Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Snowdrops and Raindrops

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/04/09 at 16:51

Hosta – May 30

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DSC_7606 Hosta BW


Written by raspberryfisher

2016/06/01 at 05:34

My Camera Bag

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I have been using a Crumpler 6M Dollar Bag, which has been excellent (and the customer service is excellent), but has one flaw, I really cannot fit in my ipad.  So I have gotten myself a ONA Street Bag and updated it for my travels.  What is in this bag, starting from the left ….

Camera Bag IMG_2822 x700

  • ONA Waxed Cotton Messenger Bag – I do not like camera bags that look like camera bags. Good bag, but would like 2 additional features:
    • Another inch depth in the laptop sleeve for laptop + ipad
    • A loop in the front pocket to clip accessories.
  • Nikon D600 – Zeiss Milvus 50mm f2 Makro-Planar
    • + Crumpler Wrist Strap – strongly recommended
    • + 67mm B+W KSM C-Polarizer for the 50mms
    • If the polarizer is not on, then a protective clear B+W filter is on.
  • Zeiss 25mm f2 with a thin ring clear B+W protective filter.
  • Filter Case for unused filter on the 50mm lens.
  • Spare Batteries for 2 Cameras.
    • Nikon D600 + Battery Charger
    • Nikon AW100 – Waterproof. This camera get little use, so to save space, I do not include the charger.
  • Lifetrons Universal Power Adapter with 2 USB Charging Ports. No longer made, but highly recommended.  If I am going to South Africa or India, I also include my wide 2 pin adapter.
  •  Nikon AW100 – If I am worry about security or wet weather, I use this camera that is tucked in the outer side pocket.
  • Business Cards – mine Employeer’s and Mine
  • Morphie PowerStation (for iphone, ipad and local wifi adapter)
  • Ipad (purple case) and sitting on top and to the right:
    • Moleskins Notebook (small as shown or medium)
    • Passport
    • Wallet – (Backup cards are kept elsewhere)
    • Acme Pen (present from Tesla (daughter))
  • Etymotic Headset for Cell-Phone
  • Lanyard with
    • USB Memory Stock x2
    • Office Security Fob
    • Travel Charm from Kyoto Shrine (Caitlan’s (other daughter urging))
  • Purple Bag (it is Dack Shoes Bag not Crown Royal), holding a collection of important little support-backup items, including:
    • iPad file transfer connectors
    • Apple USB Cables – iPhone and iPad
    • USB Cable to D600, which also serves to recharge the Morphie
    • Power Cable for the D600 Charger
    • D600 Charge goes into the bag to.
    • D600 DK21 Eyepiece Cover – as I always knock them off.

Missing from the Picture:

  • iPhone

What else that I might add to the kit:

  • If I am going to India or South Africa, the wide 2 prong power adapter
  • Keyboard for the iPad.
  • Laptop in lieu of iPad
  • Tabletop Tripod.
  • MonoPod – also makes an effective staff (think security)
  • A local Pocket Wifi Adapter
  • A Comb!

Now the confession. I have other bag(s) that are linked to:

  • Sinar f2 4×5
  • Wista 4×5 field camera
  • Filters +  This last bad transcends all cameras and is associated with using the tripod (I have 2), which includes my Lee Filter System.

I am not sure this is progress, with have the weight being consumed by modern electronics.  But here it is.


Why no film. I retired by Nikon FM2 when I could no longer shoot Kodachrome.  For my return to Black and White, I will keep with the Sinar and Wista and go back to slow contemplative photography.



Written by raspberryfisher

2016/01/13 at 07:32

Posted in Photography, Work Travel

Tagged with

Sharpening – a couple of accessories that I highly recommend

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Two thumbs up >

I recently added a rarely seen S-23 Carving Bar Accessory to my belt sharpener (both from Viel). The extension that allows the belt to run flush with the body is a major improvement, and an unlooked for BIG gain, was the flat surface that allows me to make reference marks, allowing for greater control-repeatability with free hand sharpening.  In the setup below, using masking tape to create the references, I able to enable to quickly set and hone a 25degree edge with a 20degress skew on my chisels.  Similarily, it is great for straight gouges, like a roughing gougeT.

The other accessory that I rely on, to ensure squares on any joinery and setting sharpening angles is the Beall Tilt Box. With the zero function and a good straight edge, it is possible to set repeatable angles, accurately and quickly.  I rely on this tool, as much as I rely on a machinist rule and my Starrett Calipers.


No, I do not leave the adjustable angle tool on the motor, but as shown as a reference of s tool I use to set angles, such as the 20 degree sweep on the skew.  The screwdriver is always handy to adjust belt alignment.

The UHMW bars are used as sliders for the old Viel table. Other changes to my sharpening setup is coming.


Written by raspberryfisher

2014/05/12 at 00:41

Posted in Tools

Handscrew Wood Clamp

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The traditional handscrew wood clamp is very flexible and can be a good jig, but there are several improvements I have always wanted to incorporate into it.

  1. Weight – there is no substitute for a high mass tool to secure an object. Provides rigidity and dampens vibration, as you work on a piece.
  2. Square Jaw – The traditional bevel jaw works well when clamping wood for gluing pieces, but not as a jig, where you want to secure the assembly to another surface, such as a work-bench, drill-press, et cetera.
  3. Flat Space – More flat space to bind the object.
  4. Adaption – Notches to hold pieces or the ability to add another form-jig to secure complex shapes.

To this end, I create, using a Lee Valley Jorgensen-Dubuque kit, I created the following woodscrew clamp, which has performed well for me.


  1. Using 3.5″ square hard maple, with a long extended jaw, I have a massive clamp-jig with a large mating surface.
  2. I have included 2 notches and there are 1/4″ centered holes through the jaw that allows be to secure another jig to the clamp if need be.


Written by raspberryfisher

2014/05/10 at 23:12

Posted in Rod-Building, Tools

Pen on Epoxy, Rod-Building

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Short Summary for writing on Epoxy

  • My standard is Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen S (0.3mm), F (0.5mm) and M (0.7mm) for a thick line.
    • Good Alternatives: Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.5 to 0.7, Copic MultiLiners and Testors Black Enamel
  • After applying, allow a week to dry (maybe 2 days is good), but I am allowing the pigment a week to set in my dry box.  As I am not a production house, I can wait.

Discussion – General and Procedure

As noted earlier, I been experimenting to reduce variability and problems with my rod-building. I was getting inconsistent results, so I started to take a step back to do some testing and set some standards.  My standards for epoxy and CP have become:

  • Epoxy: ProKote – 2ml CC of A and B, plus 0.5ml of Acetone.
    • Given Acetone is an agressive solvent, it is important my tests also include my complete finishing formula
    • Alternate Epoxy: Flexcoat Lite, plus Acetone – small quantities.
    • Aside, I have since acquired some DNA (hard to find in Canada) and it works fine witk ProKote, but keeping to Acetone, given difficulty to locate DNA.
  • Color Lock: Al’s Color Rite
    • Alternative:Flexcoat Color Preserver.
  • For a Traditional Finish use U-40 Perma-Gloss Urethane Varnish, but please note that the pen-ink below are tested for ProKote Epoxy. It is likely that Flexcoat will provide simialr results, but Urethane will not.

Now, it was time to test writing tools.  First, I note for writing on dark rods, Testor’s Silver Enamel has always worked for me, but not all Testor colours (which led to my frustration to start experimenting); so the challenge was finding a tool that worked for yellow and light coloured blanks, where the ink should be dark or black. My procedure was simple:

  1. Pick up a collection of pens and inks that are available (18 in all).
    1. The collection were available to me already or references in rod building forums as good instruments.
    2. Please note in other tests, I did find a pen of the same make in different colours did behave differently. Yes, there were several experiments before this, trying to get a handle on some of the variables.
  2. Paint a wood dowel white and let it cure for a month.
  3. Apply a thin layer of ProKote and let it cure for a week.
  4. Write on the test rod and let it cure for a week.
  5. Apply a think layer of ProKote and let it cure for a week.
    All curing was done in my Epoxy Box with a temperature around 80F (26C).
  6. Examine, recommend and play around with the recommendations.

Illustrated Records

Some pictures, but please note that the one pass of Epoxy meant the epoxy got dirty across the whole blank.





The Pens in the same order as displayed above:


and the inks, used with a Speedbal Calligraphy Pen


Quick Summary on and in ProKote Epoxy

  1. Staedtler Permanent S Blue – high bleed – fail
    1. Note in preliminary test with Urethane – Blue passed, but black failed.
  2. Staedtler Permanent F Black- high bleed – fail
  3. Sharp Permanent Ultra Fine Point – fail
  4. Copic Multiliner Black 0.1 – smears easily until cured, but with patience is good. 0.1 is a litttle too fine.
  5. Copic Multiliner Red 0.1 – like red, but tint is weak.
  6. Copic Multiliner Red 0.1 – like black and like black worthy of consideration.
  7. Uniball Signo 0.7 Gel – works, but was difficult to apply. Move on.
  8. Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.5 – application is fair-good, dark and permanent once cured.
  9. Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen S (0.3) – application is fair-good, dark and permanent once cured.
  10. Copic Multiliner SP 0.3 – application is fair, 0.3 is a little to fine, but permanent once cured.
  11. Pigma Micro 0.5 – application is fair, but permanent once cured.
  12. Koh-i-noor Ink – Calligraphy Pen – difficult to apply and flow, might be ok with a better pen.
  13. Winsor Newton India Ink – Calligraphy Pen – fair application, a little weak, but permanent when cured.
  14. Liquitex Arcylic Ink – Calligraphy Pen – will not adhere – fail.
  15. Speedball Calligraphy Ink – Calligraphy Pen – flows and permanent.
  16. Coodlers Ink – Calligraphy Pen – will not adhere – fail.
  17. Testor Black Enamel – Calligraphy Pen – flows and permanent.
    1. Note another Testor colour failed an earlier experiment- Might be procedure or colour.

After which, I did some “fooling around” as illustrated in the following image and and note


  • Test Group 2 – Clean your sample with Alcohol before you start. Staedtler Pigment appears to more suscpetible to running from the dirt and grease we transfer by hand.
  • Test Group 3 – The impact of a marker size varies from manufacturer to manifacturer, but you are looking at 0.3mm to 1.0mm depending on effect.  The Faber Castell S (0.3) appears to be deeper and darker than Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.5.
    • Copic Multiliner is probably a fine choice and may be disadvantage in my test by using the 0.1mm nibs.

What if I was going to play with different colour?  I would look at Copic, assuming I can get the pens at 0.3 or 0.5mm thick or Testor’s Paint Enamel, but I would test first.

Last note, there is a reasoned argument on a RodBuilding Forum (Link – Post 13) that the current and common use of Acetone or DNA does not serve the chemistry well and suggest a Sherwin-Willians product Polane (r) Reducer K54.


Given ease of application and permanance once cures, for black use Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen S (0.3mm), F (0.5mm) and M (0.7mm).

In addition:

  • The first alterntive is Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.5 and 0.7mm.
  • Second alternative is Copic Multiliner.
  • Testors Black Enamel Works with a Calligraphy Pen works.
  • Always cleans area with DNA (Alcohol)
  • Always give the pigment a week to cure.
  • With every change, test it out.


Written by raspberryfisher

2013/12/26 at 20:52

Last – compare guide guidelines to some production rods.

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So how does my new guidelines compare to some factory built rods:

  • Scott G905-4  –   actual diameter: 0.200  vs Snake Brand Size 1 at 0.180
  • Fenwick HMG 7wt – actual diameter 0.170  vs H&H Size 1 at 0.210
  • GL3 9′ 7wt 4pc – actual diameter 0.213 vs H&H Size 1 at 0.210
  • Meiser 1264  – actual diameter 0.245 vs H&H Size 1 at 0.210
  • Sage Z-7136 –  – actual diameter 0.245 vs H&H Size 2 at 0.230
  • GLX 15′ 9wt –  actual diameter 0.310 vs H&H Size 3 at 0.250

Q: Does this change any of my new guidelines for the top guide?  A: No

  • 3 to 4 wt Traditional Fly Rod:  Snake Brand Size 1/0 maximum (0.160).
  • European Nymph Rod: REC Recoil Single Foot Size 2 (0.235).
    • Also exploring Hopkins Holloway Single Foot.
  • 5 to 6 wt Traditional Fly Rod: Snake Brand Size 1 maximum (0.180).
  • 7 to 9 wt Traditional Fly Rod: Hopkins and Holloway Size 1 minimum (0.210).
    • Alternative in Single Foot: Fuji TLSG 8 (0.213) or REC Recoil Size 2 (0.235).
  • 4 to 5 wt Spey Rod: 0.210 minimum, such as Snake Brand Size 2 or H&H Size 1
  • 6 to 7 wt Spey Rod: 0.230 minimum, such as Snake Brand Size 3 or H&H Size 2
  • 8 to 9 wt Spey Rod: 0.250 minimum, such as H&H Size 3.

Whats next?  Nothing, enough analysis and get back to doing.

Written by raspberryfisher

2013/07/26 at 20:27