Also consider plumbers tape, the metal strap on a roll with punched holes every inch or so. You can repair the much heavier, tougher, critical things that duct tape won’t.
Rebar tie wires. You may have seen these at Home Depot. They are malleable steel wire about 8 inches long with a coiled end. You can tie things together for a short time or forever with these and you can do it with one hand while holding the parts with the other.
Gorilla glue. Buy the smallest container because once opened they tend to go bad. Buy 10 or 20 of the smallest bottles of it and it will more then pay for itself. Read the instructions because a little wetting of the parts to be glued can help.
A package of clothespins. Sure you can hang your laundry out to dry but the real value of the clothespins is the little springs. If you are handy and make or repair things you will need springs. These little babies are powerful enough to power a firing pin to shoot a bullet or any number of mechanical devices.
A soldering iron, a soldering torch and of course solder and flux. If you don’t know how to solder spend some time and find some techniques on-line to expand your abilities. Get two soldering irons; a 15 watt iron for fine work and electronics and a 40 watt for larger jobs. There are also really large soldering irons for really large jobs but the torch should handle these.
An assortment of bolts, nuts, washers and screws. The ubiquitous 1/4 20 bolt is a good choice. 1/4″ thick in various lengths and 20 threads to the inch. Look for one of those assortment packages that has 4-6 different lengths and then evaluate it and buy what the package doesn’t have (I suggest some 4″ and 5″ long bolts). For screws get the sheetrock screws they are cheap and incredibly useful. Get 1″, 1 5/8″, 2″ and 3″. But sheetrock screws are not know for their strength so get some similar but heavier duty screws as well. They will probably be decking screws and stainless steel is a plus. Add a small box of washers to be used to increase the holding ability of the screws with materials like tarps and sheet metal.
Nails. What can I say, you should know what to get. OK, get the 16d vinyl coated sinkers (3 1/2″). These are the ones they use to frame your house. They have a green coating on them. The vinyl melts when the nail is pound in and locks it in place (kind of). Get a box of 6d (2″) box or common nails. These are suitable for smaller projects and boxes, etc.
Rope: For tying things down (or up) 3/8 nylon 3 strand. Cut into 4 25′ lengths. Tape the ends tightly and then burn them to fuse the nylon. The tape will prevent the nylon from making a ball of melted nylon on the end which can make it hard to pull the rope through knots. If you do this right the nylon will fuse tightly and be no thicker then the 3/8ths rope. Get a 100′ length of 1/2″ nylon rope and fuse the ends as above. This is for pulling stuff out of ditches or rope swings etc. Don’t confuse it with mountain climbing rope or YOU might be what gets pulled out of ditches. Buy 1000′ of paracord. Does that sound like overkill and too expensive? Well you will use it and it is actually less expensive then 100′ of 1/2″ nylon rope. It can do almost anything. Don’t forget to fuse the end whenever you cut it (both/all ends). Not later when you have time or tomorrow but as soon as you cut it. A 1 lb spool of bank line (Tarred Twisted Nylon Twine). This is about 1,649′ long. Tough twine, easy to carry 100′ or so, ties nicely, 1001 uses.
Epoxy: 100′s of different kinds. Look for two tubes in a package fast setting (5 minutes). If you seal this stuff up after you use it then it will be good for decades even after opening it. Get one of those intended to epoxy metals too. The picture on the box will show it being used to stick about 10 dissimilar objects together, that’s the one, it really will do this. Epoxy stick, usually two sticks with different colors cut of a length and mix until you get uniform color and it will repair many things that don’t fit together well enough for liquid epoxy. Gasoline tank repair epoxy. It will work in the presence of oil and gasoline products (usually).
Copper wire; known as copper ground wire in the electrical wiring department at home depot. It’s not cheap so if you can get a hold of old wiring you can strip off the insulation and get it for nothing. Very malleable, easy to wrap around two things to stick them together and if you solder it then it stays together forever. 12 or 10 gauge is a good size. It also works well for snares.