As many thrifty a DIY enthusiast will be able to tell you, scrounging parts for a brand-new project is part of the fun!
Whether it happens to be home improvements, a weekend of up-cycling old furniture, or inventing a new form of flight in the comfort of your garden shed, being able to source the right parts at the best price is essential.
From screws to fittings and odds and ends of all different sizes, here are some tips on where to start looking for all your DIY needs.
A Dedicated Search Engine
Not all search engines are made equal, but thankfully, some of them are dedicated to helping you find specific trade-quality products in the blink of an eye.
You might want to check out the wonderful, family-run Tradefix Direct for a superb example of an online platform that can help you find trade-quality parts for great prices.
Sometimes, the best way to move forward with a DIY project is to bite the bullet and spend a little extra for the perfect part, rather than risk your final design failing because of a single vulnerability.
If you happen to have any old tech lying around, you might be in luck, as plenty of retro gadgets contain a wealth of useful parts, and potentially even precious metals if you wanted to try and make some extra cash on the side.
There will likely be plenty of tiny screws, motors, batteries, wires and capacitors to salvage from any old tech that you no longer have any use for, so why not give it a second chance at life and incorporate it into your new project?
For example, VCR players generally contain a great deal of wires, resisters and diodes. Speakers are can also be another great source of salvageable tech, particularly big ones with powerful magnets inside.
LEDs are also great for DIY inventions, as they can be easily manipulated into a wealth of various circuit designs.
Your Local Mechanic
The world of auto repair is rife with mechanical wonders, and in fact, many modern parts reside somewhere near the cutting-edge of technology.
Getting on first name terms with your local mechanic and asking for any spare parts they might have lying around can be a good way to increase your inventory for next to no additional cost whatsoever.
This is of course, an incredibly optimistic scenario. You will likely have to part with some cash for any spare parts, but your mechanic may be able to direct you to their supplier should you need another source.
A Good Old-Fashioned Physical Store
They do in fact, still exist outside of the virtual world, and since business are starting to open up again, it might be worth checking out your local hardware store and supporting trade in your area.
This is also a good way to make new connections and hopefully get yourself some discounts, recommendations and directions while you are at it.