A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Housekeeping – a World of Glue

Sticky problem - and this is just some of them...
Yesterday I was having a brief look at what would be involved in doing some conversion work on some more Spaniards, and as part of this I needed to dig out my store of fusewire, to see what gauges I have and see what would suit the job.

Couldn’t find the stupid fusewire. It normally lives near the left hand end of the clutter that is my painting desk, but it wasn’t there. Hmmm. Well, of course it might be next to the fusebox in the electric meter cupboard, in the porch, which is where it really ought to be – but no, not there either, so thank goodness we haven’t blown any fuses lately.

Thank you, Goodness.

Then followed a brief period of muttering and raking about (the muttering was encouraged by the discovery that spare Stanley knife blades are packaged on a card that looks just like the card that holds the fusewire – sometimes it is the little remnants of false hope which hurt the most), and eventually it became clear that it would be a good idea to conduct a proper search of the painting desk – which is actually an old writing bureau with all sorts of little hidey-holes and drawers. This sort of search is not something to be undertaken lightly; what I should do, of course, is keep the bureau tidy all the time, but it doesn’t work out like that. Especially at times when figure painting is sporadic, stuff lies out on the desk top and the water pots dry out and dust falls on the mixing plate and entropy gradually claims its own. Then suddenly there are visitors coming, or else I have had another confrontation with my son about his untidiness, and guilt drives me to get things sorted out, and the desk is cleared, very largely by stashing things in the drawers, lest people might see how I live normally.

Thus the contents of the drawers are always a bit of an unknown – I find things that I haven’t seen for ages – sometimes I don’t even remember I ever had them. Of course, the drawers contain a lot of Official Items, such as paint and tools, but yesterday’s effort had a few additional themes:

(1) Kitchen roll – since I am always worried about waste, any piece of leftover kitchen tissue which is even approximately clean tends to get stored away for the next time I’m painting. Next time, of course, I always kick off by washing out the water pots and refilling them, cleaning off the magic glass mixing plate and getting a clean wad of fresh kitchen roll. Thus I have a drawer containing a ridiculous amount of kitchen tissue – you never know, it might come in handy one day (in truth, what bothers me about this is that my dad used to do exactly the same sort of thing…).

(2) Wire spears/flagpoles – I keep running out of these, so keep ordering more, then I stick the new ones in a drawer, and can’t find them the next time I need one, so I go through this cycle regularly. You will be pleased to hear that it seems I have enough wire spears (mostly the good ones from North Star) to last several lifetimes.

(3) Wow. Glue. Whenever I’m in model shops or hardware stores I get interested in various exotic types of glue, and often buy a tube or two. Next time I have to tidy up in a hurry, these get put away, I forget I bought them (in many cases I find I have forgotten I ever knew about them, never mind bought them), and so the process rolls on – like wire spears but worse. I find that I have a marvellous collection of glues – I am going to work out what I’ve got, what they are good for, all that, and get them properly organised. Recently a friend told me about a fantastic new glue he has been using, and recommended it – I duly wrote its name on my whiteboard in the office, so I would remember to get some if I saw it. Well, I’ve seen it now. I had a tube of the stuff in the bureau drawers all the time, and it must have been there for at least a year. I could open a glue shop – especially of different types of superglue. Awesome.

Alas, I did not find the fusewire, so I’ll have to buy some – I think I’ll buy a few packs, and I’ll make a point of putting one in the meter cupboard, next to the fusebox. And I’ll try to keep things tidier in the painting desk department – don’t rush to place a bet just yet.





14 comments:

  1. You're clearly a lot more tidy than I am Foy and considerably more parsimonious with kitchen roll. On the other hand, I make do with pound shop glue which comes five tubes for 1.50 so there are swings and roundabouts.

    One bad habit I have gotten into is husbanding my painting water like it's fine wine. It never seems to alter the colour of the paint, so my stuff just sits in it little plastic jar growing ever more murky and horrible.

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    1. Since the white collar piping that turned purple I've got freaky about paint water as well, now. It's all very stressful.

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  2. This seems horribly familiar , once read that squirrels lose about 50 % of the nuts they hid - think the same may be true with wargaming products , Tony

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    1. Maybe that's why new trees grow - hmmm. Seems a waste of nuts, but at least it's tidy, I guess.

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  3. I'm firmly of the "A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind." school.

    Right now I need to go by a box of stirring toothpicks to hold me over untill I find the remnants of the last one which I saw briefly just last month.

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    1. I now have new fusewire, and have successfully shoved it around the desk top until it disappeared.

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  4. This one hits very close to home and an all too familiar occurrence! I stand guilty of counts 1, 2 and 3. Now that you have me feeling a bit guilty, maybe I will clean my work space?

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    1. Feeling guilty is good - if you feel guilty enough, you don't actually have to do the tidying.

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  5. I once found a twenty pound note in a suit pocket while looking for my car keys. Nothing to do with your post but something of a highlight for a "tidy geek" like me!

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    1. Excellent. You should wear that suit more often.

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  6. I'm of the opinion that cleaning the painting area just takes time away from painting.
    Tony, you could come clean and just admit that you have a nasty habit of sniffing glue. No one here would judge you for that.

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    1. Most of these glues are odourless and non-toxic, though dangerous in the sense that I can stick my fingers to all sorts of things (explain: I can hold a man on his horse for 10 minutes - the superglue has not fixed him in place by the end of that period, though my fingers were glued tight to him within seconds).

      The historic move from enamels to acrylics has done away with some pretty racy thinners and brush cleaners - sniffing the painting water for the acrylics is a real waste of time.

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  7. Wow Tony, I thought our fuse box was old but at least it has primitive trip switches (that blow the circuit each time a light bulb dies) but fuse wire - respect!

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    1. We do also have a modern box with trip relays (which seem unnecessarily dramatic - they cut-out with hardly any justification). The older part of the house still has a vintage 1970 fusebox - the electricians offered to replace that, but I asked them to leave it. Can't for the life of me think of a good reason why, now, but that's what I did. Wiring's all good, though - was all checked over in 2005.

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