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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Weekend Reads 2/11/12

I hope everyone's excited about today's Weekend Reads! I know I am. :)

It's cold and chilly today in Big Sandy, Tennessee, and I hear winter is finally moving in across the USA. Sounds like a good time to keep inside, and cozy up by the fire.

So go ahead, grab your computer, iPad, or iPhone, and settle in for some relaxing morning reading! What better way to start your day, than to read about your favorite addiction, er... I meant hobby. ;)

It's time for the Weekend Reads - 2/11/12 edition!

Let's kick things off with links of the week: top picks from my favorite blogs and forums!

#1: I've recently been inspired to try this myself, so you can be wishing me luck on that. Here, on FPN, member "robeck" goes into detail on how to hand-craft your very own notebook! The instructions are well done, and the results are just incredible. Anyone getting the urge to do some weekend-crafts? :) It comes in 4 parts, so pace yourself:

#2: While we're talking about making notebooks and such, you'll want to read this awesome article, titled Moleskine Reloaded. I like Moleskine notebooks, but I don't like the paper. In this tutorial, you're shown how to strip a Moleskine of it's normal paper, and insert whatever type of paper you want into it! Note: Some assembly required. ;)

#3: I buy composition notebooks from Walmart for my every-day writing. They're also what I use for my ink reviews. I saw this product here and said: I WANT... Believe me, they're gorgeous, and very tempting. :) Spruce up your composition book with a gorgeous handmade leather cover from Renaissance Art!

#4: This is just about the funniest pen related article I've read in a long time. :) Star Wars meets fountain pens!

#5: Lastly, make sure you're entered for this great giveaway by FPGeeks! They're giving away a Noodlers Ahab Flex Pen in a beautiful Valentines Day coloration. Check it out, and drop them a comment for a chance to win!

Now let's move on to Q&A Time!

Q: "My other one, a cracked section, leaking ink (old Cross slim, gray plastic?) Will superglue fix it?"

A: Super-glue can fix a section, and I've used it before to do so. But, it can also break down over time with contact to ink, and make a real mess.

I recommend fixing all cracks with a chemical weld, using a solvent such as MEK. Most people will not have access to this however, so my recommendation for home repairs is limited.

If the crack is small, and barely any ink is coming through, you will probably be okay using superglue. Here are some tips for applying it:
  • The glue in the picture to the right, can be found in the home/office section at Wal-Mart. I have had good success with it in the past.
  • Make sure the cracked area is clean! Get all the ink out of the crack, and off the section.
  • Soak the section in water for at least a day, maybe more. Again, get every last drop of ink out of the crack.
  • Make sure the pen is dry after you've cleaned it out. Let it air dry for a day, or longer if necessary.
  • Glue the crack, and try to work some of the glue into the crack. Be sure to avoid getting glue on the feed or nib!
  • Now clamp the crack together, with a rubber-band maybe, or anything that helps keep it together.
  • Lastly, put a small bead of glue over the top of the crack. After the glue dries, you'll gently sand this area down till it's smooth and invisible.
That's about it for home-made crack repair. Be careful, be patient, and don't get superglue on your face. :)

I still recommend sending your pens in for professional crack repair, as it's a much more lasting solution. But if you either can't afford it, or don't feel like sending your pen off yet, this is a viable option.

Q: "What are your thoughts on using professional products (G-10 or Pensbury Manor's Potion # 9) for reblackening black hard rubber pens? (ie. pens whose black hard rubber has been oxidized to that olive-green colour).

Some people are against re-blackening *any* fountain pens, some are pro-re-blackening, while others feel it is fine to do on pens that aren't rare or hard-to-find."

A: I can honestly say that I have never used re-blackening compound. I've been meaning to try some out eventually, but as of know, I have not run across enough pens that really need it. It's expensive, and I'm not sure what I think of using it on pens. I'd have to research it's properties a bit more extensively, before deciding on whether or not it's a good idea to use. :)

Sorry I can't offer a better answer to this one. If I ever get any, I'll be sure to post the results of what it can do.

That's it for Q&A this week. As usual, I will encourage you all to ask more questions! In fact, ask your friends if they have any FP questions! Heck, go to your local pen club, bring a notebook, and compile a list of questions for me! The more the merrier. :)

Here's the Blog-Forecsat:

Coming up for the next week:

  • Pen review - Noodlers Ahab Flex
  • Ink Review - Diamine Orange
  • Update on the ONE MONTH Pocket Challenge!
There might be more, but that's all I have planned.

Lastly, a new section to the Weekend Reads: Blog Updates and Ideas

I'll be testing this out, so bear with me. It might not be here to stay, but I'd like to try the idea anyway. :)

Blog Updates and Ideas will be a semi-regular addition to the Weekend Reads, where I talk about improvements and updates that are coming to the blog. Not blog posts, but updates to the layout, the type of content I post, and other such things.

My reason for this, is to get your feedback on the blog. 

Example: I'll suggest an idea or update, and you folks tell me what you think of it. Is it a yes? Is it a definite no? This way, I can be coming up with more creative new content for you all!

So, let's start this week off with an idea I've been considering for a few weeks now:
  • How would we all feel about a Weekend Reads Podcast? This would not be a standalone podcast, but would be integrated into the current Weekend Reads format.
I would basically cover the following stuff in this podcast:
  • First, it would be nice to just talk about the links of the week. Give a few thoughts on each one. Maybe explain more detail what they are.
  • Next, it would be awesome to have the Q&A time in audio! This would be a companion to the Q&A post, because we often need pictures. But the idea of being able to talk you guys through the Q&A would be really neat. It would also give it a much more "real" Q&A feel, like being in a classroom.
  • An expanded blog forecast would be great too. It'd be easier, and more fun to discuss the upcoming blog posts in detail, instead of just posting a list of what I'll be doing.
  • Maybe some chatter about recent FP related events and other stuff.
So, what do y'all think!? Is this something we're all interested in? I think it might be nice for some of you to listen to a "spoken" version of the Weekend Reads. I realize some of us like to read, but it can often be very enjoyable to relax, sit back, close our eyes, and listen to some one else read for us.

Please, drop me a comment below and let me know what you think of the idea of a Weekend Reads Podcast.

I can't wait to hear from you! :)

And with that, I will wrap up today's Weekend Reads, and call it good and done. Have an excellent weekend everyone!

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