American Science & Surplus

Nerdy bargains

Following behind the juggernaut of high-tech industry is a trail of odd bits and stray leftovers. This surplus is a tinkerer’s delight. One legendary source of cheap parts, weird stuff, cheap knockoffs, and plain junk is American Science & Surplus. They sell “closeouts, inventory overruns, mis-manufactures, and items whose time has not come. When a surplus item is gone, it is gone.” It’s the ultimate hacker’s mail-order junk store.

They don’t take themselves too seriously, either, often belittling the scrap they are selling. The items are illustrated with crude sketches on yellow newsprint paper in their crowded 95-page paper catalog. It’s a cornucopia of irresistible bargains. Science fair motors! Chemistry kits! Craft tools. I dare you to open it without finding something you have to have. (AS&S’s rustic tone is part of their “crazy cheap” schtick. On their website, in addition to the doodles you can also click to see a photo of an item as well.) While funny, their descriptions are always honest, and the stuff delivered will be entirely useable. More so than most catalogs, the bulk of the items listed are inspirational: ” Oh, I could do that!” Prices are, as they say, incredible.

If you “make different,” click here.

Press Your Point
Nothing says “This is the desk of an important person” like a heavy chrome embosser sitting on it, waiting to impress people — and documents. This manual embosser has an oval footprint 4″ x 2-7/8″. It holds a 1-5/8″ dia circular die, ready to certify that you’re a notary public, a petty bureaucrat with delusions of grandeur, or just someone who likes really elegant-looking return addresses on your envelope flaps. You provide the removable dies, ordering them from your local full-service stationery store.
$19.95 / EACH

Giant Sucker
Huge black soft rubbery suction cup, 4-3/4″ dia with a handle molded onto the back. Made in Taiwan, the French and English labeling suggests it was destined for use as a dent puller or glass carrier. Which is fine if you have dents to pull and glass to carry. If not, use it as a non-invasive and or temporary hanging device in locales where such features are desirable, such as hotel rooms, boat hulls, windows, and the sides of fine antiques (Grandmothers excepted). It is really powerful!!
$2.00 / EACH

-- KK 11/17/06


Samples from the catalog:

Got A Horse Of A Different Color?
Recycle old crayons. Now you can finally color him, with custom colors from the Crayola Crayon Maker. You get the machine and (24) mix-and-match colors. (You've already got that whole box of broken crayons and leftover nubs the kids keep digging through!) Just start melting and molding completely new crayons. There are even (18) sheets of labels included, in which to wrap the new ones. The Crayon Maker measures 9-5/8" tall x 7-3/8" wide x 9-5/8" deep, with a 6-foot power cord and a power switch. It uses a 60W candelabra bulb (not included). It turns off automatically if it's tipped, and the lid locks until the crayons are cool, but it's still for ages 8+ only. UL.
$9.75 / EACH

Rejoice, we have finally found a source of reasonably priced borosilicate lab glassware. This is the kind of glass in the trade marked Pyrex(tm) and Kimax(tm) labware. The stuff you can put right over the flame of the Bunsen burner, or directly onto the hot plate. This stuff is imported from China, and is considered student grade, which is good enough for anything but the most exotic applications. We have beakers, test tubes, graduated cylinders and flasks. Compare the prices below and you will see that they are around half the U.S. equivalent. Call us for larger quantity prices.
88984 BEAKER, 50ML $1.95/EACH
88985 BEAKER, 250ML $2.95/EACH
88986 BEAKER, 600ML $4.50/EACH

Better Grade Dental Tools
A variety of shapes and ugliness, but unbroken tips. Some single ended, some double.. Super for all manner of hobbyism, save do-it-yourself-dentistry. Excellent price in today's weakened dollar market. All stainless steel.

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