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Chapter 1. Introduction > ... for the Right Purpose - Pg. 24

Introduction . . . for the Right Purpose There are other approaches to material selection. It's immeasurably handy to know in advance what material works best for a given application. I do strongly advise you to start a list of material/specific task correlations that you find workable. Here's a list of generally useful materials I keep around the shop in varying quantities, and why: · Glove leather Linings. · Belt leather Straps, impact padding, feet, heavy gaskets, and seals. · Cork sheeting Insulation, noise abatement, gaskets, seals. · Craft foam sheets Heavy duty stencil material, insulation. · Threaded rod (a.k.a. "all-thread") Threaded steel rod in multiple dimensions is infinitely useful. · Craft felt Linings, nonscratch surfaces. Inner tubes Gaskets, air seals, diaphragms. new and effective material substitution. Yeah, I do probably need to get out more. Getting Stuff I'll flat-out admit it: I really love the thrill of the chase when it comes to raw materials. Most of my best pieces directly result from particularly evocative components I dig up at scrap yards, and I'm on a first-name basis with the staff of countless thrift shops and swap meet tables. Improvisational Fabrication requires a certain mindset when foraging for components. Once you've defined the subassembly mechanisms of the . . . er . . . thing you're building, start foraging for general mechanisms, rather than individual components. Hypothetically, if I set out sourcing, say, "airflow, a fluid reservoir, rotary motion, and mesh," I could come home at the end of the day with an RC car, a Todd Rundgren 45 record, a loaf pan, and a hair dryer.