+1234 to the above advice.
My favorite hardware store isn't a big box, and has been around for years. They have just about everything, but you have to know where it is to find it.
When I send people there, I tell them: "Go to A+A Trading Post. Go inside, find the oldest guy you can, and ask him how to do xyz." They always come back with what they need.
A good hardware store with knowledgable people is an indispensible part of life.