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Revision as of 01:57, 16 November 2011 by Tomwj (talk | contribs) (→‎Mail order)
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In no particular order except for the broad categories, a list of places that sell stuff that is relevant to our interests. Personal experience of these, good or bad, would be useful on the discussion page.

London services & workshops

  • Blueprint model shop They have a laser cutter, and may also do plastic board.
  • Hamar acrylic (ask for Terry). "Hamar tend to turn things around in a couple of days. They can do all sorts of complex plastic fabbing as well as simple cutting. Excellent variety of materials in stock." Apparently, they don't have much of what they advertise in stock.
  • 4D Model Shop "They have a proper shop with racks of sheet material. They also sell the tools and laser cutting services. A quicker way of getting sheet material, but you'll probably have to cut it yourself."

Others to try:

London retail or trade counter


  • RS has most things, more professional. 4 london trade counters, including one in Bow
  • Cricklewood Electronics A real shop, with little drawers of stuff & everything.
  • Maplin chain, more hobbyist. Getting really poor at actual components.
  • Cool Components Sparkfun stuff. Personal callers now allowed by appointment.
  • Earthshine Ran by a Hackspace member. Arduinos and other parts (can sometimes be found on hackspace IRC) Discounts for LHS members on request.
  • Direct Electronics (Manor Park) One of the few remaining component shops that isn't Maplin. Not visited for years but they seem to still be there.
  • Display Electronics Possibly the last remaining electronics surplus place in London.


See also Lab_24#Nearby_shops or Editable map of material supplies in London (feel free to add to / change this too).

London-based, primarily mail order

  • Robosavvy Robotics, Sparkfun, Makerbot spares. Popular online forum for humanoid robot enthusiasts (mail order next day delivery)
  • skpang S K Pang - Sparkfun products and other parts
  • Earthshine Ran by a Hackspace member. Arduinos and other parts (can sometimes be found on hackspace IRC) Discounts for LHS members on request.

Mail order

  • Farnell has almost everything, more professional. Owns CPC and Newark. Note CPC are sometimes cheaper than Farnell for the same items
  • RS has most things, more professional, usually more expensive (especially for small orders).
  • Rapid Usually cheaper than RS or Farnell for run-of-the-mill parts. Website search often sucks - try to get a paper catalogue
  • Mouser USA based but free shipping. >£50 Like farnell but often a little cheaper.
  • Digikey USA based but free shipping >£50. Like Mouser but bigger range, typically a little more expensive
  • Toby UK Specialising in board-board and signal-board connectors. Potential UK supplier of hard-to-find extra long pin headers as used by the Arduino platform.
  • Northern Connectors Specialist connector distributors. Mainly bulk deals but order threshold is low.
  • Seeed studio
  • Sparkfun electronics
  • Oomlout Arduino & DIY electronics
  • Amazon (next-day with Russ's Amazon Prime account) - equipment is often cheaper
  • Bits Box
  • Barend Hendriksen Holland. Interesting RF parts.
  • Keytronics Obsolete IC supplier mail order, can also be found with small parts at radio rallies.
  • MMS Electronics - SPI/I2C graphic LCDs (pricelist)
  • Metals4u Metal stock, Aluminium, Steel etc. - Welding equipment.
  • Hindleys Stock metals and plastics, and most kinds of tools and consumables, often surprisingly cheap
  • Mega Electronics PCB-making supplies. Their products are also sold by Farnell and Rapid but may be cheaper from Mega.
  • Smtstencil Cheap polyester SMT stencils. Quick service.
  • Chronos Engineering supplies, tools etc.
  • Modelfixings Every type of nut, bolt etc. you can imagine, including very small ones.
  • Fix8 Like 'Modelfixings' but more cost-effective for large numbers.
  • A2A4 Stainless fasteners, screws etc.
  • TechnoBots - electronics and some very nice hardware components, gears, pneumatics, chains, pulleys (10% Hackspace Membership discount code available - contact asc/ascen on irc)
  • Goodwill, Ultraleds, Led-tech - A gazillion kinds of LED
  • Sure Electronics (China) Interesting selection of electronic stuff.
  • MUTR Various interesting stuff mostly intended for school science labs
  • Cole Parmer - chemical equipment
  • HS Walsh Jewellers tools and supplies.
  • Beers of Europe, King's Lynn A truly amazing selection of beer.
  • RDG Tools - machine tools and accessories, free postage, generally reasonable prices.
  • Reeves model engineers - metals etc.
  • GLR Distributors - metals, steam engines, tools. Geocities-style website.
  • Allendale Stores I first came across this company at a model engineer's exhibiton, trading as Machine DRO and selling cheap glass scales and display units. They now seem to have branched out into a complete hacker's delight - SMD rework stations, RC data loggers, machine tools, wifi aerials .. all those chinese things at more or less chinese prices, but in Hoddesdon. One to watch.
  • MetPrep Supplies hard to find wet/dry sanding belts used in preparing metallurgical samples and what the belt sander was originally used for


Although homemade PCBs have been succesfully made in the hackspace, there are occasions where commercial suppliers are more convenient - where you want larger numbers, or very detailed etching, or the advantages of solder resist, silk screen etc. There are several possibilities :

  • UK/EU commercial suppliers. Fairly expensive but can be fast and good quality.
    • Spirit Pretty well priced. Also provide a free & fast 'Naked' PCB service [1]
    • Eurocircuits EU based PCB house - several proto services. Fairly cheap for stainless SMT stencils.
    • PWT UK based full-capability PCB place for stuff Screenbond can't do. Typically cheaper than Eurociruits for 4-layer
    • Screenbond UK based PCB house with unusually low tooling costs (typ £40). 1 & 2 layer only. Can do 24hr turnround if you have deep pockets.
    • PCB-Pool Proto/low-volume oriented PCB service, not the cheapest these days but offer a free stainless SMT stencil.
    • PCB Train Fast turn around, good prices. Also have an assembly service and a 1 day (~£40 all in) prototype service for uncoated 2 layer boards.
  • Far-eastern commercial suppliers. Probably cheaper for really large batches
    • PCBCART PCBs from China. Very cheap once you get over a square foot or two. Reliable, Quality generally good. A gazillion options - funky resist & silk colours (Matt black is cool!) , thicknesses etc.
  • Far-eastern hobbyist suppliers such as Seeed Studio.
  • Community cooperatives such as DorkbotPDX combine designs from multiple users to make an economic panel, then split it up.


  • Aluminium Warehouse Seems to have a good selection and very very good prices (and prices listed on the website!).
  • Metals4U Good selection of metals (including brass etc), and reasonably priced. Prices listed online.
  • Doré Metal Services Relatively cheap and good selection. Have to call/email for quote though.
  • Orion Alloys Moderately priced, but the prices aren't listed.
  • Smiths Metal Centres Have physical presence in london (N1 4BZ) but very very expensive. Avoid.

Other localish possibilities:

Laser Cutter consumables

See: Equipment/LaserCutter - Consumables


Go to Four Vintners - it's "about 25% cheaper than Majestic" and closer. Don't waste the beer money on the local offie (although they are friendly and helpful).

Classified ads and junk sales


Some online sellers offer distributor prices to hackspaces provided a minimum order level is met.

If you're interested in aggregating your order to obtain these discounts please provide details

Free Samples Colour selector, Sample request

Castle Fine Arts Foundry (bronze casting): free wax - click green 'free wax' icon top right of page.

Things we might want [6]


I have dealt with these on ebay and received from good to outstanding service from them

I have dealt with these sellers in the real world (and sometimes also on ebay) and will gladly use them [again].

These sellers seem to have particularly interesting and relevant products, but I haven't dealt with them yet.