Mother Flocker!

Back in December, I was trying to come up with a cheap method of making tall grasses in my scenery. I tried the auto carpet route, but as Steve told me, "The only thing that sticks to auto carpeting is dog vomit and Milk Duds." That made attaching bushes a little tough, though I enjoyed the Milk Duds, especially with a bowl of popcorn.

I remained envious of the results that Bernd had with a very expensive electrostatic flocker (click on the barn for an up-close look), but I had a hard time spending $120 or so on the device. Bernd uses a blend of three different types of electrostatic grass from German manufacturer HEKI: Sommerwiese (Heki 3360), Winterboden (Heki 3363) and Wildgras (Heki 3367). He says the fibers of the first two are about 3mm long, the Wildgras is about 5mm long.

A Google search came up with an alternative to electrostatic applicators for half that price, but I'm a tight-wad, and convinced myself that I could make something at home.

Ignoring the sickly color of my sample flock at right, my home-built device worked fantastically and it only cost $20 for the parts. I'm sure someone with a decent scrap box could cut the cost even more. Make sure you click on the photo below for a good look at the parts list.

One of the things I like about my flocker is that the cup is translucent so I can see how much static grass is left. Make sure you don't go over 25 PSI and keep the nozzle about ten to twelve inches from the surface. I would also recommend that you keep the air intake centered, and the outlet off-center, that way the fibers swirl around and ultimately line up for the trip down the tube and into the glue. Assembly should be self-explanatory, and I wouldn't bother with any teflon tape because of the low pressures. I also wouldn't skimp on the plastic cup, I liked the EZ Touch-Up Cup because it had lots of deep threads to hang on when pressurized (just cut off the brush with a hacksaw). NOTE: please see the design improvement here.

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