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For a child - the visual marvels inside a kaleidoscope.

A mirrored triangular tunnel--that's all a kaleidoscope is. But the images it creates are magical, turning the most mundane subjects into arresting geometric patterns. We made this kaleidoscope from just $4 worth of ready-made parts and small scrap pieces available at plastics stores (look in the yellow pages under Plastics). If the store will do the cutting, all you'll have to do is cement the pieces together. Otherwise, use a saw with a fine blade.

The housing is a 10-inch-length of 1/8-inch-thick clear acrylic tubing with an inside diameter of 1-1/4 inches. At one end, affix a 1/8-inch-thick, 1-1/4-inch-diameter clear plastic disk using acrylic cement.

Three strips of 1/8-inch-thick mirrored acrylic, each cut to 1 inch wide by 9-5/8 inches long, will form a three-sided prism shape (a prismoid) that should fit snugly inside the tube. If fit is loose, apply a little cement on the edges that will touch the interior tube walls, then slide in the strips until they butt against the disk.

On the other end of the tube, glue a 1-1/-inch clear solid plastic sphere to act as a refractor lens.

Other options you could try include forming a chamber between two more of the disks with a little longer tube. The space between the disks could hold anything from confetti or colored crystals to tiny seashells; these objects then become the focus for the kaleidoscope.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1984
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