Stringstick! A self made christmas-gift for (grand-) children?
A building game with knotted connections witch stay flexible. Discover what makes a builds sturdy and what collapses.
For a Technics class for pupils at a special needs school I was looking for something to let them discover what makes a sturdy building. Why does a tower (e.g. the Eiffel tower) stand up ? Why does a bridge hold its shape? Why are there so much triangles in metal bridges? This is what I came up with: STRINGSTICK
Playing with STRINGSTICK you can build, discover geometric shapes, learn how to knot.
STRINGSTICK is not for sale, but very easily made with minimum costs.
I discovered the term "stringstick is also used for a musical instrument. This stringstick is more quiet.
Step 1: You Will Need:
Coloured or gray, it doesn't matter. Mine had no point but a small eraser at one end. Make the end straight with a small metal hacksaw. 20 to 30 pencils make a nice start.
I used woven nylon. You will need pieces of 13-14 cm, twice the amount of pencils you use.
electric drill with 3 mm drill
little candle (to melt the end of the string)
Step 2: Drilling the Holes
Drill 3 millimeter holes, about 20-25 mm deep. It sound more difficult than it is.The graphite or colour stick guides the drill straight. I did 80 holes and got not one crooked.
Step 3: Add the String
With a turning movement put the end of a sting into the hole. When its inserted a few millimeters add woodglue and with the same twist motion put it deeper in the hole.
Step 4: Melt the Ends
Secure the string from fringing by holding it in a small flame for a few seconds. The nylon melts together
Step 5: The Knotting
Start with a flat knot, reverse it and make a square knot. The nylon string has a tendency to slip out of the knot so pull tight! Despite the tight pull, it will stay relatively easy to undo the knot. When attaching more sticks, just choose any of the strings to attach.
Step 6: What to Build
Depending on the amount of sticks you made....There are endless posibilities. note thet the triangle in photo 2 is a preparation for the shape on photo 3. And with 12 more sticks on the corners photo 6 would have looked like the Eiffel tower. Just try out anything. Go as high as possible, or make a bridge as long as possible. Make shapes to dangle from the ceiling. Make it into a lamp shade.
You could try tying four sticks into a square and go on from there. I wish you the best.