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See the General Chapter for more instructions, hints, tips, and ideas.

Many projects described here need a method of attaching the project to a neckerchief. What works best is PVC pipe. It is easy to find in large quantities, easy to work, and inexpensive. PVC pipe is used for sprinkler systems and other plumbing projects. It can be found in stores that sell home repair or plumbing supplies. Ten-foot lengths cost one to two dollars (less than a penny a ring). The two sizes most commonly used for projects in this book are called half inch and three-quarter inch by the industry. The half-inch (upper left in photo below) has a 3/4" diameter hole and the three-quarter (upper right in photo below) has a 7/8" diameter hole.

Various PVC sizes and shapes

Consider which size to use on each project. Use three-quarter inch for projects where something else is going to be inside the ring like in the plaster molds. In other projects, the slide may be fastened to the ring with leather or a screw, both of which take up room inside the ring. Also consider the thickness of the neckerchief material, size of the hem, and the weight of the slide. Some neckerchiefs are made of a thin material where a half-inch PVC ring embedded in plaster works well, and a three-quarter inch ring allows the slide to fall off the neckerchief. Some slides are very light weight (the wooden carved paddle), and others (the squirt) are hefty. Experiment and see what works best for you.

To make the ring for the slide, one of the most efficient method is to use a small PVC pipe cutter. These can be found in the plumbing department usually next to the PVC pipe. The cut is nice and neat - no need for sanding. They are like ratcheting scissors. They are like scissors that ratchet as you squeeze them. Several squeezes are necessary to cut through the PVC pipe. Twisting the PVC pipe helps it cut easier. Take it easy and don't try to go too fast or the tubing will shatter.

PVC cutter

Make rings in a variety of lengths to accommodate the different slide weights. An eighth of an inch to an inch long (with most being in the quarter to half-inch range) should work for most projects. Hot glue seems to work well to attach PVC rings to slides. Roughen up the ring and project with sandpaper or on concrete will help the glue hold better.

Another hint is to make the ring into a "D" shape (lower left in photo above). This will allow more contact area between the slide and the ring so the glue will hold better.

It is quite easy to shape the rings by heating some water in a saucepan until it is almost boiling. Place the rings in the water. Remove them with tongs or pliers and hold in the desired shape for a couple seconds while it cools. The rings come out more oval shaped than "D" shaped. Another advantage is that if you don't like the shape, just put it back in the boiling water and it will go back to its original shaperound.

Another variation of the "D" ring looks more like a heart (lower right in photo above). To make it, squeeze the sides of the ring together as it is cooling. This will cause a little dimple to form in the ring making it look like a heart. This shape is ideal for attaching to sticks like in the eye of God slide. A simple way to get just the right shape is to push the softened ring directly onto the object to which you are going to attach it. You will still have to sand the ring to roughen it up and hot glue it, but it should be an excellent fit and hold tight.

Tubing like hose for watering the yard can also be used. This can be cut with a sharp knife.

Chinelles (pipe cleaners) are also very good to use. Their advantage is that glue will stick to them very well and they don't slide off a neckerchief as easily as PVC plastic does.

Wire and leather can also be used to make rings.

The ring left on plastic drink bottles can also be used. It takes some effort to pry it off. Because of the limited quantity, you have to plan well in advance or get a lot of families collecting for you.

Wood can also be used to make a nice ring. Start with a 1 1/8" square block of wood (round is too hard to hold for drilling). Cut it into 1/2" lengths. Then drill a 3/4" hole in the center of it. You can round the corners if you want. These look very nice on a carved wooden slide.

A PVC ring can be glued inside a film canister or other larger diameter tube to make it fit tighter. On the other hand, some slide materials like leather and rope sometimes have too much of a grip on the neckerchief material. In this case, a PVC ring can be glued inside the loop to make it slide on and off more easily.

Rings can be attached to projects using hot glue or E-6000™. Another suggestion is to use double sided sticky back tape. I tried Scotch Exterior Mounting Tape (it is advertised as "super strong") and it seemed to work well. Thanks to Greg Walters for this suggestion!

Copyright © 2001 Vincent Hale