DIY card Clip!

When you want something done right, gotta do it yourself!

DIY card Clip!

Unread postby Eoghann » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:32 pm  

Hey everybody!

So I have this habit of keeping a deck in my backpack, ready for any occasion. But the constant jostling around is damaging the tuck. And I'm too cheap to want to buy a pricy card clip. So I figured I'd make one!

Materials you will need:

1/8" thick acrylic of any color you prefer. I cut two different sizes: 6 3/8" x 3 7/8" if you want a 1/8" lip all around the deck; 6 1/8"x3 5/8" if you want it flush to a standard sized deck.
Your sister's hair straightener
Heat gun (hair dryer could work but it would take much longer)
Pencil
A thick pair of gloves
A bowl with cold water
A deck sized piece of something solid. (2 5/8" wide, 3 5/8" high and 5/8" thick)
Sandpaper



I made a deck sized block using 1/2" acrylic and 3/16" acrylic to give me about the exact width of a standard deck and resin bonded them together. You can also use krazy glue.


Procedure:

- Preheat the straightener on max heat.
- Center the edge of the block on the acrylic and mark the edges of the block.
- Heat up the center of the acrylic with the straightener until it gets floppy. About a minute or two should be enough.
- Quickly place the block on the edge you just marked, hold it firmly as you wrap the acrylic around it, making sure all edges are even.
- While holding it firmly, dunk it in the cold water to make sure it retains its shape.
- Once it has cooled, slide the block out, you'll notice it falls out. Gotta put some tension on that bad boy.
- Heat the bend enough to make it malleable again and gently squeeze it down. A good gap is about 5/8", too tight and you crush the deck. Too loose and it falls out. Depends on the deck you want to put in there.

Pro Tip: if you heat the inside of the clip, it will open up. If you heat the outside of the clip, it'll clamp down. Another thing you can do to fine tune the tension gap is to heat up the inside, slide the block in and dunk it in cold water. It'll tighten up.

You're almost done!

With a fine sandpaper, gently sand the outer and inner edges of the clip. As well as the corners. Round them off a little bit.

Enjoy!

Questions or comments, feel free! I also take requests! :)
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Re: DIY card Clip!

Unread postby Eoghann » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:36 pm  

And the finished product!
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Re: DIY card Clip!

Unread postby SBurk49 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:18 pm  

No... friggin... way...

That's awesome!
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Re: DIY card Clip!

Unread postby volantangel » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:25 pm  

Haha how much was your total cost ? Now let's compare to what loopcuts were charging..
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Re: DIY card Clip!

Unread postby Eoghann » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:58 pm  

Well of course theirs is fancier, with what looks like screen printed corner logos and engraved spine logo. So that should hike the price up a bit. But it's basically the same process. They just use a professional acrylic bender. It's still handmade going by the production photos on their Kickstarter.

I grabbed a scrap from the shop, but the full sheets aren't expensive. Between $80 - $120 depending on size, color and thickness. You can fit over 100 pieces in a full sheet.

Hey there's an idea! Who's willing to set up shop with me? We'll sit outside magic conventions and make clips on the spot! WHILE-U-WAIT! :lol:

I'm half serious about that. :ugdance:
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Re: DIY card Clip!

Unread postby ryzellon » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:07 am  

Eoghann wrote:Hey there's an idea! Who's willing to set up shop with me? We'll sit outside magic conventions and make clips on the spot! WHILE-U-WAIT! :lol:

I'm half serious about that. :ugdance:


Hrm... I'm not exactly looking to go into the plastic fabrication business, but I note that you could also make the card & tuck displays I've written up out of the 1/8" acrylic sheet.

It would be interesting to test what thickness the dummy deck needs to be so that a clip bent on the form won't need a second bending to hold a deck with sufficient tension. Or just letting the acrylic set somewhat, removing the block and gently squeezing the clip before it sets all the way?

And no issues with thermal shock?
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Re: DIY card Clip!

Unread postby Eoghann » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:11 am  

Thermal shock isn't really an issue with acrylic or polycarbonate because they're thermoplastics. Can't vouche for that on acrylics thicker than 3/16" though. Haven't bent anything thicker than that myself. But in theory those should be fine as well when heated properly. The highest risk you run with acrylic is breaking it when trying to bend it when it hasn't been heated evenly or enough. Gotta make sure it's rubbery before you attempt to bend.

Also blistering, bubbling and warping would be a concern if you keep the heat on for too long. That's specially common if you use a propane torch or focus a heat gun too close and for too long on the same spot.

I work at a sign shop and even though we don't make them there, big thing we outsource are channel letters.

http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/d0zEfVnTEZE/hqdefault.jpg

The tools to make them are basically wide and very thin hair straighteners but with specialized heating elements. They heat up faster and hotter.

And yup, I also operate a milling machine and cutter at the shop so I could easily cut the acrylic panels from your thread and make some kickass displays in all shapes and sizes. Reason I don't is because I live in an apartment and don't have room for anything like that. :lol:
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Re: DIY card Clip!

Unread postby dazzleguts » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:49 pm  

Very cool Eoghann! I like that more than most of the fancy opaque ones that have been made. Really showcases the tuck. You could also sand blast a subtle design into it. Maybe a border line that follows the edge where it's most likely to get scuffed? Is sand blasting even done any more?

Do you wear a mask for the fumes?
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Re: DIY card Clip!

Unread postby Eoghann » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:15 pm  

Thanks! We do have a sandblaster in the shop! I'll just have to wait one day where the boss isn't around to mess with it. :lol:

And yup, still wearing masks for the tiny particles and fumes.
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Re: DIY card Clip!

Unread postby ryzellon » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:25 pm  

I've done more work with polystyrene than acrylic, so I wasn't sure if the more rigid thermoplastics would be more prone to issues. Working for free with opaque sheets that were going to be painted, I didn't need to care whether there was any crazing.

Anyhow, if you can price them below the retail clips and displays, you should consider targeting the shoe-string budget/beginner collectors and start taking orders. For basic protection, your clips do the job admirably. I'd prefer to carry around a deck around with an inexpensive clip. All I want is a bit of scuffing protection, and I don't want to struggle to shove the deck in/pull the deck out. But for the people who want to straighten out bent cards, or run over their clip with a car, they can stick with the more expensive models.

My modified display design will fit into a medium flat-rate box, so $12.35 shipped anywhere in the US. I don't expect the cutting/drilling/routing to take more than 30 minutes, but correct me if I'm wrong. If enough people are interested to justify cutting up a full sheet, the per-unit cost could be pretty reasonable, even if it required shipping.

And now that I know you've got access to a shop. . . . *Plots*
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Re: DIY card Clip!

Unread postby Loop Cuts » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:59 am  

HAHA, wow this was a neat little find even for me! I had no idea it was so easy to mock one up. Pretty cool
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