Get your maker on.

 

Local Resources

Help us grow this list of maker resources that can be found in Philly as well as in neighboring NYC, DC and all points in between.  Perhaps you know of a killer place to find electronic surplus or art supplies or maybe even an old school lumber mill…. whatever it is, share it with your fellow makers here and/or post a review.

 

 

Animatronics

 

 

 

Art Supplies

 

  • Pearl Art & Craft Supplies, 417 South St, Philadelphia, (215) 238-1900 
  • Utrecht Art Supply, 301 South Broad St, Philadelphia, (215) 546-7798
  • Pearl Paint, 308 Canal Street, New York, (800) 221-6845
  • Lee's Art Shop, 220 W. 57th St, New York (212) 247-0110

 

 

Construction Materials

 

  • Home Depot, 1651 South Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, (215) 218-0600
  • Lowe's 2106 S. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, (215) 982-5391
  • Joseph Fazzio, Inc.2760 Glassboro-CrossKeys Rd. Glassboro, NJ 08028 (856) 881-3185
  • "These guys sell major construction equipment, but they also have a huge yard full of salvage and surplus metal and a fantastic hardware store. They will also cut and sell small quantities of metal. It is worth the drive just to wander around."
    - Josh Kopel

 

 

Electronics

 

"I sometimes volunteer here in my spare time, where we test and refurbish
corporate-donated computers & peripherals and give them to low-income
families without a computer. The NTR thrift store is a goldmine for hardware
hackers--all kinds of electronics parts for pennies on the dollar. I found a rare
34-year old HP45 scientific calculator for $1.00 that I'm restoring. Stan Pokras runs
the place, and is a good tech resource himself! If you can't find what you're looking for,
Stan will tell you where to find it." - Ed Cummings, Make:Philly

  • Leeds Radio, 68 North 7th St, Brooklyn, (718) 963-1764
  • RadioShack, 1616 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, (215) 568-1282

           "Only for emergencies" - Hro, Make:Philly

 

 

Fabric

 

 

 

Hacker Conferences

 

  • PumpCon - Friday Night, October 27-28

       Best Western Inn (Bar)

       501 N. 22nd Street

       Philadelphia, PA 19130

       (215)568-8300

 

 

Hamfests

 

      (Dates: Sept 16, 17, 22, 23, 30; Oct 1, 7, 8, 15, 29)

"Hamfests are flea markets for electronics hobbyists.  Hundreds

(or thousands!) of geeks gather to buy/sell/swap electronic parts,

communications gear, computer components, test equipment, and

tons of oddball & bizarre surplus gear you've never seen before but

simply must have.  They're usually held outdoors at dawn, in spring/summer/fall.

Many hamfests are within an hour or two of Philly.  The mother of all hamfests

is the Dayton Hamvention - a 3-day geekfest attended by about tens of thousands.
It's the Mecca of electronics hobbyists--who owe it to themselves to make the

pilgrimmage at least once in their lifetime. "  - Ed Cummings, Make:Philly 

 

Hobby Stores

 

  • Main Line Hobbies, 2915 Hannah Avenue, East Norriton, PA 19401, (888) 527-1964, (610) 527-1925

 

 

Lighting

 

  • McManus Enterprises, 111 Union Ave, Bala Cynwyd, (610) 664-8600
  • Armand's Records, 1108 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, (215) 592-7797

 

 

Molding & Casting

 

  • Pearl Art & Craft Supplies, 417 South St, Philadelphia, (215) 238-1900 

 

 

Paint

 

  • Pearl Art & Craft Supplies, 417 South St, Philadelphia, (215) 238-1900 
  • Guerra Paint & Pigment, 510 East 13th, New York,  (212) 529-0628

 

 

Paper

 

  • Pearl Art & Craft Supplies, 417 South St, Philadelphia, (215) 238-1900 
  • New York Central Art Supply, 62 3rd Avenue, New York, (212) 473-7705

 

 

Plastics

 

  • Arch Street Plastics, 1211 Vine St, Philadelphia, (215) 636-0890

 

 

Rubber

 

 

 

Sound

 

  • Armand's Records, 1108 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, (215) 592-7797

 

 

Surplus

 

  • Canal Surplus, 363 Canal St, New York, (212) 966-3275
  • S & G Electronics, 618 South 62nd St. Philadelphia, (215) 474-7663

 


Friends of Make:Philly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 


Fertik's Electronics Remembered

 

[Not actually a picture of Fertik's but pretty darn close]

 

I was pressing my face as hard as I possibly could against the backseat window of my dad’s car.  I knew it was only a matter of minutes now before he would call it quits. We had been driving around (without a map, as usual) looking for this “junk store”, as he called it, for easily a half hour. And now it was starting to snow.  I needed a small miracle and I needed one fast.

 

 “ELLA STREET!” – I shouted,  “We found it!”. I was nine.  The year was 1985 and my most favorite place on earth, the surplus store in the back of Edmund Scientific, was about to meet its match.

 

The windows in the back were fogging up faster than I could wipe them clear. Snowflakes be damned, I was rolling mine down to get a better view.

 

We pulled into a gravel parking lot that ran right up to an old dirty white shed.  I immediately eyed something with circuit guts hanging out of it.  I started kicking the back seat.  “Come on let’s go!” I pleaded.  “Don’t get your hopes up”, my dad said, “It looks like it may be closed. There’s only one other car here.”

 

“No way” I told him.  And before the car had fully stopped I hit the gravel running.  That thing I spotted turned out to be a dozen things – machines of all sorts.  None of which looked like anything I had never seen before. They had the coolest dials and gauges and old levers and switches ever. “Look at all this great stuff!” I shouted. “Maybe it’s all free?”  I thought, “After all, it’s been left outside – maybe they’re throwing it away!”.

 

I heard my dad knocking on the shed door. I skipped over to him but began to fear the worst as each knock went unanswered.  At last, we heard a muffled voice on the inside. "Just a second… ”. 

 

The door creaked open and wonderful old machine smells poured out.  A scruffy old man appeared and was trying to say hello to me but all I wanted was to get a better look inside.  From what I could see the place had no end.  “It goes on forever I shouted!” Leon Fertik smiled proudly, “Come on in before you catch cold and take a look around.”

 

Battered army green colored shelves and tables of every height and size formed the aisles in this tinkerer’s wonderland.  Upon them were wooden bins overflowing with treasure.  Giant potentiometers, jet fighter vacuum gauges, turn of the century mercury switches... “YOU’LL WANT TO BE REAL CAREFUL WITH THOSE SON” – a voice boomed down on me out of nowhere, startling the hell out of me. It was Leon. I remember wanting so badly to tell him that I knew about mercury switches but the wind had just been knocked out of me.  
 

“You looking for something in particular?” he asked.  I was struggling for a grown up answer when my dad appeared.  I was saved.  “My son just wants to look around for some parts... parts for his spaceship.” "No Dad! - Don't tell him that!" I suffered in silence.

 

Leon took it all in stride. “Ah, well then I have the perfect part for you young man. Follow me.”  We mazed through the aisles and at last I was handed an old analog current meter.  “Now that ammeter doesn’t take much current,” he instructed, "just a few mirco-amps". I thanked him, pretending to understand.

 

That day I came home with lots of loot…  vintage switches, spools of telephone wire, neon indicator lamps, stepper motors, 8PDT relays, bakelite knobs and one micro-ammeter.

 

I would return to Fertik’s many more times as I grew older.  Sometimes with a circuit schematic I was trying to build, other times with just a paper sketch and an idea in my head.  Fertik’s didn’t always have all the parts I needed but Leon could always recommend a suitable substitute along with a circuit tweak or two.  Other times he would enthusiastically show me the “new” thing he just got in, sharing with me the exciting tale of where it was salvaged from. 

 

Fertik’s Electronics was located on 5400 Ella Street in Philadelphia.  Sadly, it closed several years ago.  I and untold numbers of other future Makers are forever grateful to Leon Fertik for everything that he taught us and for inspiring us with his magical surplus shop. Thank you Leon, wherever you may be.

 

- hro, march o6

 


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