268 netscape persuader spacer Among our greatest assets are our abilities to build and manipulate objects and materials. Those manipulations teach much about the world and ourselves and add to our appreciation of what is around us. Perhaps here you will find some inspiration for adding to your appreciation of yourself and some of what is around you.
 
Mr. DuwahDitty
Untested Projects

Here are described projects that have not yet been built. Because they have not been tested, unexpected problems might occur if you try one of these projects. Good luck and be careful.

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diamond button Slide and fall -- A mechanical curiosity that slides a short distance, falls a short distance and repeats the process until it gets to the end of its track.
diamond button Snow/Ice arch -- Make a form out of saplings, wire, cardboard, plastic rap, cord and tape. Pile snow dampened with water on top and let it freeze.
diamond button Miniature fanciful can house -- Made from numerous odds and ends starting with a tin can.
 
Slide and fall

Set this device on two small nails that are driven maybe half way into a board or pushed half way into cardboard. The nails are not lined up horizontally. They are aligned at about 45 degrees. That steep angle causes the shape to side toward the lower nail until the upper end of the shape is no longer supported by the upper nail. At that time the upper end falls and is stopped by a third nail. Now the slider is again at a 45 degree anlge, this time with the third nail being the lower of the two supporting nails. The slider again begins to slide on two nails. The process repeats as the slider makes it way downward for however many nails have been placed in an alternating pattern shown in the second diagram of this section.
 
wide post t shape
The shape can be cut from thin cardboard from a cereal box, plastic from a flat side of a gallon milk jug or some similiar material. The sizes shown in the diagrams are in inches.
 

 

 
alternating nail pattern The nails can be pushed into two strips of corrugated cardboard that have been glued together so the increased thickness holds the nails more securely. Small number 17 nails about 3/4 inch long should do. That 1.4 mm by about 18 mm. Straight pins might be used instead of nails. The nails or pins should be angled downward into the cardboard, that is to say the head of the nail should be higher than the point. The angle should keep the shape against the vertical cardboard. Perhaps around 30 from horizontal would serve to keep the shape from moving away from the cardboard and off of the nails.

 
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Snow/ice arch

parallel pole arch This project is built using wooden poles bent into an arch shape. Two such arches are placed side by side about 8 inches apart.  5 cross piece are wired to the underside of the arches. The purpose of the cross pieces is to align the arches relative to each other. A 10 inch wide length of corrugated cardboard is placed on top of the arch covering the full length of the arch. Heavy string is then used to stitch the cardboard to the poles. The cardboard is covered with plastic food wrap whose edges are folded around and under the edges of the cardboard. Tape is used to hold the edges of the plastic in place. Snow sprinkled with water can then be placed on the arch and left to freeze solid. Several applications of the snow/water are made with time between applications for freezeing. That way the strength of the arch gradually increases as the weight of the arch increases.
 
The arch can be made the size that suits you. The ends of two or more poles can be lapped about a foot and wired or securely tied to make longer poles for bigger arches. The ends of the arch are held in place by burying them about 6 inches in the ground. Use a cord tied to an end of a cross piece to pull that end down if it is too high. The lower end of the cord could be attached to the arch near where it enters the ground.
 
Use a gardener's sprinkling can to sprinkle water onto snow lying on the ground. The snow/water mixture can be shovelled into a wheelbarrow to be taken to the arch. Stirring the mixture with a hoe or shovel might improve its consistency. Use trowels made for working with mortar and concrete for placing/shaping the mixture on the arch. Apply only a thin layer with each application to prevent bending of the arch. Start at ground level and work upward for a short distance. Then add snow to the other end of the arch. Alternate applying snow at one end and then the other to also help prevent bending of the arch.
 
When done adding snow, the wood/cardboard frame can be removed or left in place. Perhaps the frame could be used as a trellis for morning glory flowers or pole beans.

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Miniature can house

This is made from a metal can, a round cardboard oatmeal container or some other appropriate item that you think would make a good starting shape for a model house. Opennings for windows and doors are made. Add any features desired such as stairways, patios, observation decks, balconies, awnings, decorative archetectural features and etc. Hang the model from the ceiling, set it on a desk or shelf or attach it to a wall.
 
If cutting opennings for doors and windows is too difficult, use glued on black paper or black paint to look like the openning. A strip of paper around the simulated openning might make the openning more real looking. Use whatever materials you have available. Possibilities include pieces of plastic berry boxes for patios, string and tooth picks for rope ladders, tooth picks for railings, popsicle sticks for stairs, orange or onion sacks for window screens, paper cone for a roof and a toy figure for someone living in the home. Wire from paper clips or clothes hangers can be bent to make many different shapes. You could also add shapes and structures that aren't meant to look like any particular thing. You could try to make them look like something unknown but perhaps useful or needed by the house's occupant.
 
Give yourself plenty of time to come up with ideas for making the fanciful house. Work on it until you run out of ideas and then let the model set somewhere you will see it often. Sometime maybe days later you may get an idea for an interesting addition or change to the model.

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