Saturday, November 22, 2014

My favourite woodcased pencil

I love these simple Staedtlers.  They are beautifully finished and sharpen brilliantly. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tremont Nail Company

In this age of outsourcing and automation, it's fantastic to see companies like this still making great products with pride.  Wrought nails aren't just good looking - in many cases they perform better than wire nails in terms of fastening strength as well as split resistance. 

Photos copyright Tremont Nail co.

Mastercrafts BBC

I've been really enjoying this new BBC reality TV show.  Each episode covers an important craft in British history, and three novices are put through a crash-course to see what skills they can develop.  It's a great format for educating viewers about history while entertaining us as well.  I particularly enjoyed the show on blacksmithing with Don Barker.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Zebra DRAFIX 0.7

Here's something else I picked up from a tiny stationary shop in Hong Kong: the Zebra DRAFIX mechanical pencil.  It cost 18 Hong Kong Dollars, which is about three bucks in my money.  It's become my favourite mech pencil because it's really light but still has lots of stiffness.  The grip is part of the body so it's just plastic, but it works really well.  And it's a good-looking scribbler. Made in Japan.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mora Companion Heavy Duty: initial thoughts

I finally succumbed to temptation and got one of the new Moras with the 3.2mm blade.  This is the Companion MG (Military Green) Heavy Duty, in carbon steel. It's very similar to the much discussed Mora Robust, with a few differences - the blade spine is finished, and the sheath lacks the knob for attaching another sheath. At $15 on ebay it's quite a deal (cheaper than the Robust, for some unknown reason).

My initial reactions are mixed.  It's got a beautifully finished blade, with almost a mirror polish. The knife has noticeable extra heft which I like.  

I had very high hopes for the grip.  I love the HQ Craftline grip, and this one is advertised as being enlarged for bigger hands, so I thought it would be just perfect.  However, it has only been enlarged in the vertical direction, to give it more 'belly'.  It has not been widened at the sides - I guess they did this so it would fit into the standard sheath. So the result is a thinner feeling. But perhaps I will get used to it.  The proof will be in the using.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tajima knife

I've heard good things about Tajima auto loading knives. In Hong Kong for work recently, I made a point of checking out the little hardware stores littered through Wan Chai.  There I found this interesting specimen.  Its unusual feature is the 'driver tip', pictured below.  The hardened steel tip can be used for screwdriving, prying and opening paint tins.  It's really convenient.