Standoffs, Nuts and Bolts

Hi All,
I'm a newbie to robotics. One of the things I'm encountering is the expense or local unavailability of standoffs for circuit boards, nuts and bolts,
etc., for my experiments. Can some recommend an online source that sells such things in bulk (say 25-100) at reasonable prices?
Thanks,
// Jim
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You don't say what would be local for you, but www.digikey.com has all that stuff. Hardware stores have the nuts and bolts as well and sometimes standoffs.
Mitch Berkson
Zagan wrote:

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Zagan wrote:

Most any hardware or home improvement store will have sizes from 6-32. The better hardware stores will have stainless steel in 4-40, though it can be expensive in the quantity you want. Radio Shack sells 2-56 and 4-40 assortments.
Standoffs are best purchased surplus; new they can be frightfully expensive. Selection can be limited. All Electronics is one source -- average price is 15 cents each, and they offer price breaks for 100. If you need a specific size, then Mitch's suggestion of Digikey is a good one. Mouser is another source.
The little mail-order robotics outfit I run when I'm not trying to get some sleep (http://www.budgetrobotics.com) sells the more commonly-used 2-56 and 4-40 hardware steel hardware, 6-32 and 8-32 nylon, and some standoffs. (The standoffs are sold as a set of four risers, with the matching screws. That's how most folks use them anyway, and I try to save them the hassle of buying extra hardware they don't need. They're not sold in bulk, which sounds like what you're after.)
-- Gordon Author: Constructing Robot Bases (Forthcoming) Robot Builder's Sourcebook, Robot Builder's Bonanza
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[Zagan] Thanks Gordon and Mitch for your replies. The best hardware store in my area is Home Depot, but I couldn't find anything smaller that 8-32. I figure I'm going to need 4-40 thru 10-32 bolts of various lengths. Gainesville (FL) has four Radio Shacks, so I'll check there. I'll check with Digikey and Mouser, too.
Thanks again,
// Jim
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Zagan wrote:

Most (all?) Home Depots will have separate drawers for the smaller stuff. HOWEVER, it is packed in 2s and 3s and can be very expensive.
You might try visiting the online sites for Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware (don't have the URLs handy--you can get them from Google), but you might look to see if there's one in the next town, or a store hidden in a part of town you don't get into much. Depending on the store of course, the selection could be quite a bit better.
Though you have to pay shipping, there's always cornerhardware.com, doityourself.com, and dozens of other cyberhardware stores.
-- Gordon Author: Constructing Robot Bases (Forthcoming) Robot Builder's Sourcebook, Robot Builder's Bonanza
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Don't forget that your local Radio Control Model Car and Airplane Hobby Shop has all these little screws, nuts and bolts too. Usually you can get these in both American and Metric thread types too. 0-90 on up to 1/4-20 are common in these hobby shops. Hobby Shops that sell a lot of model train stuff are also a good place to look too. Hobby shops are an excellent source of parts and stuff for robotics.

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Earl Bollinger wrote:

Actually, I didn't forget them. The prices at most aren't what I'd call very good, and most don't sell in bulk of 25 or 100. Some packaging is in a modest quantity, like a set of 8-10 screws and nuts for $3 or so. I tend to use them only if I'm in a hurry and the local outlets don't have it. They are also one of the few sources for things like 2-56 pronged T-nuts.
I don't begrudge hobby stores for charging what they do on these items, as the bulk of what they do sell is at low margin. Helps make up for only getting a couple bucks on a $20 servo, for example. But relying just on them for hardware would get real expensive!
-- Gordon Author: Constructing Robot Bases (Forthcoming) Robot Builder's Sourcebook, Robot Builder's Bonanza
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[Zagan] Thanks for the info, Gordon. BTW, I ordered some standoffs from your website.
Your description of Home Depot fits the one in my area (Gainesville, FL). Oddly, I could buy a package of 100 #8-32 nuts, but not screws. I just remember that there's an Ace Hardware store down the street from where I live, so I'll check there.
Thanks to you and everyone who contributed to this thread.
// Jim
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You can replace a standoff by a long screw and short piece of pipe. Even 6-8mm flexible plastic tube works fine for these short lengths and is easy to cut.
Wim
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I've always leaned toward acquiring the majority of these items by using the TIA method. Find an old, tossed away IBM PC or clone and Take It Apart. It may be a little time consuming, but the parts are cheap and in an old PC they are plentiful.

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[Zagan] Yes, I do this, too. Copy machines, printers. etc., can be a source of mechanical and electronic parts as well.
// Jim
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Where do you live? If you live in the San Francisco area, you can go to HSC Electronics in San Jose, Cotati or Sacramento. They also advertise in Nuts and Volts. They have all that hardware there.
chris in napa
Zagan wrote:

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[Zagan] Hi Chris. I live in Gainesville, FL. but thanks for the info. I believe I've purchased from HSC before. As far as I know, Gainesville has only one electronics surplus store. It's a bit unorganized, but I've picked up some interesting stuff from them.
Thanks again,
// Jim
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You can order on line
www.halted.com
But it sure is a fun place to to shop in....
chris in napa
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