Snazzy Surplus in St. Paul: Ax-Man Surplus Store

Need a D-ring? How about a giraffe hat? A Zinka colored nosecoat? Or some masking tape in a variety of flourescent colors? 
Who says 80s ladies are cheap? Right. Ax-Man does. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
Whether you like to tinker, are an artist in search of that perfect addition to your masterpiece, or you’re in need of some basic hardware, chances are, Ax-Man Surplus Store in St. Paul, Minnesota has exactly what you’re looking for….as well as a whole lot of stuff you didn’t know you needed. But don’t expect your average hardware-buying experience.
For those willing to dig, Ax-Man has pretty much anything you can imagine you might need,and a lot of other stuff you didn’t know existed. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Ax-Man in St. Paul. Relax, shop, laugh. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
Not sure what’s for sale here, but it sure is entertaining!
Photo by Charish Badzinski.
Suddenly that line, “I gave her a ring, and she gave me the finger,” makes total sense.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Ax-Man is like the love child of a Crazy Dayz sale at your favorite small town Hardware Hank that hooked up with a yard sale held by an out-of-work ad copy writer and scrapbooking fanatic. It’s that fun. And, it’s that unwieldy. Come ready to linger, and dig.

Ax-Man can be overwhelming at times. Don’t even try to focus.
Just soak in the wonder and mystery. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
Vomit Grommets: the ideal gift for the girl who has everything.
Photo by Charish Badzinski. 
Wally World was clean out of these, last time I checked. It’s good to know
Ax-Man can fulfill my giant inflatable axe in the head needs.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.
I like Ax-Man for the entertainment factor. You may find yourself wandering down an aisle that boasts of doll parts and ….and you’ll catch yourself chuckling at the marketing of specific goods, even, and especially, when that politically-correct side of your brain tells you that maybe you shouldn’t be laughing.
It’s funny because it’s true. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
Eat at your own risk. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
A divine way to clean. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
But for those who have the unique ability to imagine how to repurpose random items—from old computer keyboards to military surplus to red berets—Ax-Man is a goldmine. I’m not sure how successful I’d be at Ax-Man if I truly needed a specific hardware item (but let’s be serious, I don’t DO hardware), but if I were looking for inspiration for a creative project, this would be a great place to start. Plus, it’s fun.
What a bargain! Photo by Charish Badzinski.
You may want to check for FDA warnings on this one.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.
That’s what those are! Photo by Charish Badzinski.
As you can see from the photos, prices are reasonable, and you won’t be trapped into buying a whole box of doodads, just because you need one for your thingamajig. 
Want one piece of pink foam? Done. 
A single zipper pull? Okey-dokey. 
How about some holy buckets while you’re at it?  
Wouldn’t you love to sit in on their sales and marketing meetings?  “I know what will sell these
surplus grommets! A mannequin in a kayak, suspended from the ceiling!”
Photo by Charish Badzinski.
At last, a totally safe fan.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.
I was looking for the perfect gas mask to go with my Tiffany necklace. Check! 
You may find yourself wondering as you wander, “Where do they get all this stuff?” Simply put, everywhere. And if you have too much of something, chances are they may buy it from you. 
To learn more or explore, you can find Ax-Man in St. Paul, Saint Louis Park, Fridley and Crystal, Minnesota. Or, go to the Ax-Man website. 
What do you love about surplus stores? 

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Charish Badzinski is an explorer, foodie and award-winning travel and food writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, providing strategic communications, media relations and writing support to individuals and organizations. 

Find Charish on Twitter: @charishb
Creative Commons License
Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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