Jerold, of course the hour away happens to coincide with where my daughter lives, so i popped into the HW store on the way home from visiting her. If i were to have used the Sched 80 (grey stuff) that would be on my way home frmo work. The researching and planning, are part of the hobby, and since they don't cost me anything, I won't count them. If it were not fun to do, and were outside my areas of skill, I would not do it. Certainly, I will build other stuff too. I made my first bellows this past weekend. and next to my calumet it looks pretty nice. How long before I finish making a whole 4x5 camera? who knows I think I am up to 2 years now and sitll counting, but it is a hobby and not a business, I ruined this hobby once by turnign it into a business I will not make that mistake again.
I assume that one day, I will make a photograph with a camera completely built by myself. Perhaps even exposed on a plate using an emulsion I make and place there myself, developed in chemicals I mix myself, and enlarged through an enlarger I build myself onto paper I create myself as well. Probably be the most time consuming and expensive picture ever made by me, and it may be 20 years before it all happens, but I will enjoy the whole journey there and the end results... well that is like algebra, it is not important that you get the right answer.. it is how you answer the question.
And if it were all about the cost aspect, i would have just stuck to my Digital camera. or at least 35 mm film...
Speaking of cost, I just picked up a box of stuff from a FreeCycle user. I got 3 1/2 gallen data bottles one accordian data bottle. 4 8x10 trays, 2 8x10 grey cards anda 4x5 grey card, tongs graduated cylinders a patterson 135/120 tank and reels pretty near new bottle of stop bath, hypo check, brand new box of 100 sheets 8x10 ilford MGIV and an opened box too as well as a 25 envelope of agfa, some funnels a grain focusera set of Ilford mg filters and a safe light bulb, 3 tongs, one mixing rod, a celcius thermometer and a big ass squeegie, and some balck thing that I dont' know what it is Cost me a 15 minute car ride... Sometimes things are free... gotta appreciate that when you get it.