The Kaleidoscope Book

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I bought this book yesterday at my local stained glass supply shop. They actually have a zillion little ‘gifts’ and decorations, but that’s not what interests me. My money usually goes for the colored glass. Yesterday, I bought a book, The Kaleidoscope Book.

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I’d like to try out a few of the ideas in the book. I love wood, too, so I’d especially like to make a kaleidoscope with a wooden exterior. And, there’s a neat one for kids that’s on a platform (it’s BIG!). You make the mirror-tube out of PVC pipe (and, decorate it, of course). The turning objects are on a lazy-Susan (the type you’d use for spices or other small items in a kitchen cabinet). And, there’s a scope of stained glass that’s on legs and points straight down (you just turn a ball of blown glass at the end of it).

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One safety issue they mention at the end of the book is very important! This author says you absolutely MUST use plexiglass for the clear cover on the end where you put your eyes. I knew you had to cover it, in order to keep it dust-free inside and to avoid eye injury. But, he says you must use plastic for the clear piece where the eyes are, because sometimes people drop scopes and don’t tell anyone. That could result in a devastating eye injury if the next person holds it up to his or her eye and small fragments of glass fall out and onto the surface of the eye. Point taken!!! I will soon be looking for a source for plexiglass and a safe and effective method for cutting it. (I’m glad I’m still at the beginning of my kaleidoscope-making and have not let the ones with glass eye-covers out of my sight. At least, I know who to call to recall the one I gave as a gift, so I can change it to the safer design.)

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