made from crayons, trying to take a slightly scientific approach to what worked and what did not. Your own experiences may vary (and I'd like to hear them.)
- Using thin paper as the backing for the crayon was essential. I tried some 24# all-cotton stationery and some very heavy cardstock, and neither worked as well as the plain old 20# office white. Newsprint or vellum might work even better.
- Related to that, coloring on smooth paper on a hard surface was better than textured paper or an irregular surface. When I'm done coloring, there's no plain paper peeping through the wax.
- Baking the paper still seems to be the best way to truly get the wax smoothed out. I tried ironing a sheet between aluminum foil, but the impressions were faint and irregular. I'm still doing small pieces that fit in the toaster over (much faster than the main oven) and am baking at about 300° F for several minutes. This is a low enough temperature that the paper isn't burning, but I still didn't leave it alone. Solar-heating didn't work at all (hung paper from the clothesline on a 100+° day.) Crayon shavings pretty much require heating unless you want to pick them out of your typewriter later. (Not recommended.)
- Dark colors work best on white paper, duh. I did a sample with yellow, and it barely showed up. I don't have any good, dark paper around to test lighter colored crayons. (I did use yellow to blend in with other colors, though.)
- Crayon brand doesn't seem to make any difference. Washable crayons performed about the same as regular ones, though my own experience making recycled crayons has taught me that the originals melt the best.
- Stencil mode worked better than having the ribbon getting in the way. Of course, this means you're also "blind typing" (though see the note below.) This would be an interesting experiment to try on a standard machine designed to hammer through multiple pages. Anyone want to try this with a Selectric?
- Touch control may make a difference, but it's hard for me to tell when the T.C. affects my regular typing. A machine with very fast/hard action is bound to work better than a soft-touch machine, and better than a noiseless-style machine.