As I start to “dabble with Arduino”:, I am also thinking about other aspects of my projects beyond the simple assembly and programming of Arduino-based systems.

I know I will need some plastic elements — bases, screens, etc. You can get any kind of plastic cut to any size at sites like “Tap Plastic”: and they have a store here in town if I need even more service — and the store has a great rejects bin if all you need is a hunk of something and you aren’t picking about color, size, etc. (Kind of an aside, but if you need foam-based products, “Foamorder”: will set you up with pretty much any foam product in any shape, and with a huge variety of fabric covers.)

If I need more than just an unfinished piece of plastic, or if I need metal parts, it is super easy to get plastic and metal parts made online — for instance “emachineshop”: Just upload your drawings, get instant quotes, place an order.

I’m happy right now with the various boards provided by some of the Arduino shops, but if I need custom circuit boards? There are a jillion choices like “Pad2Pad”:

One thing I am not easily finding online is wood fabrication. I don’t have a shop so I can’t lathe/route/mill wood. I am happy to finish it here but I want someone to do the heavy machinery for me. Can’t seem to find a vendor. Is wood just too finicky for people to take on? Or is woodworking gear so available, woodworking services so widespread, that I can easily pick up something locally? Or are all the woodworkers focused on higher value-add pieces like furniture (plug here for “Kim’s shop on Etsy”: