Friday, December 27, 2013

Heavy on the nib creep from a Wing Sung 235 i took to work

Everyone has their unique "perfect" blend of fountain pens ready to go for particular occasions. 

i have simplified my catagories to:
at the desk (safe working environment),
at work (semi-safe working environment),
in the workshop (not safe one damn bit working environment).

safety in the above categories is toward my pens safety. although i suppose the way i go about projects the workshop may apply to both my pens and myself.

most of my work fountain pens need to be of the tougher variety. usually made of aluminum or brass and need to be able to take a knock. every now and then though i take a less than sturdy variety that i can use as a highlighter next to a computer or tethered to a clipboard. just to put some variety in the standards.

earlier this week i took a Wing Sung 235 to work as a highlighter.
this was the first time i had taken it to work.

heavy nib creep on a wing sung 235 fountain pen

heavy nib creep on a wing sung 235 fountain pen

 i had purchased some time this summer just for the hell of it (under $5). I wanted to see how a very inexpensive pen like this would hold up. The pen had somehow managed off the computer and onto my person.

jumping forward to this morning when i was sorting out my day, i saw this pen and opened it up.
needless to say it did not handle the knocking around very well at all. most pathetic was that day wasn't even a heavy physical day and the pen did this. 

despite the heavy build up in the feed, if i were to just wipe it off with a cloth then it would write fine. but a deep cleaning is in order and quite honestly am done with this experiment and will relegate this pen to a R.I.P. drawer. the pen preformed how i thought: poorly.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Line work and designs

Making a brief calm before the work week storm begins.

 sitting down and just focusing on some line work is usually all i need to adequately prepare for such a challenge. 
in this particular session, I started with some handmade paper that i formed from about 18 years ago. 
this cotton paper was made with a hollander beater and a proper press.  hollander beaters really are the best way to maximize the fiber fibrillation and get the strongest bond after sheet pressing.  this paper is workable with both dip pens and even some quick motion, linear fountain pen work at the very end. after saturating (and then letting dry) the cotton with different layers of pigmented ink, the paper can handle some looser ink like that from a fountain pen.

working on line work and some designs is a way to prepare for some less than desirable times
 by the time i have laid out the plaid (the first step in some line work), i am able to change my mind from a more disorganized free flowing mental state to a very directed thought process. 

the blood pressure drops and the mind's capabilities expand during this focused time.
 when finished with the design, i can then take this state to any challenge off the page.

another benefit of this type of "calming" process is that i get something tangible at the end. this object can be pulled out at anytime and reference my mind back to the focused state that my mind was in.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Similarities between my worn field notes and crows feet

The similarities between my worn "drink local" field notes
 crows feet. 

the field notes worn into crows feet

i am really pleased with how the stout aged. i would rank this as the most visually interesting when finished. the white lines were very pronounced and shot out from the binding like lightning bolts in the black of my beer.

i am ready to switch this stout edition with a "cold horizon" book.

switching from the field notes "drink local" edition to the "cold horizon"

hoping for some potential in the pages.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A perfect marriage: Kaweco AL Sport and my pliers holder

I think that everyone is (or should be) just a bit concerned as to what they carry on their person. 
each item should have a valued purpose and an equally heightened aesthetic level. this elevated concern for how something looks is not at all about vanity but rather a discerning view that stands firm on the notion that the looks should be as good as its performance. why in the hell should we sacrifice one for the other, we are better than that.

a perfect example of a lasting aesthetic-function marriage:
the last pliers sheath i made paired with a Kaweco AL Sport. they make a damn fine couple.

This particular fountain pen looks like it belongs on a workers belt.

it is compact = the pliers sheath is big enough. in fact it's smaller size draws attention to it.
machined from aluminum = it is tough and can take a beating without hurting the nib
screw cap = does a good job keeping dust and grit out.
faceted cap = aluminum is slick enough and the faceted sides of the cap when posted give it a grip. 

the octagonal cap is also a familiar feel as it relates so well to the handles i hang on my restored hammers.

feels good works even better!
everything about this pen is a win.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The value of the riffler when hanging a hatchet

Restoring a hatchet for a local and just wanted to promote the use of the riffler for those fine adjustments for the best possible fit.

this particular hewing hatchet is a good example of when the detailing end of a riffler becomes invaluable. that pointed lug can create a bit of a challenge when using bulkier tools.
 one can use a dremel but the riffler offers excellent control and does a better job of smoothing out the transition between the fitted area and the unfitted area (at least for myself)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Diamine sunset ink flush

Diamine Sunset is one of those brighter colors that works really well as a highlighter/underliner.

after a couple of weeks, with multiple fills, it is always a good time for a flush.

dissolve the old and the newly cleaned feed will flow better.

a quick note, that although to clean a fountain pen is a bit of work it is my NO means a chore.
i accept the task with a beer and a moment to relax.

i usually have a few work pens (3-4) going on at once.
getting the production line speeds up the process and justifies another one.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Saving the leather from an old stirrup bag

Along with the leather saddle bags i also acquired this leather stirrup bag that had some great stamping.
the bag itself is in pretty rough shape
the outer leather is nice.

an old stirrup bag to be readied for a future project
the stamping is very attractive
there has to be something that i can make from this skin.
the problem is that i am not sure what yet. a small hatchet sheath is the easy answer, but i would like to find something else. if anything just for the challenge of making something that i want/need but can keep as much of the tooling composition intact.

no matter what, it is important to prepare future material for use now. no need to wait until the thoughts come to mind for what this shall be used for. 
just get it conditioned now.

first i removed the suede liner. the threading of course is usually the first to go, but there are also cuts and discolouring in the suede. i will save for another project. right now i am only concerned with focusing on the full grain leather outer.

removing the inner suede lining from the leather stirrup bag
after the suede and the stitching is removed, i started the cleaning process.
first removing the dirt and grime with water and a very light amount of soap.
next some light coats of neatsfoot to condition the slightly dry leather.

the stirrup bag has been disassembled and the leather conditioned for future project.
the stamping is a keeper
this will do for now.
brainstorming begins for a project. if anything when the thoughts do come to mind then i will have the leather ready for use.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Small leather saddle bags as another winter project

A fool i am.

i have added another winter project on the list of to do's.

this is going to be a good one thought. 
when i go off to deer hunt i always get more than good times. i get caught up with good friends that i can only see once a year. i also bring back food and some other gems.

this time i was given some old leather saddle bags.

the leather is very pliable and will condition nicely. 
there is a bit of stitching i will need to do, but that is it.

the character on these bags are amazing.

projects like this one fit the space where i want to do sitting down work.
since this photo i have already cleaned the dirt off.
next will be to condition the leather and then do the stitching work.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Back and forth, this week it is dyeing craftsman axe sheath

I often follow common threads, but rarely is there a need to only prescribe to one aesthetic.

for tool leather i find myself going back and forth from letting the leather color naturally 
dyeing in the construction.

currently i am in the dyeing mode. one thing is for certain and that is dyed leather blends in better with the dirt and grime that it weathers through.

i have rehung my craftsman single bit and thought a new sheath was in order.
the dye has been applied before the rivets and snaps.
choosing to dye the sheath before rivets and snaps rather than going all natural.
i am looking forward to seeing the axe completely finished.
maybe by this weekend.