Friday, January 10, 2014

Shopping at the Dollar Store for Supplies and Tools

On this blog I try to be very conscientious that the majority of readers are not Warren Buffet and can't go out and spend billions on everything.  Money is tight these days, the economy is still not great, and the hobby has never been more expensive.

My solution?  Shop more at the local dollar store!  Everything shown was $1 each.  Let's see what I got today...

I used a lot of window cleaner.  First off, I work on sheets of glass that have to be cleaned frequently. This is also what I use in my ultrasonic cleaner.  For me it is cheaper to buy the $1 per item stuff when I'm just pouring it away.  You can't get a new trigger bottle for much less than a buck, either.

Project pans!  I love to keep my projects together on one or two pans so that I can move them on and off the workbench.  These are a bit deeper than the flat pans I've been using.  These pans are steel, so they are magnetic.  You can use magnetic parts holders and tools using these.

I got a few brownie pans as well....

These pans have high sides and are perfect for holding paints at the airbrush booth.  Should something get knocked over it won't get in your socks!  I'll use this one for staining wood as well.

I've had a lot of pans before, but they were always used ones.  Now at the dollar store I can get shiny new ones and they are made of STEEL, not aluminum.  These muffin tins make great parts holders especially when you are cutting a lot of different wood parts.

Rubber bands are fantastic clamps and I use them all the time.  Most of the time I don't try to remove them, I just cut them.  Thus, I use a lot of rubber bands.  Cost is $1.

Index cards have tons of uses.  Mostly I use them to hold spots of glue, but I can put small parts on them, or make notes.  I also use them for paint mixing samples.

Goo Gone is a staple in the shop.  I mostly use it to clean resin castings, and to remove sticky stuff from my glass work space.

I bought some big emery boards a few weeks ago, but forgot to get some small ones for windows and other model areas.

The legendary Bob Walker uses these.  If you don't know Bob Walker just pick up the latest Railroad Model Craftsman Magazine (RMC) and read his scratchbuilding articles.

Bob recommends these for when your tools look like this on the workbench...

Now they look like this!  Everything is together and up out of the way.

Hey!  Look how I can store my rulers!  These trays are handy as I can move them off and on to the workbench without having to pick up all the tools.  When I'm done with a project I just lift up the tray and sort out the tools into the tool boxes.

I use a lot of little cups like these.  Mostly for glue, water and paint.  You can't have enough of them.

This was something new!  The dollar store had magnifying glasses for $1 a pair!  Wow!  I may go back and get quite a few pairs and stick them all over the shop.

See!  You can get a lot of cool stuff for just a dollar.  Other items I buy regularly are toothpicks, small paper plates, glue, clothes pins, tissue paper, paper towels and about every consumable item you can name.

So go call your wife and tell her you want to take her to the dollar store.  She'll be thrilled!


  1. I don't know if you get any thanks for your blog, but its part of my routine. It arrives between 6.00am & 7.00am Melbourne time, just as I am sitting down with my morning coffee at the computer to read the daily news and check my emails. I enjoy your commentary , tips and sense of humour, so please keep it coming.

    1. Hey Martin! Since most of the model builders I've seen from Australia amazingly talented, I consider you comment an honor! Glad you enjoy! Nothing like staring the day with coffee and cabooses!


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