Suggestions to Preston Briggs
This site was last updated on February 15, 2008.
Here's how Pat Willcox produces streamers.
This is the material to mass-produce streamers: plastic tablecloth, 57" wide by 107" long. Black and orange seem to be the best colors.
The stick is some trim stock from lumberyard. Eight cloths with colors alternating are stapled to the stick and then rolled into a log. The log is marked every 2" or every 1-1/8" as needed (depends on the desired width of streamers). Notice the large bag of rubber bands. Every two inches, a rubber band is applied to keep the roll intact after being cut on the band saw. Look closely and you'll notice a roll of eight streamers is on the table.
I made these pictures after I had finished this batch so the band saw steps are not included. I made a special sliding table cross-cut jig for repetitive and accurate cuts. More pictures later when I do next batch. The hand drill is mounted on a Black and Decker bracket. I adjusted the variable speed to be slow enough to wind streamers around the 3/8" dowel rod, which has been sliced in the middle to allow easy insertion of a streamer. I placed a rubber band around the drill trigger to make it run when I turn on the remote switch where the drill is plugged into a multiple-outlet plug bar.
This is the step required to separate the eight streamers. When you cut the rolls, the streamers will be slightly adhered together due to the melting from the sawing. It is very labor intensive to separate the rolls. I made a jig from 2" x 2" stock with a series of rods placed with one inch spacing. By pulling this all through the jig you now do an easy separation (versus my old manual method).
This is the winding up of the streamers. My on/off switch is at the table edge. This batch of streamers I did not do the string. When doing the sting it winds streamer and sting nicely but this involves several steps which I will show at a later project. After the winding is complete, I slide the streamer off and apply a rubber band. (The ladder in the picture allowed me to position myself for the overhead camera shot above).
From start to finish, it took me about four hours to do this 200+ batch. When I did the last log of F2D by the rulebook, specialized streamers complete with taped and hole-punched ends and string tied, it took me several days. This has been very successful. The 1-1/8" streamers that are for F2D are actually excellent for fast and I prefer them to the AMA regulation required 2" width.