Top Notch Fasteners – It’s That Time Of Year For Classic Boaters.

Fasteners 2

Old Fasteners – Photo Bob Kays

Meet one of our newest sponsors, Top Notch Fasteners. Now, I know what your about to say.. OK, I really have no idea what your about to say. But we will say, its that time of year to think about fasteners. Not that every day Ron at Top Notch doesn’t think about them.

topnotch Fasteners ART

The thing is, Top Notch is 100% focused on supplying you and many of the top folks in the culture with not just any fasteners, but Top Notch ones. Here is a cool deal as well, for any order over $100 you get free shipping in the Continental U.S. Not sure if you own a Chris Craft Continental in Canada, it works though. Its a shipping thing, not the ship you own. So need some new Silicon Bronze screws? These guys are your Fastener guys.


You can never have enough fasteners. Photo Bob Kays

Fastener art

Is this Bob Kays photo art, or just a bunch of fasteners on a boat? It’s a study of textural contrasts, being fastened together with brass. Its a statement that regardless of our skin, be it terry cloth or Mahogany, we can live together because of a good screw. OK, WAIT one second, Bob, that’s disgusting, you and Mapplethorpe just need to take this stuff someplace else. This is a family website. We apologize to our readers for this sort of smut. Bob, we expected so much more from you.

So get started and soon you will know the difference between a Philips and Frearson screw head. And trust me, once that has taken up a part of your brain, it never leaves.


It’s almost like that part of your brain is so never used, that it loves and never gives up that stuff. Like VITON O’ rings are a great substitute for the stock ones on a Corvair Engine? Why, why do I still need to know that crap. Or that A 1966 Mustang has a brick pattern grill vs a honey comb one? Really? I need room for boat crap. Like, pre war boats use flat head screws and post war use Reed and Prince and Philips? Really? I must have a screw loose. And I know who just to call now to fix that.

25 replies
  1. Texx
    Texx says:

    Fastenating story today Matt. Now I feel more connected and secure. Thanks!

    In a world that appears to be coming apart at the seams some days, maybe it could use some new fasteners too… – Texx

  2. Matt
    Matt says:

    Thanks Mike, not sure why I have called them that for years. Slot it is. But now I can’t fix it because your comment would make no sense. Ha. Ugh. In a way I am fastening this comment to your comment to the story?

  3. Tom Payne
    Tom Payne says:

    Great! I am going to need nice screws and they sell boxes of 25 which is perfect. Now I don’t have to buy 100 to get the 20 that I need.
    BTW – I was the Purchasing Agent/Parts Guy in the NASCAR shop for over a decade. One of my jobs was keeping up with all of the fasteners that we used.. and we used a ton of them, I can assure you.

  4. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    This is sure a lot better than last Saturday’s story. I think this will be a fun day! Thanks Matt.

  5. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    After spending some time on their site I feel really stupid.

    I never even heard of INCONEL 600, and what is a Bugle Head screw. Than I couldn’t find Stainless Phillips Oval Head and do I need 18-8 SS or 316 SS.

    These guys are going to either love having new customers or they are going to roll their eyes at the uneducated guys like myself who call with all these foolish questions.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Oh Ya and in the About Us section it states that Ron works with high powered companies servicing the Navy, GSA, and MAINE.

      I never thought of us in the ANE as being that important. I think I will add that to my resume also.

      Like this guy already!

  6. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    Matt, I am not sure but i have the recollection that cc started using reed and prince brand frearson head screws around 1940, prior to ww2?

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Careful Don you may get redirected. There is actually a thread on the buzz explaining the minute differences between R&P and Frearson screws.

      • don vogt
        don vogt says:

        Actually, Troy, I am the one that started that thread! But someone can chime with the definitive answer as to when the switchover occurred.

    • Steve L
      Steve L says:

      My understanding is June of 1941. However, Chris Craft continued to use their inventory of slotted screws up. There are some boats that had R&P on one side and slotted on the other because that’s what the workers had on the line. No one would see them because of the bungs.
      Ron at Top Notch is very knowledgeable and sells a good product with great service.

      • jim g
        jim g says:

        I have a 1941 25′ sportsman with the optinal sedan roof. The hull was planked with slotted screws and the sedan roof was built with R&P screws. The boat is a grey boat that has not been restored.

        Don Danenburg has the Chris Craft factory memo that gives the change over date for when the factory went form slotted to R&P.

  7. AldenR
    AldenR says:

    R&P began making Frearson head screws in 1938 using the expired Frearson patent. No other manufacturer had the heading technology to make Frearson head screws for years and years after. Today’s screw makers are using heading punch tooling that is larger than that used by R&P. In other words, a simple adjustment in heading punch tooling by today’s manufacturers could produce screws that look identical to those produced back in the day.

  8. Gary
    Gary says:

    Just talked to Ron yesterday and ‘am out another couple hundred for some screws and carriage bolts. I hope you guys are checking out the prices on carriage bolts because that will leave you screwed and wondering when Matt is going to get us all bolted up.

  9. Wes
    Wes says:

    Matt- What a great addition to the WoodyBoater family!! Ron and Top Notch Fasteners are an awesome source for silicone bronze fasteners. We got turned on to Ron through Don Danenberg’s forum and have purchased all of our fasteners from him so far on our project. Ron makes it so easy to purchase. We simply send him a list of fasteners that we need and 2 days later the lovely UPSP lady drops them by the house with a smile. Almost as fast as going to the big orange box store down the street. The best part though is the quality. TOP NOTCH!!

    • Mike K
      Mike K says:

      ive ordered from him before, he used to run a special on danenbergs page once in a while.

      great service, even questioned me why i didnt ordered nuts (already had them)

      2 words;

  10. jim g
    jim g says:

    I’ve been using Ron’s screw’s for almost 20 years. I found him through a internet search looking for chrome plated R&P screws. Back then the business was called Clark Craft Fasteners. I turned Don Danenburg on to him in the late 90’s. Ron is a wealth of knowledge.

    To Mike W. Ron probably has some chrome machine screws. I have gotten them from him before. He might still have some left in small quantity’s. If not let me know what size you need. I have some left over form the Century Coronado I did 12 or so years ago.

  11. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Big fan of Ron at Top Notch. He has helped out with the weird stuff many times in addition to the normal stuff.

    The flat head frearson machine screws like in the hatch quadrants are getting hard to find around my shop.

    #7 frearson oval head statuary bronze ceiling board screws are on my wish list too.

    I have made the 1/4-20 chrome oval head frearson machine screws by welding #14 chrome wood screws (from Ron) to a 1/4-20 bolt shank.

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