In my neck of the woods industrial strength stuff is hard to come by for the average citizen. We don't have a Home Depot here (yet)...you can't believe how many calls I've made in the past few days trying to run down 2 - 3 foot PVC or other pipe segments in 8", 10", 12" and 14" diameter. I've called every lumberyard in the area, plumbing contractors, commercial building contractors, well drillers, and city water and sewer departments. Most haven't even gotten back to me, they must think I'm a crackpot. I've listed what I'm looking for at craigslist Humboldt County, as well as the local Freecycle Yahoo Group. I've gone by a couple of construction sites, and there aren't that many here these days, but haven't yet located what I'm looking for.
It feels like a major part of art making is really about preparing to actually make art -- all those things you need to do and stuff you need to obtain just to get to that point in time at which you can actually be creative. Although definitely, finding the stuff I need is exercising my creativity in its own way.
Perhaps the actual making of tangible art is more like slow performance art. You get everything together that you'll need -- paints, dyes, discharge materials, tools, pots, pans, fabrics, brushes, squeeze bottles, stamps, stencils, work surfaces, ad infinitum -- and then the moment comes when you get to put the stuff together in some perhaps predetermined way, or better, it evolves moment by moment over time to become the finished piece.
I'm trying to get to the point where I have everything I can imagine I'll need for a good spell of art making. I know there'll always be more stuff to try out, but I am working toward an initial critical mass. Actually I think I'm almost there. And meanwhile I'm continuing to weave fabrics, tweak ideas in my head, move stuff around in my studio to accommodate more stuff (!), etc. And trying not to succumb to overwhelm by imagining all the creative possibilities!