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Author Topic: Procuring parts, gears, valves and the like  (Read 3420 times)
Gozdom
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« on: August 13, 2009, 02:40:48 pm »

This topic may already exist, I did not find it unfortunately.

Most of the projects I see here start with taking "the" bucket full of brass gears, old valves, cogwheels, pistons etc. Question: where to get this bucket? Some say the dump is a source, but I only found big unwieldy car parts and lead piping there. Not the delicate little gears and axles. Flea market may be an option, but filling the bucket from there, piece by piece, would total about 1000 euros (I already picked up a few this and that, old dentist's equipment etc.)

I suppose the most cost-effective way might be disassembling old broken clocks and such. Is that right? What types?

Also, most modern gears are very different from the thin filigree brass gears I see around. Not to mention that most gearing is made of plastic. Please help.
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Taillte
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2009, 02:47:50 pm »

Mostly clocks, yes. All wind up, obviously, such as mantle clocks, grandfather clocks, old alarm clocks. I've been able to find old wind up alarm clocks at the Flea Market for two or three dollars each and I'm going back to visit a man who said he has "big ben" clocks with gears, which he can sell for a dollar a piece. So, best bet is really digging at a Flea Market or going on ebay. Ebay always has many people selling piles of gears. I got five medium size ones for eight dollars (that's price and shipping).
But I don't know about anything else because I've just been working with gears lately.
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Gozdom
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2009, 02:58:34 pm »

OK, I'll hunt clocks. E-bay is hardly an option, I live in Hungary, shipping would cost more than the price.
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2009, 03:24:50 pm »

about 1000 euros
Above: my current cost of parts to date Roll Eyes
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Kittybriton
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2009, 10:18:12 pm »

I have assorted bits and bobs that might be useful, and in my vague and nebulous way, have started a Google Docs spreadsheet to list items available from anyone who might want to sell "junk". If you're interested in listing something, or would like to see what is already listed, send me a PM with an email address that I can send a link/invitation to.
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Gozdom
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2009, 11:57:59 pm »

Thanks for the invitation, but transcontinental, even trans-Europe transport is just not worth it when the item to buy is about 1$, shipping is 20. I'll have to explore local sources and buy or pick up old devices for disassembling. Apart from clocks, what else may yield nice gears and plumbing parts?

I'll also have to find a way to explain my wife the beauty and usefulness of my own junkyard. I guess a good steampunker needs about a ton of parts put aside with the words "this might come handy for something..."
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Kittybriton
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2009, 12:29:07 am »

And you know within 48 hours of finally deciding you're never going to find a use for it, you'll find a use for it  Embarrassed
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Dr. makebot
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2009, 01:33:13 pm »

so true.
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steam_crossed
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« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2009, 03:35:13 pm »

And you know within 48 hours of finally deciding you're never going to find a use for it, you'll find a use for it  Embarrassed


ugh! I do this all the time. I keep crazy little trinkets for months at a time or even longer and when I finally throw them away, I start some project that they would have been perfect for!

so I have just started to come to terms with my being a pack-rat. at least I'm a clean pack-rat! everything has its place.


Also interested in finding parts here! I am going to see if there are any flea markets by me (I have heard of a few) because I also thought that would be a good place to look.

Happy Hunting!  Cheesy
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Special_kaye
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2009, 05:27:08 pm »

We have a huge flea market and many thrift stores, all of which I have scoured for every week going on a month now. I have yet to locate one wind up clock, other than one beat up grandfather clock listed at retail price. I dream of buckets of gears. Or, a bucket. Or, even a few. Maybe just one nice brass gear....
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Lt. Thomas Corvidae
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2011, 11:39:38 pm »

I am going to go ahead and say that ebay is probably not the best place, for anywhere you are. I purchased some "clock" gears and they ended up being watch gears...a huge difference in size, and very disappointing. Flea markets are the best, that's where I procure most of my skeleton keys, and other similar objects. 
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SgtPepper
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2011, 03:14:44 am »

For those of us who live in the US or Canada, there's a charity organization called Habitat for Humanity which builds houses out of used building materials.

Why do we care?  Because they raise money by SELLING said building materials, at lovely prices!

Here's where to find your local store: www.habitat.org/restores/

I've found so many treasures at our local ReStore... They've got old lamps, drawer pulls, hinges, plumbing, hardware, ceiling fan blades simply screaming to be made into jet pack wings... I got a lovely vintage hand-crank drill with some beautiful gears for $3.50, and it was one of the most expensive things I bought that day.

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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2011, 07:42:13 am »

I don't know the type of area you live in. if there are plenty people living around you, you can just walk a little bit more and frequent shortcuts that take you past the large garbage cans around apartment complexes and industrial areas. many places have laws against picking through private dumpsters, more for safety concerns than anything else.
also worksites where a building may be being renovated. you are looking for diamonds in the rough, so you need to look for potential in items. that corroded lump of faucet handles and copper pipe may give you all kinds of bits and pieces to work with. same with an old clock sitting in a dumpster.
here in the states, especially in college towns, there's a sort of tradition of leaving things that might have some life left in them on the side of a dumpster instead of inside the dumpster. that way things like lamps and cabinets and chairs may get reused by kids looking for some basic furniture for their apartments and rooms.
there may be people you run into on a regular basis but don't even notice, people who scrounge recycling materials or who live on the streets. as uncomfortable as it may sound to interact with them, you can explain what you look for and need and strike up a little trade agreement to benefit both of you, they can make a few euros keeping an eye out for the bits you really want (more than they would get for the recycle value) and you get the bits and pieces for a fraction you would pay for retail working items. keep it strictly business, only interract on neutral ground (don't invite them home and don't even let them know how to contact you) at the most maybe they will know where you work so that they can flag you down at lunch or after hours to show you any finds. only pay them for things you truly want. some of these people can con you out of your money out of guilt or pitty. be very picky, and so will they. then you won't be bothered any more than is necessary.
around where I live are scroungers who drive around in old trucks, picking up old appliances and scrap metal, like bicycles. treat them with respect and let them know where they might find some good scrap (my boss lets me know when they want to get rid of bigger items that will overflow our dumpster, he knows I can make a few calls and have it gone in hours) let them know what you are interrested in scrounging and they will keep an eye out for you. everyone wins.
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Herbert West
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2011, 05:21:11 am »

 I didn't realize til recently that Goodwill has an online auction site. They have some interesting items, and seem a lot cheaper than places like Ebay.

 For what its worth:

http://www.shopgoodwill.com/
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 11:52:42 am by Herbert West » Logged

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Lt. Thomas Corvidae
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2011, 06:16:45 am »

Mr. West sir, you are a genius. First click and look what I find:
http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Vintage-Deep-Sea-CopperBrass--Diving-Helmet-7773332.html

a bit out of my price range, but someone in this forum must buy!
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youbedead
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2011, 06:12:35 am »

some great finds on there
http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Vintage-The-Country-Belle-Telephone-by-Guild-7815113.html
http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Antique-Brass-Blow-Torch-7811092.html
http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Antique-Rolleiflex-Camera-wRollei-Lens-Hood-7818480.html
http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Antique-brass-Lock-with-Keys-HH-7817545.html
http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Old-Model-F-63-General-Electric-Tube-Radio-7822070.html
http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Vintage-Wood-Handled-Blowtorch-7823469.html
http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Engineering-Tools-7791120.html

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Videodrome
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« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2011, 04:26:04 am »

Well so far I'm starting to looking into this.  I'm close to Allen, Michigan which is an Antiques corridor.  I bought a few odd widgets there including an antique syringe of all things.  I didn't think any of their clocks quite worked for being steampunked but maybe next go around I'll consider buying them just for the parts and gears.

Then I browsed Home Depot looking for things and getting ideas.  I thought about getting thin copper tubing later.  For now I got a pack of small long thing springs and some LED lights. 

I also thought about the color.  Lots of plumbing stuff was Chrome I wonder if everything really ought to be closer to a Brass color.

Another thing I checked out at the antique store was old lanterns.  If modified is there a prefered Bulb?
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Maets
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« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2011, 01:15:19 pm »

Check out motorcycle shops.  I just got hundreds of pounds of gears, sprockets, rotors, and mufflers from a motorcycle shop going out of business. 
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Disaster
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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2011, 11:35:40 pm »

Thanks Herbert... Loving the Goodwill auctions. Who would have thought?
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