Monday, March 21, 2016

How do you irritate a bird that wants to roost?

 Creating bird spikes with 3D pen

    In my first attempts at creating bird spikes, I simply used a quarter round or half round piece of old molding. Using a 16th inch drill bit I drilled numerous holes and then used the 3-D pen to partly fill the hole with extrusion from the pen and then moving outward creating spikes. 

     Although the finished product did not give me the rigidity in the spikes that I wanted it still seemed to work. 

In my last attempt I ran a bead of plastic at the bottom. This created better adhesion and stability to the spikes. I also tried creating lattice to give it additional rigidity, although I'm not sure that it was needed.
    The spikes do not harm the bird as they are not sharp enough or stiff enough to do so. They end up being more like the bristles on a soft broom and more of an obstacle that the bird can't quite figure out how to get around.
    A piece of styrofoam could be used in place of the wood, making it light enough to be stuck to a wall with poster putty. This might work great with woodpeckers and flickers that tend to roost on the sidewalls or under eaves .

Note: The Styrofoam will melt some with the 3D pen, so use gloves and some caution when working with it. 

     I look forword to hearing any constructive ideas or suggestions. Be sure and check out our other posts, blogs and our website

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Do you need washers for your craft projects?

Washers for whirligigs


Always use the manufacturer's recommended replacement parts.

    Nylon washers are not very cheap, but I have found an alternative that cost next to nothing, helps the environment and works almost as well. 
    One of the things that I do on a yearly basis is to do preventative maintenance on my whirligigs and weathervane's. With all the moving parts and high winds, there is a lot of wear and tear on these mechanical wonders. What I found out is metal on wood wears out the most, so I use a lot of plastic or nylon washers. Although washers are not the most expensive part to a whirligig, they can cut into your profits.

  I couldn't help, but share this money-saving and environmentally friendly up_cycling of plastic jugs. As for the patterns, I simply invested in an assortment of metal washers to use as a template for the various size washers that I use in my whirligigs. After all for a couple of bucks worth of cheap metal washers, I now have a set of templates that are worth the investment and will never wear out. I could've very easily used a compass to draw the circles, but I wanted something that was more consistent with actual washers.

(Be sure to use the appropriate safety goggles and other safety equipment when using rotary tools)

    I have found almond milk jugs and other opaque or heavier jugs seem to make the better washers. Anyhow, using a metal washer as my template and a black marker to trace around the metal washer, I create my patterns. Usually, I take the time to make several hundred at a time, so I have washers on hand for later. Then I simply rough cut them using heavy-duty utility scissors, dollar store kitchen scissors or a Dremel with a fine tip rotary cutting blade. (An X-Acto knife on a cutting board will also work as well.) I then finish the washer by sanding the edges or dragging a knife blade crossways against the grain to remove any ragged edges. A Dremel with an abrasive bit also works very well.

For those of you who like to do things the hard way I have included the following photo as a pattern.
Now keep in mind these washers will not necessarily take the place of a heavy-duty nylon washer and will most likely biodegrade over time if exposed to sunlight.

 For other craft projects and ideas be sure and check out our other blogs and our website at