Fastener Suggestion Needed

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Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Drawingablank » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:35 am

My latest project idea involves several larger boards with interchangable plywood cutouts that folks can move around (think along the lines of an old colorforms set, but large). The smaller pieces would be surface mounted on the larger boards.

Anyone have any ideas for hangers / fasteners that would be user friendly (easy to use while altered), yet secure enough to keep the parts from going airborne in a strong gust? I suspect velcro would clog too fast to be effective.

The parts will be irregularly cut and several square feet each on average and cut from 1/2" plywood.

I have taken into account the sail factor of the larger boards, but any suggestions as to other pitfalls I need to plan for are also welcome.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby A Jester » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:50 am

Any reason you can't just use hooks and eyes?

Maybe dull hooks, so there's less of a puncture concern?

Also, I'd think about someone borrowing those pieces. Can you chain them all to the ground or something?
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby MrBlue » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:16 am

What about using a mesh structure as your background (fence panels or something similar) and permanently attaching ball bungees to the back of the movable pieces? It would reduce your windload, and you be able to set the pieces pretty much wherever you wanted.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Drawingablank » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:41 am

A Jester wrote:Any reason you can't just use hooks and eyes?

Maybe dull hooks, so there's less of a puncture concern?

Also, I'd think about someone borrowing those pieces. Can you chain them all to the ground or something?


I was leaning towards some type of hook setup, my main concern is if a gust could lift the pieces off the hook and fling them through the air. The latching type hook / eye combos seem more secure, but I'm concerned with ease of use on those.

As for pieces walking away, they have little intrinsic value on their own - is theft of small plywood shapes that much of a problem?

MrBlue wrote:What about using a mesh structure as your background (fence panels or something similar) and permanently attaching ball bungees to the back of the movable pieces? It would reduce your windload, and you be able to set the pieces pretty much wherever you wanted.


I'm fairly sure many of those entertaining themselves with this would likely not have the patience to restrap a ball bungee (meaning they would just get dumped on the ground), and they don't really work so well unless under a fair amount of tension.

Although this has given me the idea to look into cabinet latches for possible candidates. Something that would essentially plug in or out seems like it would fit the bill. Or possibly magnetic.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby melodiousdirge » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:12 pm

Rare earth magnets maybe?
More ideas than time.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:06 pm

Drawingablank wrote:As for pieces walking away, they have little intrinsic value on their own - is theft of small plywood shapes that much of a problem?

Trophies from burningman? No, nobody wants those.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Drawingablank » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:03 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:As for pieces walking away, they have little intrinsic value on their own - is theft of small plywood shapes that much of a problem?

Trophies from burningman? No, nobody wants those.


Point taken, but I guess if someone wants my crudely painted plywood cutout "art" that badly I will be flattered.

I don't really see a way to make it theft resistant and certainly am not going to stand guard over it.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Bob » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:57 am

Magnetic vinyl sign material on sheet metal would be more like actual Colorforms.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Drawingablank » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:11 am

Bob wrote:Magnetic vinyl sign material on sheet metal would be more like actual Colorforms.


Great idea.

A quick search turns it up at $90 for a 25 x 2 foot roll which is only a bit more than the equivalent plywood. I'll have to research what types of paint will bond well with it because I don't want a ton of paint chip moop.

The sheet metal I could easily form on my bending brake to slip over plywood boards for support.

The main doubt I have about this is it seems a magnet would be a far more attractive souvenier as mentioned above.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Bob » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:58 am

Or display board eg foamcore w/ magnets. Cheap at places that recycle art materials.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Drawingablank » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:15 am

Foamcore is an interesting idea as well. I suspect that it would not hold up to the abuse and have a high moop potential though.

But now that has me thinking of that corrugated plastic they use for signs (made like corrugated cardboard but in plastic).
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby bigbluedoggy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:28 am

One word: Velcro.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Drawingablank » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:44 am

bigbluedoggy wrote:One word: Velcro.


I'm a big fan of velcro but was concerned it would clog with dust.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby gyre » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:12 am

The high strength velcro is called something else.
It is actually cast or formed and can be incredibly strong.

I think it would resist dust better.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Drawingablank » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:48 am

Now that you mention it, that is like the stuff they use to mount Easy Pass on cars (at least here). That would also have the benefit of a glue backing that is very heat resistant - I've never seen one fail and car interiors get much hotter than the open air.

I'll have to research this a bit more and see if I can source it in bulk because the Easy Pass folks get several dollars for 8 one inch pieces iirc.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Drawingablank » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:38 am

Ok, just in case anyone else needs this info:

I just did some research and that stuff is called Dual Lock by 3M. It's available in a wide variety of configurations, but only the outdoor stuff is heat resistant. Available in several colors (black, white, and clear), widths, and quantity of pins per inch (both sides are hard plastic and identical unlike velcro). There is also a low profile version.

I still need to search out the best price, but it seems to start at about $9 a yard.

Edit: Just wanted to add for those who live in areas with no tolls and are not familiar with this - Easy Pass is an electronic device roughly the size of 2 packs of cigarettes and weighs about 8 ounces. It is held to the inside of the windshield with 2 strips of dual lock 1/2" x 1". Even though it actually is hanging from the dual lock in my truck, it has never fallen off even when extreme off roading. The adhesive has endured 8 years of New York weather ranging from about 20 below zero to I'm guessing about 120 F. or more in the closed cab on a hot sunny day. It takes more effort to separate the dual lock than it takes to separate velcro.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:38 am

Drawingablank wrote:...roughly the size of 2 packs of cigarettes...

This morning the paper called something "the size of a smart phone." Housemate's comment was that we can't say "pack of cigarettes" anymore. Not dinging you for it, just tracking a possible change in the language.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Drawingablank » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:00 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:...roughly the size of 2 packs of cigarettes...

This morning the paper called something "the size of a smart phone." Housemate's comment was that we can't say "pack of cigarettes" anymore. Not dinging you for it, just tracking a possible change in the language.


Sigh, this is gonna really suck for us old folks - how big is a smart phone? For that matter what is a smart phone?

As you may have guessed I'm not a fan of mobile phones (although I might possibly consider one if they ever make one I can hear something through). My hearing is bad enough without all that static and every time someone calls me on a cell phone it seems to only be transmitting every third word or so.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:05 am

A smart phone is about as big as a classic ipod.



Or, about the same size as, but skinnier than, a pack of cigarettes.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby jkisha » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:25 am

Well, for an old fogy like yourself, it sounds like the JitterBug is right up your alley. http://www.cordlessworkz.com/jitterbug-phone.aspx
At least until you're ready to join all the rest of us in the 21st century. :shock: :wink:
Drawingablank wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:...roughly the size of 2 packs of cigarettes...

This morning the paper called something "the size of a smart phone." Housemate's comment was that we can't say "pack of cigarettes" anymore. Not dinging you for it, just tracking a possible change in the language.


Sigh, this is gonna really suck for us old folks - how big is a smart phone? For that matter what is a smart phone?

As you may have guessed I'm not a fan of mobile phones (although I might possibly consider one if they ever make one I can hear something through). My hearing is bad enough without all that static and every time someone calls me on a cell phone it seems to only be transmitting every third word or so.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Rabbette » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:45 pm

Could we have a rough sketch of this idea and where the boards will be & what boards will be moving? It might help with more ideas of how and what to use.

I mean you could have them slide into each other using different kinds of joints in wood working (dovetail joints, lap joints, miter joints and tendon joints) but then again I'm not sure of your construction I suppose if your boards are just flat, none of these would work.

Cheers & Good luck on your project!
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Drawingablank » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:40 pm

Ok, basically colorforms in some of the the early versions (1960's) was a picture with 2 cards full of vinyl shapes that could be positioned and repositioned - sort of like reusable stickers (think vinyl window clings).

My concept is to create an adult sized version for folks to play with - most likely out of plywood which folks could select and decorate the main board with. So essentially two 4 x 4 boards full of pieces alongside a 3 x 6 board to decorate. Essentially nothing is permanently attached.

I'm leaning towards a velcro type solution at the moment but still open for suggestions. I will probably use very thin aircraft cable to deter theft, minimize moop potential, and have the pieces on a short leash for safety in case they go airborne.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby gyre » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:27 pm

I've thought of using a ridge with an edge to it, sort of forming a hooked edge.
Velcro is very strong ins some directions.
With some mechanical support in some directions, almost foolproof.

I have some stainless steel velcro I am planning on using for heat shielding.
They make nomex velcro too.
I'm told titanium is made too.

The stronger stuff is often used in one inch pieces.
Very tough stuff.
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby Rabbette » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:46 am

Wow - I had no idea they made stainless steel hook and loop fasteners. I love this title to this article I found about it tho "Steel Velcro: Because Plastic Is For Sissies" http://www.geekologie.com/2009/09/steel_velcro_because_plastic_i.php

Sounds like a super solution to me!
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Re: Fastener Suggestion Needed

Postby gyre » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:01 am

The stainless steel velcro i have is woven and looks and feels exactly like black nylon.

Naturally I had to test it with fire.
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