Post by roaring20s on May 19, 2010 20:30:15 GMT -6
Here is something to build upon. Some collected data about Cactus Needles.
.................... 3victrolas has provided these packet examples for Cactus Needles.
.................... barnettrp21122 has provided a fluff filled sales sheet from Kacti brand. At the end it talking about Humidity. It sounds as if the Chemical treatment of a Tropical Gum mixture is remove moisture to an extent and a Varnish or "Curing Shellac" coats and adds hardness. Hot sun is suggested for drying needles that may have been exposed to humidity.
.................... gramophone harvests some from ordinary cactus when he visits Mexico.
.................... DonIV has provided a marvelous find. I'm not sure that he knew it. The link to a Popular Mechanics issue with an article on Bamboo needles also contained an article about Cactus needles!
For those of you with dial-up, here it is... This is from Google Books and Popular Mechanics, November 1923, Vol. 40, No. 5, Page 685
I've tried the Fishhook Barrel needles, but I prefer the needles from the Saguaro. Besides, that's the cactus shown on the Duotone and Philharmonic packages, although that doesn't necessarily prove that's what was used.
You don't use the natural points, but chop them off and grind them. I mount the needle in the chuck of my power drill and grind them against a piece of sandpaper to get the basic shape. Then I finish up with a needle sharpener.
Here are some photos taken in my yard. The Saguaros are in bloom right now.
Since these plants are a protected species, I am unable to share any needles with fellow board members.
Post by roaring20s on May 22, 2010 23:22:17 GMT -6
AZ, I found the thicker Barrel Cactus produces louder sound than the Saguaro. The Saguaro needle is fine too.
While those two packets show a Saguaro, I have not found any information yet to substantiate a correlation between the 'logo' and the product. Again, if anyone knows of an informational source, please post it.
Great photos! The bloom is our state's flower.
............................ barnettrp21122 has sent me a sample of an Old Stock cactus needle and I have tried it. It works fine. In return I have sent him some Barrel cactus samples to try. Bob, since you have used these longer your ear is tuned to it. Please compare the old treated stock against the fresh samples sent and add your note to this thread.
............................. DonIV the photo of the pointer is a great addition. Did you recall knowing about this article? What a coincidence!
Last Edit: Jun 20, 2011 0:36:12 GMT -6 by roaring20s
Post by barnettrp21122 on Jun 22, 2011 18:34:21 GMT -6
Thanks, James, for posting this. I have a Red Top circular needle sharpener that I can use with a cordless electric drill to quickly shape unsharpened thorns. The Peter Grey or Decca sharpeners are similar to this. I unscrewed the top red handle, found a machine screw and a tightening nut to fit in its place, and connected this to a variable-speed drill chuck. After inserting a thorn in the sharpener you can run the drill at a rather fast speed to form the needle point on the round emory disk. It's pretty slick! Bob
Post by roaring20s on Jun 23, 2011 23:43:36 GMT -6
Bob, that is very slick!
Here is a funny story... I went to my local cactus nursery (this is Tucson, AZ) in search of information. Naturally, I brought along the sharpener. The folks here are very friendly and humored me. As I was discussing this and showing an old-timer the sharpener, another employee passed by and wondered what it was. The old-timer turned and said, "This fellow doesn't think cactus needles are sharp enough and that thing sharpens them".
Post by roaring20s on Oct 30, 2011 21:12:10 GMT -6
Member xcaptbill sent me a sample of a steel needle called Beltone. The only information I found was that they also offered cactus needle. The steel needle packet claims 12 to 15 plays from a single needle. I would only ever use one per play. The graphic design of the package looks to be about 1950. Anyway, it's a thin needle and surprisingly loud. I played it in comparison to a medium steel needle and it was slightly louder with its thinner point.
Now to the point for this thread.
I wondered if the shape of the needle would increase the volume of a cactus needle any. It only took about 10 minutes to set-up the drill and fashion a point mimicking the Beltone's shape.
After shooting the above comparison photo I needed to make the thicker part a bit thinner to fit the reproducer below.
I tested it on a loud, clear, 1941, E+ record. The result was no difference in volume to a medium cactus needle.
I now have a cool looking handmade needle, that's all. ;D
Post by barnettrp21122 on Oct 31, 2011 7:23:50 GMT -6
Nice closeup picture, James! The needle's a miniature work of art! How do you get the needle shaft so rounded..a lathe or something? Are these barrel cactus thorns? I find the best needles are the ones that are thick as possible the entire length, just able to fit in the reproducer and sharpener chucks. Thanks for you continued research! Bob
Post by roaring20s on Oct 31, 2011 15:39:19 GMT -6
To make this particular needle, I place a drill in a vice and the barrel cactus thorn in the drill. Then to shape it, a fine toothed wood rasp, a coarse metal file, along with an emory file were used as it spun. You can call it a makeshift lathe.
I use the pictured needle pointer for making what I use.
James, that came out pretty nice. At least now you know if your theory regarding the shape made any differece. I think I'll use your makeshift lathe method to shape the Bamboo neddles to fit my round reproducer on the Grafonola.
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