My Clip Evolution

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Ironwood

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I have a few kit less pens under my belt now, but definitely still refining the looks and how I do things.
One aspect of my pen making that is on an evolving curve is my clips. I have been using stainless steel for the clips I make, due to availability, looks, and durability.

My latest clip is this one ( the cap still has some sanding marks visible that will be fixed up today :oops: )
The end of the piece of stainless I was using already had a curve bent into it, so I decided to leave this curve in the clip and see how it looked on the pen.
The pen I made the day before has the bends/profile that I have been using recently. I have also added pics of some earlier pens with different bends/profiles.
There are many older clips with cruder design, that I won't bother adding.
I am interested to hear other peoples thoughts on what they like, or think looks better, and how I could improve. Fire away :D.

Please excuse the lint and spots on the pens, I didn't clean them properly for these hastily taken photos.

#1- the latest clip
DSC_1307.jpg


#2- the previous days clip
DSC_1308.jpg


#3- Autumn's clip
DSC_1311.jpg


#4- Rosewood and Red's clip
DSC_1312.jpg


#5- Blue and White's clip
DSC_1313.jpg


#6- group portrait
DSC_1315.jpg
 
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hokie

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I love the bends in the clip on the black cap. Very natural looking and doesn't protrude as much as some of the others.

What gauge and alloy of stainless do you use? Do they maintain good "springiness" without bending out of shape?
 

Ironwood

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I love the bends in the clip on the black cap. Very natural looking and doesn't protrude as much as some of the others.

What gauge and alloy of stainless do you use? Do they maintain good "springiness" without bending out of shape?
Thanks Hokie.
I get my stainless from secondhand hose clamps that I repurpose. The ones I get are industrial type for clamping large ducting pipes. Not sure what grade it is, but its definitely on the harder end of the scale. I have looked at smaller stainless hose clamps that would be used on the radiator hoses on your car, but they seem to be softer and less springy. I use thicknesses from 0.7mm to 1.2mm ( 0.028" to 0.048" )
 

magpens

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I like "Blue and White's" clip the best. . It has more "character" than the others.

The 3 to the left look like neckties to me !! (And in keeping with other Aussies, I am not a fan of neckties !)
The clip on "Rosewood and Red" is a bit too wide for my liking

All very nicely done, mind you.

Overall, very nice work, Brad !!!
 

Ironwood

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Thanks for your thoughts Mal. Definitely no necktie fans in my neck of the woods, I can only recall 2 occasions I have worn one, and I had it off well before the end of the night.

In the portrait photo, Blue an White has the most refined shape, more work than the others, not an issue though when searching for the best shape. But what about it’s profile from the side compared to the others ?
 

magpens

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@Ironwood

In the portrait photo, Blue an White has the most refined shape, more work than the others, not an issue though when searching for the best shape. But what about it’s profile from the side compared to the others ?

Brad, for the side profile, I like "Autumn's" the best ... a quite low profile ... should be possible to do that to the "Blue and White" ... yes ?
 
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I like the side profile of number one. Thanks for showing and telling us how you make your clips. I also tried to make one from a hose clamp, took me a couple of hours to make. Still trying to work out best tools to use.. Shape not as refined as yours but will keep trying to improve. The hose clamp steel is quite springy and keeps its shape.
 

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Ironwood

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I like the side profile of number one. Thanks for showing and telling us how you make your clips. I also tried to make one from hose clamp, took me a couple of hours to make. Still trying to work out best tools to use.. Shape not as refined as yours but will keep trying to improve. The hose clamp steel is quite springy and keep its shape.
Thanks for that Danie.
Keep at it, the time to make them reduces with each one make. I have it down to about 20 minutes now. I think I could cut it down further if I made them in batches, but batch work gets boring.
 

howsitwork

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I like the white and blue and the red one in front view. Side view I like the No 2 and No 1. Rational for this is they “ end somewhere” . The black clip looks unfinished to me as it lead the eye to the cap but doesn’t finish i. a feature like the broadening out of the clue and white one or the visible fold in the red one. Favourite is the blue and white as it leads the eye to a definite feature and fits beautifully flush with the cap . I know the photo angles influence this massively so please don’t take any of this as criticism. I am frankly in awe of anyone who makes custom clips and indeed custom pens.

That for me is a long term goal but everyone needs inspiration and you , and several others on this site, offer that in bucket loads.

Keep up the good work and thanks 🙏
 

Ironwood

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I like the white and blue and the red one in front view. Side view I like the No 2 and No 1. Rational for this is they “ end somewhere” . The black clip looks unfinished to me as it lead the eye to the cap but doesn’t finish i. a feature like the broadening out of the clue and white one or the visible fold in the red one. Favourite is the blue and white as it leads the eye to a definite feature and fits beautifully flush with the cap . I know the photo angles influence this massively so please don’t take any of this as criticism. I am frankly in awe of anyone who makes custom clips and indeed custom pensf.

That for me is a long term goal but everyone needs inspiration and you , and several others on this site, offer that in bucket loads.

Keep up the good work and thanks 🙏
Hi Ian, thanks for taking the time to offer your thoughts.
It’s getting late in my part of the world, and due to finishing a few glasses of the local rum already, to help ward off any chances of contacting the virus of course .
I am flattered that my work might be considered to be of inspiration. I have received much help and inspiration from past and present members here, I am glad to be able to reciprocate.
 

Hubert H

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You are so far ahead of me, I wonder if I'm even qualified to pass judgment. Having said that, I like the side profile from pen number one and the front profile from pen #5.
 

Ironwood

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You are so far ahead of me, I wonder if I'm even qualified to pass judgment. Having said that, I like the side profile from pen number one and the front profile from pen #5.
Hubert, of course you are qualified, I even take advice from my wife on what looks best, and she has never turned a pen :p

Well, the majority so far seem to prefer the profile of #1 and shape of #5. I think that will make a nice combination.

Keep any suggestions coming, happy to discuss any aspect about them.
 

Bats

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Not to dredge up an old thread, but I've been looking for a practical/functional clip for some time, and I really like your idea (I'm also apparently in the minority, because I happen to like the "necktie" shaped clips too). I had a question, though.

I was curious how you went about cutting and, more importantly, drilling your clips. Did you anneal it first, or just tackle it as-is?

I imagine I could cut one out with an abrasive disc on a dremel, or possibly even a carbide endmill on the mill (if I could figure out how to secure the material), but the last time I tried drilling through one of those little spring steep beasties it took forever & cost me a couple carbide bits along the way, just for a measly 1/8" hole.


-Bats
(ok, fine... just to dredge up an old thread)
 

Ironwood

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Not to dredge up an old thread, but I've been looking for a practical/functional clip for some time, and I really like your idea (I'm also apparently in the minority, because I happen to like the "necktie" shaped clips too). I had a question, though.

I was curious how you went about cutting and, more importantly, drilling your clips. Did you anneal it first, or just tackle it as-is?

I imagine I could cut one out with an abrasive disc on a dremel, or possibly even a carbide endmill on the mill (if I could figure out how to secure the material), but the last time I tried drilling through one of those little spring steep beasties it took forever & cost me a couple carbide bits along the way, just for a measly 1/8" hole.


-Bats
(ok, fine... just to dredge up an old thread)
I am at work at the moment, so I can’t spend much time on a proper reply, but check this thread out https://www.penturners.org/threads/how-ironwood-makes-his-clips.164512/

I don’t find any need to anneal the stainless, normal hss drill bits work fine.
 

Bats

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I am at work at the moment, so I can’t spend much time on a proper reply, but check this thread out https://www.penturners.org/threads/how-ironwood-makes-his-clips.164512/

I don’t find any need to anneal the stainless, normal hss drill bits work fine.
Thanks - I think that should give me everything I could ask for and more - although, like a few of the others, I don't know that I can wield an angle grinder well enough for that sort of small detail, so the rough shaping will probably still be a dremel or mill for me.

From your description, though, it seems odd that I would've had so much trouble drilling one of those hose clamps last time - unless maybe I managed to work harden the section I was drilling on somehow. I suppose that wouldn't be entirely surprising - I think it may have required some rather aggressive forming before I got to the drilling.


-Bats
("aggressive forming" == "bashing away at with a hammer")
 

Ironwood

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I mark the clip out on the band, then drill before any cutting work is done. This gives you the best chance of clamping it well while drilling in the drillpress.
If you cut the shape out first, then try to drill, there is the chance of the drill catching and twisting the clip out of shape.
 
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