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How can I obtain free gears and other trinkits with which to make steampunk mods with?

So I like the steampunk aesthetic. I like crafting things. I have a number of projects in mind, but most of them require gears and other small mechanical bits that would be hard to salvage. Does anyone have any good resources for finding free or extraordinarily cheap steampunk components?

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paqrat7 years ago
This doesn't concern cogs or wheels but if you should ever need a miniature grill you might want to check out old costume jewelry earrings.  Specifically those made up of a cluster of beads wired to a base.  The bases are disks, sometimes concave, or ovals with holes in the metal that looks a lot like some sort of a speaker grill.   Hopes this helps.
Wyle_E7 years ago
Lots of things have gears, cams and small motors.  VCRs, photocopiers, printers...  An old (pre-electronic) cash register that's too battered or corroded to attract antique dealers would be  a real bonanza.
seandogue7 years ago
As has been said, the number one source is garbage picking. People often toss old bikes and other "good stuff" onto the curb during Spring, and sometimes, Falling cleaning.
orksecurity7 years ago
Scavenge the trash. Patronize junk shops, Goodwill, etc. Tell all your friends that you'll take broken objects off their hands. Watch Freecycle and the like; maybe post a wanted there too. Check whether your town dump has a reusables pile (some do, though it's becoming uncommon for liability reasons). Develop an eye for things which weren't intended to be mechanical pieces but which can be used or modified in interesting ways.
I got a big collection of all different sizes of gears and the pins that they sit on and everything that comes with it. What you need to look for is old printers and scanners. They have a lot of different sizes in them plus you get a lot of good extras like LEDs, Tube LEDs,on/off switches,power supply's many many goodies to keep and use later. Check them out you will see what I mean. If you can look for the big ones that come form some business's you will love them. A lot of them just might let you have them if you haul them off. Even if you have to pay a little bit for them you still come out way ahead. Good luck and I would like to see your Instructable when its done.
Good point re printers. There are a LOT of junked printers out there, since the cheap ones are marketed on the basis of "give away the printer; make the profit on refills." Whether they're a good size for your project will depend on what your project is. If the gears are plastic, you may need to paint them to get the proper look, but that's OK... and plastic gears are easier to cut to shape if you need to do something odd to get the look you want.
ANDY!7 years ago
What I do when I need stuff thats unusual and cheap, I go around to garage sales and buy stuff REALLY cheap. I bought bikes for like 3 bucks! Thrift stores are cheap too. For free stuff, you'll need to get stuff from friends and curbsides.