Monday, January 30, 2012

Odds & Ends Missed Earlier

My brain wasn't fully operational last night, so some bits I missed or that weren't necessarily clear:

Load Bars:
When we got to Berland's House of Tools, we were looking at things that are designed to hold up plastic to divide rooms for painting/dust control, but the box says can be used as load bars. The sales guy said no way to using them as load bars, and pointed us to the real load bars, that Ron had missed on his earlier trip.  Thanks sales guy! The real ones were more expensive, but obviously a case of getting what you pay for - we happily trusted one to restrain the big yellow case.

Pictures of Setup:
Yeah, no pictures. Again. Xap said something about getting pictures, but I thought she meant to use to refer to for future events, but setups very rarely get duplicated, so I've never kept notes on setup.

I'll try to remember to get a picture of the straps I made for hanging pouches on the gridwall, since I need to shorten a bunch of them up.

New Merchandise:
Although I didn't get around to working on any of the little squarish soft pouches last week, I brought several with us, that we worked on Saturday once we were set up - both to keep busy, and it attracts attention. Ron finished the one he was working on before I did, but only because he kept getting me to do bits and pieces of his.

Big Yellow Road Case:
It definitely got attention during load-in and load-out! It's kinda surprising how  much it holds. Still figuring out how best to pack it. We found one hard pouch kinda squished, but we found it Friday night, so we hit it with a hair dryer, re-shaped, and it was fixed. 

The yellow case is a bit taller than our tables, but not enough that you really notice unless they're next to each other, and even so it wasn't a big deal.

Even though loading and unloading required some lifting of the yellow road case, Ron says his back is much less sore than usual after an event. Today he's shopping for ramps (actually ramp ends to put on 2-by lumber), which will help even further.

The yellow case now lives on the side porch, locked shut and tied with a good cable and lock to one of the 4x4 uprights. Which reminds me, we were thinking about getting locks for the gates now that the dogs have yard access during the days. I want to prevent something along the lines of neighborhood small fry wanting to play with the dogs and accidentally letting them loose.

Big Green Road Case:
As Xap noted, it's big. Taller than the yellow road case, although I'm not sure how much. The ones I was originally looking at were probably about the same height as the yellow road case, and not as wide as the one we got. But Ron correctly computed that those would have been marginal or unable to hold all the belts. So we went with the one with the maximum capacity.

We've been taking a small table to put the cash box, receipt book, etc. on, which usually we have a smidge shorter than the (merchandise) tables. The top of the big green road case will be taking over that duty. And if we don't want something out where it can be seen/grabbed (like the cash box), we can put it behind gridwall or in the top drawer - which is the one of everything drawer, so will be empty during events. 

The top does have a lip, to help restrain another tool chest that can be put on top. We'll probably get a piece of plywood, or Ron suggested a cutting board, to level it out. We'll see - plywood is cheaper than cutting board material, but doesn't look as nice. On the other hand, I'll probably be throwing a tablecloth over the back and sides, and hence also the top.

The big green case is another reason Ron's looking at ramp parts - its handle is nowhere near as sturdy as the one on the yellow road case. 

Consensus is that finding belts in the road case will be much easier than in the bins. No more heaving bins around! And not so many layers in the drawers. In fact in one drawer we have the rolled belts packed up on edge instead of lain flat and layered. I think it will also be easier to add new belts to stock rationally, as opposed to just chucking them in whatever bin had space. It also looks like there's going to be plenty of room to bring belts up to the optimum stock counts.

I also think we can probably to move the hardware display into one of the drawers, instead of the yellow bin, where it wasn't really making me happy to pack - it was just the wrong size to fit politely. And in the same bin as the hardware just makes sense.

Other Odds and Ends:
Regarding the "eating cheap food for the next two weeks" comment, we'd planned to set aside the proceeds from Maidens to get the leather I got a while back made up into two new kilts for Ron, and we're still going to try for that, even with buying the green road case. AltKilt ( - plug plug) will be at Capricon next weekend, and we've arranged to hand off the leather at Cap so we don't have to ship it.

A couple/few years ago I started the process of shifting belt hardware - dees, buckles, and wide fancy rings with engraved stainless hardware from Tandy - over to hardware from another supplier, which has nicer engraving, and is highlighted with black. After re-packing belts yesterday (and seeing what we have left, which I'm grokking better than reading the inventory list), I've decided I'm tired of the gradual switchover, we're close enough to the end that its time to chop the old stuff off the remaining belts with it and replace with the nicer hardware.

The 1" dees I can use to make more small belt frogs we need more of anyway. Not sure what to do with the big rings and 1" buckles, I may just pitch them in a bin and mark them as clearance sale.

Need to figure out what the next events are. Val Day is, AFAIK against Cap again this year. I think Reenactor Fest is next weekend, but we didn't quite fit in the first time we did it (IIRC RF's second year around here) - not quite historically accurate enough, besides being very probably too late to get in. Got a flyer for an event in Bloomington later this spring (April?), and talked to one of our friends from Ravenslake (Lake/McHenry counties-ish) about what they've got coming up. We've got to make the gridwall and road cases earn their keep!

Road Cases Redux:
I have to repeat myself, sorry. The big yellow case alone really sped up getting in and out. I think the gridwall also helps, and I'm looking forward to using the green case.

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