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zaphodd42

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7Instructables3,731,977Views380CommentsPottstown, PA
I live in suburban Pennsylvania with my wife and puppy. I pass the time building robots, photographing microbes and directing live TV. I enjoy learning any new skill that helps me Make! I enjoy even more passing on what I learned so others can Make as well.

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  • 3D Printed Glass Shatter "Stained Glass"

    This is a highly interesting idea. I have been a glass artist for 10 years. I shared this with some fellow artists. We would just as soon use ye-olde foil and solder, but for a glass application that say... needs to completely non-conductive electrically, this is a great approach. And to your point... "there's a beauty to shattered glass." I agree. When glass succumbs to it's own fragile nature, it shows patterns and lines defined by the chaos of it. This is something an artist cannot recreate artificially. Thanks for the 'ible!

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  • Making an Epoxy Ombrè Lamp

    Great Looking Lamp! I'm a stained glass artist who also loves to make lamps. The look of this one inspired me to use sheets of glass with varying colors to do something similar! Thanks for the project.

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  • zaphodd42 commented on zaphodd42's instructable Arduino Fireflies
    Arduino Fireflies

    Very cool. Thanks for building it! What do you mean by "continuous flow"?

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  • Make PVC Look Like Wood

    Yo-Ho! That looks awesome! As you handle it, it'll patina more. I'm glad you found it helpful. Are the hilt and pommel also plastic or metal?

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  • Make PVC Look Like Wood

    It's not too late to make something!!!

    Great! Share when you do!!

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  • Make PVC Look Like Wood

    Sembra grandioso! Grazie per aver condiviso.

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  • zaphodd42 commented on zaphodd42's instructable Arduino Fireflies
    Arduino Fireflies

    Thanks for the code! As I dive deeper into C++, I'm learning all the tricks to compact my coding and make it more efficient. The original code above feels like the "discrete version"... like when you build a spread out circuit of an IC. I'll make code updates with my later versions. Thanks again.

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  • zaphodd42 commented on zaphodd42's instructable Arduino Fireflies
    Arduino Fireflies

    Are you able to control current with the micro controller or just using the appropriate resistor?

    I like the LDR touch. How are you charging the laptop battery?

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  • zaphodd42 commented on zaphodd42's instructable Arduino Fireflies

    Phew! That's allot to digest. I always thought that i should know everything before i post an instructable. But it's been more of a learning experience than ALL the research i did before hand. (Thanks to contributors like you.) Thank you for the info. And thank you for reading. I'll take your comments down and work them in to version 2.0!!

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  • zaphodd42's instructable Arduino Fireflies's weekly stats:
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  • zaphodd42 commented on zaphodd42's instructable Arduino Fireflies

    Gihad... Great solution. I admit I had been studying Arduino code for only a month prior to writing this. I discovered the Backyard Contest with only 3 weeks to buy, build, shoot and write. Uhg. But I'm glad seasoned coders and makers are taking the idea and making it better! That's exactly what i wanted with this project. Glad you enjoyed it!!

    I love his articles in Make Magazine. I remember reading about that very trick in Make. Its a great idea I'd love to explore.

    Thank you! I like the solar charger idea. I think version 2 is in the works for next summer, if one of you brilliant makers doesn't do it first!! : )

    Yes. It's Cat 5 Ethernet cable. 10 feet will give you 2 pairs of green and brown. (But if you want blue or other colors, you're welcome to use them.) In the Materials section at the beginning, I provide a link to the cable i used. Read the note regarding the type of cable as well. I wasn't a coder either. This was my first code to tell the truth. I think I'm hooked! Glad you liked it. Thanks for reading!!!

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  • zaphodd42 commented on zaphodd42's instructable Arduino Fireflies

    You are correct with this! My apologies. I must admit i was in a bit of a rush to publish this and was thinking you could use a shift register to at least blink multiple LEDs. I'll edit my 'ible later this week to fix it. Thanks for the help!!!

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  • Absolutely. Nail polish remover is in fact mostly acetone. I buy it because it's usually dyed a bright color. This helps tell it apart from other chemicals I keep on my workbench in spray bottles.

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  • Thank you! Many years ago I was trying to remove a chunk of industrial glue from PVC and all I had was the rasp file you see here. After I chunked up the surface a bit, I looked at it and said... "Huh". That's the story.

    Thanks for reading!! Yes, this effect should transfer nicely to smaller gauge PVC. If the PVC will be exposed to wind and rain and weather, make sure you seal it with a UV protected spray or something to hold up to the elements. The ONLY THING I would be weary of is making sure using PVC as electrical conduit is legal were you are. I wouldn't imagine there is an issue, but it's good to be safe. Good luck!!

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  • Hmm... It might take a little more force with the rasp file to make the grooves in the aluminum. But the paint would be easy... just use an aluminum primer and some Rust-oleum for metal. Is the aluminum structural? Is it holding up an awning or something? Can they be removed so as to apply this technique more easily? My first idea wold be to do this with PVC, then encompass that PVC around the aluminum poles.

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  • Yes. I use a clear coat acrylic protector from a company called Krylon, however I'm sure any company that manufactures spray paint make a clear coat. It is UV resistant and good for the outdoors. Check to see if you need to reapply your protector if you plan on your project living outside permanently. Also... make sure it is safe to use around animals if that applies to you. Whatcha makin???

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  • Glad you like it! Yes I use heat to make the PVC look a little more real as well. I find it makes it easier to turn on 2 burners of your stove and "rotisserie" the PVC just enough to get bendy. (If you use a heat gun, make sure to heat a large area of the PVC before you try to bend it, If you only have a small hot spot, it will bend and buckle and not look real.) And please look into protecting it with clear coat after you paint (of just make sure the paint is dry) if you plan on draping the Navajo blanket over it. I'd hate to think you get paint on your keepsake. Also... it's much easier to score the surface BEFORE you heat and bend. I'd love to pics when your done!!

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  • This is awesome!! I even like the metallic finish on the weapon hardware. Did you use oil or acrylic? And did you seal it with a clear coat? Just curious. And I like the tip about a black base coat to pop the grain. Great idea!!! I was just reading an article in Make magazine about companies who refurbish and upgrade nerf guns with custom pieces. I think they would be proud! Good idea keeping the hot pink detail on the tip and trigger. Well done. Thanks for sharing.

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  • HA! I'd say "They don't make them like they used to" but I guess I would have to say "They don't make them like YOU do." Once you get things painted, let the oil dry for a while, so as not to mess up the clothes you're selling, some say about a week. If you want faster results... acrylic paint is just as good and dries quicker. You can mix a few shades of brown for a realistic wood color. And then just make sure you use a clear coat spray protector so the paint doesn't chip off. It'll make it look liked polished wood as well. Looks great! Send pics when it's done. And by the way... "Broads" (your word, not mine) are of the smartest and most creative makers I know!

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  • CindyF87, Great question. I explored this idea a few years ago when it was asked and came to the conclusion that the spinney wire tool for drills does a great job removing paint and other surfaces in an un-even way. It will however NOT give you the great looking grooves you can achieve by hand rasping the PVC. It could be used as a "surface prep" step maybe... but you will have much more control over the look, placement, depth and disbursement of the grooves if you do it by hand... in my humble opinion. Hope this helps but PLEASE experiment! I love finding out what others have learned from this. Good luck, have fun.

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  • sí. podría ser verde si encontró pintura verde. o colorante verde.

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  • Oil paint will take quiet a while... about a week to fully cure. Many people have commented here that they had great luck with acrylic, wood stain, even shoe polish! I'd go with acrylic paint, and make sure you spray a few layers of clear coat over it so it doesn't chip away. That should all take only 2 days to dry. Good luck.

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  • Thanks for reading. Sahre pics if you make anything!!

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  • It should hold up great with a robust paint and a good sealant. I have not built anything with prolonged exposure to outdoors with this method but as I look through the "I MADE THIS" section I see that other have made awesome outdoorsy things. A kind Private Message to them may provide you with any tips and tricks they would suggest. Some of them made things a year ago and would have great advise about long term exposure to elements. Sorry I dont have that answer myself. But please enjoy and invite me for maragrits in the tiki hut!!!!

    I've tried this method on flat plexi with ok results. Take a look through the comments... I posted a pic for that result for user "tesla51p", Also.. Under "I MADE THIS" you'll see pics of other awesome things to which people have applied this. Check out FRKS1904 refurbished Nintendo64. It makes me tear up!! But I'll say go ahead!! Just make sure you use a sealant or clear coat to protect the finish if you plan on touching it allot like a drawer pull. Good luck. Share what you find!!

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  • Make iron look like wood? (Iron pipe?) I have a blacksmith friend. I'll ask her what would be involved in texturing iron this way. Seems like it might be allot of work. You might have to go through a few rasp files to get one project done. I'm guessing you want to transform the look of an existing iron water or silt pipe into wood. I would skip the surface cutting altogether and just paint it with the best wood grain faux finish you can. But please only take this as my humble opinion!!!! I'd hate to squash someones idea in what could actually look quite awesome.

    Really?!? What kind of pigment and what kind of cement? (The only cement I know is already deep blue or purple.) And how long might you be able to work with it?

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  • HA! No hoopy frood would be without his towel!!

    Oil will come off if it suffers an impact. Layers will make it durable, but yes, you will need to seal it. There are a few spray sealants out there to protect it from water, UV light and slight wear and tear. If you use oil paint, let it dry for a week. Other paints and dyes will take allot less time.

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  • zaphodd42 commented on gzumwalt's instructable Hummingbird

    Great Instructable and stunning work!! Well done!!

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  • Great! Since I posted this idea so many years ago... members have come up with various efficient ways of painting the PVC for better results. The great thing about "open source" is that what ever works for you, do it!

    Thank you.

    I tried wood stain once and it seemed a bit thin... but I'm sure if you layered it up allot you'd get a good result. Folks have tried Shoe Polish of all things! With great results no less. Maybe a combo of shoe then verathane for protection. Worth a shot!

    Thanks for reading!!

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  • Glad you like it! If your down-pipe needs to be extended using coupling, I believe someone here tried this technique on those as well for a smooth transition. They were happy with the result. Just be sure to use weather resistant coatings, dyes or paints for the wood color.

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  • A foxhole radio was my first electronics project 15 years ago. I love the journey of discovery and making that it started me on!! I hope this one does the same for someone else!! Great 'ibble!!!! Thank you for posting.

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  • zaphodd42 commented on Leighbells's instructable Stained Glass Feather

    I'm a glass artist in Pennsylvania. I love seeing other artists include geodes, wood and other stones into their work. Very nice instructable!!

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  • I would certainly give that a try. Most primers for plastic are in a white spray form anyway so you would be killing 2 birds here. I would file the texture first, spray a nice thin coat (so as not to clog the new grooves you just cut) and then apply your paint of choice. Oil looks best in my opinion... but you can use acrylic for faster drying time! Please share what you discover. I have never tried this on blue plastic. : )

    You could certainly use this on wood cabinets. Allot of cabinets are made of composite wood that is flat with no surface texture so this idea will make it look more realistic. Although, if your cabinets are made of hardwood or something real, you might want to just sand them and use a stain to bring out the natural texture.

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  • Great!! As much as I'd love to see that, check with local codes and make sure you dont get hollered at by officials. (I dont mean to "rain" on your cool idea!) (see what I did there?)

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  • The drawing of your dog looks just like my dog!! I would love to try this technique as a gift for my wife. If you are the original artist of that drawing, may I borrow it? It's too perfect!!

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  • Acrylics might work if you first wipe it on with a rag or brush... if only to fill in those scratches we talked about. Then you can "dab" on the paint like a "faux finish" style. Fill a brush or rag with paint, touch it to the surface of the PVC and release it, don't wipe. It will lay a thicker natural looking layer of paint onto the PVC. Acrylics will however scratch and chip off easily so a clear coat spray paint will be needed to protect the surface. Krylon makes a good one, Rustolium as well. Just choose matte or glossy, depending on if you want it not-shiny or shiny respectively. I get allot of cosplay emails for this idea. I'd love to see the finished product!!

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  • Hey Captain! That's a good question! Those grooves I cut into the PVC with the rasp file do all that work for me. The oil paint collects in those grooves and is therefore much deeper than the paint that rests on the surface of the PVC. Deeper paint is darker paint. It works out to trick your eye into seeing faux wood grain along with adding a tactile texture to the surface. Use a rag or towel to apply the paint. Don't press too hard as all that will do will just leave a smear of paint behind. If you ease up on the pressure you apply, you can control the depth of the paint on the surface on the PVC. That will serve to add more color variation and only look more like real wood. And just let those grooves do their job and fill with paint on their own. Enjoy! Thanks for reading!…

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    Hey Captain! That's a good question! Those grooves I cut into the PVC with the rasp file do all that work for me. The oil paint collects in those grooves and is therefore much deeper than the paint that rests on the surface of the PVC. Deeper paint is darker paint. It works out to trick your eye into seeing faux wood grain along with adding a tactile texture to the surface. Use a rag or towel to apply the paint. Don't press too hard as all that will do will just leave a smear of paint behind. If you ease up on the pressure you apply, you can control the depth of the paint on the surface on the PVC. That will serve to add more color variation and only look more like real wood. And just let those grooves do their job and fill with paint on their own. Enjoy! Thanks for reading!!

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  • Thank you for reading this 'ibble! I love the look of scumble paint. If you do end up trying this idea, please post those pics!

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  • That bow looks really good!!! (for some reason, your pic is not showing up here, but did in my email.) So to all those reading this, take my word for it. Is the Grip just more PVC the 2 Limbs are fit into? It looks like you covered it in cloth or leather. Also, I never used RIT before, although it was suggested many many many times in these comments. I hope it worked out for you. Thank you for finding this 'ible valuable! It seems I get more mail from Cosplay creators then most other applications. Which makes me oh so happy!!

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  • ¡Estupendo! Espero que.

    Usted es bienvenido y gracias por leer. Me encantaría el tollos cuando haya terminado. Saludos desde USA.

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  • YEAH!! This came up a while ago and seemed like a good idea. After some experimentation however, the results yielded just a very sanded surface with no wood texture. The wires don't dig deep enough into the PVC to make the wood texture. They also make scrapings too close to each other to differentiate between "gouge and not gouge" if that makes sense. I would LOVE to see a method that makes the rasp file obsolete, at least to help those who want to apply this method to bigger scale projects. For now though, maybe some good work gloves. And as I type this... I just need to say that all of this is completely based on personal style and preference for the result you want. Everything in this Instructable is open for experimentation, change and evolution... the hallmark of Open…

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    YEAH!! This came up a while ago and seemed like a good idea. After some experimentation however, the results yielded just a very sanded surface with no wood texture. The wires don't dig deep enough into the PVC to make the wood texture. They also make scrapings too close to each other to differentiate between "gouge and not gouge" if that makes sense. I would LOVE to see a method that makes the rasp file obsolete, at least to help those who want to apply this method to bigger scale projects. For now though, maybe some good work gloves. And as I type this... I just need to say that all of this is completely based on personal style and preference for the result you want. Everything in this Instructable is open for experimentation, change and evolution... the hallmark of Open Source. I love seeing how others have changed things and gotten great results. So please go forth and experiment! Thanks for reading. : )

    Oh, you can use acrylics. I just prefer not to as the color doesn't look as good as I want. When it dries, it chips off very easily until you spray it with a clear coat. But acrylics are affordable, dry quickly and offer allot of "mix-ability".Alternately... alert reader GaryS104 just posted (about 6 posts down) that you can use gelled wood stain. I haven't tried it yet but watching the video... it looks promising. Here's the link again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG6SfN0fPhM

    Oh, you can use acrylics. I just prefer not to as the color doesn't look as good as I want. When it dries, it chips off very easily until you spray it with a clear coat. But acrylics are affordable, dry quickly and offer allot of "mix-ability".Alnernatly... alert reader GaryS104 just posted (about 6 posts down) that you can use gelled wood stain. I havnt tried it yet but watching the video... it looks promising. Here's the link again:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG6SfN0fPhM

    I've heard allot of people with dust collectors say this! I'd love to see it some day. But yeah... You'd probably want to take the PVC apart which is a whole can of worms right there.

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  • Hmmm.. Interesting. How are you applying the paint to the PVC? I used a rag so I could adjust how much pressure I applied to the plastic. The less pressure you use, the thicker the paint will be... thus the darker the color. You may also want to let it dry for a day and give it a second coat. Experiment with those ideas and let me know how it works. Also, using a rag, (sorry, my favorite tool for this) try a "faux finish" technique. Apply a dab of paint to the rag and "touch" it on, dabbing in spots instead of wiping it on. This will make paint thicker and darker as well. Good luck.

    HA!! Awesome! I've never seen berry pickers, but it's a great idea. Thank you for sharing and thank you Thinkenstein for his great work in PVC.

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  • I've heard of people using wood stain and are quite pleased with the result. I only use oil paint because I can control how thick the application will be, giving it a more varied depth of color through-out. I don't think a fine grit sand paper would be necessary. You want SOME texture on the surface for the paint / stain on which to grab. But I like to tell people who try this... PLEASE experiment! And share what you find. That's the beauty of open source ideas. Have fun!!

    WOW! I would test it before committing to a real steering wheel, in case it doesn't work, I'd hate to see such an artifact ruined. I cant claim to know too much about the materials used in car restoration or even the details about modifying car parts. I like the idea of a wood steering wheel. But if you're going o put your time and money into a restoration job... why not get the real thing? NOT to discourage you from trying, of course!! If you scroll down, you'll see FRKS1904 modified a Nintendo 64 to make a wood finish.

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  • Hey, Juliedf. Good question. Try easing off the pressure you apply to the rag as you wipe on the oil paint. The less pressure, the thicker (and darker) the oil paint layer will be. But yes, by all means, a few layers wont hurt. If you still are not getting the result you want, simply try a darker brown color or mix in a little black with the color you are using. The great thing about oil paint is that the color changes VERY LITTLE as it dries, so what you see is what you get as a final product. And PLEASE be patient in letting it dry. One comment below by user YMRG suggests using "cobalt oil paint drier" a few drops, to speed the processes. In a well ventilated area, maybe even out doors (or near a small fan) give it at least 2-4 days.That being said, you also dont have …

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    Hey, Juliedf. Good question. Try easing off the pressure you apply to the rag as you wipe on the oil paint. The less pressure, the thicker (and darker) the oil paint layer will be. But yes, by all means, a few layers wont hurt. If you still are not getting the result you want, simply try a darker brown color or mix in a little black with the color you are using. The great thing about oil paint is that the color changes VERY LITTLE as it dries, so what you see is what you get as a final product. And PLEASE be patient in letting it dry. One comment below by user YMRG suggests using "cobalt oil paint drier" a few drops, to speed the processes. In a well ventilated area, maybe even out doors (or near a small fan) give it at least 2-4 days.That being said, you also dont have to use oil paint. I do because it looks most like wood when dry and is most robust against damage. There is a variety of plastic friendly paints and dyes to use, but in my humble opinion, they dry too quickly and dont offer the "organic wood texture" I prefer. If you need more help, please ask! I'll try to get back to you as soon as I physically can!! : ) Have fun and thanks for reading!!

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  • I love this idea so much I will have to borrow it from YOU! I have a nice blank slate on an outdoor wall that this would look great cascading down. I'd use hanging vines and succulents to fill in the spaces. But you did an amazing job!!! I can tell you not new to the maker community. Thanks for sharing. I love seeing what others do with this idea.

    The controller looks sooooo good!!! I love how good it turned out. Great Job! Let me know how the finish holds up and if the color stays put. You should send these pics to Nintendo!!

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  • Greetings! I dont see why it wouldn't work on grey PVC. I'm not sure where you are in the big world, in USA, grey PVC is called "schedule 80". It just means it has a thicker wall than the white "schedule 40" PVC. The rasp file should tear through the surface just as easily on both types. The only other factor I would be concerned about is the color. You would have to experiment on tints and shades of your stain or paint to get the desired look having a grey canvas instead of white. Here's what I would do for best results: Sand the PVC and rub it with acetone (nail polish remover). Spray a few layers of white plastic rated spray paint primer on the surface and let it dry. THEN... use the rasp file and cut into the surface to make the wood texture. After that..…

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    Greetings! I dont see why it wouldn't work on grey PVC. I'm not sure where you are in the big world, in USA, grey PVC is called "schedule 80". It just means it has a thicker wall than the white "schedule 40" PVC. The rasp file should tear through the surface just as easily on both types. The only other factor I would be concerned about is the color. You would have to experiment on tints and shades of your stain or paint to get the desired look having a grey canvas instead of white. Here's what I would do for best results: Sand the PVC and rub it with acetone (nail polish remover). Spray a few layers of white plastic rated spray paint primer on the surface and let it dry. THEN... use the rasp file and cut into the surface to make the wood texture. After that... apply your color agent. Again, experiment first to see what works best for you as far as oil, acrylic, wood stain etc with the primer on your PVC. I'd love to know how it works out. Have Fun!!

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  • Very nice work. I'm a stained glass artist and doing mosaic work with grout was my "gateway drug" into the addictive hobby. Your results look beautiful!! Here in the States, we have a glue called E6000. It's readily available online or in craft/hardware stores. It's GREAT for glass. I've used clear silicone to glue stained glass to clear glass for mosaic use and it looks good to. It even obscures the view a little if you don't want a totally transparent look. I like the grout paint idea. The earlier work I did has turned white-ish in places. That will make the finished product look great. Thanks for a great 'ibble!!

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  • YMRG, Thanks for the heads up! Does this additive modify the color or texture of the paint in any way? I think knowing about that will greatly benefit this idea!!

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  • HA! Yeah, I felt a bit petty for calling that guy out. I didn't report him, just asked for credit in the description. I guess I felt in the nature of the spirit... "open source", share and share alike. The idea is getting out there and that's what counts. It's nice to be imitated. It means they like you. ANYWAY... That Looks Awesome!!! The texture of the plastic looks great!! I love the extra knicks and pits you put into it, it adds a level of organics to it. It makes the Nintendo logo look "branded" on, like with a hot iron. I'm glad you enjoyed the instructable. Thank you for sharing and and I am stoked with the path you took to apply this idea. Truly genius. Now go play some GoldenEye 007 for 8 straight hours.

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  • Cool! Making a retro ATARI? I cant wait to see pics! Anyway... give it a few days to a week. (IF you use oil paint.) Others have said that acrylic or even wood stain have worked for quicker drying times but you may need multiple coats for wood stain. I'd put it somewhere with fresh moving air. When it's dry to the touch, apply the clear coat. Be patient. It's worth it.

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  • LOVE THIS!! If you're savvy with molds, you could cast a crystal from resin, however it would not have all the natural matrix inclusions that real quartz has. Great job on the PVC wood!!

    You're welcome. I'm just floored that people are using it to make awesome things, like crystal staffs and what-not!!

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  • That looks awesome!! I'd love to see a vid of the crystal morphing!! I never tried wood stain on PVC. Does it hold up well? It looks like you got great coverage!!

    I never thought to knock down the rasp cuts, I always liked the effect of a deep wood grain. Those rasp "pockets" give a nice place for paint or stain to collect and offer more contrast overall. But what's great about ideas is that they evolve, change, grow. Please let me know how your project turns out.

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  • Any PVC "dye" you find will probably not be suitable for use with animals and water. I did a bit of research (but PLEASE do your own!!) most results of which say there are chemicals in PVC dye that are toxic. There are plenty of articles that say artist oil paint is safe as it is linseed oil with pigment and some other fixers etc and generally considered safe to be around animals and children. What I would do is find a specific paint you want to use and research that brand specifically. Good Luck. Share what you find!

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  • Is this one of those "wing chun" dummies? To answer your question, I think the paint will hold up, but I'm not sure the PVC itself will. Before you put too much work into it, I would see how much punching PVC will allow you to do to it. Also, wood will react to your body differently than PVC. Will that somehow compromise the effectiveness of the exercise? I am not familiar with martial arts in any practical way, so please understand that as I ask these questions!! Anyway, yes, the paint should be ok. You can always touch up areas that get worn away from repeated contact. AND... please be sure to sand it thoroughly after you file the texture into it. That process makes very sharp edges on the PVC surface. If you punch it or hit it with your skin with allot of force, you…

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    Is this one of those "wing chun" dummies? To answer your question, I think the paint will hold up, but I'm not sure the PVC itself will. Before you put too much work into it, I would see how much punching PVC will allow you to do to it. Also, wood will react to your body differently than PVC. Will that somehow compromise the effectiveness of the exercise? I am not familiar with martial arts in any practical way, so please understand that as I ask these questions!! Anyway, yes, the paint should be ok. You can always touch up areas that get worn away from repeated contact. AND... please be sure to sand it thoroughly after you file the texture into it. That process makes very sharp edges on the PVC surface. If you punch it or hit it with your skin with allot of force, you may cut yourself. I have rubbed my knuckles across that sharp PVC texture many times. Good luck. Post a pic if you make this!!

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