We've talked in the past about the advantages of ordering all your parts freehand versus starting from a kit. Having just put in several orders of parts towards a new build (TBA later), I'm motivated to stir the pot again. The amp I'm planning has no chance of ever being available as a kit, and I have a reasonable (though not impressive) stash of old parts, so my choice was obvious. Here's what's hard about ordering your own parts, though: All of it. First, just making sure you have a modern drawing of the layout with all the simple tweaks we do now -- a few diodes, best bias choices, filter cap options, and so on -- is a ton of work. But you gotta do that so you can... Go over the layout over and over again to tally up a BOM. Yellow marker, green marker, red ink, checks, x's, Excel edits... Compare your BOM to what you have on hand. I have my passives, parts, and fasteners all in little labeled bins, but some get clobbered together (odd-sized resistors, small bypass caps...) and some get mixed up (#4 star washers in the #6 bolt bin and vice versa? Non-keps in with keps? It never ends.) Some parts look OK until you look closer. Why the hockey-sticks do I have only long-bushing 12A jacks? Good, lots of #8s... but are they the right lengths? Around this time, you start to make mistakes. No wait, dumbhead, .0047uF is 4.7nF... You test all your resistors to make sure they're the right size and in spec. But then what? Want to re-measure 'em all over in the future? Tape 'em down in clumps to a printed list of all the resistors you need? Aghhh. Don't forget about alternate values. Will that bias pot be big enough? What if I need to try several different tail resistors? And hey, the V1 coupling and bypass caps might need tweaking... By now, you start to compare your needs list to possible suppliers. Great, my favorite source can do all the 2-3W metal oxides -- except for one oddball size. Cool, I can get the Dale MFs I need from the usual source -- but the shipping is more than the resistors, and their CCs are those modern ones with the dinky leads. I only need a couple CCs -- off to eBay. Luckily, my oddball transformers and choke I can get from a single source -- still another source. I already have the chassis, by some miracle, but the miracle took me a month of looking and, yeah, separate shipping. Before submitting any orders, of course, you want to double check your double checks. On a final trip through the capacitors, I found I'd misread both what I needed and what I had, some of the yellows in my Mallory bins were no-name yellows, my 'saved' spendy coupling caps had badly bent-up, cut-down leads... You also know I'm gonna think of some part tomorrow I didn't order, and I'm bound to discover more when I start building, and more when I'm almost finished. And spares? Sure, I've ordered extras of the cheap parts, but there's no rule it's only cheap parts you screw up... If you do keep a parts collection, I hope it's bigger than mine and you're even better at grouping, testing, checking, and labeling. If I put *any* value on my time, I woulda been way better off ordering *all new* resistors, capacitors, fasteners, and so on -- the whole BOM. I can see not dumping old tubes, transformers, yellow wire, etc. But as an occasional builder I think I may just be kidding myself to keep all these nice little 'spare parts.' Still, let's look on the bright side. It's hard to get electrocuted planning an amp. And the trouble-shooting in this phase isn't difficult either -- it just means another hit on the old credit card for my friends at UPS, FedEx, and USPS.