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Blog entry by poopiekat posted 01-18-2010 05:22 PM 2907 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

What I really like to do when not generating sawdust is designing simple production fixtures and building machinery from salvage. In the past I’ve built two 6”X 89” edge sanders, a 6” X 186” stroke sander, and quite a few X-Y box joint and/or dovetail fixtures. But, these days, my shop is clean and I don’t have my big stash of electro-mechanical components anymore, so I have to source things out as I need them.

In the US, a great source for this stuff is McMaster-Carr, a company I am quite familiar with, who typically has just about any gear, bearing, belt or other mechanical part you’d ever need. So… from their website, I submitted a fairly big order for timing sprockets and belts, pillow blocks, bevel gears, and linear motion components. That was two weeks ago, and I received a confirmation of the order within an hour of submitting it.

Imagine my surprise when I got an email from them today, regretting the fact that they could not honor my order, due to “ever-increasing Customs regulations”!!! Yeah, I live in Canada nowadays, and didn’t even give it a thought. I knew McMaster’s reputation for fast worldwide shipping, and assumed I made the right decision.

Question is…I need to find a wide-based industrial supply house either IN Canada, or willing to ship TO Canada. I need a place that has on-the-shelf inventory, and is willing to sell to private individuals like me.
Does anyone have some first-hand experience with such a place in Canada? Please don’t suggest Google…18 pages worth, either they won’t sell to Canada, minimum $ order size, cater to corporate accounts only, or want my Dun&Bradstreet ID….frustrating! I’m buying dribs and drabs on eBay, but the shipping costs are killing me . Heck, I might even consider a mail-forwarding service, I don’t mind paying duty on what I buy, at this point. Who has solved this problem?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!



11 comments so far

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

680 posts in 1874 days


#1 posted 01-18-2010 05:38 PM

Possibly http://www.mscdirect.com, but you should call and see if they’ll ship across the border.

McMaster Carr is awesome, though. Next day delivery for under $5.

-- Gerry, http://g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3733 posts in 2478 days


#2 posted 01-18-2010 05:43 PM

Thanks, Ger! I’ll check it out. I’m building a helical lathe, one that will enable spiral cuts to be made on cylindrical legs and columns. I promised A1Jim I’d do a blog of it to chronicle the progress, ...if I ever can get the bits and pieces all together. Thanks!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View David Murray's profile

David Murray

187 posts in 1858 days


#3 posted 01-18-2010 06:23 PM

Maybe Grainger would fit your needs. They are a worldwide company.

-- Dave from "The Sawdust Shed"

View RetiredCoastie's profile

RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1926 days


#4 posted 01-18-2010 07:04 PM

Believe it when you see it….!

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3733 posts in 2478 days


#5 posted 01-18-2010 10:07 PM

David Murray,
thanks for the tip! In Canada, it’s known as “Acklands-Grainger” and mostly they sell janitorial supplies, and building maintenance products. I tried to trick the Grainger website into accepting my area code or postal code…. no dice. I hate to impose on relatives to receive my freight in the US and send it to me. Has the Customs procedures really gotten that difficult, lately? Used to be a declaration and a little green ticket.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3733 posts in 2478 days


#6 posted 01-18-2010 10:09 PM

Ooopsie, Coastie! You’re in the wrong thread.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View RetiredCoastie's profile

RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1926 days


#7 posted 01-18-2010 10:37 PM

No I’m not!

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View papadan's profile

papadan

1156 posts in 2112 days


#8 posted 01-19-2010 01:07 AM

I’ll need a big box for this one!

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5116 posts in 2456 days


#9 posted 01-19-2010 01:18 AM

Is Luke’s Machinery (on Notre Dame) still open, they used to have a pretty broad range of stuff. One of my favourites was Bearing Supply in Winnipeg they had quite of good range of, you guessed it, bearings and related bits and pieces. Aklands had a pretty good show room at one time and I think they sold beyond the janitorial stuff, then again I didn’t deal too much with them.

Do you do your own customs brokering, that sometimes eases the reluctance from foreign companies dealing into Canada (it is also waaaay cheaper than hiring a broker). Mind you I’ve not done anything in that line for twenty some odd years now so things may be different :-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3733 posts in 2478 days


#10 posted 01-19-2010 04:21 PM

Hi Mark!
Yes, Luke’s is still there, I haven’t been in there in a while because of a very rude person at the counter. When I made my edge-sander (one of the earliest stories I posted here) I went to Luke’s hoping to find 6” X 89” belts in stock. I was amazed at the sheer arrogance, he insisted that no such size existed, and who was I anyway for asking for one? I went out to my truck, and got my Delta catalog, and showed him a pic of Delta’s 6”X 89” sander. He then told me the catalog was over a year old, and thus obsolete!! As I walked out, I told him where he could go, and a manager from the back room called me back, but I kept walking. The Poopiekat always has the facts. Even the purchasing agent where I work says they’re tough to deal with.
You’re right though, Mark, about doing my own brokering. When I placed the order with McMC, I specified US Postal Service. UPS is a killer on brokerage charges, I last paid $38 in UPS fees at the door for a package of extruded aluminum priced at $105 retail. OUCH! I never paid customs fees for inbound postal shipments, but the Brownie driver always has his hand out when he comes knocking. But, retrospectively, UPS may have been the way to go, for McMC to not have to personally bother with Customs red tape themselves. I have not heard of Bearing Supply, I’ll see if I can find them. Thanks again for the great info, Mark!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3733 posts in 2478 days


#11 posted 03-14-2010 09:18 PM

Update: I was able to find sources for all the little giblets I needed to finish this project, well at least to the prototype stage, and I now have a working model. I’ll probably rebuild the unit from scratch, using a salvaged butcher block top, and create a substructure from beech and maple.
To the Doubting Thomases: Go hang up your workshop hip-waders, it’s time to believe! http://lumberjocks.com/projects/29458

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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