Seattle's best salvage store that nobody knows about -- except YOU

I love going to second-hand stores. I never know what I'll find. Anything could await me. It's not like going into a department store and seeing the same clothes and housewares you've seen at every other store in town. 

Yesterday, Mr. Upcycler and I took a trip to one of our favorite thrift stores. Usually I keep its location a secret, but today I'll share it, just with you!
UW surplus store
Shoes previously worn by the UW football team?
Where did we go? The University of Washington Surplus Store. It's just east of the main campus, in Seattle's north end. The large warehouse offers everything that UW professors and students no longer need at unbelievably low prices. 

I mean, I really can't believe it. Solid-wood wardrobes, 8 feet high, for only $75. Bookshelves and tables for $15. Desks for $10!

UW surplus store
I want it. Now.
The store is open to the public every Tuesday noon-6 pm. Go early or you'll be sorry. We arrived an hour after the doors opened, and I just missed grabbing a tall aluminum tray holder on wheels ($10).

Actually, I did grab it, but a very motivated shopper made me let go of it. Before my fingers could wrap around the metal pole, she yelled across the warehouse, "That's SOLD!" Darn. 

Sandwiched between the pedestrian office chairs and bookcases are things you'd never see at Wal-Mart. Like these.
UW surplus store
Spill on aisle 3. 
(I suppose you might see them at Wal-Mart, but not for sale.) Guess how much? $130 each. Seriously. His and hers stretchers.

If you don't live nearby, take a peek at the "Recently Sold" page to see all the odd things that have found their way into Seattle homes. (Don't skip the witty descriptions penned by a future writer for The Daily Show). A few of my favorites:

Architectural model luxmeter 
"I don’t know what it does, but it looks really cool doing it in its classy wooden case. It probably measures the relative luxuriousness of your architectural model. And the fact that this unique piece of equipment is made by a company called Megatron just makes it about 100-times cooler." Only $30!

Dental oven
used dental oven
"The bright orange color just might make you think Easy-Bake ventured into dental ovens, but we have yet to see any cupcakes from this baby." Only $20!

Heliodon table
used heliodon table
"What do you mean you don’t already have a heliodon table? Where do you put all of your heliodons without it? If you’re still curious, it helps measure the actual motion of the earth relative to the sun. See? Looking at the UW Surplus website can be educational, too."

It sure can! 

So what did we take home? Nothing as exciting as a heliodon table. Here's our cart.
UW surplus store
Stairway to (cat) heaven?
Those are two wooden ladders, previously used for loft beds in a dorm. My first thought was to use them to display my blank books and Kindle book cases at craft shows. My second thought was "A big cat toy!"
Dorm ladder for cats
Hmm, not so much.
Do you know about a "secret" thrift store in your neighborhood? 

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  1. Yep -- the only trick I forgot to mention is to bring your truck. Or, in our case, bring your friend with HIS truck. That way, you can haul away anything you find.


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