Craft Tools We Use and Why


1. Wood skewers & Lollipop sticks
The assembly instruction explains how to adjust wood skewers or lollipop sticks in multiple places to connect various parts.
A bag of 100 wood sticks costs $1 – $2 from supermarkets or craft stores such as Michaels. You can also use lollipop sticks.
There’s no dramatic difference between wood skewers and lollipop sticks, but if you happen to have both options, we suggest wood skewers. First, they’re cheaper. Lollipop sticks costs twice as much as wood skewers. Second, the sharp point of the skewer helps punching a hole through cardboard and passing through holes during assembly.
You’ll want to check the diameter of the sticks. As long as they are within 3-4mm ( ⅛” for you Americans), you’ll be fine. Some skewers or lollipop sticks have bigger diameters which are 5mm+. In that case, you may need to enlarge the holes in the parts we provide.

2. Cutters
2A. Knife cutter: Any type of knife cutter is okay as long as it’s comfortable for you to hold. Do check the sharpness of blades regularly and replace dull blades. A dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one, because you’ll need to press harder, and then it can slip and hurt you.
2B. Small wire cutter: A wire cutter is good for cutting skewers.
2C. Scissor: Scissors are a safer alternative for both a knife cutter and a wire cutter although they are not ideal. We provide individual scissors in workshops with younger students and limit the number of knife cutters and wire cutters to make sure that students use them under supervision.

3. Adhesives
3A. Hot glue (glue gun with glue sticks): our tutorials use hot glue as the adhesive. A dual-temperature glue gun will help you avoid messing up a desk while not using it.  A liquid wood glue (like Titebond) creates firm and flat adhesion for layering pieces of mat board – this is useful if you find that hot glue is too “bumpy”.  Some of our team’s other favorite glue options include Turbo Tacky (a quick-grab tacky craft glue) and Elmer’s Craft Bond (not school glue or all-purpose glue).
3B. Duct tape: Duct tape is used for attaching a servo motor to a case part.
3C. Double-sided tape: Double-sided tape is used to set paper linkages by attaching overlapped parts.

4. Ruler
A long (at least 30cm or 18”) ruler is good to have. We use rulers mostly for cutting, so a metal (aluminum or stainless steel) ruler is best, especially for beginners, as plastic rulers can be cut.

5. Small screwdriver
The connection of a gear to a servomotor can be weak. Adding a small screw from the servo motor package can strengthen it.

6. Round hand punches
These are for assembling open-close linkages. One is for a small hole to fasten a wood skewer (the diameter is generally 3-4mm) tightly, so the diameter of the punch must be around 3mm (3/32” or 7/64”). The other is for a big hole for a skewer to pass through without friction: It can be 5~7mm (¼”).

7. Cutting mat
To avoid messing up desks while cutting…

Example products can be found here:
1 (skewers), 2A (knife cutter), 2B (small wire cutter), 2C (scissor), 3A (glue gun), 3B (duct tape), 3C (double-sided tape), 4 (ruler), 5 (small screw driver), 6 (round hand punch), 7 (cutting mat)