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Wood dowels and fiberglass pens, the easy way

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks!' started by Barquester, Mar 3, 2016.


  1. Barquester

    Barquester Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    Yesterday I discovered that toothpicks fit my drafting pencil and should work as a "pointed dowel", although I don't have anything to test it on at the moment. American made toothpicks have traditionally been made of yellow poplar, a hardwood with some substance to it. I have some asian made toothpicks I bought recently that are way too soft.
    The triple size fiberglass pen I ordered from Amazon has been discontinued, so no fiberglass pen. Travelling down that same train of thought, with a hammer, I smashed an old carbon fiber tent pole and also an old broken fiberglass fishing pole into usable sizes to fit into the drafting pencil. I broke them to length with a vise. Some modifications like sanding, filing, or grinding will surely be needed to the ends to make them suitable to the tasks you need them to do.
    I suspect I have cost pen makers a bit of money with this post.
    musicmacd and RichardH like this.
  2. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA QuickDraw and very happy #nobrushleftbehind Staff Member Mod

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    Hmm... maybe not... I don't have any broken poles... good ideas, especially the toothpick. I'll try that in my clutch pencil.
  3. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    I've been using tooth picks, or rather cocktail sticks since I started for scraping soft detail into eyes and small stuff, can even dip them in cleaner for some things.

    We do have a flag pole at the back of our house, in fact there are three but I have a feeling the people we rent from might be a little peeved if I go trashing them so I'll probably stick to buying the ready made 2 and 5 mil fibreglass refills I've been using up until now:confused:
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  4. Barquester

    Barquester Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    Those 2 and 5 mil pens and refills are scarce a hen's teeth here in the US. Most of the time when I find one the size is unstated. I did manage to order one from Amazon, again size unstated, that turned out to be 2 mm. I'm happy I found something. I'll just make the rest.
  5. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Cool, it would be nice to see what your doing with them;)

    These fibreglass inserts are actually normally used by electronics workers for cleaning contacts on printed circuit boards so I think you would actually be able to find them in places like radioshack or basically any shop specialising in electronics.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2016
  6. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA QuickDraw and very happy #nobrushleftbehind Staff Member Mod

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    Two words... Foxy Studios... :)
    jord001, Madbrush and ad fez like this.
  7. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

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  8. Barquester

    Barquester Elite Member! Elite Member!

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  9. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    I typed "5 mm fibreglass cleaning pen" and this is what came up, not only that, I have that very one and I can assure you it's 5 mm, and it's very good.

    I don't mind telling you I'm pissed, this one's got ten refills and I only got five, mind you I only paid half the price:confused:

    Also found this one at 4 mm

    http://www.newark.com/duratool/d02266/brush-pcb-cleaning-fibre-glass/dp/94T6354

    Found this too, in radioshack would you believe?

    https://www.radioshack.com/products/abrasive-fiberglass-pen?variant=11132405765

    Irrespective of whether the size is stated or not the 2 mm one is the one us artists prefer, of course I don't actually have a size pages, I just have a big one and a small, I use the small one most and the big one hardly ever.
  10. Barquester

    Barquester Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    Thanks for your help with this, I eventually get tired of looking and just quit till next week. I have a 2 mm so the 5 is exactly what I need. I would think that it would take a long time to wear down one of these refills of fiberglass. No?
  11. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    They actually wear down fairly quick, you could easily use up two or three 2 mm refills on one painting, and you obviously don't want the dust on your skin, you'll be scratching yourself for days.
  12. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    raid the wifes make up bag for a large makeup brush, great for 'dusting' the splinters off, (or the discount shop, they're only a couple of $ for what you want)
  13. Barquester

    Barquester Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    fellas, I installed fiberglass insulation in new house construction for years. Nylon stockings work ok, cold shower works best, you eventually learn to just ignore it.
    I'm really surprised they wear that fast.
  14. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA QuickDraw and very happy #nobrushleftbehind Staff Member Mod

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    MB just spends a lot of time erasing... :p Fiberglass powder it the original itching powder... evil stuff...
  15. Nada

    Nada Air-Valve Autobot!

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    The radio shack one is garbage, its actually nylon bristles.
  16. Nessus

    Nessus Gravity Guru

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    In regards to the carbon fiber stuff, check around your area for hobby stores that specialize in RC cars and/or airplanes. Carbon fiber rod and tube is a stock material commonly used in custom builds and modifications, so lots of RC-oriented hobby places will have the stuff in various diameters.

    That way you don't have to scrounge around for something to break, or kluge a fragment off something. You can just buy a piece exactly the diameter you need right off the shelf.

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