I first came across these sort of things being used by my Grandad using them to light his pipe from an open coal fire, in those days they were called spills !
|A Bunsen burner, not just a muppet
The lab tapers came in bundles of a 1000 and I could buy them via the many educational catalogues myself for
The difficulty of getting further supplies of these became apparent when I left teaching and my small hoard of them became ever more valuable to me at least)
Enter the age of the Coffee Stirrers (we're talking wood here, not he plastic variety); I'd never thought of using these until being hospitalised in 2011 and realised their worth as a fair substitute for my dwindling supply of "the real thing".
They do come in several lengths but the ones I currently get are about 5" long (125mm). They generally have have rounded ends and are as smooth as a very smooth thing.
Spills, Tapers or Stirrers, call them what you will, all share a very useful common characteristic in that they can be cut very easily. (Unlike the typical hobby lollipop sticks which can double as support timbers in mines and require power tools to work on - rant over).
|The fairly boring lesson chart
As can be seen from the above (non professional) helpful chart, not all coffee stirrers are created equal.
Stirrers #1 is a typical stirrer and you'll find that you'll use more of these that you ever estimate you will. (I guessed I'd use about 50 for my Water Tower model and ended up using about 90).
Nos. 2 and 3 are mutants, due to their twists and deformities, these are mostly useful; for cutting bits from or making some form of mutant ice hockey stocks for a Barbie doll (maybe)
Sticks #4 are two sticks that I started to make usable for modelling by cutting one end off. I tend to do about twenty or so before turning them all around and cutting the other end off if I'm using single sticks.
#5 is two sticks being glued together, notice that at this stage each stick has only one end cut, when the stick is glued (I use Evo stick wood glue) I then cut the extra bits off the ends, using the already !square cut" as a guide. If you stuck two sticks together that had previously had both their ends cut off,
Picture #8 is four sticks gluing together and held by clamps. This can be used repeating the above, gluing two sticks either side and cutting off afterwards, or by gluing two sets of two together and clamping in place. I use both , but the latter does leave you with a cut through a double thickness of stirrer whilst the former doesn't.
Finally Picture #9 shows a finished piece useful for a beam etc. It has had it sides filed flat and the ends squared off a bit, but little else has been done to it.
If I were to use this and had to cut the piece again then I'd be using either a hacksaw or razor saw.
In other news I read two very interesting old posts on Kieian B's blog Do you have a flag,
The first that caught my eye was this Beating-hobby-burnout... which although the post is nearly a year old, it did address many of the thoughts I've had lately.
The second was a much older post, (by nearly three years) entitled Blogs v Forums. It also gave clarity to apparent malaise or apathy on one of the forums I currently visit.
That's it for this week.