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  • Static Grass Applicator

    I got a thought to make one of these things the other day and now it is finished. It should work fine as it makes a very strong spark. I have no static grass yet nor do I have a place that needs static grass applied. But when I do, I will have the tool. Fun little project and minimal cost.

    Plastic handle is a piece of gray electrical conduit with 1 1/2 inch inner diameter. Free The end cap is pretty obvious.
    Static ion generator from e-bay around $10
    Two 9 volt batteries wired for 9 volts with 2 of those snap on wire connectors. About $11 for Duracell batteries
    Plastic cup with screw on lid to hold static grass, 2 for $1 at the dollar store.
    Nylon 1/4 - 20 screw and nut, around $1.50 at Lowes.
    On/off push button switch about $1.50 for three on Amazon.
    Other parts from my "junk" pile.

    The red wire from the generator is soldered to a brass washer with a larger fender washer behind it. The nylon screw is inserted from the top and the nylon nut holds the whole thing together. According to Mr DCC on YouTube, he was advised that this setup with the washer in the top as opposed to the red wire being attached to the screen, is supposed to work
    more efficiently. Kinda makes sense because the static grass is now between the generator terminals.

    I may order some static grass next week and just try it on a piece of cardboard. I will post my results when that happens.

    Take care....John

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    GULF COAST & WESTERN


  • #2
    Nice going John. I like the fact you made one using the Static ion generator. I made one using a fly swatter, and although it works fine for my needs, I always wanted to try again making one with the ion generator. I believe you will be very happy with what you have made-up. I also like your use of container for the grass chamber. Well done John!
    See my how-to here; "Make a static grass applicator with an electric fly swatter" https://railroad-line.com/node/20118


    Louis L&R Western Railroad
    Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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    • #3
      Thanks Louis......I have a couple of those fly swatters around my garage somewhere but just never moved forward with converting them. I even bought a couple of wire mesh strainers to use. I guess I'll use the strainers in the kitchen now.
      The other applicators I have seen like the one I copied only use one 9 volt battery. I am hoping using 2 batteries will give this thing a little more "sting". I think Luke Towan (spelling?) set his applicator up to use a 12 volt wall wart power supply, but I didn't want to have to deal with a power cord all the time.
      I have some store credit with Trainworld so I think I will order some "grass" from them early next week.

      Take care....John

      GULF COAST & WESTERN

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      • #4
        That looks interesting, John. I did less research, mostly the fly swatter units and made a snap decision and bought Woodland Scenics’ device, used it once and it’s sitting waiting for a project. The concept is interesting and the results, if you really let the staticky (new word?, passed spell check so it must be ok) action hold the ‘grass’ erect. I’ve seen layouts where the grass isn’t as UPstanding as it could be defeating the whole concept. Using different lengths and color shades can really “spark” the presentation…

        Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

        Cedar Swamp
        SW of Manistique, MI

        AVATAR Image stolen from Model Train Stuff advertisement in my e-mail

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        • #5
          For such a static subject this is moving right along….
          Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

          Cedar Swamp
          SW of Manistique, MI

          AVATAR Image stolen from Model Train Stuff advertisement in my e-mail

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          • john_holt
            john_holt commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks Karl for your "shocking" comment.

        • #6
          John while you are waiting for your static grass, you can play with making your own static grass using hemp rope.
          The process is cutting small bits of hemp rope into a bowl, then run those cut pieces through an old coffee grinder. If you want to color the grass you can, like we used to color sawdust for scenery. Once the hemp rope is cut and colored, it works like the commercial static grass.


          Louis L&R Western Railroad
          Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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          • #7
            John,

            Thanks for posting this. I have always wanted to make one, and have looked at some DIY static applicators.
            Yours seems that most doable(practical for off the shelf).
            I am going to build one!
            Thanks,
            Scott

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            • #8
              I got the inspiration for my SGA from Larry Puckett, The DCC Guy. I think I referenced Mr. DCC in my original post.
              His YouTube build is at ...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h2N...delRailroading
              Episode #166. New More Powerful DIY Static Grass Applicator Pt 2
              I modified my applicator from his, making it a bit easier to build. He shows using his applicator with the positive terminal mounted in the top of the cup as opposed to being attached to the screen wire. Folks may want to view his video as "more food for thought" before jumping right in.
              The unit I made will not win any presentation awards but it should work.

              Thanks for all the comments......John

              GULF COAST & WESTERN

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