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Hints and Tips #23: Uses for Those Plastic Cards

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 03-06-2016 01:11 AM 931 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 22: Wandering Bandsaw Part 23 of Hints and Tips series Part 24: Another use for those plastic cards »

We seem to get a lot of those plastic cards that just get thrown away after they’ve been used. Whether it’s old gift cards or those ‘fake’ credit cards that American Express sends out, I’ve been looking for ways to at least use them for something before chucking them in the trash. With 3 of us using tracfones, we get a steady diet of the refill cards as well.

[Below] Mainly I use mine to mix epoxy on or to hold a small pool of wood glue for those surgical applications on small projects. Some of the cards are actually cardboard, but the plastic ones can be reused. The dried glue will often fall off if the card is flexed several times

[Below] I also use them to spread glue on larger surfaces. If you cut the edge of the card with pinking shears, you can make a metering edge as well. I just use the smooth edge as a spreader.

[Below] The larger ones, like the refill cards from tracfone can be used as zero clearance inserts for your band saw. I haven’t tried yet, but I suppose it would work similarly for the scroll saw.

Two uses that are not pictured are that you can use them as ‘gentle’ scrapers for removing labels on plywood sheets. Just wet the label with some kind of solvents, wait a minute and scrape away. Plastic won’t scratch most woods.

The last thing I use these cards for is to scrape light frost off the windows of my car. The flexibility of the card conforms better to the curved glass of a car better than a hard plastic ice scraper.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!



9 comments so far

View Pimzedd's profile

Pimzedd

562 posts in 3266 days


#1 posted 03-06-2016 02:39 AM

Good blog. I traveled some up until last year. I kept the magnetic strip room keys. Some say they have some of your information encoded on them and that you should keep them. Didn’t make any difference to me. I just wanted them for glue spreaders!

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View NormG's profile (online now)

NormG

5506 posts in 2466 days


#2 posted 03-06-2016 05:16 AM

What a great idea, so many uses for these items in the shop, thank you

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8740 posts in 1302 days


#3 posted 03-06-2016 06:19 AM

Oh so timely, Dave! I broke a scroll project today because of the too big clearance hole! Fortunately, it was only one letter that I can easily redo tomorrow, AFTER I make a ZCI!
Thanks for sharing!

-- God bless, Candy

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2373 posts in 1653 days


#4 posted 03-06-2016 01:57 PM

I much agree with you on this Dave, I have a small box of these cards, used mainly as shims. They are just the right thickness for installing inset doors, and one of these cut to about 1” wide makes a good tool for cleaning out the shavings in hand planes without effecting the blade’s edge. The uses are many, and as you say – they’re free.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View kepy's profile

kepy

292 posts in 1736 days


#5 posted 03-06-2016 03:34 PM

They also work to check that your scrollsaw blade is square to the table.

-- Kepy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1651 days


#6 posted 03-06-2016 05:17 PM



Oh so timely, Dave! I broke a scroll project today because of the too big clearance hole! Fortunately, it was only one letter that I can easily redo tomorrow, AFTER I make a ZCI!
Thanks for sharing!

- CFrye

I broke my first official scroll saw blade recently. I’m still trying to turn too quickly. Glad to have helped.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1651 days


#7 posted 03-06-2016 05:18 PM



They also work to check that your scrollsaw blade is square to the table.

- kepy

I never would have thought to use one as a square! Thanks!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1651 days


#8 posted 03-06-2016 05:24 PM



Good blog. I traveled some up until last year. I kept the magnetic strip room keys. Some say they have some of your information encoded on them and that you should keep them. Didn t make any difference to me. I just wanted them for glue spreaders!

- Pimzedd

My main source is gift cards to our grocery store. Our church sells them at a 5% profit. (it’s a arrangement with the store. We pay face value, but the church gets them at a 5% discount.) Easy fundraiser.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8246 posts in 2891 days


#9 posted 03-06-2016 07:04 PM

The ZCI is a great idea. For a glue spreader, borrow your wife’s pinking shears and cut the card.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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