I have had this idea in my head for years, and just got time to try it. I purposely didn't look for other solutions on the web, as I had thought about this so much that I didn't want my ideas "tainted". I don't know how well these will work to scare the bird away from my newly planted corm and pumpkin seeds, and the corn when it comes in, but it was great to finally put it in action.
The idea was to cut the CD into pieces, then sandwich twine between two pieces (label inside, shiny side out) with epoxy to hold it together. So, for each reflector I wanted 2 CD pieces, and I was going to put about 6 reflectors on each line, with enough twine on one end to tie it onto wherever it would hang.
An hour of work and $4 worth of epoxy later (with everything else being stuff I have left over) and I think they turned out nicely.
Step 1: Materials Needed
- I have saved up a stack of old software install CDs from work (you may notice in other photos that they are MS enterprise stuff). As mentioned in the intro, for each reflector I wanted 2 CD pieces. With 6 reflectors on a line, and making 6 lines, I cut about 80 pieces from 12 CDs.
- I also had some leftover dollar store synthetic twine.You can see this cut and used in step 3.
- Lastly, I like working with Loctite instant mix epoxy. They come with two auto mix nozzles, and I usually don't need the whole tubes, so that works well. I used both some left over 1-minute for the first few sets, then opened a new 5-minute pack to give me a little more time to work on the rest and get some good photos.
- Straight cut tin snips or some other tool to cut the CDs. The CDs are very brittle, so scissors probably won't work. A bandsaw might. Experiment and see what works for you. A laser etcher/cutter would be very nice to do this!!!!!
- Some kind of power sander, if you want to get rid of the point edges. Or you could just snip them off, which wouldn't give as smooth of a result but will lessen the sharp points.
- Scissors or something to cut the twine.
- Something to hold down the ends of the twine for the setup before glueing. I used old marble samples. Clamps and weights could also work.
- Something to hold the pieces sandwiched with the line. I used the marble samples and some weights.
Step 2: Cut and Shape Reflecters
I cut the CDs into trapezoid like "pie slices", about 3/4 to 1 inch on the short inner side. This worked out to about 7 per CD.
I hadn't thought about the sharp edges on the CD pieces until I was done cutting them. I all of the sudden had visions of these things flapping in the wind and hitting me in the eye. So, I decided to round off the corners. I think the end result is better looking as well. You can see the results in the next step.
Please at least where goggles when cutting and sanding the pieces. I didn't wear gloves when sanding, as it takes away control and the sander is not moving fast enough to cause major damage (maybe just a little skin off of a finger - which thankfully didn't happen). Please be safe and think ahead when shaping the pieces!!
Step 3: Layout for Glueing
- I put some old plastic drop cloth on the floor (a table might be easier on the back, but I didn't have enough free space on my work benches).
- I layed out 6 pieces for each line in a row, shiny side down (you may notice that I ended up having only enough to put 5 on one of them, as some pieces were damaged in the fabrication process).
- I stacked the 6 "second" pieces for each row on the end to have them handy for the glueing process.
- Lining up the stretched out twine ended up being the hardest part of the job. This was because I went through a couple of different iterations on how to hold the ends of the twine and keep them in place and tight. I settled on some old marble samples. they were heavy and flat on one side and they were small enough to allow me to work with just two lines at a time.
In the end, the key is to have the lines stable and tight over the middle of the CD pieces, with the shiny side down, and to have the second pieces ready to put in place after putting the epoxy down.
Step 4: Glue and Weight
- The first picture shows the first set of lines complete. Since I used the leftover 1-minute epoxy on those I didn't have time to get a good picture of them being assembled.
- When using the auto mix epoxy, read the instructions carefully, understand how much time you have after it comes out of the tube before it starts to set, and start off by "dumping" a little out of the nozzle before you apply to your work (as the first little bit may not be evenly mixed).
- With everything in place, squeeze out enough epoxy on the bottom pieces to cover the middle of the CD piece and the twine, staying away from the sides so you don't get run off when they are sandwiched.
- With all of the bottom pieces glued, lay a second piece, shiny side up, on each bottom piece. If you think you have time and you care about it, you can line them up or try and match the tops with the bottoms by size or shape. I didn't care too much myself.
- Again, being aware of how much time you have to work with, then lay a flat weight over the lines to hold them in place. It does not need to be too heavy, as you don't want to squeeze the epoxy out the sides.
Step 5: Final Result
Once the epoxy has set and hardened for a while, take the weights off and enjoy. You can see the final results hanging on one of my plots at the community garden.
I don't know how long CDs will hold up out in the elements (UV, heat around 100F deg for a few days each year, some days of hard frost and the wind????). Hopefully I will remember to come back and update this next year to show how they look then.