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how to get free electronics for guitars


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ok. this is an article i posted a while back at the diyforum. i am posting it here with revisions too so you too can get free stuff.

now i am sure we all score free stuff but i have been workign on getting freebies so i dont' have to spend as much on my pedals.

so since this is electronics heres some freebie stuff.

ok havent posted in regularly in a while so i thought i would do this as i got kind of hung up on a trhead below.. here is what it cost me to build my pedals as i am doing a small run on these.

but here is how i get some of my freebies..

i get free wire from the electric company.. so to all you diyers look around your area and find out where they are redoing a substation they throw away hundreds of feet of fiberoptics and coper wire all different sizes once it hits the dumpster it is public domain also on this note if you ask them for it so they dont' have to pay for the dumpster fee of haulign off heavy wire they are more than glad to load it in your car or truck or in my case station waggon.

buckets from local grocerie stores that contain icing for cakes. these and a dril make a great bucket sander


steel wool can be obtained from local plants if you have some in your area. there is a local machine shop in an food grade oil plant that i used to work for that i get used steel wool for . they only use it for fine polishing metal so there are no burs in there to hurt your boxes or bad chemicals all i did was ask them to keep a box for me.

also local highschools have steel wool that will gladly do the same.. also highschool shop classes wood shops.. dont' usually get all the use out of there sand paper and gladly let you come in once a week and get it.

oh for packing material.. talk to your local ice companys that make and service ice chests liek when you go to the gasstation and see the ice machines that you gt ice for 99 cents go and find those companys they always have extra styrofoam they will let you have just to haul it off.. {right now i am sitting on enough foam to start a guitar case making company. lol}

try your local mall and ask the watch retailers if you can have their watch boxes.. the brown ones that are like 6*6*5" in dimensions. they throw them away and would be happy to give them to you..{i use these to ship out guitar pedals on ebay and to my dealer and well you get the drift.}

i will try to think of some others..

other things.. talk to your local mall i did mine and i got 10 touch screen comptuer monitors from the bread company i used to work for when they closed. they didnt' pay their rent so the mall sold there computers and i got all there scraps when they did demolition on the place. you can also get soda machines too. so you can cut down on soft drink prices.

more stuff, you can get free sand for the bucket sander. [ email me if you have questions ont he bucket sander. they work great for gutiars too. but need modifications.] by going to your local concrete company and just asking. they give me a whole 5gallon bucket full twice a week for free. i have to sift it somtimes but hey thats worth it.

of course you can get parts from vcr's and tv's and such and use a HEAT GUN to melt the solder and not fry the parts. i get tons of caps this way.. and computer montiors man 20 mintues with a heat gun and you can get tons of parts.

GNC vitamin world and places like this. they have a display model that they just got rid of it is a multi section pill divider. for people who take like 10 or more vitamins at a time.. they had a 30day divider hot glued to a stand that they used as a display model i walked in and asked if i could have it. they said yes i got it stand and all.

another thing is to look at your grocery store wallmart movie stores. anytime you see a movie or food item display that moves lights up or has any sounds to it. any electronic stuff at all you should canibalize it. they had a jurasic park one at bilo and it had a programable pic in it. for the motor control. they also junked the atm of the bank that went out of buisiness a couple of months back. i got some parts off of that from the dumpster.

music stores throw away plenty of spare drum parts. old guitar tuning keys. {i got a whole set of grovers that just needed two of the screw on pegs to tune with. which i have.} a few guitar cases. a broken wirless unit. [that now resisdes at the pawn shop after 30minutes repair] i got a nice shelf system the heavy duty plastic ones that will hold over 100lbs. it has been by the dumpster for a month and i picked it up today.

here is the original thread if anyone wants to see it.


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so far i have gottan a couple hundred chips. transistors and a hand full of switches.

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monkey 96692000 are you taling about the stomposwitch that selects the effect on and off. if so i have them for 3 dollars for a dpdt and a tpdt for 5 dollars. only a few left. but also look for old vacum cleaners they used the same type of switches in the on and off power switches.

biohazard. if you goto the links tha ti postd and ask for free samples they will mail them out to you as lon as you are reasonable in your requests. for instance got to www.ti.com and click on samples i get a dual opamps electronic switches etc etc. just look in the parts catalog and see if samples are listed by your selected part. they let you get 8 different items and there is a drop box to tell you the maximum amount you can request. i collected the above mentioned chips over a period of months from all the listed links above. you need a dedicated email for some.. ie like bellsouth.com or .net. i use my {ansil@prophecysound.com} account for these as its more professional than yahoo.com and no they were not defective.

bob7 go to alphas website and talk to them via email or 1800 no. i got 10 free pots one time for shipping. like 2 bucks or something. plsu a bunch of other cool trim pots and other things. www.taiwanalpha.com

nonamex lol thats funny acutaly you could go through there dumpster at night behind the store and get cool stuff. i got one of these. 28-280.jpg

and it was broken so i put in a piece of plexi glass.

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Hey thanks for the tips ansil.

Speaking of free stuff. I was wondering if there are any kind people out there that wouldnt mind sending me 2x 1N914 diodes. Thats all i need to complete my first project which is a headphone amp but they didnt write it on on the bill of materials sheet i used when i ordered the parts. I looked it up in my DSE catalogue, they costs 6 cents each and minimum order is $10. I live in Australia, so any aussie (or very friendly OS person) has 1N914 diodes lying around it would be great if you could send me a couple. I could repay you with like a bootleg cd as i collect them (www.bsto.tk) if you want.



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i will see if i can snail mail you some man.i have a half of a sleeve of them...

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yes it is not worth guitar centers time to replace a hinge or a latch on a guitar case. it is mine.. i have gotten skb cases that just needed a little tlc.

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wow cool, so they have dumpsters out back?? my local guitar center is like in a plaza type place with best buy right next to it. Do you go inside and ask permission, or do you just sneak out back and grap whatever you can?? ever find any amps or guitars, or just cases??? I have to try that out sometime :D

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actually i do both if they let me i go during daylight hours. if not then i go at night itme hours. you should chek the local laws on dumpster diving. as you dont' want to piss off the local authorities. but yes actually i have a carvin knock off no name guitar. that needs some binding put back on and a little tlc on the body that i am geting rid off. if anyone wants it.. i would let it go for 25 bucks.. 22frets or 24 dont' rem at moment. rosewood fretboard. needs keys. no clue on the body. double cutaway.. dc127 style.. one humbucker and two singles . and if anyone wants it i will throw in the guitar electronics and a humbucker for free.

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Actually I do that at work once in a while...I bug the IT guys to ask if they're tossing any computers or parts....

Dumpster diving is only good when they don't toss out food...so avoid areas that share a dumpster with a restraunt....diving in rotting food and disease is no fun

Looking for electronics that shouldn't be bad...

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nsherman2006. actually i dont' have pics right now i will try to take some and post them..

frankie i tell them "excuse me may i speak to your manager. Hi my name is Ed and i salvage boxes and broken electroinics as well as various musical related things. if it isn't too much of a inconvenince i was wondering if i coudl get some boxes from you. and do you have any broken items that you are going to throw away. or could i just look at your dumpster." if they say no then i say thank you very much. and i call the bfi or local trash service. and ask them when they pickup. "hello my name is micheal andrews and i am a new employee at [insert music store here] and my new boss says to check to see when the trahs service runs so we know when to empty the cans. thank you very much :D " but thats pretty much it.

usally about 3-4 am is best

very true jefm but its ok if you have a good set of gloves and a strong flashlight. and a strong nose. lol

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"hello my name is micheal andrews and i am a new employee at [insert music store here] and my new boss says to check to see when the trahs service runs so we know when to empty the cans. thank you very much  "

pure genius man. lol, i may have to start having a look around when im on my gap year for unloved electronics.

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