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Fanmaking 101

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  • makiwara_no_yetsuko
    OK, THIS time I got it to work, mostly. Photo is posted in Makiwara s album. Materials: 1/16 x 3 x 24 sheet of balsa wood Draft paper to work out the
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 12, 2004
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      OK, THIS time I got it to work, mostly. Photo is posted in
      Makiwara's album.

      Materials:
      1/16" x 3" x 24" sheet of balsa wood
      Draft paper to work out the template on.
      Fan papers, one heavy, one light
      Glue
      Wire

      Tools:
      Steel ruler
      Exacto knife
      Needle, awl, or other sharp object.
      Scissors
      Emery board

      To make the fan bones, I marked the balsa with a pencil to be cut
      into strips 3/16" wide x 12" long. Using the steel ruler as a guide,
      I then scored the balsa firmly with the Exacto knife. Each piece
      snapped apart very neatly.

      Measure and mark where you want to pierce the sticks for pivot holes.
      About an inch from the end is good. I gently pierced each stick with
      the end of a compass. I had one stick split, however, the paper is
      going to hold the stick in place as well as the pivot, so I marked it
      so it would be in the center of the fan between sticks that were
      solid. I was originally going to fasten the pivot end of the fan with
      embroidery silk knotted at each end, but it's amazing what I toss in
      the junk drawer. I had a bit of steel wrapped nylon guitar string
      that was stiff enough to guide through the holes without any other
      tools. I used a pair of needle nose pliers to help tighten the knots.
      I suspect any sort of wire, or nylon filament would work as well.

      After the sticks were fastened together, I used an emery board to
      smooth any rough edges and round the bottom of the fan sticks.
      (Prototype two had a light coat of black acrylic paint applied before
      assembly.)

      After some trial and error I discovered the easiest way to make an
      accurate paper template for the fan is to lay a sheet of draft paper
      out on your table or counter, then lay the assembled fan bones on top
      of it. Prototype two is a seven bone fan and decided I wanted it to
      open to an arc of about 70 degrees or so. Set the bones on the ends
      at the approximate angle you want, then, measuring with a ruler or
      compass, separate the bones until the distance between each is the
      same. Tape them into position with a strip of masking tape between
      the pivot joint and just below where the fan paper is going to go. I
      actually taped mine down to the countertop for the duration. Mark the
      upper and lower edges of the curves you want your fan paper to follow
      and mark the sides, leaving margins so you can trim the paper once
      the fan is assembled. Slide the draft sheet out from under the bones
      and trim along the marked edges, then you can use it to cut out the
      fan paper and lining paper. My prototypes used a combination of
      stamped and brushed gold paint on colored art papers, with sumi-e
      paper for the lining.

      Apply glue to the fan bones – lightly. You don't want it to run
      through your paper. Apply your fan paper and weight it with a book.
      This will keep the paper from curling. Once it is dry, gently untape
      your fan bones from the work space, turn the whole thing over and
      apply glue to the fan bones and the edges of the back of the fan
      paper, again lightly, then apply the lining paper and weight with a
      book if needed.

      Once all your glue is dry, the easiest way to fold this is to work
      from one end, lining the bones up as you go. Go slowly – you can
      always go back and pinch your creases more sharply once you're
      certain everything lines up correctly. Trim your fan papers as needed.

      Things I need to improve: the paper is actually a little too heavy
      for the balsa. Lighter paper will fold and unfold more easily - this
      one folds, but must be folded and unfolded with care. Yes, guys, and a
      sturdier wood may be called for. ;->

      But it works, mostly.

      Makiwara
    • ekoogler1@comcast.net
      Thank you so much for the directions as to how this can be done. In my copious spare time, I will take crack at doing this. Kiri
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 12, 2004
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        Thank you so much for the directions as to how this can be done. In my copious spare time, I will take crack at doing this.

        Kiri
      • makiwara_no_yetsuko
        ... my copious spare time, I will take crack at doing this. ... You re most welcome, Kiri-hime. Obviously I haven t perfected it yet and hope to experiment
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 13, 2004
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          --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, ekoogler1@c... wrote:
          > Thank you so much for the directions as to how this can be done. In
          my copious spare time, I will take crack at doing this.
          >
          > Kiri

          You're most welcome, Kiri-hime. Obviously I haven't perfected it yet
          and hope to experiment with better materials as time permits. If you
          come up with anything that works better, let me know. ;->

          Makiwara
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