Monday, July 23, 2007

Sources for tools and parts

There are a few vendors that every engineer ought to be familiar with whether you do design, fabrication, or operational support. These vendors carry a wide variety of parts or tools within their particular market niche. They have good web sites and good paper catalogs. Personally, I recommend getting a copy of their paper catalogs and browsing them. Every time I browse their catalogs I find something new and think “I didn’t know they made something that did this!”

McMaster Carr – tools, maintenance and repair operation support, materials. Need a pneumatic bolt cutter, threaded rod, plexiglass sheet, bolt? This is the big boy of this list. Definitely get their paper catalog! Unfortunately it’s not free for the asking. You have to buy it. You might be able to scrounge one up. Mine is seven years old but the part numbers are still good.

Newark – If you do anything with electronics you need this catalog. Lists resistors, connectors, cable crimpers, oscilloscopes.

Grainger – a competitor to McMaster Carr. They have a product line similar to McMaster Carr. Personally I prefer ordering from ordering from McMaster Carr. Grainger, however, has local outlets. Being able to pick up your parts locally can be very useful.

W.M. Berg – are you designing low power mechanical systems needing couplings, gears, belts, bearings, shafts, pins? Get their catalog. I have found I refer to their catalog almost as much as McMaster Carr’s.

Small Parts – as their name suggest if you are building small things take a look at their catalog. They carry items such as hypodermic tubing, miniature screws, miniature tubing connectors, glass ball bearings, micro drill bits (down to .002” diameter, yes, .002”)

CarrLane – this one is bit more specialized than the others but I refer to their catalog often enough to be worthy of inclusion. They carry handles, knobs, hoisting rings, locating pins, fixturing clamps, fixturing bases, leveling feet, and T-bolts.

MSC Direct – A competitor to McMaster Carr or Grainger. I include them because their catalog has a good selection of machine tools, cutters, and inspection equipment. When I’m looking for a specialized set of micrometers, or an optical comparator this is where I go look first.


Blogger Job Descriptions said...

Thanks for sharing, very helpful sites..I have bookmarked!

Quality Analyst Job Description

Friday, October 22, 2010  

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