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Hardware Store Goodies You Never Knew Existed

The hardware division of American Science and Surplus is a virtual goldmine of specialized hardware and accessories. How about some nuts and bolts? No problem. They also have fasteners, locks, latches, handles, mounts, hangers, knobs, springs, hinges, ties, buckles, motors, blowers, pumps, and spare robot parts … Yeah, they have all the basics and then some. And I wasn’t kidding about the spare robot parts. If you’re working on a homemade robot, these guys have everything you’ll need for your own little R2-D2. Plus, they have other hidden gems for the handyman of the house.

The fake deadbolt provides home or office security for just pennies. The bogus bolt sticks right to the door and deters the casual criminal right off the bat. At $2.75 a pop, you can stock up on these fake security ploys.

Big hooks can help save some space in the garage. The J shaped hooks are great for holding up bikes or backpacks. The cost is a low $1.75 for each and they hold up to 80 pounds.

How about a brand new steering wheel and air-bag? Think Fiat and Alfa Romero. These black padded wheels are smaller than the U.S. standard wheel and it costs just over $10 for the wheel and air-bag combo.

Telescopic extension handles come with a special recommendation: Buy them before the staff at American Science & Surplus walks away with all of them. A very popular item, and they work just like your rolling luggage. Attach them to your tool box (along with wheels) and you have your own rolling storage case. Another option is to create a pullout work space under the workbench. For just $4.75 the telescopic extension handle is a sweet deal.

Need to get a grip? Try the suction cup Safety Grip Handle from Ideaworks. It works on tile, marble, and similar smooth surfaces. I wouldn’t say these grips should be used over permanent shower handles, but it’s a start.

Little gripper strips are very practical and cheap, just $3.95 for a package of four. Hold everything together with these 10-inch hook-and-loop fabric strips.

For a more sophisticated look, head to Restoration Hardware. This website has tons of fancy knobs, hooks, switch plates, registers, tools, and gadgets. Speaking of gadgets, how about a talking alarm clock? For 14.95 it will tell you the time, temperature, and the date.

They also have a big assortment of swank door knobs. Everything under the sun for door openers and it’s all reasonably priced. Lot’s of chrome, glass, and a good selection of brass.

Cool switch plates and registers available, yes they have plain old white if you want, but they call it ceramic. They also have modern looking aluminum and metal. Vintage register covers are on sale for $34 and if that doesn’t do it for you, go back to American Science & Surplus and pick up a pocket protector for your favorite number cruncher.

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