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Clothespin Sources?


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#1 Langley

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:00 PM

Lately I've been using the ubiquitous Walmart clothespins with the convenient cavity that's perfect for cramming epoxy putty into, but I only have them because Beaver gave me a few of them when I was in Chicago last year. Around me, Walmart only sells wooden clothespins. Does anyone have a product number, SKU, or any information about the packaging? I was hoping to find them on Walmart's website so I could check for availability and maybe do a site-to-store order, but I haven't found them. I would really like to be able to add this info to the parts lists for write-ups.
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#2 koree

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:10 PM

I'm pretty sure it's these ones. But they seem to be in-store only.

http://www.walmart.c...5#ProductDetail
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#3 andtheherois

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:11 PM

The Walmart in North Brunswick has the droids you're looking for.
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#4 Ozymandias

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:14 PM

Grainger

Google Shopping results page

Might want to get some verification on that link first; some come with the standard hollow bit, some come like this.
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#5 Langley

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:25 PM

The Walmart in North Brunswick has the droids you're looking for.


Well shit. I've only been to the one in Edison and the one in Old Bridge. I just assumed they all must get the same stuff in this region. The next time I'm there I'll have to see if I can get an SKU or something.
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#6 PBZ

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:43 PM

As Koree linked, the droids you're looking for:
Sold at Walmart, store only item: SKU 035968123355
36 Pack of Industrial strength, non-rusting spring, weather-resistant construction, made in China, Distributed by Wal-mart Stores, Inc., plastic clothespins. Pack includes white, dark blue, and light blue.
The SKU takes you HERE when typed into the website.

Edited by PBZ, 26 August 2013 - 07:44 PM.

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#7 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:46 PM

I'm pretty sure it's these ones. But they seem to be in-store only.

http://www.walmart.c...5#ProductDetail


Close. That's one of two types that I've seen. The ones Langley are referring to are hollow on the back. These have a flat piece of plastic on the back, and an array of three structural beams on the inside. They're decent enough, but you can't fill them with epoxy putty as easily.
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#8 jamesandyori

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 10:22 PM

The Walmarts in my area have not carried them. But I did find that the Walmart grocery markets have been popping up and I found them there.

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#9 Naturalman7

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:00 PM

I've recently found the aforementioned plastic clothespins at my local walmart in the laundry section. Had two different size packs of wood pins and a set of plastic ones. Interesting enough, my walmart stocks clothespins both in the laundry and crafting sections.
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#10 Meaker VI

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 10:55 AM

I just use the wood ones. They seem to work fine if they drill successfully (sometimes they blow out when drilled), but at $0.10 or less each, some loss is acceptable. I think the ones I'm using now are bamboo, which isn't technically wood but it's close enough and these seem to be a better grain pattern than the wood ones I've seen/used. I should take a pic, but I've got a ghetto-GNS that uses a backwards clothespin and an angle bracket as the trigger and it works ok.

Really, my drive to find a new trigger type has dwindled a bit since I realized that clothespins are *so* cheap.
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#11 Carbon

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 02:58 PM

I've settled back on standard wood as well, because they don't need epoxy putty, work easily, are cheap, and truly are ubiquitous. It's worth noting that it really doesn't matter what kind of clothespin is used: damn near anything will work.

Personally, I've never been entirely fond of the big clothespins, partly because of the whole "fill them with epoxy putty" thing, and partly because it reinforces the idea that you need a "strong" clothespin.
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#12 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 03:18 PM

Personally, I've never been entirely fond of the big clothespins, partly because of the whole "fill them with epoxy putty" thing, and partly because it reinforces the idea that you need a "strong" clothespin.


I'm not fond of them either, I wish there were an alternative. They're the biggest stumbling block for new builders, and the main point of failure. There's gotta be something that's shaped like a PAS trigger with an integrated spring...
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#13 Langley

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 03:32 PM

Personally, I've never been entirely fond of the big clothespins, partly because of the whole "fill them with epoxy putty" thing, and partly because it reinforces the idea that you need a "strong" clothespin.


Carbon has gone into great detail as to why this is a stupid way of doing it, but I think he's full of shit. Who ya gonna believe, Carbon or Me?


It seems like there are two totally valid ways of getting a clothespin trigger to work.

EDIT: After re-reading Rork and Beaver's writeups, it looks like you're all actually doing pretty much the same thing and getting the nail to bear the force of the plunger. The only differences I'm seeing are that in some designs the nail braces against the stationary half of the clothespin more than a hole in the plunger tube, or the nail is aligned so that it can brace against the plunger tube even if the hole is larger. But it seems no properly built snap puts all of the strain against the moving half of the clothespin.

Double EDIT: Well now I'm totally fucking lost. I think I might have been right to start with.

  • Carbon Method: The clothespin does not bear the load of the compressed spring. The nail wedges between the catch face and the edge of a small snug hole in the plunger tube. When properly made, the strength of the clothespin is almost irrelevant, both in terms of the tensile strength of the clothespin and the force applied by the the clothespin's torsion spring. The nail may pivot in the clothespin to allow it to go straight into the hole in the plunger tube as the clothespin pivots open/closed.
  • Beaver Method(?): The clothespin must bear all of the force of the compressed spring. The nail should be glued firmly in place or held in with copious amounts of epoxy putty, which may also be used to reinforce the clothespin. The hole in the plunger tube should be large enough to accommodate the full range of motion of the nail as it swings back and forth with the clothespin.

Option 2 is a little more intuitive, but requires the clothespin to be really durable, powerful, and solidly attached. The only disadvantages to Option 1 are that it's a little less obvious how it works and requires some explanation, and it might result in a slightly stiffer trigger pull because the catch is basically clamping down on the nail. That's probably a step up from having the thing go off on it's own though, which I understand is a common problem with poorly constructed implementations of option 2.

Correct me if I'm wrong about any of this, I haven't really empirically tested these things, and I've only built a couple of pure SNAP style catches. When I built Dulcinea, I shot for option 2 and ended up with option 1 by accident somehow.
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#14 Naturalman7

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:39 PM

I've done a little bit of both "options" and have found that Carbon's is far superior in my opinion, not that it would matter.

It's faster and easier overall because there's no filling of clothespins with putty, but it also means that you have to take an extra measure to make sure the nail/bracket doesn't fall off due to them not being permanently affixed with putty. However, a basic zip-tied clothespin can slide towards the handle and causes the firing portion of the draw of the trigger to be more difficult because of the loss of leverage.

I've had roofing nails bend strangely under the force of option 2 as well.

However, with an overly short nail and small hole in the body, I've had nails frequently pop out of the hole and become very annoying to fix in the middle of a war. If the previous happens and the trigger is pulled slightly to either side at the same time, I've had the entire half of the clothespin detach and get lost in tall grass. On the flip side, a pivoting nail also makes the pull easier when the holes in the clothespin are larger because the nail has much less friction on it pushing on the PVC and wood. I've found that using either plastic or wood clothespins is just as easy. Not over securing the angle bracket to ensure that the nail has enough give in it to pivot freely makes the trigger pull easier, if it's a problem.

On my SNAPs that accidentally fired frequently I've found that the main cause was the combination of nails that were trimmed too short and holes in PVC drilled too large.

tl;dr

Pros
Easier build
Quicker build
Less stress on trigger parts
Less likely to fail
Pivoting nail makes trigger pull easy but not likely to self fire

Cons
Requires more adjustment to get working perfectly (but completely worth the time)

Edited by Naturalman7, 27 August 2013 - 05:40 PM.

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#15 Meaker VI

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:13 PM

I'm not fond of them either, I wish there were an alternative. They're the biggest stumbling block for new builders, and the main point of failure. There's gotta be something that's shaped like a PAS trigger with an integrated spring...


Closest thing I've found is a Cabinet Latch, but I haven't been able to get them at my local stores (despite them listing them online, maybe I'll look again).

I agree with the sentiment, I'd love to find a good looking, functioning, cheap, and easy to use part that functions as a trigger, but I'm not sure such a thing exists.
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#16 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:58 PM


Carbon Method
: The clothespin does not bear the load of the compressed spring. The nail wedges between the catch face and the edge of a small snug hole in the plunger tube. When properly made, the strength of the clothespin is almost irrelevant, both in terms of the tensile strength of the clothespin and the force applied by the the clothespin's torsion spring. The nail may pivot in the clothespin to allow it to go straight into the hole in the plunger tube as the clothespin pivots open/closed.

Beaver Method
(?): The clothespin must bear all of the force of the compressed spring. The nail should be glued firmly in place or held in with copious amounts of epoxy putty, which may also be used to reinforce the clothespin. The hole in the plunger tube should be large enough to accommodate the full range of motion of the nail as it swings back and forth with the clothespin.


You got it.
Since Carbon is too much of a socialist hippy to shop at American stores like Walmart, he has to fall back on the method that works with weak, girly clothespins. My method uses the awesome power of American Made Clothespins and Lots Of Epoxy Putty to catch the plunger using brute force alone. Clearly superior.
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#17 Langley

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:40 PM

You got it.
Since Carbon is too much of a socialist hippy to shop at American stores like Walmart, he has to fall back on the method that works with weak, girly clothespins. My method uses the awesome power of American Made Clothespins and Lots Of Epoxy Putty to catch the plunger using brute force alone. Clearly superior.


Okay. Well based on that, I think most new nerfers would have a much easier time building these things and troubleshooting them if they at least new which type of trigger they're building. So if you're having issues EITHER your clothespin/nail needs to be stronger and more securely attached, OR the hole in your plunger tube needs to be smaller and your nail needs to be able to pivot. They seem to be pretty interchangeable otherwise.
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