Friday, February 28, 2014

True temper kelly works flint edge rubbing with a dixon no. 361 graphite stick and then some running images

I was having too much damn fun restoring that Kelly single bit with the "best made axe" graphic.

i frequently take photos of the tools i work on as remembrances and this time i though i would add another facet to such recording:
first, i went on to exercise the Dixon No. 361 graphite stick in a rubbing.
(side note: i have always been a fan of old tombstone rubbings)
the ghostly image on the tomoe river paper seems to relate well to the age and physical appearances of this tool.

after this rubbing i though that maybe i should find a way to include some other pen work into the tool restoration. i quickly made a test sketch and decided to make a short running image of it. this is a bit immature but wanted to show the process of putting together an idea.

after completing this test i had a number of ways to improve.

i am fairly confident that i will be expanding on this tangent.

True temper kelly works flint edge with graphics

Was presented with an excellent single kelly flint edge and a hewing hatchet from a local for restoring.
both tools have excellent steel and are a pleasure to work with. the single bit has not been used much but the edge was treated pretty poorly.  the image below was after initial reshaping. this included hand filing the chips out and some cheek reduction. 
true temper kelly works flint edge and a hewing hatchet initial shaping finished

there is stamping on both sides of single bit but there is one side that really is quite impressive. fortunately there has not been much corrosion so once the clean up and initial polishing was over the stamped man really became pronounced:
the stamped image on one side of the true temper kelly works flint edge "best made axe"

Monday, February 24, 2014

Chronodex week 8 - historical pirate flags

A week of historical pirate flag chronodex.
entertaining myself while organizing the day's potential.
gave me a chance to do some reading on a topic i wouldn't necessarily gravitate to but find pretty damn interesting.

black sam as a perfect start. the frontal scull over crossbones is the most iconic jolly roger.
Black Sam pirate flag chronodex 
 the roberts ranks with the black sam flag, just get to play with a profile scull.
Roberts pirate flag chronodex
 taking liberties with the blackbeard flag. with a penny from my pocket the "pop goes the weasel" ending kept going to through my mind, i added it to the photo.
"a penny on my right eyelid, a penny for the left.
that is where the money went, pop goes the weasel".
Blackbeard pirate flag chronodex
 the wynne flag was perfect for ending:
has the hour glass and was amongst the first true jolly roger flags.
Wynne pirate flag chronodex

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A retired fountain pen cap as a perfect pencil extender

One purpose for a "damaged beyond repair" pen cap is to let it live again as a pencil extender.
finding a final purpose for such an object seems to be both responsible and entertaining.

there are a few prerequisites for this to be a go though:
1. the pen cap must not be to large. smaller caps keep the pencil balanced physically and visually
2. it needs to look good presented in a pocket. 
3. there needs to be a pencil out there that has roughly the same outer diameter to fit the pen caps inner diameter. fortunately there are so many good pencils out there that this is not a problem. 

the pencil can be posted on the head or the tail depending on whether in transport or in use.

 looking good is apart of the game. the final pencil extender really is a smart looking tool. also will give a bit of awe to the pen and non-pen enthusiast.  
pencil extender made from a fountain pen cap

in terms of function:

when done right, the balance is excellent and the fit is very tight. 
one way to balance out the weight is to simply sand off the right amount of cap.

this sheaffer's cap for example had a 1/4" chip out of the bottom. i found a pencil that fit it perfectly 
(i did not need to add any spacers inside at all) and posted it. checked the weight and started the sanding process. every 1/8"-1/4" of sanding i would repost and test the balance.
pencil extender made from a fountain pen cap

for those of us that have pen issues, repurposing and redefining is 
a last act of responsibility to the valued tool.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

3 sizes of clipboards for this house

My house is clipboard obsessed (at least for the male faction of the house):

personally i will have multiple clipboards in action at the same time. 
each clipboard has a project that i am currently working on. this method is an excellent way for me to store papers, small parts (in a notebook size pencil pouch), manuals ex cetera. i can have them lined up and then just quickly grab and relocate to the work area. 
i usually have a half a dozen home projects and at least a dozen other projects going on at the same time = lots of clipboards.

i am currently settled in at 3 sizes of boards:
12.5" x 24" drawing board
9" x 15" standard paper sizes clibboard
6" x 11" fieldnotes to A5 Rhodia size clipboard

3 sizes of board pieced together from wine crates: one drawing board and 2 clipboards
 the smaller clipboard is a bit bigger for a palm rest. when i write i do not (try not to) put pressure on my palm but with such a little surface i often end up at least using it as a guide.

the steps used to making the board is as simple as it gets:
1.  dismantle the wine crates and use the lids as the clipboards. the lids are the thinnest part and 
keeping the clipboards light is a priority.
2.  the boards will have 2 layers so i cut the lid into the dimensions i need. the two layers will increase the strength of the board and stiffen up the writing surface.
3.  as with everything i do, some scalloping is in order so i create the top boarder design
4.  glue the two layers together.
5a. the clipboards will get the clips added to them and will be fastened with copper shingle nails and pre-1982 copper penny roves.
5b.  the drawing board is big enough that i will put some reinforcement in the back. in this case thin slats of oak left over from the kitchen floor i installed. this drawing boards have a bit more weight to them, but their function is different and the demands on them require the stability 
(especially when the youngest gets ahold of them).

the backside image show my preference for exposing the layer. still enough coverage but the laying better reflects my "exposed" designs.
the backside of the clipboards shows the layering, any reinforcement slats or copper rivet/penny roves
copper pennies and copper shingling nails are forever an addiction. 
the relationship copper has to wood is marriage in heaven. both materials are warm, and have that pliable yet strong nature to them.
all clipboards should be able to hang if so needed
a parting shot with the shaping of the board. 
shaping the clipboards. my sweater is actually blue, but here is sawdust tan
these boards are durable and add a bit of style to our projects.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The value of the bullet pencil

I really can not say enough about the value of bullet pencils. 
their portability, durability and perfect utility make them one of those essential carries.

to be able to take a note or make a mark anywhere/anytime is absolutely necessary to better enhancing our potential. 

at another layer of importance:  
the unique variety of shapes and historical lineage of the bullet pencil inspires a unique writing experience. an experience that can add a layer of value to the marks made. 

making clean marks with the oxydol bullet pencil

i am definitely NOT a collector but a user of such perfect mark makers. 
(although i can not deny that if it older or has a sentimental value, 
i may only use it in less abusive environments).

i am also not afraid to clean, replace the pencils and erasers or keep in excellent working order.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chronodex week 7 - back to full productivity

Last weeks theme is that the family is healthy and back to full steam productivity:

chronodex 2.11.2014

chronodex  2.13.2014
 tried to make a heart chronodex blend into my border designs.

i really never get tired of trying new designs centered around a constant variable.
chronodex 2.14.2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hammer crate - awl guide before drilling

There are certain steps that once the process becomes a habit then the quality of work improves.

using an awl before drilling is one of those steps i have embraced:
using an awl before drilling

working on fastening hinges is a perfect example of the value of the this tool.
the awl will make a precisely positioned hole that will guide the drill bit. with out that dedicated hole the drill bit could migrate a bit, offsetting the hole and then getting a cocked hinge. 

there is reward in precise mark making. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chronodex week 6 2014 - a

A week.

A week..

there are weeks that deserve a definite article
and weeks that deserve indefinite articles.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Restored vintage hammer on octagonal hickory handle

Just about ready to hand off a restored vintage hammer head that was hung on a octagonal american hickory handle.

the there something about the density of the steel in this head. a bit weightier than others this size.
restored vintage hammer 

the weight does not make it feel top heavy though. 
this striker will excel at a shorter swing that can drive hard.

this will be given to a father for his birthday. a great gift if i may say so myself.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Round 2 of sickness and 106 temperature

What the hell is it with everyone getting sick one week, then one week back to health and then the next week comes another round.

starting monday night the youngest son started coming down with a fever,
then tuesday late afternoon he jumps to 106! 
an immediate trip to the emergency room was in order.
in the end there were no infections or crazy illness, just a super flu bug.

i must say that our Children's hospital was amazing. very friendly and MUCH less stressful than an adult emergency department. there was not the flood of trauma that comes with the "adult" emergency departments. He received excellent attention.

the longer we sat there, about 4 hours, the better we felt about his condition. we were getting test results and x-rays back. this plus fever reducer cut his temp and he was always very bright eyed and clear headed. around this time my mind eased up and then there was one thought that kept passing my mind:
if the phone outlet was a bright yellow, this room counter could of pulled off a real 
2001 Space Odyssey color scheme. i thought about removing some of the yellow medical fixtures behind the hospital bed (and put in the photo), but didn't think that would go over so well. 
they looked pretty fixed to the wall.

hospital phone almost pulling off a 2001 Space Odyssey color scheme.

taking care of the sick ones means that we are certainly doomed
doomed we are: wifey and i are on day day 2 of sick.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Chronodex week 5 2014

As the week continues my mind was preoccupied with how letters lay on the paper.
a sort of calming.
chronodex 1.28.2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Penmanship practice - guide line sheet for Tomoe River paper

One of my goals this year is to improve the consistency of my penmanship 
try a different sort of paper.

i have been use to writing on opaque whites that are pre-lined or gridded. my main appreciation for such white paper is due to the vibrancy of the ink's color and the firmness of the sheet.

it is taking some time but since being introduced to the Tomoe River paper last year, i have been increasingly enjoying its qualities. this paper embodies the phrase "paper thin":  thin to the point of translucency. despite this thinness the paper is very dense and that makes it perfect for the fountain pen. with the right pen and ink (for example a TWSBI 580 with a 1.1mm italic nib and Noodler's Green Ink) the shading of the line is hypnotic.
the one quality of this paper that i am not completely liking is the flexibility of the paper. this is a small tactile disappointment, but one i am willing to work around.

to use this paper for my everyday penmanship practice i first needed to make a simple guideline sheet.
this sheet is to go under the paper and provide some help on keeping the lines straight. not having to worry about drunk lines i can focus on the actual letter making.

on a heaving cotton based paper i made a simple grid.
making a line guide for Tomoe River paper

i used photo corners for a quick paper line up.
i won this box filled with never used B6 nibs for just over $3 (including shipping). 
perfect for some linear knot work on the side. 
making a line quide for Tomoe River paper. Speedball B6 nibs for the flash on the side.
makes my writing faster.

here is the guide with the Tomoe River paper in place. between the photo corners and the paper weight i am able to secure the paper. this security sort of makes up for the paper's lack of firmness. 
The Tomoe River paper in place over the line guide

the lines of the guide are very visible. 
a full view of the Tomoe River paper on the simple line quide