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Creative Quotes:

"Core methods you can use to create and repair everyday objects, make "arts and crafts". Traditionally this is called artisan craft. I developed most of the crafts and techniques on this site to demonstrate easy ways to do complex projects; like pottery and metal casting on a budget starting with mostly raw materials. I believe crafters can gain a greater understanding of their craft by starting from the ground up."

"Larry E. Smith Springfield MA musician DJ performs the Music you Want to Hear Acoustically and amplified (Over 150 Selections Available). We perform at any event, bar, or wedding. We also offer DJ services (with light show). I recommend checking out the Band Bio page to learn a little more about OFTS and the people involved."

"Mahogany Collectibles is a retailer of hand crafted mahogany desktop models and military models. We pride ourselves in the quality of mahogany models that we sell."

"So people go out there and spend years of their life researching and applying strict scientific method, all in good faith, only to have their body of work discredited with sound-bite sized arguments in which they are accused of having some nefarious agenda."


Focusable Mirrors

Focusable Parabolic Mirror Focusable Parabolic Mirror Focusable Parabolic Mirror
Focusable Parabolic Mirrors - This is a simple way to build focusable mirrors.
They are great for quickly making large inexpensive parabolic reflectors for solar cooking, and general experimentation with optics. This reflector was made from just an old bucket, camping mylar, sticky spray, twine and a break bleeder vacuum pump.

Solar Cooking
This is the least expensive and fastest way to make a large parabolic dish reflector for solar cooking. You can use a $10 plastic pool, a $2 camping mylar sheet, a vacuum pump and some sticky spray and for under $50 you have a large high power parabolic reflector finished in one evening. This is a great way to make a solar cooker that works well in the winter time like this commercial solar cooker: "ClearDome SolaReflex 900 Parabolic cooker" ClearDome is cool!

Material Options For Making a Focusable Parabolic Mirror
* Mylar - Thin mylar plastic can be used by itself of glued onto a larger rubber sheet
for making durable and large parabolic membrane mirror.
* Small Mirrors - Small mirrors can be adhered onto a rubber sheet and focused this way too.
* Plastic Mirror - Mirrored plastic can handle more curvature then flat glass mirroring and can
can be heated so it retains it's shape after vacuum is removed.
* Glass - Can be used but tends to implode. Still glass may be useful in making small
telescopes as may large plastic mirrors.

Astronomy & Photography
Using a plastic mirror you may be able to make a very inexpensive parabolic mirror for a
personal telescope or photography purposes.

Parabolic Mirrors in Pop Culture
Mythbusters did two episodes on a ship burning myth called "Archimedes Death Ray". The shows described several attempts at using mirrors to set a ship on fire, a myth though the MIT group did pretty well. Also the movie "A Series Of Unfortunate Events" featured an Archimedes Death Ray like device. In real life parabolic reflector mirrors aren't exactly deathrays but they can start fires. Just like how my barrel water lens can set the grass on fire.

Physics Demonstrations
Small - You can make small cup size reflector version using a syringe as the vacuum pump. Large - This is great for large demonstrations because of the low cost of the materials.

Silvering Your Own Mirrors
Tinfoil can be adheared to most materials but doesn't have the highest reflectivity. Mylar can be adheared to most materials, has high reflectivity, but many imperfections too. Plastic mirrors can be made by sputtering aluminum in a vacuum or though certain chemical reactions. But if you need a simple way to silver your own mirror, Gallium and "gallium, indium, & tin" alloy, are safe to work with and available here! The alloys aren't free but they paint on and stick to glass or plastic creating a perfect liquid mirror finish.
Author: Michael Casper


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MA Hobby Directory:

Click here for a directory of Hobby stores in Massachusetts. This is a directory I put together arranged by town for hobbiests and toy enthusiasts. It's great to know all the things around where you live. This is a directory of hobby stores for photpgraphy, Kites, Games, Ceramics, Toys, Remote Control, Collectibles, Collectables, Doll House Shops, Magicians Supplies, and Miniature shops. Contact me to be added to the directory.


Copyright 2003-2012. All photos on this website are my photos (except for the Craft News Images) and you may use my images as Royalty Free Photos, Creative Commons, Open Stock Photography, as images free for business or for personal use. I allow derivative works. If you have any question about the use of an image, please contact me.