Commercial Suppliers

Here are some suppliers of vacuum related materials, components and information. Inclusion on this list does not represent endorsement or even personal familiarity.

All links were checked and updated as of 19 May, 2002. Please report dead links, changes or recommended additions to Steve Hansen.

Vacuum Equipment and Components

A-VAC Industries, 1845 S. Lewis St., Anaheim, CA 92805

Pumps (rotary, blower, turbo, cryo), helium leak detectors and other vacuum equipment. A-Vac rebuilds and also maintains a stock of used and surplus equipment. A-VAC is also a stocking distributor of Alacatel pumps and helium leak detectors. Free catalog available on request.

CHA Industries, 4201 Business Center Dr., Fremont, CA 94538

CHA is a long-time supplier of vacuum equipment for precision thin film deposition, especially evaporation and sputtering systems.

Duniway Stockroom, 1305 Space Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043

A good supplier of new and rebuilt vacuum equipment, fittings, components and supplies. Duniway has remanufactured spares for older pieces of equipment and some interesting stuff in the backroom (if you know what to ask for). Catalog.

H.K. Equipment, Inc., Wilmington, MA offers used equipment including vacuum furnaces, ovens, pumps, plus other laboratory and production equipment. Contact Mike Collins.

Johnstone Associates, 101 First St., Suite 162, Los Altos, CA 94022

Used equipment with an emphasis on vacuum and process equipment. Complete catalog on line.

Kurt J. Lesker Company, 1515 Worthington Ave., Clairton, PA 15025

Mentioned frequently in tBJ, Kurt J. Lesker’s catalog is comprehensive and is chock full of useful tables and charts as well as fluids, pumps, fittings, hardware, evaporation sources and other hardware. Most if not all of the information in the printed catalog is now on line.

McAllister Technical Services, West 280 Prairie Ave. Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814, (208) 772-9527, (800) 445-3688

McAllister is a manufacturer of surface analytical instruments including UHV scanning tunneling microscopes, electron energy loss spectrometers and Kelvin probes. They also carry bellows-sealed manipulators and translators. If that stuff is too esoteric for you, you will find some helpful tutorials and a number of useful links, ranging from vacuum to avian veterinary medicine to Dilbert.

E. McGrath, Inc., 35 Osborne Street, Salem, MA 01970-2529

Specializing in used and rebuilt vacuum equipment and components, this company has supplied much of the author’s original equipment base. A catalog is available.

Midwest Tungsten Service, Inc., 7101 S. Adams Street #6, Willowbrook, IL 60527, (800) 626-0226, (630) 325-1001, (630) 325-3571 Fax.

Midwest is a friendly source for evaporative sources and materials. They manufacture tungsten, molybdenum, and tantalum boats and filaments as well as aluminum, copper, nichrome, nickel, silver, and gold evaporants. They also do custom work and have working knowledge of vacuum systems and metallizing. Contact Kevin Anetsberger.

MKS Instruments, Inc., 6 Shattuck Rd., Andover, MA 01810

A major supplier of vacuum components, gauges, control instrumentation, analytical equipment and calibration systems. MKS’ Web site has a number of technical articles available for download that should be of interest.

Related Materials and Supplies

Eurocom Imports, Inc., 1937 Westridge, Irving, TX 75038, (214) 753-1110

Supplier of unique European equipment and components for the neon sign trade. A request will bring an informative catalog and some sample electrodes.

OE Technologies, P.O. Box 703, La Madera, NM 87539

Quality surplus supplier of optical, nuclear, vacuum and high voltage components and equipment. The prices are good and some of the items (scintillators, ignitrons, laser mirrors) are quite unusual. A listing is available.


Ace Glass Incorporated, P.O. Box 688, Vineland, NJ 08360

Complete line of fabricated scientific glassware including the wonderful “Ace-Thred” line which was featured in the Spring 1993 issue of the Bell Jar and many times since. While not specifically a supplier of vacuum hardware, some very useful adaptations of ACE’s stock items are possible. ACE will do custom fabrication.

M&M Glassblowing, Inc., 2 Townsend West, Unit 11A, Nashua, NH 03063, (603) 598-8195 (phone & fax)

Local to me and able to accept orders from a distance, Wayne Martin and his team do great scientific glasswork at reasonable prices. All of the custom glassware that has been mentioned in the Bell Jar is available through M&M.

Wale Apparatus Co., 400 Front Street, P.O. Box D, Hellertown, PA 18055-0201

Wale has several catalogs which cover glassware, glassworking apparatus, and supplies. The two most useful catalogs for the amateur are Glassworking & Laboratory Products and Standard and Special Glass Products. A wide selection of stuff and you don't have to buy an entire crate of a given item.

Radiation Detectors and Monitors

Aware Electronics, P.O. Box 4299, Wilmington, DE 19807, (302) 655-3800

Aware’s popular RM-60 Geiger counter is a small device that interfaces directly to an IBM compatible computer via a phone type cable to the serial or printer port. A dedicated PC is not required as the software gathers the data and stores it to disk even while the computer is running other applications. The software displays the data in a scrolling bar chart format with date and time for each bar. Also provided is the cumulative average dosage. Cost for the RM-60 package is about $150. Aware’s catalog also describes several other radiation monitoring items including devices that are compatible with photomultipliers and more exotic G-M type tubes.

Landauer, 2 Science Road, Glenwood, IL 60425-1586, (708) 755-7000

This company provides film and thermoluminescent (TLD) dosimeters as part of their service. These are provided as either wearable badges or as room monitors. To sign up for the service you select a monitoring frequency (weekly, monthly, quarterly) and pay a small set-up fee plus a year’s payment in advance. Before the end of each monitoring period, you receive a new badge. At the end of each period you send in the current badge and within 5 days you receive a report giving dosage for the period plus cumulative dosage. For a TLD dosimeter sensitive to x-ray, gamma, and beta radiation with a quarterly schedule, the cost is under $100 for a year.

Technical Book Dealers - Rare and Reprints

Broadway Books, 21 East Broadway, Derry, NH 03038, (603) 437-3418

Bill Petch’s used book store with a specialty in science and technology.

Lindsay Publications, P.O. Box 538, Bradley, IL 60915-0538

Specializing in technical books on mechanical and electrical topics, Lindsay’s catalogs are treasure-troves of good material. This company has a wide selection of reprints of old and obscure books as well as newer material. On top of this, Mr. Lindsay’s humor is truly sick.

New Wireless Pioneers, P.O. Box 398, Elma, NY 14059

New Wireless maintains a stock of old electrical and radio books. They also have an interesting video In Quest of the Light; Visible and Invisible that shows a wide range of antique discharge and x-ray tubes. Some apparatus is also available for sale including vintage Geissler tubes.

Rainy Day Books, P.O. Box 775, Route 119, Fitzwilliam, NH 03447, (603) 585-3448

Frank Bequaert’s used and rare book store in rural New Hampshire specializes in used and rare technical books. While much of the stock is associated with electronics and amateur radio, a conscious effort is made to find and stock vacuum related books. Catalogs are available for a first class stamp. The shop is seasonal (April - November) but the phone always works.

Electronics and Electromechanical Components, Misc. Surplus, Materials

American Science and Surplus, P.O. Box 48838, Niles, IL 60714-0838

Mostly small items are contained in this company’s catalog. However the diversity is tremendous and frequently you will find that ‘critical item’ that’s needed to finish off a project. From sticky tape to optics to small pumps and rubber chickens, if it’s odd-ball surplus they will have it at one time or another.

C&H Sales Company, P.O. Box 5356, Pasadena, CA 91117-9988

Lots of electro-mechanical and optical surplus, much of which is in like-new condition. C&H also has a good supply of miscellaneous high voltage energy storage capacitors. The inventory on these tends to vary rapidly so a note or phone call is advisable.

Fair Radio Sales, Inc., P.O. Box 1105, 1016 E. Eureka St. Lima, OH 45802

A long-time supplier of real military electronic surplus, Fair Radio has a good selection of transformers, chokes, capacitors, insulators, etc. Very friendly and helpful staff who never balk at looking through the bins for that one thing you want that they might have. Their Web site has a listing of one-of-a-kind items and other goodies that didn’t make it into the catalog.

Herbach & Rademan, 18 Canal St., P.O. Box 122, Bristol, PA 19007-0122

H&R’s catalog has a great collection of electrical and electromechanical surplus including laser and robotics components and a wide selection of motors.

R&D Electronics, 1224 Prospect, Cleveland, OH 44115

Another surplus supplier, R&D has some high voltage components such as rectifiers, wire, and resistors.

Shapiro Supply, 5617 Natural Bridge Ave., St. Louis, MO 63120, (800) 833-1259

Small, friendly company that sells metals (aluminum, steel, brass, titanium) in various forms.

Small Parts, 13980 N.W. 58th Court, P.O. Box 4650, Miami Lakes, FL 33014-0650, (305) 557-8222

Everything in precision hardware, materials and tools. Go here if you can't find it anywhere else but don’t expect any bargains.

United States Plastic Corp., 1390 Neubrecht Road, Lima, OH 45801, (800) 537-9724

All forms of plastic materials and products. Of particular interest are the sheets, rods and tubes of polyethylene (regular, high density and UHMW), Teflon, Delrin, Nylon, PVC, styrene and polycarbonate. They also carry lipless stainless steel beakers that are useful for making small vacuum chambers. Ask for the full catalog, not the short version.

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