In my last post I talked about ordering a melting furnace online. The internet is the only option for most jewelry making tools, because there is no brick and mortar shop that sells more than the very very basic tools and materials in the Baltimore/Washington region.
If you want to shop and see and touch your items it is necessary to go to Philadelphia, where there are at least two large supply houses, or to NYC, where most tools and materials are available.
The popularity of internet sales has driven many brick and mortar shops out of business, even in these two major cities. The amazing metal supply store in NYC, Metalliferous, has moved to an online only format. What a shame! I suspect the rent was outrageous and having to pay knowledgeable staff was likely expensive. Now, you can shop online for their items at http://www.metalliferous.com Not as satisfying as walking the isles of a well stocked shop.
I now buy copper either from riogrand.com, or from a number of different suppliers that can be found on the internet. I just ordered this 24 gauge, 6″ x 12″ copper sheet from Amazon, and plan to comparison shop for different thicknesses and sizes. Copper is no longer a cheap material and so it is important to shop around. The cheapest isn’t always the best deal, though. I once ordered about $50 worth of copper sheet to find that it was scratched and cut crookedly!