Thursday, October 23, 2008


I'm having a hard time deciding which of my two new tools has me more blissed out. One of them is new only in the sense that it now "lives" in my shop. The other is going to be old news to a lot of people, but my oh my, do I love it!

Here's the first:

Spot Welder

Now, is that sweet sweet sweet, or what?!

Yeah. I know. That probably isn't a reaction I'm going to get, but this is what I use to weld the backs of my China Blossoms, and for years the spot welder has been located about five miles from home, in the garage of a friend. If I wanted to make the China Blossom backs, I had to make sure my friend was home, and drive over, and sometimes inconvenience him.

It is sheer, pure, bliss to know I can walk out to my shop and throw together fifty, or ten, or a hundred backs, or even just one, anytime the notion takes me. If you were here right now, you'd be hearing a very happy sigh.

Probably, more people will be able to identify with me on the second tool. It's one I noticed several years ago, but I'd look at it and think, That couldn't possibly work as well as the package says it will. pfft. Scissors have been around for hundreds of years, and everybody knows they work just fine.

Well, I was wandering around Joann Fabrics the other day with a 40% off coupon in my hand, and no pressing need for anything to spend it on, sooooo...I bought this:

Rotary Cutting Kit

I brought it home and set it in a chair by the dining table, and left it there for a couple of days. After all, it wasn't going to work worth beans, right? I don't know why I even bought that, I'd think. But after a couple of days, curiosity got the best of me and I opened the package.
Blatant digression: I just realized "curiosity" is a word made by adding "sity" to "curio". Huh. Had never looked at it like that before. And now that I do, DH thinks I'm a tad crazy.
So anyway, I opened the package, put the cutting mat on the floor, read the directions on the cutter, which were easy as falling asleep after Thanksgiving dinner, picked up a fabric scrap, and...

It worked! It really worked!

What a great tool this is:

The Dritz rotary cutter itself, and a pinking blade from Olfa

By the way, this is what happens when you get your photos from the net, instead of taking them yourself. The blade does not, in fact, dwarf the cutting tool. They're, like, out of proportion, you know?

I got the pinking blade at Michael's the next day. The cutter is a Dritz, and the blade is an Olfa, but the manufacturers seem to have done the intelligent thing and standardized the blades, so you can mix and match.

A couple of details now: There's a safety feature on the cutter, a cover that keeps the blade's edge so it isn't exposed until you press the cover's rim against something solid. Also, when you aren't using the tool, you can lock the cover, so you don't accidentally press it, and the now-exposed blade against something you'll regret, like maybe your hand.

Using it is as easy as it looks. Place the fabric on the mat and smooth it down. For a good, straight, cut put the ruler on top and just draw or push the wheel along it's edge.

Wow. This is going to make creating my new fabric gift bags so much easier!

Funny, too. I was enthusing to my Mom about the cutter, and she said, "Yeah. That's what your Aunt Jewel used, to cut the strips for those rugs she made. Your Uncle Walt would sit at the table with the cutter and cut all the strips Jewel needed." And I never knew that. It gives me a fresh, cozy image of Uncle Walt and Auntie Jewel, two people I already adored.

Coming soon: Actual photos of the new gift bags. I'm really proud and excited about them.


DrD said...

I remember my first day at Castle AFB in the sheetmetal shop when I was introduced to the industial size spot welder. I had never seen one before and it was the first machine I was introduced to. Made my first spot weld then promptly grabbed it with my bare hand! Not so bright, huh? But I had no idea it would be hot...I had never seen a spot welder. I guess "welder" should have been a clue. :+)

(Just looked at the word verification for this post - exionsio - wonder what definition my big sister can make for that?)

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