Friday 28 June 2019

Leather-bound notebook

Following on from the pen and pencil projects I figured I'd continue on with the stationery theme.

Like most people who've ever taken notes, I have a lot of half-used notebooks gathering dust, leaving a large stockpile of perfectly good paper not getting used simply because it's bound to some other paper that did.

I'd been thinking about trying a book-binding type project anyway, so figured why not save a few steps and do some up-cycling in the process.

The candidate books are some school-exercise-book style notebooks.

These are great candidates because they are only bound by 2 staples and each book is a single stack of folded paper.

There's a detailed Instructable for this, which I used heavily for this project, so rather than reinvent the wheel, I'm only going to detail the areas where my process differed from theirs.

To start with, I removed the covers from 4 of the blue books.

To get the fabric for the binding, an old t-shirt was sacrificed.

I oversized the measurements for this bit, so that I could pin the fabric to a scrap backing board, to hold it taut while I mounted the folios.

I put clips each end of the stack of paper, painted some PVA glue onto the fabric, and then added the spines of the paper. Doing it this way around prevents the glue leaking between the pages and fixing them together.

The resulting object was surprisingly stable enough to move somewhere safe to dry.

In the meantime I started preparing the cover as per the instructables instructions. However the leather that I had for the cover was slightly too narrow to have the one inch border that it instructs, but still have enough material to wrap around, so I'd be working with narrower margins.

In addition, in order to be able to fold the leather over to create a neat edge, it needs to be thinned. I did this using a combination of skiving tool and sanding, to thin the material around the border.

After that it was just a case of following the rest of the instructable. For the lining paper I used some of the card I had left over from the Picture Frame that I did a while back.

To finish it off I added some brass corners, and that was it. Not perfect by any means, but very happy with it as a first attempt.

Saturday 1 June 2019

Mechanical Pencil

About a year ago, at Makers Central, I did a wood-turning tutorial and made my first pen.

Since then, I've added a mini-lathe to the workshop (purely because I lack the room for a full size one).

Just before heading back to Makers Central this year I thought it'd be good to have another go and see my progress.

Being me, I'm not really a fan of just constructing kits, and I always like to try and incorporate elements of upcycling and reclaiming into my projects.

I've had this ballpoint and mechanical pencil set for as long as I can remember - it's old to the point where you can see how faded the plastic has become. So there's the upcycling bit of the project sorted, this time I'm going to make a mechanical pencil to re-house the innards of this one.

The pencil is walnut and chrome - I wanted to try and keep the same shape as the pen I made last year, but use contrasting colours to the maple and brass that I used last time.
The metal bits came from a clicky pen kit, but were a good enough fit to work with the pencil mechanism.

So there we go. Making pens is enjoyable, but doesn't make much of a project, and I generally don't make more than one of the same item, so I don't see myself becoming a full-time pen turner any time soon, but I do have some variations of the theme that I might pursue.