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Thread: Basic must have tools for restoration

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    Question Basic must have tools for restoration

    There must be more than a few FPGs out there who are into restoration. If someone with the desire (and prerequisite skills) wanted to try restoration as a hobby, whats the first, say, 10 tools that one would need in their kit?

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    https://goodwriterspens.com/?s=Tools

    Those posts will give you some ideas. I've been doing this commercially for 11 years and I still buy new tools.
    TopTen
    Knock out block
    Section pliers
    Pocket knife
    Bulb
    Parallel pliers
    Dental pick
    Small brush
    Sac stretcher
    Nib straightening kit
    Micromesh
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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    I get a lot of use out of the four sided nail blocks, not sure of their proper name, they measure around 3 inches x1 x1 and have four grades of abrasive surfaces

    A bright light, I use a little LED studio light, I had a halogen light bulb but it became so darn hot. The light sits at my elbow.

    A few nib polishing stones.

    Tissues and paper napkins, I suppose not really tools, along with french chalk.

    Rubber bulb and a drinking straw, same purposes.

    An emery board.

    Loupes, 5x,10x and 20x, I find the 5x to be comfortable, I tried one of double loupes that you wear like reading glasses, horrendous things.

    I was tempted by one of the nail blocks a few years ago, not a knoock out block, these were huge surgical steel things but I don't do enough nib work to justify the cost.

    Bits of bicycle inner tube.

    Some heavy duty tape for masking imprints.

    A craft knife with some interchangeable and differently shaped blades.

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Thanks so much!

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Deb covered a lot of the basics, all important tools to have. Here are a couple of others that come to mind:

    * Heat source for section removal - I use a heat embossing gun that has two settings, it happens to be the same thing that Richard Binder uses. About $20 and I'm certain of controlled, steady heat source (after some practice!)
    * Ultrasonic cleaner - very handy for parts that are really stuck together and general cleaning if a soak won't do. Not the first thing you need but quite handy
    * Head-mount mangnifying and light source - there are many ways to do this, but if you can have some form of magnification and lighting combined, it completely frees both hands and allows for work where you need to really see what is happening. I have an inexpensive one that I put a better LED light on, but it does make some of the work a lot easier.

    I only do this on a hobby level and only my pens, but I've been at it about 10 years. There are always 'needs' for new tools, but sometimes it might be for a very specific use (i.e. Vacumatic removal vises, etc) but these above add to your basic 'should have' list.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    It is surprising just how many tools you actually use, and how many I had forgotten.

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Agreed, Jon. I have a Donegan Opti-Visor which is an essential for me, given my eyesight these days. I use a heat gun a lot. I have an ultrasonic cleaner but it's rarely used.
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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Fermata View Post
    It is surprising just how many tools you actually use, and how many I had forgotten.
    The thing is, one almost always finds themselves saying, after (successfully) using the proper tool for the first time, "why didn't I get that sooner?!" There are many tools that don't get used often but when they do, there is nothing better - they do the job right, with ease, and without damage to the object being worked on.

    For instance: if you work on vintage pens, you definitely want a knockout block. I purchased a small setup from Sam and Frank at Pendemonium a few years back. Four different size holes, four punches. Enough for my needs, but it is SO satisfying to gently tap out a nib and feed, knowing that I didn't mess up anything by trying to pull them out. A simple tool, only does one thing, but man I am sure glad I have it.
    Last edited by Jon Szanto; July 19th, 2020 at 12:06 PM. Reason: typo
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration



    My knockout block, inherited long ago from a restorer who was retiring. I had one of those circular metal ones. It was OK but not very stable.
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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post


    My knockout block, inherited long ago from a restorer who was retiring. I had one of those circular metal ones. It was OK but not very stable.
    We forgot, 'a ruddy big hammer'.

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Fermata View Post
    We forgot, 'a ruddy big hammer'.
    Dang! I have an itty-bitty hammer....

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Plastic mallet, in my case.
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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    When it comes to tools, while there are ones that have to be specific such as the Vacumatic plunger opener, there are also ones that we can fashion (repurpose) ourselves that serves the same purpose, in fact, sometimes suit the way we work better.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Fermata View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post


    My knockout block, inherited long ago from a restorer who was retiring. I had one of those circular metal ones. It was OK but not very stable.
    We forgot, 'a ruddy big hammer'.

    Aye, Laddy!! :haha

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration



    Used to be a screwdriver, repurposed as a tool to remove the paddle from a Swan Leverless.
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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Fermata View Post
    I get a lot of use out of the four sided nail blocks, not sure of their proper name, they measure around 3 inches x1 x1 and have four grades of abrasive surfaces
    Nib smoothing boards?
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    Agreed, Jon. I have a Donegan Opti-Visor which is an essential for me, given my eyesight these days. I use a heat gun a lot. I have an ultrasonic cleaner but it's rarely used.
    Thank you both. This is something I ought to treat myself to.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    Agreed, Jon. I have a Donegan Opti-Visor which is an essential for me, given my eyesight these days. I use a heat gun a lot. I have an ultrasonic cleaner but it's rarely used.
    Thank you both. This is something I ought to treat myself to.
    It does make life so much easier! I've had the basic opti-visor for years and I more recently bought a similar (not Donegan) one with a light but it is too heavy.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    Agreed, Jon. I have a Donegan Opti-Visor which is an essential for me, given my eyesight these days. I use a heat gun a lot. I have an ultrasonic cleaner but it's rarely used.
    Thank you both. This is something I ought to treat myself to.
    It does make life so much easier! I've had the basic opti-visor for years and I more recently bought a similar (not Donegan) one with a light but it is too heavy.
    I searched for these and found 5 models in Amazon:

    1.75x magnification and 14" focal length
    2x magnification and 10" focal length
    2.5x magnification and 8" focal length
    2.75x magnification and 6" focal length
    3.5x magnification and 4" focal length

    Which one would you recommend?

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    Default Re: Basic must have tools for restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by carlos.q View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    Agreed, Jon. I have a Donegan Opti-Visor which is an essential for me, given my eyesight these days. I use a heat gun a lot. I have an ultrasonic cleaner but it's rarely used.
    Thank you both. This is something I ought to treat myself to.
    It does make life so much easier! I've had the basic opti-visor for years and I more recently bought a similar (not Donegan) one with a light but it is too heavy.
    I searched for these and found 5 models in Amazon:

    1.75x magnification and 14" focal length
    2x magnification and 10" focal length
    2.5x magnification and 8" focal length
    2.75x magnification and 6" focal length
    3.5x magnification and 4" focal length

    Which one would you recommend?
    I'm hoping it's the 2.75 x 6 magnification as that looks like good value for money.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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