Introduction: Surrealist Human Hand Stick Shifter!
Here's how to cast your hand, and totally rock out your car's stick-shifter!
This is sort of in the spirit of donnauwanna's silicone breast squishy toy, in that I thought it would be awesome if people could hold my hand even while I was far away.
I wanted to learn all about silicone casting and molding in a hurry so I could make prototypes for Fuzzy Logic
I think few people who drive manual transmission cars actively think about driving as controlling a gigantic machine moving with a lot of momentum, via a huge rod that goes directly through the floor and moves a set of meshing teeth around in an engine that's actually running. It's one of the few places today where you're moving mechanical bits around in a real machine. So the idea behind the hand is to remember that you're working with the car to make it move, sort of holding the car's hand.
Turns out this hand is super-versatile, and fits on almost any shifter knob!
And I thought it'd be hella funny to see a hand reaching up out of the floor of Tim's beatup diesel pickup truck.
I think the installation plan is to attach some kind of sleeve to complete the look, but I'm not in charge of that. Hopefully there will be pictures.
Step 1: Mix & Pour
Alginate is a casting powder made from ground up, dried kelp-like algae.
It sets at body friendly temperatures, and conveniently sets faster, the hotter the water you use.
This makes it very easy to control the mold-setting time.
Measure the amount of alginate you want, and mix it with an equal amount of water by volume.
Do a better job than I did.
Mine looks like chunky vomit because I added alginate powder to water, and tried to mix it slowly with a spoon.
The alginate contacts water and makes a gel that encapsulates big powder bombs that never quite mix into solution. Avoid chunks. The smoother and more like paste, the better.
Get better results by (instead of adding alginate to water, like I did) slowly adding water to alginate powder. Mix vigorously, maybe with something like a fork.
The alginate starts to set surprisingly quickly, so do this part briskly.
Step 2: Plunge Your Hand Deep Into the Monster's Gullet
Here's where you stick the body part you want a copy of, into the alginate mixture while it's still runny.
Use a container that's big enough!
This container wasn't quite small enough to get the mixed alginate to coat my wrists like I wanted, so I jammed two empty cups into one end of it. Can't a girl get some displacement around here?
Step 3: Wait
play jeopardy or something. invite over entertaining friends.
play one-handed uno with them. fold one-handed origami.
one-handedly solve rubik's cubes.
you can only kill time with one- or no-handed activities.
Step 4: Extract the Limb
It was a little bit difficult to pull out my hand, because there was strong suction from a vacuum behind the alginate.
The alginate jelly-mold was fully hardened, but still able to flex enough to let my hand free with some vigorous wriggling.
Step 5: Mix and Pour Silicone
This is the easy part!
I used some of instructables' leftover silicone casting "OOMOO." Followed the directions on the back, mixed the two parts in a cup.
Once it looked uniformly swirly colored, I just poured it in!
Sink a golf ball on a string, or similarly sized object into the silicone wrist, to leave a space for the stick shifter head.
Step 6: Fahgeddaboudit
Go do something else while the silicone sets.
Like, listen to the Ditty Bops and ride around on your motorized rollerskates!
I don't know how long this takes. Probably the box says.
Step 7: Break the Mold
When you come back, your silicone part should be hardened rubber! Poke it a bit to make sure it's not still runny on the inside (like a hardboiled egg).
If it feels done, pull it out!
Feel free to rip apart the alginate. That thing was never gonna last for long anyway. Alginate melts after you leave it out for some amount of time.
Cut some slices in the base of the wrist, and extract the golf ball. You may have to pull pretty hard.
The golf ball and the slices make the perfect-sized and -shaped hole for the hand to slip over a stick-shifter knob.
Step 8: Bask in Surreality
One of the better parts of putting the hand on a dash-shift car is that the hand appears to float just above the dashboard, in a very creepy, human way. Passers-by gawked quite a bit.
Fortunately, especially given the skin-tone hue of the oomoo, it's apparent that the hand isn't connected to anything like a human body.
Also, after you make this, you can walk around wielding the hand and asking,
"Hey - can I lend you a hand?"
Participated in the
DIY Halloween Contest