Thanks Ludnix, that thread you posted below is perfect for what i need, going to place an order for some parts probably in a moment. as far as soldering it and keeping it compact, that shouldnt be a problem, i bet you could get it down to about the size of 1" x 2" square if not smaller, (depends how confident you are to solder on 2 sides of some curcuit board) i've done enough soldering to be prett confident on getting it down to a minimum.
Secondly, i havent given much thought to encasing it, obviously i want it as small as possible im tempted to do it in 2 boxes, 1 with the controller and the electronics, the second with just the LCD screen and keypad etc, with a short cable linking the two (which i'll make desconectable) i could then mount the LCD into my stand/cupboard what ever and have the box hidden.
failing that theres some bigish project boxes i can get locally. infact some are huge, i'd like to do it in a custom built package but again i think id struggle getting the plastic cut to size, do you have any shops local that could cut it for you? i mean i thi nk its safe to say we're both pretty far off from that stage but still :P.
I got told my DS18B20's got shipped yesterday and should be with me in 2-3 weeks. so thats good news.
well after spending about 1 hour or so trawling through electronic sites to try adn find a supplier who sells everything i need i finally found one and the cost was pretty good.
For £8.51(that includes P&P first class) i got all the little bits and bobs i needed for a RTC module,
the cheapest supplier of "arduino" parts wanted £5 plus P&P for the DS1307 chip and 32.7 kHZ crystal.
the cheapest supplier of a prefabricated PCB RTC was £13+ P&P,
DS1307 Chip IC 8 pin Chip holder (its an extra £0.08, saves me ruining a chip...) CR2032 coin cell battery CR2032 batter holder (we'll see on this one depends how big it is etc there was no photo, i might swap it out for a "slim line" one if its no good, it was only £0.40 so at the end of the world its not desasterous.) 32.768 kHZ watch crystal
plus because as i was ordering, i threw in a few led's for kicks/proto typing, i never have any spare led's and maplins my closest electronics store charges £1.23 for a 5mm .... i got 1 of each, red,yellow,green,blue, ultra bright white and pink (yeah they did a pink one.... havent seen one of those often...)
and i should hopefully have those by next week if all goes to plan, it will keep me out of trouble till i get my temp Chips ;D