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billappleton
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Los Gatos, California
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Acrylic Update

I have been unhappy with "acrylic glue" since day one, and now I know why.

There are two kinds of acrylic glue they normally try to sell you. There is one with extremely low viscosity which can be applied with a hypodermic needle, and another that also includes suspended acrylic particles in a tube that can be applied like model glue. Both of them stink. If you make any mistakes they will spread across the wrong area and quickly scar the acrylic or pick up a fingerprint. They require clamping. They aren't very strong. They aren't waterproof. They don't help reinforce acrylic joints, which can be brittle. Even if you apply them perfectly, the joints have visible differences in diffraction and appearance.

There is a much better glue. Devcon makes a 2 ton crystal clear epoxy designed for (among other things) acrylic. You can find it at Ace Hardware. This glue has to be mixed in two parts and dries overnight. After application you can wipe the glue clean from the surface and the acrylic is beautiful. You can polish errant fingerprints away the next day as needed. Clamping is fine but not necessary. The 2 ton strength is incredible. The glue dries crystal clear and matches the acrylic index of refraction. It seeps into the micro cracks in the cut and completely seals the joint. The seal is totally waterproof, and the joints are beautiful.

OK I'm a little obsessed with glue. But wait until you see the results I'm getting with this epoxy.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Thanks, Bill. I'm always interested in learning about new stuff like this. I'm assuming you have to apply the glue to the surface and then press the parts together, and that it won't work by clamping up the parts and letting the glue enter the joint via capillary action?

Also, when you mentioned the clean-up, did you mean that you can wipe away wet glue squeeze out without any residue left on the surface?
~michael baker
The Magic Company
billappleton
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Los Gatos, California
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The low viscosity acrylic glue will work with capillary action. What I don't like there is you can often see the glue in the joint, it looks like a drop of water between two sheets of plastic.

The epoxy is much thicker, and you can apply and clamp, but it is so strong that clamping is not always necessary. The glue settles into natural fillets and beads at the joint. And the big plus is that you can wipe the surface clean after applying the glue. Make a big mess, clamp in place, and wipe down for a perfect finish with no residue on the surface. Almost looks like cast acrylic.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Thanks, Bill! I've not really played much with acrylic, but when I worked with a shop in Birmingham, we farmed out a few things to a guy who did excellent work (Crystal Caskets, and such...). I would like to learn some more about the processes of working with plastics.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
hugmagic
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My grandad was big time woodworker. He made an octogon drum that was supported by stand feet or could be hung between the joists in the basement shop. He mounted the babyjar lids on the sides. It would rotate and he could access all eight side. He made one for Grandma to keep her buttons and sewing things in.

US Plastics in Lima, Ohio is a good source for some information on working with plastics. They have plastic welders among other things.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Matt Adams
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Madison, AL
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Question - I had a piece of plywood that was a bit too long (maybe 1/8 inch). So how can you shave off such a small piece? Is it possible without a table saw? (Heck...is it possible WITH one?!)

I suppose you could rig up something and use a router...I ended up using a multi-tool and freehanded it. Um, it's the side of something that doesn't matter too much (can you tell I'm trying to justify it now? lol)

Anyway, tips?
Website: www.MattAdamsMagic.com

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gimpy2
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Lots of ways to trim a small amount off a piece of plywood, heres two ways.

With a skill saw.

Clamp a straight edge to the plywood the propper distance for the guide to run along the edge. tape along the cut is a good idea and scribe along the inside of the cut to cut down on splinters.

With a tablesaw.

Make a wood sacrafice fence board and clamp it to the fence. Then lower the blade all the way down. Move the fence over until the edge of the wood fence is above the blade, turn the saw on and raise the blade higher than the thickness of the cut to create a pocket for the blade to turn freely in. Affix an 1/8" strip of wood along the bottom back of the end of the fence so it will recieve the cut and keep the board paralel to the fence as the material is removed. adjust the fence so it lines up with the outside of the blade on the back and make the cut. That was harder to explain than I thought it would be, hope that makes sense. If the piece is small just use a sled.
Matt Adams
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Quote:
On 2013-04-25 12:18, gimpy2 wrote:
Lots of ways to trim a small amount off a piece of plywood, heres two ways.

With a skill saw.

Clamp a straight edge to the plywood the propper distance for the guide to run along the edge. tape along the cut is a good idea and scribe along the inside of the cut to cut down on splinters.


Ok, what's that mean - "tape along the cut" ? Do I put tape on the SIDE of where I want to cut? So on the inside of the 1/8 inch piece? Then when I cut I'll be cutting flush against the tape edge?

Or did you mean to put tape on the whole thing, make a 1/8 inch line along the top of the tape and cut the tape (and board) itself?

Got no clue here...brand new to this stuff.

And what do you mean by "scribe along the inside of the cut" ?

Thanks for the help.
Website: www.MattAdamsMagic.com

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gimpy2
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You will want the masking tape on the surface and under both sides of the cut, in this case even or flush to the end. So you are going to be cutting the tape and the wood both. If the cut were further in you would want the tape centered close to where the cut would be. Now that the tape is in place you are ready to mark the cut, you want a very sharp pencil and a dark but very narrow line. Now you scribe or cut on the line with a razor knife. You can do this with a straight edge as a guide.You don't have to cut real deep maybe say 1/32" or less.

Think of every saw cut as having two sides determined by the sides of the cut of the blade. If you take a close look at the blade on a circular saw you will notice that the points on the teeth point one right and then left right left ect. the width between the points of the blade determine the width of the cut. So you are in this case wanting the tips of one side of the blade to just graze the side of the scribed line. In other words the cut is right next to the line or outside your mark. The scribe keeps the wood from splintering as it rotates from the bottom to the top of the cut.
Matt Adams
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Quote:
On 2013-04-25 15:50, gimpy2 wrote:
You will want the masking tape on the surface and under both sides of the cut, in this case even or flush to the end. So you are going to be cutting the tape and the wood both. If the cut were further in you would want the tape centered close to where the cut would be. Now that the tape is in place you are ready to mark the cut, you want a very sharp pencil and a dark but very narrow line. Now you scribe or cut on the line with a razor knife. You can do this with a straight edge as a guide.You don't have to cut real deep maybe say 1/32" or less.

Think of every saw cut as having two sides determined by the sides of the cut of the blade. If you take a close look at the blade on a circular saw you will notice that the points on the teeth point one right and then left right left ect. the width between the points of the blade determine the width of the cut. So you are in this case wanting the tips of one side of the blade to just graze the side of the scribed line. In other words the cut is right next to the line or outside your mark. The scribe keeps the wood from splintering as it rotates from the bottom to the top of the cut.


Got ALL that. Excellent info and well-explained for this noob. Thanks a ton! Smile
Website: www.MattAdamsMagic.com

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Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
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AGMagic (Tim Silver) posted this on another thread, but it is applicable for this section on Workshop Tips, and I thought it needed to be in an area that won't eventually find itself buried after time.

http://view.woodworking-hub.com/?j=fecb1......1532&r=0
~michael baker
The Magic Company
ringmaster
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Memphis, Down in Dixie
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Remember, slightly less than two present of all UFO sightings turn out to be actual extraterrestrial craft.
Borrow three wide brimmed felt hats from the audience.
Dr. Harlan Tarbell
Michael Baker
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Near a river in the Midwest
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Nice find. Thanks for sharing!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Michael Baker
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Near a river in the Midwest
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Magnets...

I use a lot of them in my projects. I use them for hidden gimmicks, as well as door closures. The size range I use is as large as 1/2" diameter x 1/8" thick. But I also use them as small as 1/8" x 1/16".

I have been ordering for years from an Ebay seller, Emovendo. Recently, they did not show the size I needed, so I went online to find another source to fill the immediate need. I found Apex Magnets http://apexmagnets.com/ and much to my surprise, they are a division of Emovendo. They did have what I needed, so I figured the Ebay site omission was just an oversight. Anyway, same super service (obviously).

But the main reason for my post is to pass along a little discovery that I made. Typically, when I install magnets, they are done as a pair, although there are times when I'll install a magnet to attract to a steel shim or plate, or to some magic-associated gimmick.

But, this is about installing pairs... one magnet in each of two parts that will at times be connected.

With setting magnets in pairs, there is a polarity issue. Install them the wrong way, and you can't make them like each other at gunpoint. My usual method consisted of setting one magnet, and placing the counter magnet on it. Then, I would mark the exposed side of the magnet with a Sharpie, so I would know which side should be facing outward when this magnet was installed in the companion part.

This method works well enough with the larger sizes (3/8" or 1/2"). It is easy to see the mark (they don't show up great on shiny silver magnets, and it rubs off easily), and the larger sizes are much easier to manipulate when setting them into the small holes drilled to receive them.

I most often embed these magnets with CA glue. I fill the hole and push the magnet into the hole. Excess glue squeezes out, which I wipe away before giving everything a quick shot of Insta-set accelerator ( http://www.bsi-inc.com/ ) to quickly set everything. Works great!

OK... if you are trying to work with these real tiny magnets, things can get sloppy quickly, and in the fight to set the magnet, sometimes the mark gets rubbed off and then it's 50/50 as to which is the good side. Since you don't want to embed these things incorrectly, you decide it's better to re-check everything. Well, by this point you have a hole filled with glue that is quickly setting up, not to mention that you have probably glued a couple of your fingers together and probably glued a magnet to yourself, as well.

My first thought was to take a small piece of steel scrap, and stick the magnet to it first, then use it as a tool to guide the magnet into the hole with the correct orientation. This works great until you end up gluing the steel scrap to your project, along with the magnet. Dang... things are getting complicated here.

So here's the idea that I hit upon... tape.

After magnet #1 has been glued into place, I take a short length of painter's tape, and place it on top of that magnet, with the sticky side away from that magnet. Then, I drop the companion magnet on the tape and it will automatically orient itself for polarity, but it will also stay stuck to the tape when you lift it away from magnet #1.

Now, you put glue in the hole for magnet #2 and using the tape, push this magnet into the hole. The tape is on your side, sticky side away from you, the magnet goes in properly, and the tape keeps the glue squeeze out off your fingers! It is very easy to pull the tape away from the glue, wipe away any excess and hit everything with a shot of Insta-set accelerator.

There you have it... a lot of words to describe something very simple!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Here's a tip from the "save yourself some time" department...

If you use drill or router bits that are 1/16" or smaller, buy more than one when you do. It saves you some time if you break one.

Off to the store... Duh... Smile
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Mark Ross
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Batavia, NY
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Not if, but when.
Scotty Walsh
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Ireland
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Michael--

I don't know if you've already posted this elsewhere. If so, I'm sorry for asking again, but I am wondering how you do that amazing, detailed, oriental style design work on your props? Are those decals? Or painted by hand using a projector? Or something else?

I just looked at your Okito Tea Canister and was blown away? Do you fabricate the tubes as well? Are they metal?

Keep up the great work! I'd like to order something from you someday. Such an artist!

Scotty
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Hi Scotty,

Glad you like the "stuff". The designs are a combination of paint and decals... and in rare occasions, stencils. I make my own decals. The images are generally taken from old artwork. It is rare though if I use something as is. I manipulate the images to suit my needs, by combining images from various paintings, eliminating things I don't want, enhancing color, etc. Whatever works to make them unique. Of course I save these and will sometimes use the same images for different projects, or alter them further to better suit the project. A lot of my techniques were learned over time, with a lot of experimenting.

The tea canister tubes are made from thin gauge steel, and the canister shell is made from aluminum. I do make those, as well. My metal work is limited though. I do have a simple brake, a small guillotine cutter and a slip roll(er).
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Scotty Walsh
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Ireland
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Thank you for the answer. Lovely stuff.
MikeHolbrook
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USA, Angier, NC
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I have a Craftsman (Sears) rotary tool. Recently the chuck stopped turning even though the motor was running. The link between the motor and chuck is plastic. I ordered a replacement part and it's one of those cases of shipping is more than the part. The replacement part lasted 2 weeks. I looked around the shop and found some plastic tubing that looked like it would work. It did and it has lasted longer than the replacement part I ordered. I wish I could tell you the diameter of the tubing but the piece I used was a scrap with no printing on it. I'm sure Lowes or Home Depot has something that will work. Hope this saves someone saome money.

Mike
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