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1  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Discussion and Questions / Plaster of paris mold attempt failed on: April 08, 2014 06:35:34 PM
I figure the most mold making is discussed in this section of Crafter. So I tried making a two part plaster of paris mold of a piece of tree bark (it's like a cave) but despite using silicone release spray on the bark side (I couldn't vaseline it well), it's pretty stuck in the plaster. I don't think I can get it out without either breaking the tree bark, or breaking the plaster. I'm going to have to break the plaster.

I don't understand what went wrong? Silicone release spray should have worked, shouldn't it? Even on wood?

Another problem is that the clay stuck in some parts to the plaster as well and I have to really scrape it off.
2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Discussion and Questions / Sculpting tools? on: March 01, 2014 03:16:20 PM
Okay, I'm actually sculpting concrete, not clay, but much of it is the same, except that hand fatigue is much worse. So I'm wondering if anyone can suggest metal sculpting tools that offer some kind of protection against hand fatigue? Or if someone can think of better sculpting tools for this craft? You carve when the concrete is still "green", which means uncured, but it's still harder than clay.

A rotary tool and bits work to some degree, but some parts and materials are too delicate and the spinning motion creates crumbles, in which case I have to use hand sculpting tools.
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / I don't think the tension adjuster is working? on: February 06, 2014 05:08:07 PM
It makes no difference how I turn the tension knob, I don't see any difference in the tension. I'm not sure it's functioning correctly and now, my bottom stitches are loose. Any advice? How do I tell if it's actually working or not?

I have a Singer Merritt 2404.
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Mold making with Great Stuff! foam? on: January 23, 2014 07:17:21 PM
Has anyone made any molds, or even casts, with Great Stuff! foam? I have some and like that it expands to fit and will generally hold it's shape and not be too flimsy to work with when dry. I haven't used any to cast or mold with yet. I imagine I'd need a good release agent.

I'm hoping to hear from people who have this experience and can give me any heads ups that may help.
5  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Singer Merritt 2404 More sewing room? Less thread? on: January 01, 2014 01:39:56 PM
I'm using a Singer Merritt 2404 right now. It has a pretty strong stitch and I'm pretty happy with it. I don't think I need to get an industrial sewing machine, it works well enough.

Three things I'm wondering are:

1. When you start sewing, it requires you to leave a long tail of loose thread or it pulls it through the needle. This is wasting a lot of thread. Is there anything I can do about this?

2. It allows allows for you to fit a pretty standard size thickness of fabric under the foot. But I'm wondering if the machine can be altered to allow for even greater thickness? I don't know what the metal rods are called that connect to the foot, but does anyone know if there's a way to shorten them or buy shorter ones?

3. It takes some kind of special bobbin reels. They're shorter and shaped differently than the regular ones I usually see. Does anyone know what these special ones are called so I can buy more?
6  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Anything faster than pinning? on: December 31, 2013 08:22:21 AM
Well, I suck and take forever at anything sewing related as it is, but putting in all those pins just to take them back out again takes up most of the time. Is there any alternative? Do they make temporary adhesive or something that I can be using instead of all those pins?
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Like a rock on: December 14, 2013 07:47:35 PM
Some people paint rocks to look like things... But I want to paint things to look like rocks. How do I achieve this? What technique can I use?

I tried doing dabs of different shades of black and brown and it's okay, but it just look kind of rock like.

It helps that I'm using clay and concrete and other materials so it's at least in the shape of rocks with dips and valleys.
8  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Two questions, what fabric and what's this called? on: November 16, 2013 01:44:48 PM
Hey guys. I need to make treat pouches for animal training. So I need a fabric that's waterproof, or at least water resistant. What kind of fabrics would that be? (Scotchguarding would be unsuitable, I'd think as the pouches would need to be washed and I don't know if it's toxic.)

Also, does anyone know what these kind of hinges are called? http://www.blackdog.net.au/index.php?route=product/product&path=74&product_id=133

A lot of treat pouches use them so that they can be propped open or closed semi-securely to keep out nosey animals. I'd like to use them in mine too. But I can't find a supplier until I know what they're called.

Thanks!
9  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Semi-slide buckles or other adjustable notion for this purpose? on: September 09, 2013 04:12:11 PM
I'm trying to make something like this http://www.strapworks.com/Side_Release_Straps_Belts_s/51.htm

As you can see, the straps feeds through the buckle and extends on. If pulled on, the strap will continue to feed through.

With what I'm making, I need it to be able to feed through like that, but when in use, I need it to stop sliding even with pulling force is applied.

What can I use to "lock" the strap in place temporarily and easily "unlock" when adjusting the strap? Are there any lock in place buckles? Anti-slip devices? I have no idea. I was hoping one of you guys might know of something.

I know it makes it difficult, but I can't say exactly what I'm making as I hope to perhaps get a patent.
10  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Need recommendation for a machine please on: April 12, 2013 12:33:11 PM
I have a couple of sewing machines already but they're really unsuitable for craft purposes. Yes, I've looked at the pinned topic. I need a work horse of a sewing machine.

I need something that can handle heavy material and also can accomodate a good amount of space between the needle and the machine so I can actually fit thick cloth in there. I'm not advanced at sewing, so I don't need a lot of fancy stuff, but I need good, strong stitching capabilities. Not a huge variety of stitches though.

An example of what I want to make would by nylon webbing dog harnesses, leashes and collars. So nylon folded on it's self and sewn with carpet thread for durability. Maybe some leather, I dunno.

The other limiting factor is that I'm really broke and can't afford anything very pricey. I know in most cases, you get what you pay for but maybe there's something out there that breaks this general rule?

Any suggestions?
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