Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Revenge of the Cobweb Machine

Last year I wrote about my homemade cobweb machine, but unfortunately wasn't able to properly demonstrate what it could do since my can of ancient cobweb fluid had dried out. If you haven't read my original post you can click here to read it if you wish.

Surprisingly that little post of mine has turned into one of my most popular pages. So to kick off the Halloween season I thought I should revisit my machine, and hopefully really show what it can do.

Since professional cobweb fluid those big shot Hollywood types use is essentially thinned rubber cement, I had the idea why don't I try using plain old rubber cement in the cobweb machine.

I bought a 4 oz jar of regular and readily available rubber cement at Home Depot for $2.19. Poured about half of it into my web machine, and let the machine loose on a old garden lattice.

It worked great! As you can see from the above picture I got very good coverage, and even managed to bridge the gap between the garden lattice and the step ladders I used to support it.

At first glance the webs look almost perfect, but on closer inspection I found a minor flaw.

If you carefully examine the picture above you'll notice little drops of rubber cement throughout the web. Maybe most people wouldn't notice this, but I thought I could do better.

Another flaw I found was with my machine itself. You see that threaded rod sticking out almost four inches from the top. The webbing was getting caught on it, but that's nothing a few minutes with a hacksaw wouldn't fix. I sawed the rod off flush with the top of the wing nut.

Next I mixed the the remaining rubber cement with some thinner. I didn't measure at all, but I'd say I had about 40% thinner to 60% rubber cement mixture. Also if you're keeping an eye on cost, my 16 oz can of thinner was purchased years ago at Michels for $7.25.

Again, I filled my machine, and let it do it's thing. I got some very nice and delicate webs.

A wasn't able to rid the webs of droplets completely, but I do believe they were much smaller and less noticeable.

So the you have it. Both regular rubber cement and thinned rubber cement will make excellent realistic spider webs. Well, spider webs that look like they we made by spiders used in those famous drug experiments.

I checked online, and a pint of professional web fluid was going for around $20. If cost is a big concern you might be able to come out ahead my mixing your own fluid. But frankly, if I were you I think might just buy a can of the professional stuff to save me the chore of mixing my own.

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