A lot of these items can be sourced more cheaply
Knowing that these things exist
is one important benefit of the site. If a fellow ever
knew what might come in handy later, that would
cut down on the reading and recollecting. But you
Just the other week I found use for a glass that can
vary between completely clear and opaque by the
application of a charge. Somehow that stuck in the
deep memory hole. If it can be had at a right price
justifiable to the project, it will materialize.
I think this would be really spendy and can't clue
you on a source, though searching would.
But try a visual search of ("stingray skin"
OR "ray skin") "samurai sword" and you
should see the pebbled material peeking
out between handle wrapping. It was also
used for decorative effect in Japanese armor.
sources are much cheaper. For example Edmund Sci
has liquid crystal sheets 12x12 for $24.95 instead of
6x6 for $20.79.
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