Skill Builder: Working with ABS Plastic

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Skill Builder: Working with ABS Plastic


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

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Plastics month on MAKE

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn

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