I'm teaching the IFA Finds Group Brick and Tile Recording Workshop on November 16th, and currently costing equipment. My budget was too modest (should've been more like £100, rather than £50!), but it's making me look for the the equipment I want at the cheapest rate. For example, I once saw some plastic Vernier calipers somewhere, and lo and behold, a search on the Web brought up a source. Since the metal ones available locally are at least £6.99, finding the plastic ones at £1.99 from Greenweld's is a big saving on the tight budget. It's a shame to pay the fixed postage price, but it's still worth it, and at least Greenwald's don't have a minimum order.
I was well served by Tescos, who supplied me with four kitchen scales for £1.92 each. Since the average size of a piece of tile comes out at 200g, the fact that these scales only go up to 1kg is no problem. I'll be taking my own scales as well, which go up to 5kg, should we get a big piece.
Next on to hand lenses. Somehow, I own four of these! I think I lost a couple years ago, so bought some more, but they've all come home to roost now. But I need ten, so that everyone has a hand lens. They can't be shared as looking at brick and tile fabrics is the most time-consuming aspect of recording. Hand lenses horribly expensive if you look in your local Photographic Shop, but the local hardware store, Barnitts, has them between £2.99-£4.99. They were locked away in a cabinet, so I couldn't check them and didn't have time to ask to see them. But I've checked on the Web, and Northern Geological Supplies has some for £2.35. The main problem is that they have a minimum order of £15.00 (six hand lenses come to £14.10!) plus post. So, if Barnitt's hand lenses are OK, it may be easier to go for them. Still, NGS is a useful supplier to know about.
And there's loads of other stuff to get, some that can be shared (like hammers) and others that they all have to have (like googles).
Never mind equipment though! I've done that first in case I have to order anything in (as per the calipers). The main thing now will be too get my talk and notes together ...