When building somethng like a CNC machine, robot or automatic beer dispenser, many of us reuse components from many different sources that we find surplus....in dumpsters, junkyards, scraping older machines, thift stores, etc.
So where have YOU found your reuseable mechanical and electronic components and what were they from?
I recommend OEM Parts in Colorado Springs. Just _browsing_ the isles will take you 2-3 hours. To pick up, look over, and place back interesting junque you see will add another 2 hours to your visit.
Jeff Jeff Duntemann describes it quite well on his website:
They also have an eBay store that I did not know about. (But, then, now-a-days *everybody* has an eBay store....)
A brief look over their eBay store merchandise doesn't EVEN BEGIN to convey how much Really Good Crap they have there.
In the last 10 years they've moved twice within Colorado Springs -- each time from a defunct grocery store to a yet-larger defunct grocery store. I never got to see them do a move. THAT would be something a feller could tell to his grandchildren!
My wife knows she won't see me for the whole day when I head out on the 50 mile drive up there.
It's getting tougher and tougher as manufacturing goes offshore. A few years ago I worked at Rohr Ind. making aircraft nacells and the like. All surplus stuff went to the one acre salvage yard open to all on Saturdays. I still have stuff hanging from the rafter of stuff that one day will be used. Bearings, shafts, wheel, brackets, metal parts of all kinds. And even then there were two major salvage operators in the San Diego area where I could pick up anything from slides to motors to bekers, to resistors and anything in betwen.
About all we have left no days are the auto junk yards where windishield wiper motors, window motors, solenoids, starter motors and the like can be had for good prices. But the good old days of scrounging the industrial salvage yards are gone. I now use McMaster Carr and say to hek with saving a nickel or dime when all I need to do is place an order by email and have the part next day. Speed has replaced cheap.
Myself, as a humanoid robotic/animatronic builder only use components that can be had in quantity-All of my projects rely on the same steppers with different gearing for each joint/movement. In most cases, only the external features change all that much, so It is simply not feasible to re-invent the wheel for every new scrap that comes along. I do often locate a useable item in online surplus, and hoard as many as possible, which helps with costs.
There are actually three other reasons there is less industrial/military surplus these days, and at least for military surplus offshore production isn't one of them:
The gobment is mandating more and more of the "retired" components be destroyed, rather than liquidated, because of its sensitive security issues. Even when there are no secret mechanisms to protect, the gobment feels certain individuals could purchase Uncle Sam's discards to use in terrorist devices.
The core materials in some of this stuff is worth more as salvage than as surplus, and the money gets paid faster. Prices for copper is going through the roof.
New state and federal laws regarding disposition of anything with lead has surplus dealers not as willing to purchase palettes of miscellaneous junk. They used to just throw the extra stuff out; now they can't do that, because of the lead content in everything including old IBM PC motherboards. They have to pay to have it recycled.
I see about same quantity of military surplus stuff as before, and at no worse prices.
As for "sensitive security issues", I am begging people to take my submarine navigation equipment from Ohio and Los Angeles class subs. For free. I bought this from the military itself, as part of my buying/selling surplus stuff, and could not sell.
So, if you want submarine pieces for free, stop by and pick them up, I am west of Chicago. (yes, I already posted to craigslist anf freecycle)
(US citizens only plz)
These would make nice outdoor boxes for whatever you might fancy.
LOL. funny to see "P&D surplus" here. (international newsgroup, P&T is local to me) yeah, they're still there. there's always controversy about the name though, people always debating if it's "P&D" or "P&T". just looked in the phone book, i guess he changed the name, "P&T Surplus 198 Abeel St. Kingston NY (845) 338-6191" he's a good guy, gave me a break/discount multiple times, i think he has his gearmotors at too high a price though. :-)
We have several industrial surplus companies in our area. There are also several manufacturing resources in the area to furnish fodder for these companies. Lucent (deceased), Seagate, Hitachi and other smaller companies produce a wealth of materials. One reason we now live in a warehouse is my "familiarity" with these companies. The main one (over 100,000 sqft under roof) has one area just for salvaging industrial equipment. Several years ago, Hitachi closed a production line and it went to salvage there. After the assembled equipment was found not marketable as such, I spent many evenings, weekends and spare time disassembling the devices and bought parts. Servo motors, lots of bearing rail, ball screws, manufacturing process camera equip, a pot-load of aluminum unistrut type material, stepper motors and controllers, plc's and lots of misc, etc and-so-on stuff (even micrometer air cylinders) were included. Lots of little CNC devices have come from the old Seagate plant. Got a nice x-z Daedal (6x12) positioner with Parker/Compumotor drive. Got another nice xyz with rotation unit that has a Galil controller and all servo drives. Anyone like Galil and C++ programming? Not I. Did some trading for some old Intelidex robot arms and controllers and if anyone knows ANYTHING about these guys, we need to talk. I've found nice DC motors and controllers on paper shredders and treadmills. Hospital surplus is great for this stuff. Got a fairly complete CT table and controller cabinet with several DC motors, b-rails and ballscrews, etc, at one place. Now, what have I built? Mostly an accumulation to draw from when we finally get our house sold and settled here. I have been able to help some local friends with their projects, though. Respectfully, Ron Moore
"Too_Many_Tools" wrote in message news: email@example.com...
There are some thrift stores where I live that sell used computers for between $5 and $15. They range from 486's to Pentium III's, as well as old Mac's. Most of these machines work, but I don't need old computers, so I buy some for salvage parts. In a couple of lucky cases, I've been able to use some of the parts to repair broken music synthesizers. They also get millions of power supplies, cables, and such junk there. I once picked up a pretty nice bench power supply for a few dollars, and I got an oscilloscope too once, some scientific calculators, etc.
And here's a sort of negative answer ... When I was a teenager I had a string a terrible, frustrating jobs. One of them was doing inventory in a warehouse for electronic and mechanical parts. There were thousands of neat little parts in this place and my job was to keep counting them. I also had to pull the parts that were discontinued. So one day I'd pulled a whole bunch of these nifty little things -- motors, LEDs, connectors, etc. -- and I asked the supervisor where they were going. "We incinerate them when they're discontinued," he answered. "Incinerate them? Well, can I take them if you're just going to burn them?" I asked. "No," he answered without explanation. I remember thinking what a big, stupid dufus this guy was, and how I'd never get anywhere with him, but I went ahead and asked him why I couldn't take them. "Because they're patented," he said. When I pointed out to him that this had nothing to do with anything, he turned around and shouted in a booming voice to the guy who dealt with the incinerator, "Hey, Joe. We've got some discontinued stuff here. Come get it and make sure it burns."