Okay, back to that pin vise (the brand of mine is Starrett, by the way)! This is another tool I picked up at NBSS. The operation of this sweet sophisticate is similar to that of an X-acto. The silver portion unscrews, allowing a needle to be slipped into place and secured by screwing tightly into place. The beauty of this is that your holes will be precisely the size of the needle that you'll soon be threading through them. I have maybe a third of my needle exposed, but that's just because I've been making my mini-book earrings, much more of the needle can be used, and usually should be, so the vise doesn't go too far and make an impression on the inside of your signatures.
Tools of the Trade: Olfa Blades: A Follow Up
After my last post, Mindy commented with a curiosity about my take on snap-off versus replacement blades (X-acto). I am a fan of both, and used X-actos exclusively for everything related to my graphic design degree (cutting out print collateral & foam core, mostly). Assuming a #11 blade, when I've used X-actos for anything thicker than foam core with any sort of force, the tips have broken off quite quickly. I have found the Olfa blades I use to cause less stress on my wrist and fingers. I think because of the short angle of the blade, the Olfa is more ergonomically sound for the type of cutting that I do on a daily basis. That said, when held like a pencil, the X-acto works beautifully (and better) for cutting intricate details. Summary: both good, favored for different reasons, with Olfa still on top for daily bookbinding!