How to make a simple, effective and small pocket tool, recycling old ballpoint pens.
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Step 1: Gather Materials Etc
Q: why would I want to to this?
A: I don't know and really don't care. But is a nicer end to old stuff than the trash can.
Q: Are these useful or only for show purposes?
A: Depends on the material you used. I resharp my jigsaw blades, so I could cut 4" pine board with my pocket saw. YMMV, but they are good tools, save space and your more expensive gadgets.
Any other questions? No? Good, lets go. You'll need:
1) ballpoint pen tubes (if using bic style pens, you can still have a live pen inside -- tell you more later)
2) old jigsaw blades, small drill bits, hardened steel rods/nails/screws, old pencil sharpeners blades.
Ok, have to talk a little here: I don't use new jigsaw blades, cause I resharp mine (triangle file) and keep the new ones for my power jigsaw. You must choose the "steel part" of the tool depending on what you have available and on what you intend to do with the tool (ex.: my small saw can be a helper if you camp out; a small drill bit for PCB drilling; pencil sharpener blade good for general purpose knife and so on)
3) pliers (essential; we'll be working hot stuff here)
4) fire source (I used a lighter and a candle)
5) power grinder, rasp, files, sandpaper (optional, but gives a better looking if you grind/sand off excess)
6) good sense (don't hurt/burn youself, don't poke/cut/saw anyone, these are serious things, not knex rifles!!!)
For the pictured project, I used a hard steel nail to build an awl.
Step 2: She Said BURN!!!
Ok, now you got your fire source, you can do this with a lighter only, but I had to take pics, so I used a candle.
Light the candle and put the side of the pen tube you want to have a tool in on the fire, but don't let burn, keep rolling and blow gently if it starts burnig.
Our aim is only melt the plastic. No problem if it burns a little, but we don't want plastic drippings plus toxic fumes.
Once the plastic is soft, insert the nail/tool/blade poiting to the outside in the molten plastic.
Put on fire again, let melt a little more and work pushing the plastic toward the gut of the tube. Don't worry, it's ugly. We'll fix that later.
When you achieve the desired depth, heat the part of the pen that has the tool inside until everything is more or less soft, then apply pressure and twist the molten plastic with the pliers (WARNING: this thing can cause awful burns!!! Be careful, use gloves, whatever!).
Keep heating and modelling with the pliers until satisfied. Let it cool alone (dipping in water caused cracks and weak welds for me). YMMV.
After everything is cool (on the temperature sense), you may grind off excess plastic, sharp you steel etc.
An interesting thing I learned is that if you use a blade of a pencil sharpener is that it's already very sharp, even if the sharpener is not sharpening pencils anymore. I don't know what's the matter (burr? angle? help!!!) with the sharpeners, but they all give good blades.
OK, you' re done. Enjoy! Take next step as a curiosity enly, ok?
Step 3: How to Make a Knife/drill/awl Ballpointpen
Ok, this is optional and maybe use/pointless, but aren't you making knex rifles already???
This step covers the making of a tool that still carries a pen in the other point. If you're using plastic from Bic style pens, you can add a tool to the non-writing side of it, not needing to wait to spend all the ink.
First, take off the pen "cartridge" and cut off the excess tube that has no ink.
Follow the instructions to insert a drill bit in the pen tube.
After that, re insert the ink tube. You're done.
I didn't do this tool, just made a simulation here. I had some in the past, but the proved to annoying, having place only on a desktop. Plus, only using the pencil sharpener blade (small and sharp), proved useful for something other than being a health injury risk.
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!!!
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