Thanks for the heads-up about the Dollar Stores and similar... I get my Sunbeam "D" & "C" cells there. How the heck can you go wrong. Three "D" cells for a dollar! I'm contemplating building a mock Sunbeam "B" battery. Rework the graphics to cover the container. Outside of the labor and some paper bits, $10 for a full size "B" is a bargain!
Sometimes in the same shopping mall is a Johanna Fabrics, another good resource for "better then nothing" grille cloth and other notions for build and repair.
Many years ago when Radio-Shack began their conversion away from the electronics hobbyist. I would take simple browsing tours of various chain and mom & pop hardware stores. Sort of taking mental inventory... I have found useful hardware and electrical parts suitable for experiments is such stores... In "older" cities, where urban renewal has not bulldozed neighborhood such hardware stores will have forgotten inventory in the back corner. Things like reels of rayon covered power cord, brass screws and fittings ALL made in America!..
I still dream of dropping into one of these with a second and third floor of forgotten merchandise and find a cashe of early radio parts. In truth, that has actually happened but that was when I was a teenager in the 60's. An entire window front full of boxed Atwater-Kent parts, tubes, mostly v-99's. I left most of it there I had little knowledge of what it was, not five years later I knew exactly what it was. Urban renewal was catching up to the store and they had a clear-out. Some west coast collector bought the entire storefront
There are still several 70+ year old hardware stores in a nearby cities. Many with those forgotten 2nd and third floors...