Monday, May 20, 2013

More Cardboard Tips and Tricks

Here are a few more hints for working with cardboard. When trying to make cylinders, I mentioned making numerous scribe marks in the outer circumference of the band that would wrap the cylinder. Making splines takes time and sometimes you might not feel like it's necessary. In those cases, try the rolling pin shortcut. Go into the kitchen and find a rolling pin used flattening dough. Got one? Okay, next, take the strip you will use for the circumference of the cylinder and lay it down on a table. Take the rolling pin and flatten it out. This works best if the corrugations are cut to run parallel to the center axis line of the cylinder. Now take the flattened cardboard and slowly curl it around a wood dowel or a broom handle to give it a curl. On the most part, this will yield a quick cylinder shape. Cut end pieces as normal, glue it together and you're done. It's not perfect but it's fast, relatively speaking.

Need to make a two dimensional joint? What is that? It's a joint that allows for adjustment in two
different planes. I needed several joints like this on my project because I don't know how the final installation will look and need some flexibility to make changes to body positions on the queen alien. This joint cap can rotate around the bottom cylinder and the lever arm rotates around the small axle (only about 30 degrees of movement though).

To make the joint, I first assembled a cylinder and a slightly larger slip-fit sleeve cylinder that goes over it. This allows for a rotating joint (although it doesn't have any mechanism to stop the joint from decoupling as is). Next, I make a tightly rolled cylinder I will use for the second axis. This cylinder is rolled up tightly like a spiral around the axis of the cylinder. Once I have a solid axle of sorts, I then piece together a cap that will slide over the slip-fit sleeve. The cap is made by cutting triangular wedges out that allow for it to fold down over the slip-fit sleeve. I also cut a rectangular opening in the top part of the cylinder cap. Through the center of the slip-fit sleeve, I cut a tab large enough to fit the axle into. I bend the tabs down and towards the center of the cylinder to provide something additional for the axle to rest on. I slide the axle into the tab slots then make a strip that wraps the axle (using the rolling pin method). This strip attaches to whatever it is I need to move in the two planes. Once you glue to cap to the slip-fit sleeve and the strip ends to the lever arm that has to rotate/move, you'll have a movable joint. While
it won't be strong enough to hold too much weight, it will allow for adjustments as necessary.

To keep the joint from uncoupling will require some trickery to push against both sides of the joint. In my case, I only need temporary rotation until I know exactly how the sculpture positioned for installation. At that point, I will either use wire to compress the joint by anchoring to other parts of the sculpture or I'll glue the joint solid.

Oh oh, I'm out of time. Gotta go work on contract stuff to pay some of the bills (hopefully enough earning enough o survive). I hope you found this helpful at least for idea generation.