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As part of our Plastics theme, we’ve uploaded Charles Platt’s excellent ABS Plastic Fantastic Desk Set article from MAKE Volume 10. By the time you’re done, you’ll have three handsome, handmade desk accessories (a pen/pencil/tool rack, a CD caddy/drawer, and a book/magazine stand) — you’ll also have a great introduction to working with ABS. What is “ABS,” you ask?

ABS is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, a plastic that really does have dreamlike qualities. If you’ve ever picked up a Lego brick, you’ve handled ABS. Car stereo installers and model railroad buffs sometimes use it, but craftspeople and hobbyists generally have been slow to adopt it. You can saw it, drill it, sand it, whittle it, and drive screws into it, and it never warps, splits, or splinters. Best of all, you can bend it quickly into complex shapes by using a simple gadget that costs around $200.

ABS Plastic Fantastic Desk Set

More:
Plastics month on MAKE

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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