Saturday, September 29, 2012

I also dabble in logo desings

This is me making a few logos. Let me know what you think.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How to make a cable puppet control handle

I have had several questions on how to make the handle to control a cable puppet. I have a tutorial on how to make a cable puppet, and how to make a cable puppet with moveable wings
And since a picture is worth a thousand words...

Take a dowel rod, (one that fits well in your hand) probably around 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in diameter, cut off about 4 or so inches.  Then cut out of that a smaller piece about 3/4 inch tall.  The little piece will be the knob and the longer piece will be the handle.

In the handle drill a hole (big enough for the jacket to fit into) all the way through it.  It may take some tries to drill it, flip it over then drill again, to get all the way through.  Push the jacket into the handle a good ways into it, if not all the way.  If it isn't tight and moves around then glue it in place.  The jacket needs to be stationary.
If you are going to glue it, I like the two part epoxy.  It comes in a double syringe type thing. Mix the epoxy according to the package and when it is thoroughly mixed, pull the jacket out a little and put a dab of it at the bottom of the handle. Then push the jacket back in.

Don't do this near where the cable comes out or you will end up stopping your cable from moving. Only epoxy the bottom of the handle!

Put a spring over the cable.   Depending on the thickness of your cable you might be able to take a spring from an old ballpoint pen.  You don't want anything too strong (like a trampoline spring.)  This is just to return the head to the normal position instead of being stuck looking at the ceiling.  You can find springs at a hardware store. Experiment with different springs until you find one you like.  Just don't glue the knob on until you are sure.

In the knob, drill a hole just big enough for the cable to fit into.  Don't drill all the way through.  You just want enough to glue the cable into it. Then glue the cable into the knob.  I recommend turning the knob upside down putting some glue into the hole then inserting the cable.  Be very careful not to get any glue down into the jacket. 

I know you are going to want to test it and make sure it works.  Don't do it until you are sure the epoxy has cured all the way.  There will be endless amounts of time to test it once the glue dries. If you try and test it before it is dry it will gum up inside the jacket and you will have wasted your time.  

Don't give in to the temptation!

Once it is dry you should be able to easily turn your puppet's head, or push down on the knob to make the puppet look up.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

How I make a pattern for styrofoam cut outs. Or Bumblebee pattern

In Some of the coral I made for VBS I had a question if I drew stuff free hand or had a pattern.  The answer is both.  Some things I do without a pattern, but if I have to make a shape that is the same on both sides, I make a pattern.

In this one I needed to make a bumble bee.  So I started off with a roll of thick brown paper.  I believe they sell this stuff at Home Depot in a roll.

I drew half of the bumble bee on a piece of this paper.  Then I cut out the half I had drawn.  Then I folded it in half and drew and cut out the other side.

Then I opened it up to see if it was going to fit with what I was needing.
It did.  So I wanted to see it with some stripes.

So I added stripes.

Now for the wing.  I drew a rough shape...

Then cut out just the part I had drawn.    You can see that the other part is square.

I folded it in half lengthwise and cut it again.

Here it is after it was cut.

The wing is too big where it touches the bee.

So fold and recut.

Then after about a few hours worth of work...

How to beat the Cracker Barrel Golf Tee Game

Ok so I finally mastered the Cracker Barrel Golf Tee Game.  I don't really know what the real name for it is, so that is what I am calling it.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words… I have 14,000 words worth of pictures here.  I will let them explain it.

Congratulations you are a Genius!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hanging a Styrofoam Sign

If you are hanging a sign, you'll need 1 or 2 anchor points. Pick up some large, plastic, screw type wall anchors. (They are the type used for drywall) and some eye-screws about the same size as the metal screws that come with the anchors. 

1.) Screw the eye-screws into the plastic anchor.  
2.) Screw the plastic anchor into the styrofoam.
3.) Unscrew the plastic anchor out and dip it in water, (because Gorilla Glue needs moisture to work) 
4.) Put a drop of Gorilla Glue in the hole and,
5.) Screw the anchor back into the into the hole.
6.) Wait until the glue hardens then hang with fishing line or whatever.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Update to Styrofoam Airplane Propeller for VBS

After I made the last propeller I found an easier and faster way of making it.  This way saves a lot of sanding and shaping.
It ended up looking like this.

 I took three paint cans, one gallon, one quart and one pint.  I traced around them onto a piece of 2" thick styrofoam.

I cut them out and glued them together with Gorilla Glue.

Then I took a 3/4 inch paddle bit and shoved it down into the center of the biggest circle.  The paddle bit keeps the styro from stopping and makes it easier to sand. 

Then I hooked it up to my drill press. If you don't have a drill press don't worry you can just clamp your regular drill to the side of a table or something so it would be stable.  I don't really think that it makes a difference if it is going up or down.

Next I turned the drill press on and used a piece of 80 grit sandpaper and sanded it down.  The paddle bit keeps the styro from spinning around the middle while it is being sanded, and the smaller circles mean you don't have to sand so much.

I also cut some grooves in the nose once I had it sanded smooth.  I just folded the sandpaper with the grit side out, and stuck the folded sandpaper into the styro and left it there.  It carved a perfect groove without me having to struggle with it.

After I got it shaped into the cone, I glued it to the propeller so it looks like this

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Styrofoam Airplane Propeller for VBS

I have been asked to make a styrofoam propeller for a VBS.  They want to paint it themselves so I just have to make it.

I started by drawing off a pattern on paper mill paper. It is about 4 feet long from tip to tip.   I cut it out a little big with the heat knife.  The heat knife tends to melt a little farther than you really want it. (In the past I have used an electric knife.  That's right just like the one that is used only at Thanksgiving to carve the turkey.  It works well for cutting styrofoam.)  I want a very clean edge because I am going to shape it.

I also cut out 3 circles.  (I know only there are only two here.  I can count ok? I just didn't take a picture of the third circle.)

I cut out the shape on the band saw.  I took my time because one small bump can make a huge cut in the wrong spot.

I stacked the circles, one on the bottom, and two on the top.  It has to be away from the wall a little.  These two on top will be shaped into a cone.

I glued the circles with gorilla glue.  This glue does not eat foam and it bonds extremely well.  Just be careful not to put too much glue.  The glue doesn't sand as well or as fast as the styro so learn from my mistakes and don't use too much.

I put glue on all the pieces not realizing that I didn't need it on the top one.  So the top circle got twice the glue that it needed.  
One thing about Gorilla Glue is that it needs moisture to work, so I sprinkled some water on it before I put them together.  I was going to use my spray water bottle but I couldn't find it.

I clamped it together and waited.

Then I used my sander to shape it.  Yes you can sand styrofoam.  

I did the same for the other side and formed the nose into a cone.

I am going to ask them to take a picture of the final product so I can post it here.