Two cases for standard size pens

I seem to have made a lot of cases for oversize pens recently so when I was asked to make two single cases for Nakaya pens I jumped at the chance.

I have to say that I really admire the manufacturing process of these handmade pens the craftsmanship involved is outstanding. I don’t have a Nakaya in my collection as yet but one day.

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I chose the dowels to form the kydex around they are larger than the required size. Once the kydex has been formed I can adjust the size to allow for the thickness of the suede lining and to allow the pen to be removed easily.

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I cut the kydex from an A3 sheet I wanted an overlap of at least 5 mm to allow for fixing the end in place.

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You can see from this picture that although I cut the ends square as part of the forming process the ends do not line up and will require trimming. At this point I decide on the finished size of the tube.

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Here are the tubes after what I am going to call welding I am not going to go into a lot of detail. The joint is much strong than any glue I have ever used. After sanding the joint is almost invisible again this was never possible with glue.

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The next stage is to start adding the lining I prefer to use suede but I have used fine leather in the past. Other than the inside on 2 mm of this suede will be seen and it would be possible to save a lot of suede by cutting it off just after it folds over the top. However when the wet leather is moulded around the tube any imperfections or joins will show previously I have hidden this in various ways. But as with many things I know it is there and it bothers me so I line the entire outside. The picture shows the bottom has been stitched and drawn together I don’t trim this off or put any glue on it the gathering of soft suede at the bottom acts as a cushion for the pen when it is put into the case. It is held in place by the glue around the insides of the tube.

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I have tried to show the joins in the suede in this picture and have caught the light on the Chantelle ( a soft yellow / gold colour) tube and you can see the join, the orange one the join is at the 7 o clock position very difficult to see.

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I took this picture to show the tubes are lined all of the way down the open end is on the right and it is the top 2mm that will be seen. The extra suede on the bottom will be trimmed.

Now that the inserts were finished I turned my attention to the outer covers.

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After cutting and shaping the edges I soaked the leather and started shaping the leather.

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Time to add some colour chocolate and oxblood red.

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At this point the tops went into plastic bags to slow down the drying process until the bottom sections were complete to allow the tops to be formed over them. The inserts were then glued into the outer covers.

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As always I am very critical of my work and show the good as well as the bad the first picture shows what I call the bad and the second shows the good.

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I am undecided about the stitching there is a fair chance I will cut it out and re stitch them tomorrow, I wont be the first time. I have discussed this with people who say if you want perfect stitching then use a machine but I will sleep on this one.

After some thought I decided to cut out all of the stitching I had done on the lower sections

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I know the stitching was ok but I am not looking for ok I am not looking for perfection either as nothing would ever leave my work bench. As the leather stretches over the kydex tube the dye can fade so I have taken the opportunity to add a little more colour while I was dying the freshly trimmed edges.

I am currently dying the thong that will secure the top and bottom sections.

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I have finished re stitching the lower sections and stitching the upper sections for the first time.

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I have only showed the back of the stitching as the front is fine I am a little happier and am unlikely to stitch them again.

When the stitching was sorted I started to look at the other pieces I cut and dyed the thongs and cut some pieces of wood for the toggle / pen rests

To make the toggles I approximate the size of the pen and cut a piece of wood accordingly no template no measurements it just looks right if I don’t like it I start again until I have a size I am happy with. then I round the ends over and wrap a piece of sandpaper around a dowel and sand until I have a shape that looks right then I go through the grades of sandpaper until it is smooth then I add wax. This process takes an hour for each one then I drill a hole which is often in the middle 🙂

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I am not going to add any further comments just pictures of the finished cases .

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Thanks for looking

Michael

 

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