Sunday, June 14, 2015

How to Make a Stylus from a Dowel

Easiest. Tute. Ever, y'all!



Sometimes you need a stylus. A stylus is useful for embossing into aluminum, or creating scratch art, or carving into clay; none of those things can be done well with a pencil, which is going to get graphite into your work, or with a nail, which is too sharpy.

Of course, you also totally do not have a stylus. Seriously, who has something like that?

Fortunately, it's super easy to make.

You will need:

  • dowel. Choose one of the thinner diameters, but otherwise, anything from your stash will do.
  • saw. A hand saw will work fine.
  • pencil sharpener. An old-school metal one with several sizes of openings is the kind that you need for this.

1. Cut the dowel to size. Six inches is a good maximum length for a dowel, so mark and hand-cut your dowel to that length with a hand saw, 

If you really need to use a circular saw on account of you love power tools, I'm not going to stop you, but a hand saw is all that's necessary.

2. Here's the awesome part: SHARPEN YOUR DOWEL IN THE PENCIL SHARPENER!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!

 You've got to use a metal pencil sharpener for this, and unless your dowel happens to be the diameter of a pencil (stranger things have happened!), the pencil sharpener will have to have an adjustable diameter--think elementary school pencil sharpener--but other than that, it totally works like a dream.

And Friends, I also sharpen CHALK in that pencil sharpener!

My kids used these this weekend to make embossed aluminum pendants for Will's Girl Scout Junior Jeweler (say that three times fast) badge, but once upon a time, I waaaaay overbought scratch art sheets, and these styli--it's totes a Latin word, so hence the 2nd declension masculine nominative plural ending--are great for that as well. The kids also use them for clay, and yes, I have seen Will shoot sharpened dowels from her bow. We play rough around here, Friends.

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