Friday, July 24, 2009

Basic landscaping

Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker
Definitely a job for the garage or at least somewhere you can make a mess. To form my embankments I've glued polystyrene salvaged from old packaging into place with PVA. Basis shapes were hacked out with a wood saw meaning the place is filled with little white balls.

Once the glue had dried, a hacksaw blade carved the final forms out quickly, easily and again, messily.

Now I know there is a solution to this mess - a hot wire cutter. It's the correct tool for sculpting polystyrene as it heats and carves through the stuff like a hot knife in butter (actually, has anyone ever heated a knife to cut butter ? I haven't so I'm just guessing really...) sealing the surface as it goes. Alternatively, for cheapskates, heating a knife on the hob and hacking the white stuff works just as well even if it is a touch more dangerous.

The downside is the smell. Burning polystyrene IS very dangerous. Breath too deeply of the fumes given off and you will die. In comparison the messy balls are a lot safer as long as they aren't swallowed, so keep them out of the way of pets and birds.

No worries for me, I'll be sealing this lot up under some plaster next.

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