Morales Hardware

Morales Hardware Store is located in the Bronx, NY on 1850 Jerome Avenue. The location of this hardware store was especially convenient because it was only 2 blocks away from where I live. I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid, whenever my dad was looking for materials for his construction projects.


This place is pretty huge, and pretty old. They don’t seem to sell much in terms of power tools or any heavy duty electronics but they have soooo many hand tools, parts…etc. You could come here looking for a million types of different screws and find them all. In a separate section cordoned off by a big glass door is where they keep all of the wood and where they cut it all. The door leads to a backyard/parking lot kind of place covered in like a foot of sawdust scattered all over the floor. That’s another thing, this place isn’t entirely clean and/or organized, but to be honest I felt comfortable and still felt I could rely on this place for whatever I may need to finish a project.

In another separate section of the store, it looked like a showroom for furniture, granite counters, floor tiles, bathroom tiles, caulk, grout…etc. It looked pretty amazing how organized yet dismantled this store seemed to be. The floor staff know a lot about what they are talking about but the cashiers are really just that, cashiers, they don’t know much about hardware and are just there to ring the registers, which is to be expected anywhere you go.

There are about 5 huge aisles of stuff all crammed together as far back as 50 feet and stacked up just as high. Surprisingly, even though each aisle is jam packed with stuff, they still manage to keep everything that is relevant together making for a casual, fun shopping experience. They even sell pots and pans. Finding things wasn’t that hard but before searching it seemed like it would take forever to sift through all the junk.


In all honesty, this was one of the my favorite hardware stores ever. Despite it’s minor flaws, I love the laid back, down to earth vibe of the place and honestly, just like old NYC, all the shitty things actually give the store character and make it unique to any other place I’ve ever been.

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Class Notes 9/4/2014: Power Tool Review

Today we took off into the scene shop and listened to our Prof. describe in great detail the intricacies and the purpose of a large variety of power tools to be used in the scene shop. Below I will give a brief description of each tool based on the notes I took down in class today.

Circular Saw
-Usually uses 7-1/4″ blade-Makes cuts not suitable for a table saw
-Pretty side of plywood down when cutting
-Also comes in a mini version called a “Trim Saw” for more specific cuts

Jig Saw
Comes in D-Grip or Barrel Grip
-A plastic protector shield can be placed snugly over the “shoe” of the tool
-The shoe protector allows for smoother cuts
-Blades come in either “T-Shank” or “Straight Shank”

Angle Grinder
-4-1/2″ blade
-Flapper wheel can be used for finer sanding
-Adjustable handle for certain situations
-Spark catcher is adjustable as well

Belt Sander
-Size of sander related to W x L of sandpaper sheet
-Nicknamed “wood eraser” for being very powerful against wood
-Very heavy sanding

Porta Band
-Portable band saw
-Usually for steel but can be used with wood.
-Only very specifically sized material can be cut with it because of the size of the blade area.

Biscuit Joiner
-Cuts divets into to put biscuits into
-Reinforces joints apart from just glue

Corded Drill
-Drills holes in metal or wood
-Can also drill plexiglass, foam…etc.
-Much better savings than cordless drill for lack of having to purchase batteries
-“Chuck” holds drill bit in place
-3/8″ or 1/2″ chucks

Hammer Drill
-Chuck moves in and out rapidly
-Mainly for stone, cinder, cement…etc.
-Rarely used in the entertainment industry

Cordless Drill
-Faster than corded
-Serves same purposes as a corded drill
-Batteries wear out and need to be replaced, becoming a financial burden
-Two batteries per cordless drill highly recommended

Impact Driver
-Higher torque/lower speed (than a regular drill)
-Higher speed/lower torque
-Smaller and lighter than regular drill
-Very loud

Heat Gun
-Similar to a blowdryer but way hotter
-Used to dry paint, stretch out plastic, lamination…etc.
-Very easy to fuck shit up with

-Cuts like, all types of shit
-Many, many different blades
-Great for demolition or striking

-Used to cut moldings into different shapes
-Many different bit shapes for different applications
-“One of the best tools invented in the 20th century,” -John McCullough
-Plunge base can be used to make more precise cuts
-Collet holds the bit in place

Cold Saw
-Shoots cold and oily lubricant constantly over blade when making cuts
-Speed of blade adjustable
-Materials are held tightly by hydraulic system when blade is lowered to cut

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Continental Hardware


I would always walk past Continental Hardware: the closest and only local hardware store of my area in Forest Hills but this is my first time going inside. Located on 10201 Metropolitan Ave, 5 minutes away from me, this little shop contained no specific hardware. A little of everything from plumbing to paint, even kitchen and network cables are available.  It wasn’t a place to go for big items such as sinks or granite tops; rather small, specific things you would need for everyday fix-it jobs around the house such as various size hooks, pipes, nuts and bolts, screws, cables, etc. There was also no lumber sold here, sadly.

The staff were helpful, but not intrusive. They asked me what I was looking for, I told them I was here for an assignment and just wanted to check the place out. The manager very politely told me if I needed anything, he’ll answer any questions I had, and with that went right back to what he was doing. He didn’t pester me or try to sell me anything the entire time, which I appreciate.

As for the store itself, it was very overwhelming at first because the entrance is so cramped, you have to squeeze through shelf after shelf of random appliances and items, it looked like someones garage sale. I didn’t think I would be able to find anything in there. But as I took my time, and went through every aisle, I realized everything was very organized similarly to the aisles at Home Depot. It just looked messy because the store is extremely old-fashioned and not every item is brand-new stuff. Again, you would come here if you need something very specific, things only these local shops would carry.


Felt awkward taking a selfie in a small cramped store where everyone could see you, so I hid in a corner and took a quick one next to some hooks.

Since this place is old-school, they mostly have hand-tools. The only power tools I saw were the basic ones such as corded drills, jigsaws, sanders, circular saws, and hammer drills; and there was just one shelf all the way on top dedicated to them. I had to ask where they were since I couldn’t even see them.

Because this place is so traditional and local, everything was reasonably priced, nothing outrageous but this also means no buyers club to be seen.

What makes this hardware store stand out is that it’s, like I mentioned before: the closest and only local hardware store of my area. After I told the manager I was doing a homework assignment for school about visiting a local hardware shop, he told me I was lucky to even find one, these local places are going extinct. He also told me there used to be seven hardware stores in Forest Hills, now Continental Hardware is the only one still standing since 1922. I’ll be sure to visit this shop more often now that I finally had a chance to go inside and experience it and try to keep them in business so they can last another 92 years.

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Crest Hardware, or a pig who keeps your business running

A couple of days ago I went to the Crest Hardware, a family owned hardware store, which operates since 1962. It is located at 558 Metropolitan ave, in Williamsburg, just one minute walk from the “Lorimer St.” subway station of the L train. A friend of mine, who lives in the area, recommended this store, because “they have flowers too”. It was a strange recommendation, but I decided to go anyway, just to see what does a hipster hardware store look like. Actually, I was expecting to see something fancy, but I’ve never expected my visit to be that entertaining.

Continue reading

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08/28/14 – Class Notes

Today we had our first Advanced Scenery Construction class. At the very beginning everyone took a diagnostic test, which consisted of different types of questions. Some of them were related to student’s background in scenery construction and personal expectations for the class, whereas others were purely field-related, testing the knowledge acquired in previous classes (mostly ENT 1110).

After that, we had a detailed syllabus overview, during which John showed us required and recommended reading materials, talked about personal tools necessary for the class, and did an overview of different types of class assignments. They will be as follows:

  1. Homework :
    – Hardware Store/Lumber Yard;
    – Cut Lists;
    – Soft Goods;
    – Planning for a Crew;
    – Construction Drawings;
  2. Quizzes:
    Two quizzes are listed in the syllabus, however, additional quizzes might be given at the beginning of any class without notice.
  3. Tests:
    There will be two tests: one covering the material from the first half of the semester, another covering the second half.
  4. Labs/Projects (the most important part of the class):
    – Tool Report;
    – Jig;
    – Joinery (half-lap, miter, biscuit, mortise and tenon);
    – Rock or Stump;IMPORTANT!!! If two or more people are working together on the same project, we have to notify John about it ahead of time. Otherwise the work might be considered plagiarism.
  5. Final Project: purchase list and budget for a shop;

After the overview, we had a brief conversation about who did what during the summer, and then went to the shop, where John talked to us about shop arrangement and safety. Some of the key points are:

– Never work without supervision;
– Know what you are doing. If you don’t know – ask;
– Always use personal protection equipment;
– Don’t try to fix any malfunction of any power tool while its cable is still plugged in;
– If something is broken, or someone is injured – immediately tell your supervisor about it;

This is pretty much it…

N.B. First homework (Hardware Store/Lumber Yard) has already been assigned. Go find a store!

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Welcome to Advanced Scenery Construction! This OpenLab site is a gathering place for notes, files, links, and other course materials. Check back often for updates and information.

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