Archive for August, 2011

Is This Hurricane Damage A Job For Super Glue?

August 27th, 2011
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[Video Credit:  You Tube]

Is this hurricane damage a job for super glue?  Even WE think these hurricane survivors are being a little too optimistic about super glue’s capabilities for getting this boat back on the water after crashing into the pier, in rough surf, during a hurricane.  We’re impressed that the crew has this kind of faith in super glue though!  LOL 🙂

Custom Bottlecap Push Pins

August 27th, 2011
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bottlecap-push-pins[Photo Credit:  Martha Stewart]

Happy Fall!  Happy September!

Here’s a great back to school idea – custom made bottlecap push pins!  Made from recycled bottlecaps and thumbtacks these push pins are terrific!  You can get the full scoop on how they are made by going directly to the Martha Stewart website, but basically you just need:  old bottlecaps, thumb tacks, pictures, packing tape, resin, and contact cement (to attach the tack to the cap).   There’s even a great video on the site showing expanded uses on this idea including coasters and pins for adorning clothing.

We can think of lots of different ways these handy push pins can be useful, including the following:

1) Customizing bulletin boards at home, office or school

2) Packaging 6 or so together and giving them as parent gifts at Christmas

3) Putting numbers in them and using them to prioritize items on your bulletin boards

4) Putting days of the week in them and using them to keep kids’ or busy moms’ activities organized on a bulletin board

Teachers, parents, scouting troops, and arts and crafts hobbyists will have fun customizing this clever idea!  Send us your story on how you use super glue products at home, school or work to create fun new artifacts and you may win sample products!

Chestnut Trees Preserved As Wood Art

August 22nd, 2011
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chestnut-wood-202x300 [Photo Credit:  Wikipedia]

Prior to 1904, Chestnut trees played a huge part in American history, providing a major source of food and shelter until, according to Wikipedia, chestnut blight was first announced in New York.  “Within 40 years, the near four billion strong American Chestnut population in North America was devastated … Today, they only survive as single trees separated from any others (very rare), and as living stumps, or ‘stools’, with only a few growing enough shoots to produce seeds shortly before dying.”

Today, The American Chestnut Foundation has as its mission: “.. to restore the American chestnut tree to its native range within the woodlands of the eastern United States, using a scientific research and breeding program developed by its founders. The American Chestnut Foundation is restoring a species – and in the process, creating a template for restoration of other tree and plant species. 

In 2005, we harvested our first potentially blight-resistant chestnuts. We are now in a phase of rigorous testing and trial, in both forest and orchard settings. It is our confident expectation that we will one day restore the chestnut to our eastern forests.  The return of the American chestnut to its former niche in the Appalachian hardwood forest ecosystem is a major restoration project that requires a multi-faceted effort involving 6,000 members & volunteers, research, sustained funding and most important, a sense of the past and a hope for the future.”  According to the Foundation website, scientists are working to engineer a tree with American Chestnut characteristics from the blight resistant Asian Chestnut.

Meanwhile, Americans are cherishing the last remnants of the original American Chestnut trees.   Recently, Joanie Cradick, in an article for the Lincoln Journal Star, reported that “Nearly 110 years after the fungal blight … members of the Great Plains Woodturners Club in Lincoln are working with wood salvaged from four dead chestnut trees at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park in Nebraska City …. Some of the turned items will be selected for permanent display at the Nebraska Forest Service headquarters on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus and at Arbor Lodge Park.”

Working with the wood is a bit of a challenge.  The wood is durable, but “tends to split and warp more the older it is harvested” according to Wikipedia.  In fact, according to the Lincoln Journal Star article, Great Plains Woodturners’ club president, Terry Salvage said …”it was a strong wood that he would call ‘loose-grained’ … The fibers are a little farther apart, which makes it a little more difficult to turn.”  Some club members use “super glue to seal the cracks”. Cyanoacrylates, or super glues, are often used by woodworkers to fill cracks, repair splits, reattach splintered wood pieces, and even as a finishing coat on the entire wood artifact and would be especially useful when working with these treasured remnants from the American Chestnut tree!

Woodturning is an art, and in this case, a very important art, indeed, as it is preserving a little bit of American environmental history that might otherwise be lost forever.