Some tools are potentially dangerous and must be respected. Your kit has
two particularly savage tools in it; a very sharp knife and an super hot
soldering iron. Either of these tools can cause painful injury, so be alert
and use them with care.
Your tool kit contains a small knife with a segmented blade.
When a segment gets dull just snap it off with pliers; the next segment
will be sharp. If you use a sharp blade it cuts cardboard very well. To
cut a straight line, use a straight edge; a metal ruler works well.
To bend corrugated cardboard, carefully cut through one layer and bend away
from the cut side. The knife also cuts lighter cardboard nicely and will
even cut thin sheet aluminum.
**** WARNING ****
This knife cuts fingers easily, which can lead to a bloody mess.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL
The hot-glue gun allows quick assembly of HOP apparatus. The
gun melts a glue-stick into a liquid which solidifies and sticks when it
cools. Because it cools quickly, you must be confident about the placement
of glued parts and you must work rather rapidly. Although you will be using
a "low temperature" glue-gun, both the gun and the glue are in
fact quite hot, use caution. For practice with the knife and hot glue try
the nested boxes exercise
A ruler is necessary for measuring and for use as a straight
edge. A metal rule works best as a straight-edge, and a see-through plastic
ruler works well for measuring. You will usually measure distance in centimeters.
Remember 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters.
Although a compass is designed for drawing circles, it has a
sharp point which also makes a good hole punch. You can use this sharp point
for punching small holes in cardboard for pop-rivets, string, and wire.
Of course you can use it to draw circles.
For making good electrical connections you will use a soldering-iron
and solder. The iron melts metallic solder which coats and connects
copper electrical wires. Unlike the hot glue, solder and the soldering iron
are VERY HOT and can cause serious burns. To practice soldering, make a
pair of clip-leads.
Use a work-board for cutting and gluing. A piece of luan about
2 ft x 3 ft works well. If a work-board is not available, use pieces of scrap
cardboard. Do NOT cut directly on your desk or workbench.