Wild Blue Pixel
TIP OF THE DAY
Friday, March 11, 2011
I have not been able to get out to pick up the parts to add a volume control to the preamp that we are building. And then I got very preoccupied trying to find a possible solution to the thumb nail problem that I had described in my last week's tip.
I got a couple ideas for replaceable thumb nails. The first was to cut nail shapes out of thin plastic packaging and tape them to the ends of my thumb. Great for cheapness and speed, but unless the tape was wrapped very tight it didn't play well and the pressure made it uncomfortable. I decided that, whatever material I use, it will have to be glued on.
But glue that works on skin will not work well on plastics because plastics require a glue with a solvent base. Super Glue, for example, bonds to your skin, but it will not stick to the slick and flexible surface of plastic. In a flash of inspiration I decided that paper is the answer! I just happened to have a roll of gummed paper. I cut this into six or so strips a little wider than I needed and wet the glue and stuck them together. These paper strips naturally want to curve so I set them aside to dry. Next I cut off a length and trimmed it to fit over my existing nail leaving lots of overhang.
Okay, safety warning done. Use a drop of glue on your thumb nail and stick the paper nail to it holding it on for a count of ten. If it hasn't stuck completely, apply another drop to the offending area. Once the paper has stuck, you can trim the paper with nail clippers. Run a drop of superglue around the front of the nail to harden it and then it can be filed to shape just like a real nail.
Okay, it doesn't look pretty but it feels like a real nail and it plays like one too. After playing for an hour, cooking tea, cleaning up the kitchen and putting my son to bed, the very tips of the paper nail had gone soft. A spot of glue and a file later and they are good to go.
I was going to put a paragraph here about how to get them off again but I'm so impressed with their durability that I'm going to see how long they last. I've got to pull the crank out of an outboard motor tonight so that will be a challenge for them. The one on my left thumb I have saturated in Super Glue to try to make it waterproof as an experiment.