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:
- http://www.trentplastics.co.uk/ (have dealt with them, Levi was very helpful get the order in before 3pm and they'll dispatch it next day, plus if you don't see it on their website call and ask as they have more in stock than is on there)
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.
- Direct Electronics (Manor Park) One of the few remaining component shops that isn't Maplin. Not been there for years but they seem to still be there.
- Display Electronics Possibly the last remaining electronics surplus place in London.
- Clerkenwell screws All manner of screws etc. and some tools
London-based, primarily mail order
- Robosavvy Robotics, Sparkfun, Makerbot spares. Popular online forum for humanoid robot enthusiasts (mail order next day delivery)
- Earthshine Arduinos and other parts (can sometimes be found on hackspace IRC)
- skpang S K Pang - Sparkfun products and other parts
- Farnell has everything, more professional. Owns CPC and Newark. Note CPC are sometimes cheaper than Farnell for the same items
- RS has most things, more professional.
- Rapid Usually cheaper than RS or Farnell for run-of-the-mill parts. Website search often sucks - try to get a paper catalogue
- Toby Every type of connector you could possibly want.
- 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.
- Seeed studio
- Sparkfun 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Laser Cutter consumables
Classified ads and junk sales
- engineering machinery , materials and small ads
- amateur radio rallies have lots of interesting junk and random components. Rallies have been in decline in recent years, but Dunstable Downs near Luton in May is always worth a trip.
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
Castle Fine Arts Foundry (bronze casting): free wax - click green 'free wax' icon top right of page.
I have dealt with these on ebay and received from good to outstanding service from them
- the solderman soldering equipment (artag)
- acuflow syringes (artag)
- crodnet components (artag)
- Spiratronics components (artag)
I have dealt with these sellers in the real world (and sometimes also on ebay) and will gladly use them [again].
- pyedpyeman surplus radio gear (artag)
- fazerblazer machinery and manuals (artag)
- nezretroussez components and military radios (artag)
- pcefficient ex-corporate IT equipment (artag)
These sellers seem to have particularly interesting and relevant products, but I haven't dealt with them yet.
- vinyl cutting blades (artag)
- John Stevenson from rec.models.engineering (artag)
- gas-filled tubes (artag)