Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Thursday, July 30, 2009

El cheapo styrene

Some of you know of my procedure for making blinker shells from sheet styrene by
using a vacuum table:

http://www.alstevens.com/ventriloquism/vacuum.html

I buy styrene in small sheets from a hobby store about 30 miles south. It's a
popular material that model railroaders use to make scenery, buildings, etc.

A few weeks ago I went to buy more, and the hobby shop had closed. Another mom and pop store bites the dust. Rats. I'll have to buy styrene online. That's cheaper (no
60-mile round trip), but I have to wait. Usually I don't realize I need styrene
until I need it.

Back home I went out to get the mail. I walked past the recycle container in the
driveway. An empty cat litter container was in there to be recycled. Hmm. I took
it into the workshop and measured its thickness with a micrometer. Very close to
the .060 size I use for styrene blinkers. I cut a square out of the side of the
container and stapled it to the frame just as I did with styrene. I cooked it
and vacuum-formed it and guess what. It works.

I can make blinkers now for virtually zero cost. (We have a lot of cats.)

Other plastic product containers might work, too. I'll have to experiment some.

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