Tools in Art

Jennifer Evers, MSIS Candidate, CAS in Conservation of Library and Archival Materials (UT Austin, Spring 2011) painted and gave me this lovely watercolor of her English style A2 paring knife.  Nice job! Thanks!

New Lifting Knives

These are the newly designed set of lifting knives, available for sale in the tool catalog section on the left.  Both of the knives are made from 01 steel, hardened to about Rc 59.  This hardness results in a durable edge for the prying and cutting.  The knives are polished, with no handle, so they can be used under water for backing removal.  They are based on a Roger Powell design, are perfect lifting covering material, splitting boards, and mechanical backing removal. They can used by right and left handers.  These knives will pay for themselves the first time you successfully lift something without having to do additional repairs. Both are 6″ long, and 1/16″ thick, half the thickness of the previous model.  The large knife is 1″wide, and perfect for lifting covering materials, splitting boards and mechanical backing removal.  If you are a paper conservator, and normally remove backing material with a scalpel, you will find this knife much more efficient, and safer for the user and the artifact.   The small 1/2″ knife is perfect for smaller books, turnins, lifting spines between raised bands, etc….  The rounded, beveled corners allow you to twist the knife when cutting through slips, for example. These knives are the perfect union of quality, simplicity and functionality.   The set includes two knives and a folding leather case, held together with magnets and protects the blades when not in use.    $225.00

Going Cryogenic




Above is an example of blind stamping, using just water and the heat of the type to create the impression on a piece of vegetable tanned horsebutt leather.  The font is Edinburgh, brass type from P & S Engraving in the UK, the top line 14 point, the bottom two 10.  I’ve had these letters for 20 years, and the wear, especially on the “Y” in “PEACHEY” is evident- time to get some replacement letters!  This is the stamp on the blade cover for the new, A2 knives which has been cryogenically treated.  For more technical information about cryrogenic treatments check out nitrofreeze. Please read more about the new knives in  the new tools page on the right, and the results of testing in the post below which convinced me to use this new steel for leather paring knives.  



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