I was just fiddling around with some galvanized steel wire I recently picked up at the hardware store. I suddenly ran out of commercial thumb tacks so I just improvised with my wire and here I am with some DIY thumb tacks. Time for the disclaimer.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU DO TO WHATEVER INFORMATION THIS INSTRUCTABLE CONTAINS. I WILL NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY INJURIES INFLICTED UPON ANIMALS, ONESELF AND OTHERS.
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Step 1: Resource Acquisition
Materials you need:
- Galvanized wire
- Wire cutter
- Long/needle nose pliers (Please clarify the difference; it's getting really confusing)
Step 2: Cutting It
Take your wire and cut a fair length off of it. The ruler is for scale. It doesn't necessarily have to be that length; it could be any length. Then cut a tiny piece off one end at an angle to get a sharp point.
Step 3: Bend It
This is the manual way to do it. It would really help if someone made an instructable for a jig to bend this wire for consistency. Here it is anyway. Check out the GIF animation to see how. The general idea is to make a coil at the bottom so it would provide some place to press on. Just ask me if you don't understand the animation. After that, you have to bend the tack itself so that the thing won't tip over. See image 2 and 3.
Step 4: You're Done!
Now, you have a tack to work with. It will only work on cork, paper, and other soft materials. It would need further processing in order to make it just as good as commercial tacks, possibly better.
Step 5: Mods and Future Plans
I have mentioned that you needed further processing to make the tack better, and so I will tell you. Have you ever broken a tack? It's brittle right? That's because it's been tempered (correct me if I'm wrong). All you have to do to temper it is to stick the thing into a fire. Wait a while until it gets red hot, or something like that. Then, dip it in water. That's it! It has now been tempered. It's now hard enough to go through wood, but then it's brittle. What you can do to make it durable again is to put it back into the fire. Wait until it gets just as hot. Then, take it out, and let it air cool. Do notcool it rapidly, as in put it in water or put it on front of a fan or similar. Do not do that. And use pliers when you hold that in the fire.
Another modification is to the comfort level of pressing it into a wall/cork board etc. With or without the above modification, take a piece of paper (better yet, rubber) and hot glue it onto the part you press on. If it's with the above modification, do it afterwards. It's as simple as that!
If you have any questions whatsoever, don't be afraid to ask!