Creaturiste's Laboratory

Techniques, works in progress, and everything that doesn't fit in the portfolio. Comments and questions are encouraged, custom orders are welcome!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Easy Curtains

For at least a year, I've had a real theater black curtain (100% cotton, velour finish on one side, very thick) hanging to separate my bedroom from my studio space. It's been great as a backdrop for photographing my creations, when doing webcam meetings, and a great relief as a blocker from the street light when sleeping (I live on a busy avenue).
It also cuts a bit of sound.

As useful as it was, it was slowly driving me nuts, due to the inefficiency of the sliding "mechanism".
There's one thing about focusing on the most important stuff, but small tiny annoyances can build up! My curtains themselves were ok. The "hooks" were simply loops of nylon webbing (backpack straps) I had machine sewn on top of the curtains. For the pole, I had taped two broomsticks together, using a piece of pipe to join them. Friction on the pole, and especially at the link, was too much, forcing me to stand on a bench each night and each morning to open and close by hand.
Today, at the hardware store for puppet making supplies, I realized it was about time I fixed this.
So I did. I bought a long piece of CPVC pipe (it's blue-grey, and denser-stiffer than the yellow PVC). At less than 5$, the price was right!
Back at home, I made some wooden washers to space the pipes from the wall.
To make the washers, I just pierced a deep hole at one end of a fat dowel.
I then sliced it in three spacers.
I then pre-pierced wide holes at both extremities and center of the pole, but only piercing one side, not going through. The holes were big enough for the head of the long wood screws I would be using. Then pierced the smaller holes to fit tightly around the screw thread.
Then I slid the curtains on the pole. Then I placed my spacers between wall and pipe, and screwed everything in place. It would have been much easier with a helper, but I managed by having the screws hold the pole on the other end while I was working my way towards it.
Now, the nylon webbing curtain hooks slide easily on the smooth pole.
It's a dream, by comparison! It's not as nice as a "real" system with pulleys and rope, but it does the job for what I need it for.

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