I’ve been making things for a while now and one thing I’ve learned is you can spend a lot of time running around for parts and materials. It’s best to get most things by mail order. There are a few things you buy locally like wood, acrylic, screws and fasteners. Here are some notes on procurement and making.


This is the material you find in the bottom of a drawer or is the backing of an inexpensive shelving unit. One of it’s trade names is Masonite. It is great for laser cutting and CNC cutting. It’s easy to find in 1/8″ and 1/4″ thickness. The trick is to go to Home Depot and buy the 24×24″ sheets, or get the 4×8′ sheets. If you get the 4×8′ larger sheets have them cut to the format of your cutting machine. For the 24×24″, I score with a blade to snap in half to fit the 24×12″ lasers.

How to cut hardboard.

1/8″: Zing 30W 500f 100p 28s


This is another amazing material that works well for laser and CNC cutting. Some say the cast type (vs. the extruded type) works well with CNC. I’ve found this to be the case occasionally. But do experiments. Have your supplier cut this on their table saw to fit your machines as it is hellish to cut without a table saw. Cast has paper backing which can be left on so the gassing that may occur during cutting will not stain the surface. The difficulty is you have to take the backing of all the little parts you make.


This is another one you get locally as it’s hard to find a deal online. Check the list below for Ottawa suppliers.


Problem Ottawa General
Peer Support ModLab hosted by Artengine.
Ottawa Robotics Enthusiasts
General Crown Assets (Canada)
Princes Auto
Great Hobbies
Metals Superior Metal
Metal Supermarkets (613) 248-1444Loucon Metal (613) 226-1102
Plastics Canus Plastics
Packaging Pritchards uLine
Active Electronics
1465 Merivale Road, Ottawa
(613) 728-7900Gervais (East)
Alexander Battery
Discount Hobbies
Gervais Electronics
Grant Electric
Message Center Wireless
OCE Electronics
Princess Auto
Reset Electronics
Total Battery
digi-key fastRobotShop fast
Seeed Studio circuit boardsSparkfun
MechanicalBearingsGears General Bearing Service490 Kent Street vxb
Hardware Ottawa Fastener
FastenAllEndMills: Legere
Outsourcing oDesk.componoko
Logistics Ogdensburg UPS
 Fine Wood  Lee ValleyKJP Select HardwoodsThe Wood
Batteries Alexander Battery

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