I’d like to have a break from “historical” posts today, so let’s dive into the new tools and materials I bought a few days ago!
Anyone who knows anything about crafting with EVA foam will know that contact cement is what is most often used to slap pieces of foam together. And I still didn’t have any. I watch a lot of video’s from folks in the USA, and they usually use Barge, but I couldn’t find that anywhere, so I’d been looking around and ultimately found that Bison has a contact cement, and they have a version that comes with a convenient brush attached to the bottle cap, which I figured would be perfect for me. I’d also been doing some prep work on a future project for which I’d need to be able to make vinyl tacky, but not permanently attached, and since I’d already had my eyes on the Bison site, I ended up finding a glue spray that had incredibly poor reviews. The poor reviews claimed that the glue spray held for a little while, but let go very quickly. I’m not sure if that’s just people who don’t know how contact cement works (it bonds to itself, so you can’t just glue a single part, you have to glue them both) or if the product is genuinely terrible… but I needed something that would hold, but let go easily, so those bad reviews worked in the products favor in my particular scenario.
I did an internet search and found that one of my local home improvement stores (Gamma) actually sells both of these products. I asked my dad if he was okay with driving me there, and he was cool with that, which is nice. There’s also a chain of stores here that sell a very wide variety of things super-duper-cheap called Action. They have a store that we’d pass on the way to the home improvement store anyway, so I figured we could visit both stores in a single trip, and perhaps I’d run into anything else I might need or want.
And, uhh… we sort of did:
I had been wanting to get some spray paints for a project I’ve been doing some work on, on and off, for the past couple of months. Action has some super cheap spray paints, with the spray cans on the left costing less than €2 each. While I was looking for paints, I found that they had some high-volume acrylic paints that were also low in price, so I picked up a bunch of those for a possible future project that I’m not sure yet if I’ll tackle anytime soon, but I’d like to invite you to check out the six colors I picked up and see if you can figure out what the project might be!
I also bought some cheap floor mats. They were less than €6 for that pack of six 40x40cm floor mats. I’m not planning to start working out again — these are actually EVA floor mats. My friend Ellen told me about Action selling these almost a YEAR AGO at this point. I’ve visited my local Action about once a month, and I’d never seen them in-store before. Now that they finally had them, I couldn’t resist picking up a set. I actually have plenty of EVA foam for now (I bought a fairly large amount months ago from the lovely folks at Poly-Props in the UK) but I bought a set purely because of the embedded pattern in the foam. If I ever need some funky or cool pattern in one of my props, for futuristic armor, or a weapon, or whatever else, then I might be able to use these and save myself a lot of trouble. And in the worst case scenario, should I run out of my normal foam, I can always sand a few of these down on my belt sander and use those. 😉
I also ran into a mini file set that was quite affordable, and I’d been wanting to add these tools to my arsenal for some time now. I haven’t had cause to use them yet, but these are the sort of tools where it’s better to have them and not yet need them, than to need them and not have them (and then have to go out and buy, quite possibly, expensive ones instead). I also bought a set of silver and gold gel markers. Gel markers typically work great on foam, and these particular colors should be easily visible on any foam regardless of the foam’s color. Finally, I bought a bunch of materials for slapping things together: water-resistant (D3) wood glue, two types of rope, small-size screw-in hooks, and a personal favorite, super-cheap and super-strong large metal corner braces. I’ve used so many of these in the construction of my room, and they’re normally quite expensive (€1 each is a price I’ve seen frequently but I’ve seen some stores sell them for as much as €2 each) and Action sells them in packs of 10 for a measly €1.50 per pack. Crazy, right? And they’re fantastic for strengthening any 90-degree corner joints. Everyone should have a bunch of these on hand at any time.
I did buy something else, as well. Something that I’ve been saving up for, for some time. And that both my mom and my dad have pitched in for so I could afford it. Keep an eye on this website over the next couple of days to find out what it is!