Saturday, December 13, 2014

Things Are Not Made As They Were (Backpack Sized Stapler Review)

Through the end of high school and all through college and up until recently this little Swingline stapler has lived in my backpack.  It has been pretty useful to me in many instances, stapling academic deliverables last minute or tacking things onto bulletin boards and other tasks.
There is a little storage underneath which is good, because the magazine latch came loose pretty quickly after I got the stapler, and I would often find the stapler open and staples scattered in my bag.  Eventually I figured out that I could store the staples here, and move them to the magazine before stapling and then return them under here.  Minor inconvenience.   (I just filled a fountain pen, excuse the inky fingers!)
Here is the magazine, you can see the small nubbin and catch that hold the stapler closed (at least for a few short seconds). 
I found a little stapler for $7 at a store where I have some store credit.  It is a Swingline Tot 50 Deluxe, and when I looked it up on google I was very surprised to learn that my little blue Swingline is also a Tot, but the modern version. 
The old Tot has the older style sliding magazine, but it never springs open on accident while in my backpack! 
The one thing which makes the new superior to the old is that you can just buy normal staples for it.  The older Tot has much harder to find mini staples. 
The older Tot came with a box with some staples still, and I found a box for $1 at an antique store just a few days later.  I don't staple a lot so I think I am set for quite some time now. 
These staplers offer similar performance, this is a sheet of note paper folded so it is eight layers thick. 
A significant flaw of the newer blue one is that it only opens perhaps 150 degrees or so, which has made tacking more difficult on several occasions.  The older model opens in excess of 180 degrees, and is all around just much better.  I will be giving the blue one away to the next person I meet who needs to borrow a stapler. 
I collect typewriters, and I suppose I dabble in staplers.  In back is a big heavy duty Swingline extended reach stapler.  It can easily punch through an entire legal pad, cardboard backing and all.  It is overkill for a few pages, and the staple comes up through the front if there are too few.  In the middle row are two Arrows I keep on my desk: one for permanent stapling and one for temporary (why bother with the anvil when you can justify two staplers?!?)  In the front is my "new" backpack stapler and the old one which is inferior.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Found EXACTLY What I Was Looking For Today

A Blaisdell Mechanical Pencil.  I found a pair of these for $5 today and have been looking for something like this for quite some time now.  This is just about exactly what I have been searching for.  Also note the small dent up near the front, I will be coming back to that... 
Patent date of 1915... perfect!  (I think the date is on the other side, but this is the prettier side of the band anyway. 
There was no mechanism, the inner part just screwed into the outer part, and the leads which I shook out from inside were all an inch or less.  I could not find any good resources online, I had to figure this out for myself, the pencil seemed broken. 
I realized the lead fit into the nib(?) on the end and when the inner part was completely tightened the nib would hug down on the lead and hold it in place.  You would adjust the length of the lead before you screwed it all the way by pushing or pulling it with your fingers.  This is tricky because the more you screw in the inner part the more lead is exposed.  So how does this relate to typewriters?  Why am I so excited? 
Because these pencils are the right era and the right amount of wear to look completely at home on my Oliver #9! 
Not that I ever use an Oliver to draw a spreadsheet, she just looks a whole lot better with a pencil finally installed.  Oh, and that dent?  Oddly, exactly where I ended up tightening the little screw to hold the pencil in place... perhaps it is no stranger to the loving embrace of an Oliver!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hermes 3000 & Idego Coffee

There is my Hermes up on the table in the window section 
Here is Idego Coffee's WEBSITE

I have used one of these desks before, lots of space and a very cool feature for a coffee-shop!  We must bring typewriters!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Backpackable Machines Part 2 or Bonus Edition

Both are machines I wanted a month ago, and now both are machines I have! 

The Skyriter on the left, the Zephyr on the right.  The Zephyr looks narrower and longer in person but it's a trick of the eye. 

So pretty, so crappy. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Typewriter Signed By a Bestselling Novelist? Yes PLEASE!

This is the Royal KMM I lent to Cade Fall, the prop master for "Wish You Well", a movie which just debuted based on a novel of the same name by David Baldacci.  Upon the typewriter being returned I was given a certificate saying the machine was used in the making of the film which is cool enough already... but last night I attended the premier and sure enough, it can be seen in front of the stenographer in the final court scene (barely, but it's there and it's recognizable as a Royal)!  I also brought the side panel and a metallic Sharpie in my coat pocket and was lucky enough to run into Mr. Baldacci himself who graciously signed my machine and made it just that much more precious.