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  1. #1
    Detail Man's Avatar
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    DIY helpful tips

    The DIY section of this forum is awesome. Many of you have helped me with several projects from my very first hammock and tarp, to my latest gravity filter. My thanks for all who take the time to post in this section, and make tutorials. I thought it would be a neat idea to have a thread where we can post our favorite techniques, tools, hints, tips, etc so we can all be better at what we love to do. A lot of these things can be found already in specific threads, but they can get lost in the large volume of posts that happen here. This would be a way, especially for the new DIYers to get helpful info in one place.

    Here's a couple things I've found very helpful.

    Spring clamps -- help hold silnylon to the narrow table that is my work surface.

    Hot knife -- is so much better than scissors for most cutting tasks, particularly on slick fabric.

    Masking tape -- I have to admit that not everything turns out perfect the first time, so I end up ripping seams apart and redoing. Masking tape removes the little thread pieces quickly and neatly.

  2. #2
    Jcavenagh's Avatar
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    My wife has this fabric cutter that has a round blade, kinda like a pizza cutter. Boy does that thing cut nylon! And talk about controlling your cut! that thing can cut dead on straight or in just about any curve you might use. It is really a cool tool. I suppose they sell them at JoAnn Fabrics.

  3. #3
    but enough about me hppyfngy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jcavenagh View Post
    My wife has this fabric cutter that has a round blade, kinda like a pizza cutter. Boy does that thing cut nylon! And talk about controlling your cut! that thing can cut dead on straight or in just about any curve you might use. It is really a cool tool. I suppose they sell them at JoAnn Fabrics.
    What do you cut on? I might not get away with using a roller type cutter on my dining room table...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hppyfngy View Post
    What do you cut on? I might not get away with using a roller type cutter on my dining room table...
    In that case...I wouldn't use a hot knife either.

  5. #5
    Pro Vagabond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hppyfngy View Post
    What do you cut on? I might not get away with using a roller type cutter on my dining room table...
    You can go to home depot and buy a sheet of 1/4 Lauan for around $10. Will protect your table and you can get them to cut it in half for a dollar (fits in the car easier).

  6. #6
    Detail Man's Avatar
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    The rotary cutters work best on a cutting mat. The downside to mats is size -- big ones are pricey. I have a 8' folding table that I just cut on it, but blade nicks become an issue. It's pretty frustrating to have a nick in a rotary blade while cutting ripstop.

    Luaun can sometimes have splinters. The 1/4" hardboard is much smoother, and still inexpensive. I have used a 6" wide strip, 8' long under my cut, and just done it on the floor. Mark a straight line down the center of the board, and use that as a guideline for thin fabrics like sil and mesh.

  7. #7
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    I like to use a desk stapler to do my pinning when possible. You turn the anvil (bottom plate) around 180 degrees and the staple will form with the tine pushed out reasonably straight instead of clinching in towards the center.

    The walking foot is a must for me. When sewing together multiple layers of unlike fabrics, it really makes the job come out much nicer.

    Another neat trick is to use a rolled hem foot to do a flat felled seam. Honestly, I'm just getting acquainted with an adjustable rolled hem foot, so I can't say that this is one of my favorite tricks yet, but I think it will be.
    "Interesting! No, wait, the other thing.....tedious!"- Bender Bending Rodriques

  8. #8
    Senior Member TadTheTinker's Avatar
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    Best two pieces of advice I could ever give are:

    1. Don't get in a hurry. Speed causes unnecessary mistakes.

    2. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. You can't make an improvement with screwing up once or twice.
    Help a Boy Scout Troop in your area - become a mentor.

    God created Firemen so cops would have heros.

  9. #9
    but enough about me hppyfngy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TadTheTinker View Post
    Best two pieces of advice I could ever give are:

    1. Don't get in a hurry. Speed causes unnecessary mistakes.

    2. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. You can't make an improvement with screwing up once or twice.
    Sooo... don't be afraid of getting in a hurry or being a screw up...

    I already am not that! I win!

    jk...

    also really like the spring clamps idea detailman

  10. #10
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    problem with that (for me), is the staples still have to be removed; which is trickier than just pulling out a pin, and they are not re-useable. But hey, Sew your own seams...
    KM(who is tight with a dollar, you bet..)

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