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Show Us Your Oblique Penholders!


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#41 MusinkMan

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 06:51

 On the oblique, the flange is mounted in a slot that goes all the way through the holder, rather than the more traditional mounting with a drilled hole that is then slotted. This allows the slot to be cut at an angle to give some built in rake. The flange is then glued in with epoxy. I think the idea for that came from the Paper and Ink Arts hourglass holder. Hourglass Adjustable Oblique

 

Dan

 

What do you cut that "thru slot" with?  Surely not a table saw, the kerf would be too wide.  Dremel?  I like the idea of cutting all the way through.  That "half-way-thru" cut has already taken 5 years off my life.  :wacko:


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#42 DanF

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:22

Band saw with a thin blade (.025" and about 10 teeth per inch). In order to fill the slot I had to use some fairly heavy brass, 0.016", which makes for more difficult bending. 

 

For the thinner stuff (0.010"), I can use my dovetail saw, which leaves a .022" kerf. A hand saw needs to filed to a rip cut, as you will be cutting into the end grain. 

 

If you use the Dremel, you might want to put it in a vise or something to make it immobile, and move the piece into it, rather than the other way around. I think that would give you more control over it, and keep the kerf as narrow as possible. 

 

Another thing you might try is the plunge cutting attachment for something like this. Multifunction Oscillating Power Tool - 1.6 Amp, 120 Volt     I have the Fein version, which comes with a small plunge cut blade 0.02" thick. Now that the Fein patent has run out, everyone is making cheaper knoockoffs. Here is a video showing the plunge cut function.   FEIN MultiMaster 250Q The Plunge Cut3 Hardwood Flooring - YouTube  At about 3:30 into the video, they change to the thin blade, which is the one I have and would be the one you would want for pens. MM133, Universal Arbor 2-5/8" Plunge, Fine Wood Saw Blade, 1 pc  (this should work, though it doesn't list the thickness, you would have to make sure it's thin enough).  This tool should also be able to make the cut for the traditional mounting method.

 

I think the HF model would serve you well for such light use.

 

Dan


Edited by DanF, 16 May 2013 - 08:27.

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#43 Mickey

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 13:52

I have a Buddy Blackwell holder, love the flange but find the rest of the holder too small in diameter to use for any length of time without cramps. I have thought about cutting off the flange and making a larger holder for it. 

 

Shape wise on the ones that I make, I like a section diameter of about .40", and like the feel of the full belly behind the section. On the oblique, the flange is mounted in a slot that goes all the way through the holder, rather than the more traditional mounting with a drilled hole that is then slotted. This allows the slot to be cut at an angle to give some built in rake. The flange is then glued in with epoxy. I think the idea for that came from the Paper and Ink Arts hourglass holder. Hourglass Adjustable Oblique

 

Dan

The solution to a too thin holder is nearly as old as oblique holders: string wraps and tape. Look at the holders of the great Madarasz. I built up the grip of my Blackwell when it was my all day, every day holder. Now that it's in a more specialized role, I don't bother.

 

http://www.zanerian....adaraszObl.html

 

The only good reason to make an angled flange cut is when the flange is too stiff to allow 'normal' adjustment of the rake angle or roll in, as in the PIA Hourglass and Blackwell holders. An angled cut severs many more wood fibers than a straight cut, weakening the end of the holder. That's probably why the deluxe Blackwell is reinforced with a brass ring.

 

Bending a decent 'Zanerian style' flange takes a little practice, but once learned, the penman has complete control of how the point couples to the holder. What do you do if your fairy godmother gives you a gross of huge vintage nibs or tiny mapping nibs which won't center up with your glued-in flange? With a removable flange, you just make a new flange. And once a glued-in flange fails, you might as well toss the holder.


Edited by Mickey, 16 May 2013 - 13:54.

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#44 smk

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 15:16

Thank you Salman...you as well.  I saw all that hand carving and hollowing out on yours.  I have no idea how on earth you do that.  They look great though.

A sharp blade on the carving knife, a variety of files and lots of patience is how I do it :-)

 

Its a relaxing activity for me and I do it at my own pace, its easy once you change the parameters of the project from productivity to enjoying the process.

 

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#45 smk

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 15:19

 

What do you cut that "thru slot" with?  Surely not a table saw, the kerf would be too wide.  Dremel?  I like the idea of cutting all the way through.  That "half-way-thru" cut has already taken 5 years off my life.  :wacko:

 

I use a utility knife with a new blade and cut the slot very very slowly one little bit at a time. This allows me to have a really thin slot.

 

I have used the Dremel but the slot it cuts is a bit too wide for the thickness of the brass sheet I use and I don't like the 'extra' cut left over at the end. 

 

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#46 Stompie

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 17:21

A scalpel also works well and is nice and thin - bit hard to come by here in England because of all the Elf and Stupidity rules, but I still have one from South Africa :)


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#47 DanF

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 18:06

Mickey --- The epoxy bond breaks down under high heat - you can just heat the flange with a Bic lighter and pull it out with a pair of pliers. As far as strength, with it glued in place, you now have a laminate of wood and brass, so I can't imagine it breaking under normal use. I put it in a vise when bending the flange for final tuning, just to be safe though. 

 

Not saying this is the best technique to use to mount a flange, in fact I have been having some back and forth with Musinkman about the more traditional method, which I intend to try on my next one. 

 

About modification --- Tape is what you use if you don't have a lathe in the basement. :)

 

Does anyone know what the bet thickness is for the brass flange - best compromise between bend ability and rigidity?

 

Dan


Edited by DanF, 16 May 2013 - 18:12.

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#48 DanF

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 18:52

 

I use a utility knife with a new blade and cut the slot very very slowly one little bit at a time. This allows me to have a really thin slot.

 

I have used the Dremel but the slot it cuts is a bit too wide for the thickness of the brass sheet I use and I don't like the 'extra' cut left over at the end. 

 

S.

Salman --- Do you drill and slot as is the traditional method, or cut a slot all the way through, without drilling?

 

Dan


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#49 Mickey

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 18:54

Mickey --- The epoxy bond breaks down under high heat - you can just heat the flange with a Bic lighter and pull it out with a pair of pliers. As far as strength, with it glued in place, you now have a laminate of wood and brass, so I can't imagine it breaking under normal use. I put it in a vise when bending the flange for final tuning, just to be safe though. 

 

Not saying this is the best technique to use to mount a flange, in fact I have been having some back and forth with Musinkman about the more traditional method, which I intend to try on my next one. 

 

About modification --- Tape is what you use if you don't have a lathe in the basement. :)

 

Does anyone know what the bet thickness is for the brass flange - best compromise between bend ability and rigidity?

 

Dan

I'm using .01 inch brass, which I got from both the local hardware and hobby stores. It works, but it's a pretty soft alloy. I suspect .008" in a harder alloy (or temper) would be better. Some of the old timers used "German silver" (nickel silver, cupronickel), which I believe would be better still.


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#50 Pterodactylus

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 19:09

Posted 14 May 2013 - 23:11
thang1thang2, on 14 May 2013 - 20:41, said:
And, I would like to echo the sentiments of the other person asking for where one would find an european oblique pen holder. While they're "over rated" as Stompy has said,

I said what? WHere? When? :wacko: 
I get my decent oblique holders from USA, but for the plastic ones you can try Scribblers here in the UK, J&T Arts as well.

Thanks thang1thang2, I was not sure if people ignoring my question or oblique holders are simply not available in Europe. :)

Edited by Pterodactylus, 16 May 2013 - 19:12.

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#51 kenfraser

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 20:28

Pterodaetylus -

 

Without the emergence of Spencerian Script in the USA, there would probably be no holders to discuss. Even today, the beautiful, commercially-produced oblique holders are, to the best of my knowledge, unobtainable outside the US.

 

Ken


Edited by caliken, 16 May 2013 - 20:32.


#52 kenfraser

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 20:29

duplicate post


Edited by caliken, 16 May 2013 - 20:30.


#53 Pterodactylus

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 20:38

Hi Ken,

Thanks for this info :)
I tried to avoid to buy in the US for customs and shipping cost reasons.
I will take a closer look at the US sellers now.
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#54 smk

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 04:54

Salman --- Do you drill and slot as is the traditional method, or cut a slot all the way through, without drilling?

 

Dan

 

Dan, I use the hole+slot with the hold a little off center. I just don't like the idea of cutting the wood all the way through. 

 

I first drill a small hole, sometimes using a Dremel, at other times just a small bit held in pliers. I try to drill a hole at an angle to introduce some of the angle so the flange needs to be tweaked only for fine adjustments. Drilling by hand gives me better control (or so I believe) of the angle of the hole.

 

One I have that I stick a toothpick in it to give me the idea of the angle and start cutting the slot with a utility knife in very narrow 'v' cuts. Sometimes I use a pencil do draw the line straight if I'm not sure. Like I said it is a slooooow process :-)

 

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#55 MusinkMan

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 05:51

 

Dan, I use the hole+slot with the hold a little off center. I just don't like the idea of cutting the wood all the way through. 

 

I first drill a small hole, sometimes using a Dremel, at other times just a small bit held in pliers. I try to drill a hole at an angle to introduce some of the angle so the flange needs to be tweaked only for fine adjustments. Drilling by hand gives me better control (or so I believe) of the angle of the hole.

 

One I have that I stick a toothpick in it to give me the idea of the angle and start cutting the slot with a utility knife in very narrow 'v' cuts. Sometimes I use a pencil do draw the line straight if I'm not sure. Like I said it is a slooooow process :-)

 

Salman

It is indeed a slow process, Sal.  And it's an alarming and "freak-out" procedure too, because once the center hole is drilled, the walls become very fragile, and that's precisely where the cut must be made.  I've cracked a couple at the foot doing this...once by applying too much pressure to the razor-knife, and once while trying to work the blade "loose" from the slot, once it was finally cut through.  you know, that time when it finally goes through the wall into the void of the drilled hole...the wood "pinches" the blade, as it's tight.  The blade is stuck in there and must be worked loose...well, I worked it loose alright, and broke the top half of the pen's foot.

 

I'm not using a little dremel verrrrry carefully.  I found a teeny blade for it with an ultra-thin kerf.  I sue that to cut the bulk of the material, then finish it with by hand with a new blade in a little razor cutter.  I also am apprehensive to cut all the way through both sides of the handle, although if I had an ultra-thin bandsaw blade or possibly a scroll saw, I might be tempted to do so. 


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#56 MusinkMan

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 05:55

Here is one that I finished today.  Black ash burl for the handle...East Indian Rosewood grip...several other woods used as "ring decorations".  Also a strip of white pearl acrylester.  Very pretty pen, this one.  The black ash burl is fantastic; highly figured and 3-D grains.  I think I have 5 different woods on this pen, 6 if you count the pearl.  :-)

 

fpn_1368749937__black_ash_rosewood.jpg


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#57 Stompie

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 06:08

Musinkman - ever tried soaking your the wood before you cut it?

It is so much easier to work with, just like leather, works better when it is wet - but do make allowance for the fact that it will be slightly swollen as well.


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#58 MusinkMan

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 06:17

I have not tried that, Stompie.  I can imagine that it would be quite a lot easier.  When I cut mine, I usually have the finish on the pen handle, because I apply most of it and buff it out while the lathe is spinning it. If I soaked it before slotting it, I'd have to do the finishing off the lathe, but that's no biggie.  I do the last 3 coats of hand waxing and buffing after removing from the lathe with the parting tool.  That is a good thought, Stompie; I've never tried that.  Is there any danger of the woods cracking or splitting while drying after the soaking?  Or do they return to their former glory every time?  I'm quite interested in trying this idea.


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#59 Stompie

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 07:36

I dont know about wood cracking when drying - might be best to experiment with some scrap first and see how it goes. I don't think it will be a problem though.

I don't know if Mickeys 100 year old walnut stood perfectly dry all the years but assuming it did get wet, it does not seem to be any the worse for it?


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#60 Pterodactylus

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:09

May I ask another question.

 

I got the impression that many of you manufacture the  holder and the brass flange by yourself.

Can somebody show detailed pictures of such a flange and a explanation how it is constructed (in the pictures only the top side is visible)? (as I´ve no impression how the nib is holded by it... screwed, friction fit, ....???)

 

Thanks! :)


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