A little while ago I poked myself with my scalpel while digging through the toolbox, and thought it was probably time to make a case. Should have done that a long time ago. I was procrastinating so instead of two pieces of card taped together over the blade, I built up the card with little strips at the edge to accommodate the thickness of the blade. And then I thought, eh, maybe I should cover it, it's going to get pretty damaged in the next 10 years before I get around to replacing it. So I dug in my leather scraps box and remembered the shagreen scraps I never did anything with. Thus—shagreen case with leather edging. I have a few scalpels, so then I had to make the other ones match. And then the shagreen case looked way too elaborate on the plastic-handled scalpel, so I had to cover the handle in leather too. I think I'm done now.
Starting the new year out right with some new tools: these are blocks of Monotype type metal, left over from my letterpress days. They're just the right size and weight for paper repairs, with a few modifications: a coating of Paraloid™ B-72 in acetone to prevent the soft lead rubbing off on hands or objects, and a thick felt pad on the bottom to cushion the object and absorb moisture. (The felt is also recycled, an old etching cushion from my printmaking days that I knew would come in handy... seven years later.) When I worked at Columbia we all had really nice sets of thick glass rectangles, slightly bigger than this, with rounded edges and corresponding felts—but apparently the glass guy vastly underestimated what a pain it would be to round all those edges, and said he would never make them again.
These join my small collection of type weights, which are little boxes filled with damaged lead type that can't be used anymore for printing. The white one was the first one I made, and has a thin foam base (stupid, once I thought of using felt, but I've never gotten around to changing it), and the grey ones have thin felt (old sizing catchers!). For these thin was okay, because the box is flat, but it needed to be thicker for the Monotype weights, which are pretty uneven on the bottom.
There are some much bigger versions of these, made with old sash weights in them, but they're in use now so I can't move them to get a photo. Same idea, but bigger, and in purple buckram! Finally some thick Perspex strips, useful for light weight. These are about a foot long; smaller is useful as well.
Unpacking new materials & equipment from a retired bookbinder!