The previous method utilizes regular office hand hole punches of 1/4" and 1/8" diameters. With a drill, I now have access to 1/8" holes and alternatively, 1/16" with a hand modeling drill. The hand punches were limited to two or three layers of Magic: the Gathering cards before being rendered null and ineffective. Not to mention, they hurt like hell to grip and use on three layers of Magic cards. Thereby, I was forced to cut each layer, then glue them to form a rather ragged stack of cards. I was never fond of that, nor the end result that required further sanding to bring up to standards.
Another limitation of the cut-then-glue method was scissors. My 8-10 year old pair of scissors can only cut through 4 layers satisfactorily before that also starts hurting my hands. Fortunately, with the Dremel, I have a variety of implements of destruction to carve out chunks of card.
To test out and devise proper manufacturing methods involving Dremel cutting tools and Magic: the Gathering cards, I hereby present my results, in the rare occurrence that you may find yourself with the odd pairing of tool and material.
I've made a stack of Magic: the Plywood cards, each consisting of four layers of Tenth Edition cards I received as part of Wizards' promotion back in November. (Contrary to popular belief, I do not use land cards. They're more useful than junk commons.) My parts are 16 layers thick overall, with the thinnest section being 4 thick, hence the layer number. Using the template Hotaru is holding, I've etched the pieces onto the ply-card board and trimmed them off. Thicker sections require sanding and gluing two layers together.
Regarding Dremel use, I found sanding tool #430 to be great for making a radius of 4mm. I used the curve of the sanding tool to form the edges of the parts consisting of the elbow joint. Tool #407 works ok for 12mm diameter curves but needs some finishing with the #430 to get to spec. I found that if you try to sand off a stack 8 layers thick, the edge layers start to peel upwards, creating a non-parallel region that slightly affects performance. I therefore decided it was worth the effort to sand down parts 4 layers thick, double up, then redo the sanding.
It should be noted that the grinding/sanding/cutting process generates massive amounts of Magic: the Card Dust. I've coated my desk with a light layer of this dust as a result of my zealous grinding. Highly suggest doing this in a ventilated room or outside, lest you start breathing in Cloud Faerie fumes. A lot of people speculate that I'm usually on something to think of doing or making these things. I can say that this dust only causes lung cancer, not creative inspiration.
Regarding drilling holes, Being a laminate material, the drill pushing through tends to start deforming and pushing the last layer than cutting through due to the lack of support. For this reason, I used the following process to facilitate hole making:
- Drill a pilot hole using the 1/16" hand drill
- Use 1/8" tool at low speed and tap both sides of the material. This will eliminate the tearing that occurs at the end if you go straight through with the drill.
- Go halfway through with the Dremel until you break through at the center. This also helps reduce the errors created from bad hand positioning, such as non-perpendicularity.
While on the subject of zealously hacking off chunks of paper, I've done some minor remodeling to Hotaru's face. I've made her nose taller. She's always been looking a bit unusual, due to her head being a very early model. The nose or lack of a proper one, has bothered me for a while. She looks a bit older and more respectable now, hopefully.