Hack.01: Levenger Oasis Padholder

11 10 2007

I was looking at my Oasis padholder the other day after I’d inadvertently lost most of the pad because I made the mistake of holding it vertically (note to self: gravity and concept pads don’t understand each other very well) and got to thinking, “Why doesn’t this thing have a place for my pen?” Probably because I’d been sitting on the couch drafting a few ideas and put my pen down to do something, and it rolled off the padholder onto the floor. Bent over to get it…pad went vertical…gravity beats up on the gummy part…you know the rest.

I couldn’t come up with an answer, so I decided to get out the tools and make one. Learned a few things along the way, too.

  • Keep camera handy when hacking. Didn’t get a single picture of the before/during shots – only the aftermath.
  • Dremel tools are louder than you think when used in your garage late/late-ish at night.
  • Dremel tools get hot when used for 10-15 minutes at a clip.
  • When grinding/sanding MDF, you create more sawdust that you’d ever think was physically possible.
  • Super glue is awesome. Not when bonded to your fingertips.

In lieu of not providing shots of the in-progress work, I’ll describe it.

I started by slicing a fairly slender rectangle out of the leather on the left-hand pad bolster, not really knowing what I’d find inside. The leather is very thick, so make sure that your X-Acto knife has a new blade on it. Might not be a bad idea to use a Sheep’s Foot or Wharncliffe blade if they’re available. Since you’ll be cutting towards yourself, it pays to have a nice and sharp tip slicing through the leather.

Underneath the leather is a fairly stout piece of MDF. While MDF is strong, it was laid low (literally) by a fully-charged Dremel with a sanding round (I think I used a bullet-shaped round for some of the work around the ends). I carefully hollowed out a 6-ish” tray with the Dremel, sanded it a little bit, and then took the padholder back inside to figure out how to line the tray to give it a [tongue in cheek] “finished” [/tongue in cheek] look.

My original intent was to re-use the strip of leather that I’d cut from the padholder’s bolster, but the leather was a little too thick, and in turn, wouldn’t stretch to fit. It would have been nice, but no luck. I thought about using a strip of crushed velvet, but couldn’t find any that I could bastardize without causing a bit of a ruckus around the house. I finally settled on one of those handy little cotton cloths that Levenger includes when you order anything that might be susceptible to scratching. Previously, I’d always used these as pen rags, dabbing ink away from freshly refilled fountain pens, etc. I happened to have one that wasn’t scummed up, so I cut a few pieces to fit, hit it with a bit of superglue, and voila!, I now have a functional pen rest for my Oasis Padholder!

Here’s a few snapshots of the finished product.

Oasis.3

Oasis.4

Oasis.5

So, there you have it. While it certainly doesn’t look all that professional or elegant, it does work, and that’s pretty important to me.

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