Source of Clockmaking Materials

Allan Wolff

NAWCC Member
Mar 17, 2005
Tulsa, OK
Someone asked where I purchased the material to build the pinwheel skeleton clock. Here is my list along with a few comments that might be helpful. All of these places can be found on the internet by searching for their name.

Blue spring steel for the mainspring (part #9075K237 for 10 ft.; #9036K817 for 50 ft.)
Small screws, tools, anything you cannot find anywhere else.

Small Parts
3/64" diameter 7X19 stainless steel wire rope for fusee cable; brass rod,bars,tubing; small screws, music wire.
You can also get the wire rope from McMaster-Carr (#3458T74)
I do not typically order directly from Small Parts because it is hard to find stuff on their website and their shipping is high. Look on first. For some reason Small Parts sells some of the same stuff on Amazon often at a lower price and with free shipping. I don't know how long this will continue, but I like it!

McMurray Metals
356 leaded sheet brass
One of the few sources of leaded brass in the US (at least that I have found.) They do not list prices on their website since their prices are based on the spot market which changes daily. You will need to call for pricing. They have a small "cut charge" for less than full sheet orders. You will also need to purchase a fixed width. For example, 1/8" thick sheet is available in 24" widths, so you can order 1" X 24", 12" X 24", etc. Even with these restrictions, I found their price is approximately 40% less than other online metal suppliers. The brass I ordered was also in great shape, not all scratched up like orders I have received from other places.

Speedy Metals, Online Metals
brass, steel, drill rod
These vendors are about the same regarding the material offered. I tend to use Speedy Metals because they will cut to any dimension I want. Online Metals lets you pick from predefined dimensions, but the list is pretty good. Orders from Speedy also arrive quickly for me. I guess they have a distribution center nearby. Shipping can be high from both vendors.

Wholesale Tool
Tools, drill rod, tool steel
I am luck to have a local Wholesale Tool store so it easy to stop in and pick up drill rod or tool steel and not pay shipping. Of course they carry tools; both brand name and import.

Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware
Steel, some brass, music wire
These are local, so no shipping. The selection is limited, but I purchased all of the mild steel rod and sheets from Lowes. Ace carries most of the music wire and some small thin 260 brass sheets. Ace also has a good selection of small screws and other fasteners, but the price is very high on a per-piece basis verses a full box from McMaster-Carr.

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