Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wool Soap Sock

Large oblong bars of soap are my nemesis. They won't stay put in the shower. They pop out of my grasp and go flying. The deeper dish that finally captures them also turns them to mush, as they sit in the puddle, at the bottom. I like the felted soaps, but what I really wanted was an updated version of my loofa.

What if...

The business end. Note that I've left 2 pegs out of the job.
I've left two pegs out of the job.
I bought this little pocket loom, on a whim, a couple of months ago. It looked handy and easy to pack along. I also have some pure wool yarn I've been eager to play with. Well, actually, I had already played with it and created a mini-monstrosity that needed to be ripped out. Sometimes, stuff doesn't work.

So I ripped it out and doubled the yarn. By doubling the yarn and not using all of the pegs on the loom, I hoped to created a very tight tube for my soap. Why so tight and doubled? I hope that as the soap shrinks with use, there will be enough tension and enough fiber to allow the tube to remain fitted, and not sag around the soap.

The full picture.
I drawstring finished this end.

Binding off.
Waxy colored pencils
don't leave any marks.
This soap is bulky.
After drawing it closed,
I also added a finger-
crocheted loop.

Soap bar in knitted sock.
My handspan (length) is about 7"

So far, so good. It's snug, it felts with use, I can hang it up so it dries out thoroughly, and it's just the right amount of rough. We'll see if my "shrink-to-fit" plan works out...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

From Nail Buffer to Sanding Tool

Working in mixed media, I enjoy borrowing tools from other arts and trades, and using them in unconventional ways. Even more, I enjoy modifying and creating my own tools.

I was in a dollar store one day, when I realized a beautician's nail-buffing tools might also be excellent for finishing metals. They were! However, the sanding papers didn't hold up under water and the grits, intended for acrylic nails, were quickly depleted.

So, I combined the beauty shop and the auto shop to make a new tool.

Taking wet-dry sandpapers in very fine,1500, 600 and increasingly coarser fine grits, I cut strips of each in exactly the same size as those on my buffing bars.

Fine, wet-dry sanding papers can be found at OSH hardware stores, near the paint section. If you don't find them in your hardware store with the sandpapers, near the paint, or with wood finishing products, try an auto shop--they should be able to tell you where to acquire the product, locally.


Carefully peeling off the old strips, I discovered there was still quite a bit of adhesive left; they were ready to go (a thin layer of E6000 glue would have been my go-to, had that not been the case).If you find the padding has degraded, try craft foam with the adhesive backing, as a substitute.

I applied my wet-dry strips in order of fineness and now have an inexpensive, easily replenished sanding tool perfect for small work, that can be used with water--as a lubricant and to reduce fine dust.

As a bonus, I also discovered the end caps were removable and the interior is large enough to hold the fish-hook sharpener I use for making pins.