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Topic: Decorating hairstick blanks  (Read 972 times)
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Dappleshark
« on: April 13, 2006 02:44:49 PM »

I searched in the memories and all over the internet, but I've yet to find way to to accomplish what I want. I have hair stick blanks, and they have a hole drilled in the top. What I'd like to do is use a pin of some sort and put some beads on the ends. Kind of like these:



Unfortunately, the predrilled hole is not very deep (about one centimeter) and I live in a dorm and so have no access to any power tools, drillers or the like. I know this can be done because I see all these beautiful sticks for sale, but I'd feel rather funny asking the sellers how they do it since that would be rather tacky.
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teapotdnky
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2006 03:49:35 PM »

This is how I would do it. I would cover the stick in polymer clay, make some nice beads from scrap clay that has been swirled, and bake it all. Sand it with fine grit sand paper, and polish with a soft cloth. (but I do have access to lots of  clay)
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Dappleshark
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2006 06:19:04 PM »

Oooh, this sounds intriguing! How smooth can you sand the clay to? Good hairsticks are silky, glass smooth so they glide like silk instead of snagging, so the finished product needs to be *very* smooth. I haven't seen that level of smoothness in fimo type stuff, so this is why I wonder (before I got and buy a bunch of it and not have it work, since everything is very expensive here!). It sounds like a blast though, and very pretty!
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2006 06:46:58 PM »

I would buy it online. I always buy premo. Fimo is too soft for my liking. If you sand it, polymer clay can be as smooth as glass. You have to sand it with very fine grit paper in different grits. You should not just sand it with sand paper from home depot.
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Dappleshark
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2006 12:20:49 AM »

Hehe, no worries on the Home Depot stuff here, there isn't one! What grade sandpaper should a be looking for? SOmething tells me the guys down at the local hardware store would be looking at me as if I were a bit daft! Oh, and thank you for the brand recomendation!
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2006 11:06:42 AM »

I'll check my grits when I get home.
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Diane B.
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2006 11:54:24 AM »

Dappleshark, what are your blanks made of? . .. And do they already having a coating on the outside, or are they bare?

If you're dealing with wood, you should be able to drill out deeper holes by hand with a drill bit or maybe a small round file if you have one.  Polymer clayers make their own hand drills by embedding a drill bit into a handle of clay, then baking... making holes in clay with those works well because baked clay is not all that hard, but for wood it might depend on whether the blanks are hardwood or soft woods, and it might take longer.  Of course, you may not have any drill bits hanging around or borrowable either.

If you didn't want to cover the whole blank with polymer clay, you could just cover the end part enough to give you more space for a deeper hole.
 
It's also possible that your hole is deep enough already to glue in the wire --with beads threaded on it-- using superglue or epoxy, especially if you use a bottom bead which will also get glued to the end of the hairstick at the same time... this should work as long as the hairstick end won't receive too much stress while being worn.

As for making polymer clay really smooth, wet sanding with at least 400 grit (wet-dry sandpaper), then 600 grit should be sufficient if the clay is fairly smooth to begin with (otherwise, start from 320 grit).  You don't have to sand under running water, but just keep dipping your sandpaper in water to get unclog it, and also to keep any dust from getting in the air.

After sanding, you'll need to buff though too to get the whitish coating off created by the sanding. 
If you use something simple like your jeans or a bedspread or towel, you can get a nice sheen on your now-smooth clay....  If you want a higher sheen, or an actual gloss, on the clay, you'll need to use an electric buffer of some kind (even kluged ones).

There's lots of info on sanding and buffing polymer clay on these pages if you want more info:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sanding_tumbling.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/buffing.htm
(if you have access to a Dremel or other rotary tool, and want to electric buff, check this page too:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/tools_Dremels_worksurfaces.htm )
 

There's a little bit here too on making hair sticks, or embellishments for them, with clay on this page if you're interested:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/jewelry.htm
(...click on "Hair Sticks"....)




Diane B.
GlassAttic ...polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm

If you want an all-polymer clay board here at craftster, vote here!
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=72141.msg813624#msg813624
« Last Edit: April 15, 2006 12:01:38 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
teapotdnky
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2006 12:54:55 PM »

To make mine extra smooth I use grits from 400 to 1500 and then buff them. For even more shine I give it a quick polish with some Future floor wax.
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Dappleshark
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2006 01:56:00 PM »

These are wooden blanks, look to be cherry and maple, so fairly hard. I can inert a wire into the hole, I was just worried about if one centimeter was enough to assure stability and that the beads and their wire wouldn't just fall off. it's hard to glue the area because I'm afriad of getting too much glue on the beads, but I could try using a toothpick now that I think about it.

For the clay-covered hairsticks, I would likely not use my blacks (they are fairly pretty on their own and a bit spendy to just cover up), but perhaps cutting some chopsticks down. I think to, that the commercial sticks would be too thick after being covered clay.
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2006 04:50:05 PM »

These are wooden blanks, look to be cherry and maple, so fairly hard. I can inert a wire into the hole, I was just worried about if one centimeter was enough to assure stability and that the beads and their wire wouldn't just fall off. it's hard to glue the area because I'm afriad of getting too much glue on the beads, but I could try using a toothpick now that I think about it.

For the clay-covered hairsticks, I would likely not use my blacks (they are fairly pretty on their own and a bit spendy to just cover up), but perhaps cutting some chopsticks down. I think to, that the commercial sticks would be too thick after being covered clay.

That does sound like enough space to keep your beads stable. I pretty much always take an extra set (or two) of cheap wooded shopsticks with me when I leave  chinese food places.  Wink
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