Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Shopping We Will Go!

Since tomorrow is Father's Day and I have to work, I'm kinda taking it easy today. I got up early and took the family shopping. My kind of shopping. I went to the Ace Hardware (heaven!), Lowe's (sweet) and the Home Depot (paradise). When I go I take my shopping list with me.

Google Docs has a free online spread sheet program that is web based and you can access it anywhere with your secret code. I use it to keep a list of things I need to buy, which is always lengthy. Anytime I need something I just log in and put it on the list. I keep everything in a priority ranking - things I need quickly for the layout are "A" items. Things I'll need eventually or that I'd really like to have are "B" items. Things I want but need to save up for or that aren't critical to what I'm working on are "C" items. Things I can't afford are "D" items. Always lots fo those!

Today's shopping netted well over $100 worth of stuff. All of it I needed for the Swamp Layout. You can read about what I did today here:

The coolest thing I bought was the countersink/screwdriver device that lets you pilot a hole then flip the tool around and screw the screw in. How cool! Packrat Paul had one the other day and I just had to get it. This one comes in a fancy case that I don't need and will probably throw away. Cost was about $12 at Lowes.
The bucket brigade!

Ace Hardware was the first stop. My father and uncle both owned Ace Hardware stores and I grew up working in them when I was a kid. I love that store! Today I bought nuts and washers for the gurney project on my layout and some brass screws. The brass screws are for mounting rails on the model railroad at the module joints. Bob Wheeler showed me how to tin the tops and solder the rail to the top for a permanent hard-fixed rail alignment position. Works very well.These are 1 inch #2 screws.
I bought more #6 - 1 5/8" drywall screws. You can't buy enough of them when you are building a layout. I should have bought the big bucket.
I'm always breaking the 3/32" bits so I bought some more and some other bits to fill the empty holes in my bit box.
I bought some light socket adapters and some electrical socket adapters. The light socket adapter turns a light socket into an electrical socket. The electrical socket adapter turns it into a light socket. These cheap and handy devices provide light and power in areas of the basement that aren't yet finished. Thanks Mike Devaney for the light socket idea!
The area where my work table is located is not very well lit. I do have electrical outlets in the ceiling so I just put a bulb into the device and...
Let there be light!
I took the drywall screws and filled up the bins. They are all marked for identification and stored in one area where my friends can easily find them. The bins are removable so they can be taken to the work area and accidentally dumped on the carpet for my bare feet to find.
Howard Goodwin told me about Patch n Paint. This is a stucco patch material that he uses to fill in gaps in foam scenery. I suspect it has lots of fun uses and I'm going to play with it.
My wife reminded me to look on the Oops! paint shelf at Home Depot. I found a gallon of gray acrylic and a gallon of beige acrylic. The gray will be used a base coat for lots of things. The beige will be the base coat for the top of the layout and the foam material. $5.00 a gallon! Normally $24.00. You can't beat that!
If they had not painted the lids, I'd have put the paint on them. I'll also write on the cans while I intend to do with it because I'll forget.
A quick swing through Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers fast food restaurant for some ice tea yields some more souffle cups. This handy little ketchup cups are disposable and good for small quantities of glue or paint. I use them in the shop by the dozen. I borrow a hand full every time I visit, and some spoons, too.
I didn't realize the castors I bought required fine thread nuts. The hand Ace Hardware guy saw it right off.

Marie needs some more wood filler, so I took a reminder picture. When I download the "note to myself" I'll add it to the shopping list. Digital cameras rock!
I just had to play with the countersink & screw bit.
Its a two headed bit with a #6 countersink on one side (which can be changed to other sizes) and a Phillips head bit on the other. So cool. I know you probably have one of these, but I was unaware of them and think the are handy!
Today I was working in the Swamp and the concrete was bothering my feet. I keep a stack of these handy floor pads and put one in every area where I might stand for a while
Today it was in front of my assembly workbench.

It is hot today, so I kept the fan in the Swamp running. Continually moving the air makes it feel cooler.
I cut some wood today out in the back yard. I'm a firm believer that if you can't afford $500 for a table saw, just don't buy one. This cheap Ryobi ($89) has cut a lot of wood but it is very dangerous. It has no weight to it, the fence is wobbly and doesn't cut worth a damn. I could just go to Home Depot and have them make big cuts for me. Cheap tools don't work. Cheap power tools are dangerous. Ask yourself, "How much are my fingers worth?" Coming off my Chop Saw accident, I'm changing my mind about some of my tools. This one is now history.
Clamps. Here is my policy on clamps. When you think you have enough, you've just started. When someone else says "you have a lot of clamps" you are now half way there. When you find clamps in upstairs closets you now have enough. These cheap clamps are used to hold some boards and temporary legs in place. I have a huge box full of them, all kinds. Steel C-clamps, grippers, bar clamps, pipe clamps, you name it. Still don't have enough.

Again, to see what I was working on check out the Swamp!

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