Looking to get a customized desk, try Ikea and mix-and-match a tabletop and cabinetry to create an inexpensive work area. House of Hawkes made a lovely workspace with a butcher block-style top and white cabinetry. It’s making me kind of excited about the Ikea store opening in Kansas City this fall.
(via House of Hawkes)
I confess that I quite specifically got the Pilot Plumix Medium Flat Italic (comparable to a 1.1mm) fountain pen ($7.25) to cannibalize the nib for the Pilot Metropolitan ($14.50) pen I have. I had the chance to try out the Plumix thanks to a local pen geek (Thanks, Geoff!) and immediately went home and ordered one. While the shape and overall outside aesthetics leave me wanting, the nib was silky smooth. I had heard other folks mention what a great nib it is for the price point and after trying it, I was sold. It is really as good as everyone says it is. Silky, silky smooth.
My first order of business was to disassemble both pens in order to swap out the nibs. While I think the medium nib on the Metropolitan is a fine nib, it doesn’t make my heart sing so I was ready to swap it out. I like the metal body of the Metropolitan line over the plastic of the Plumix and its weird, stumpy, wingnut cap even if my Metropolitan is a bit blingy in metallic gold.
I couldn’t be bothered to clean the pens before disassembly so I used a shop rag to grasped the nib and feed and gentle shimmy it out. Its basically help in the grip section by friction so it didn’t take much force or effort to remove it.
There is a notch inside the grip section that keeps the nib and feed in a specific spot but otherwise it was just a matter of shimmying it back into the other pen body to make the swap. I’d have diagrammed it more if there was anything else to it but really its: grasp, pull and then grasp and push. Also, we are talking about a combined retail value of $22 so I wasn’t too concerned about potential damage if I didn’t do it correctly.
Voila! The completed and fully customized Pilot Metropolitan italic! Total cost: $22. This same surgery can be done if you want an extra fine nib on a Metropolitan by purchasing the Pilot Penmanship pen ($8.25).
DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Jet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
(Tested on Rhodia Pad No. 18 Uni-Blank)
While I was in SF, I found some refills for Uni-Ball Signo. I couldn’t remember if these would fit in my Render K but I was willing to take a chance. It was blue-black ink in my favorite 0.38 size. At less than $2, it was a gamble I was willing to take.
The package was labelled UM-151 0.38mm. Jet Pens does not seem to stock this particular flavor refill but Maido’s online shop, MyMaido does stock them.
UPDATE: Eagle-eyed reader, Adamfmoore found the proper refill on JetPens. It’s the Uni-ball Signo UMR-1 Refill and it sells for $1.65.
I discovered that the refill was about an 1/8″ too long so I trimmed it down with a trusty X-acto blade. The plastic is quite hard so if you try this yourself, be careful! It would be easy to slice your finger in attempting this. Once trimmed, the Render K screwed closed easily and voila! Deep green pen with blue-black silky ink. JOY!
Written on Rhodia No. 18 Uni-Blank Pad. Render K from Karas Kustoms.
When someone mentions “typewriter” and “calendar” in the same sentence, my ears prick right up. Add in a little paper mechanic magic and I am already writing the blog post in my head.
This darling little desktop calendar stands in its own 3D foldable typewriter. Just print out the pieces and assemble. Consider it as a great Tuesday morning office project. It is available for instant download for $4.99 via Sky Goodies on Etsy.
(tip via Teri of Fiberterian)
In my search for woodsy, natural feeling workspaces, I stumbled upon the idea of building desks, tables and shelving out of reclaimed shipping pallets and wooden crates. There was an extensive article on MyInteriorDesign.it where I found many of the photos shown above. Some refinished the pallets, sanded or stained to a lovely finish while other options left the material in its raw state with all the stains and wear-and-tear from its previous life clearly visible. The fold-up pallet desk is a good option for those with little space or for the kids to use for homework or craft projects.
Instructions for building your own pallet fold-away desk cane be found at Thistlewood Farms.
Want to have a simple, swanky calendar on your desk? Check out this free, printable calendar from Weekday Carnival. Print it out and clip it to a clipboard on your desk. To mix it up, try printing it out on neon paper and post on a kraft clipboard.
Do you string fairy lights across your cubicle wall or put a tree on your desk to get into the spirit of the season? If not, maybe its time to put a little holiday cheer in the office? Hang some decorations from your bulletin board or wall.
Maybe download some printable stationery “From the Desk of Santa Claus” to write your lists and notes?
Hang a wreath or a stocking from your chair or on the wall in your office?
Or for an understated sense of holiday cheer, download a desktop wallpaper and tune into a holiday radio station or Spofity playlist and sing along to a little Bing?
The gold standard for graphite erasers is the Steadtler Mars Plastic. I’m not sure if its filled with unicorn horn powder or what but I’ve never found a better eraser. So I was wondering if I could figure out a way to make a replacement eraser for my Palomino Blackwings. It turns out, I can.
- Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser (standard size, available at any art supply store)
- X-acto or other craft blade
- Cutting matt
- Eraser from Palomino Blackwing to use as a guide
The end of a Mars eraser is just about the same width as the Blackwing eraser so I just needed to slice off an similar width piece and then trim the excess. Then slide your newly created eraser into the clamp and slide it into the ferrule.
The new white eraser is a little flimsier than the black/pink/colored erasers that you can buy to fit but it erases much better so I’m willing to accept its shortcomings for better erasing power. One Stadetler Mars eraser can easily make refills for about a dozen pencils.
Remember a few weeks ago I was a little sad about the fabulous Esterbrook #2442 Falcon nib that Cliff sent to me because it was scratchy and didn’t always put ink on the paper? And then remember last week I posted the FPGeeks Nib Tuning video? Well, I decided it was time to marry up those two things and I would attempt to tune that pesky nib.
I own a few folding loupes which are not as high-end as the ones shown in the video but at least I could get a look at the tines and see if there was anything wrong. There was! The tines seemed a little twisted, like crossing your fingers. Using the technique demonstrated in the video, I press the tines to the feed and used my nails to gently bend the tines. Then I tested on paper and noticed an improvement in writing already, but it was still scratchy. So I peeked with the loupe and pushed a bit more with my fingers and tried again. Ink was flowing much more consistently but still scratchy.
I confess that I immediately recognized the buffing block in the video to be a high end nail salon product. So I grabbed the nail buffer I had in the bathroom and decided to use the smoothest side first marked “Shine Nail” to cause the least damage. I did that a couple times and tried on paper again. Still scritchy. I went to side #3 “Buff Nail” and did a few more strokes and then applied it to paper again.
Voila! It’s now a fully functional nib. Its not quite as smooth as my age old #2442 but its light years better and completely usable. I plan to do more writing with it now that the flow is good and consistent and if it need more smoothing later, I feel confident I can solve my issues.
The cast of FPGeeks video podcast got together with Brian from the Edison Pen Company to discuss and demonstrate methods for tuning pen nibs. After watching this, I am feeling brave enough to tackle a few troublesome pens in my collection.
Its a pretty long video but worth watching. Brian is super knowledgeable and gives great instruction.