Tuesday, 22 February 2011

New MYOG Blogger

Here's a new blog from Sam Minnich.  I saw the link on the BPL light forums, never met the chap, seems he's from Europe and is obviously skilled with a sewing machine.  Early days but well worth bookmarking.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Tips for seam sealing

Just a quick post on a couple of labour saving tips for seam sealing. If you've ever had to do this you know how time consuming this can be. This is how I do it and it works for me.

Firstly mix two parts white spirit with one part clear silicone sealent. These don't like to be mixed together, the silicone floats about in the white spirits. I find a snapped off fork in a battery drill serves as a handy whisk, job done in two or three minutes.

I don't use a brush to apply the mixture. It takes forever. I use a small pot with a nozzle that held glitter glue. You can pick these up from craft shops. Not only is this very quick, you can control the amount applied and you don't get the mixture drying out in the pot before you've finished, therefore you mix a lot less. I find you get a much more even line along the stitching.

I then lay out the seam to seal on flat surface. Most people suggest setting the tarp/shelter up outside and painting it on then. If you can, all well and good. But if not this still works and you don't have to lean over to the middle of the tarp to apply. Make sure there's adequate ventilation. This stuff won't kill you but its not pleasant.

I tend to do both sides of the tarp so you make sure the mixture is absorbed into the stitching as much as possible and therefore filling up any small holes.

Hope this helps.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Pottery making moment

First ever thrown pot. The photo exaggerates the flare of the sides. It will be a mug, unless it explodes in the kiln... I'm made up with this!

Ninja Tarp!

The last couple of weeks have been quite busy on the making moments front.  It’s hard to find the time to sew when you’ve got a lot on in general.  Another factor is that cutting out fabric for tarps takes a lot of room.  That room usually has to be found on the front room floor by moving furniture about, which in turn takes even more time to move stuff, tiptoe around the room not treading on fabric, cutting fabric, moving all the furniture back.  So, to cut say, the two panels for a cat cut tarp can realistically take all evening.  I have to feed and water children and make them go to sleep before any of this happens.

Three things I have bought to make life a lot easier.  An 8’x 4’ sheet of ¾” plywood which sits on the kitchen table.  A soldering iron with a very fine tip.  Some sheets of hardboard.  Two panels of a cat cut tarp and all re-enforcement panels and various other bits can now be cut in less than an hour.  I’ve made templates of the panels with hardboard.  The material is placed on the plywood, the template over the top and I “draw” round it with the hot soldering iron.  Very quick, leaving heat sealed edges – no fraying.  This may be excessive if you’re just making a few bits and bobs for yourself but in time I do hope to start making a few things to sell.  One of which is the following…

This has been made for Mr. Horner, his selection of fabric.  My own designed (lets face it most of these are pretty similar designs) tarp.  The material is a coated nylon of some sorts, it’s tough, waterproof and very black.  In fact everything on the tarp is black.  I love the look of this.

At the moment, before seam sealing, it’s 292g, not the lightest in the world but light enough, it packs down small but it’s yet to be tested outside.  That’s a job for Steven and I do hope it works as good as it looks. 

I’m not taking orders as such yet, mainly as I don’t have that much time and I don’t want to leave people hanging on for stuff for ever, but expressions of interest are always welcome