Everyone in the engineering world knows McMaster-Carr, but few people in the DIY world do. McMaster is a privately held company based in Illinois that may be the world’s largest engineering superstore. They have hundreds of thousands of items and in twenty plus years of using them I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a stock out. Remarkable.
They have everything. What do I mean by “everything”? Well, you can buy stainless steel spring wire, storage bins, a work bench, a belt sander, fasteners, and (literally) a kitchen sink.
You wouldn’t want to use McMaster for something you can get at Home Depot, even though they have almost everything Home Depot does, but they fit the bill when you need something a little bit out of the ordinary or you want to use an industrial/commercial product in your personal project.
Here are some nice items I’ve used them for in my projects:
- Copper sheet.
- John Boos “butcherblock” countertops (under “Maple tops”) at $16/sq-ft
- Richlite lab bench material (the predecessor to the oh-so-trendy Paperstone…called “phenolic tops” at McMaster) at $26/sq-ft
- Heavy-duty urethane casters to support a huge rolling shelving unit.
- Acme threaded rod for shelf supports.
- Any manner of weird drill bit or fastener.
- “Speedrail” tubing fittings for railings, etc.
They take credit cards. They ship the same day by UPS.
My workbenches shown here (on the left) have McMaster tops (both butcher block and Richlite).