I have used your offline composition method before. I just got lazy. Have been composing offline for any lengthy posts since losing that one.
Yes! I like plumbing analogies, as I have (too much) experience with plumbing, having almost replaced the entire plumbing system in my house this spring, both fresh water and drains. I moved to a 1970 house from a 1954 house, and had far less trouble with the 1954 plumbing in 18 years than the 1970 plumbing in two.
I'm still making my way through the manual and the electronics book. Maybe I should do more of that and less time on the forum, but this is more fun.
Your comments on component substitutions are just what I needed! Very helpful, thank you!
And thanks, also, for the additional sources for components. Ebay has selections of 500 caps of various values for under $15, but I don't know if I'd use most of them. For now, I'll order what I need with at least a few to spare, keeping in mind the higher quantity price advantage. And I'll familiarize myself with the older devices I have around here and decide which to attempt to fix and which to cannibalize. I assume most components will still be good, and I can test them more reliably as I pull them, but I'm less confident of older caps. I do have an ESR tester, though, so should be able to tell how bad they might be in spite of having capacitance within spec.
I am going to watch for surplus from local universities and colleges. I'm also still trying to find local Facebook groups that might become a similar resource.
Thanks again! I'll be referring back to your post!