Where to buy JB Weld
The only step to this instructable is a list of the best places I've found to purchase JB Weld. For those who are not familiar with JB Weld, it is, simply put, God, in a tube. It is an epoxy that when mixed (and mix quickly, you only have about 20 minutes of pliability) will set within 4-6 hours, and cure within 24. Once cured, it has the strength of steel, can bind with glass, and neatest of all, is actually conductive enough to use as solder!
Note that I'm only referring to the original JB Weld, model 8265 (and 8265-S). I find the stick version doesn't adhere as well, and the "Kwick" version isn't as strong. I also tend to be stubborn and just stick with what I'm comfortable with.
Since the invention of Duct Tape (genuflect) nothing has been so valuable to mankind. Thus, it's not surprising to find it anywhere from $9.99 a tube, up to $14.99 per tube. So how much should you be paying for your J.B. Weld?
If ordered online, you can get it for as little as $2.95 per tube!
Note: These prices are only accurate as of the posting of this instructable (29 June 2009)
Okay, so if you've come this far, $2.95 per tube sounds pretty exciting. Keep in mind though that you're also going to end up dealing with shipping, so we'll see what the end result will be. When in doubt, if you have a local Ace Hardware, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. look there first. You avoid shipping, and the Ace online outlet sells it for as little as $3.25 per tube (No idea why nobody else, including Sears, KMart, Target, etc. carries it online). If you can find it in the store for that price, that would be your best bet. But assuming you don't have a local Ace Hardware, or since they're locally owned the Franchise Owner is a prick that overprices things, let's see how the following websites work out.
First, it's important to note that while you will find many other places online that claim to sell the JB Weld for as little as $2.95 per tube, just try to purchase them. I'll wait... Back? So as you saw, 99.9% of these sites use the Amazon.com checkout system, and only allow ONE TUBE AT A TIME to be purchased. They then hit you with a $4.99 shipping fee for each pop, and now you're back to paying $8 per tube.
On to the real suppliers:
#1) Tool Explosion - The best price I've found with free shipping, but their free shipping minimum purchase is $100, and their JB Weld was only $3.76 per tube when last checked! One of the better deals out there. Between $100-$130 worth, this was the best deal I could find.
#2) Alexandria General Supply - To get the $2.95 price here, you have to buy in 6 packs, otherwise it's more expensive. But hey, more JB Weld can only be a good thing. They seem to have a starting-rate of $17.05 for shipping, which is nearly as much as the 6-pack of JB Weld, making them almost $6 per. However, the more you order, the price of shipping will actually start to go DOWN. At 7 cases (42 tubes), it dropped to $7.41 for shipping making it $3.12 per tube, and at 20 cases, it was only up to $8.16 for shipping, making bulk purchases very much worth it. At $131.31 for 42 tubes, this was the best deal out there, and only gets better the higher you go. They do not accept PayPal, but do accept all major credit cards.
#3) Ace Hardware Outlet - Don't ask me why AceHardware.com doesn't carry it, but AceHardwareOutlet does, but I'm not going to argue. At its respectable price of $3.39 per tube, it's not a bad deal if you're buying in bulk. Unfortunately, for just a single tube to ship, you're looking at $6.39 for shipping. The shipping rates only slowly go up the more you pile on, so if you're doing some shopping for some other hardware, Ace is The Place... For Me... (Plus, they take PayPal!) For individual tubes assuming you can't find anything locally, this is the best price going. At least buy 2 or 3 tubes at a time to make the shipping worth it, though.
#4) Hands-On Tools - Another site with fair shipping, and a decent price of $3.66 per tube. Not much to say about this one, except that they seem to be one of the more reputable sites selling the weld for a good price. They work with the BBB and have a good rating, accept PayPal, and give you percentage discounts the more you buy. All around a solid company.
#5) Castle Wholesalers - One of my personal favorites (since they are located near me, mostly) selling the JB Weld at $3.47 per tube. However, do keep in mind that you have a $25 minimum order here. Their prices are pretty standard for shipping, so you can add about $1 per tube once you've bought the requisite $25 worth. The more you buy, the cheaper the shipping gets per tube, as well. Only Visa and Mastercard accepted.
#6) College Toolbox - While their price isn't the best, it's still a fun site with some decent stuff at fair prices. At $4.11 per tube, it's not necessarily worth the purchase here unless you find enough of their gear to get the "$150 purchase gets free shipping" thing. (And they take PayPal)
In closing, if needing just a tube or two, your best bet is always going to be to shop locally, and buy from a hardware store. But once you start getting into the $5 and $6 price range, there are some decent places online to pick it up (if you don't mind the wait). Always take shipping into account, and always avoid Amazon.com and their Affiliate's rip-off schemes. If you see the Amazon logo, run far and fast (or at least close the window). E-Bay is equally a rip-off, only moreso as you're starting at the $9.99 level, and then tacking shipping onto that.
For the hobbyist that understands the glory that is JB Weld, drop the $130 and get enough JB Weld to last you for a long, long time. For all others, I would recommend avoiding purchasing it online unless you absolutely can't find it for a fair price in your local stores (I can't stress that enough. Shipping is the debbil.)
Hope this helps someone, and if anyone finds a better price, feel free to include it in the comments and I'll add it to the list!