Tuesday, September 26, 2017

New-Model Baren (Mk.II & III)

At top, Baren Mk.I, the one I've been using up until now
On the right, Baren Mk.II (8mm cabochons), and to the left, Mk.III (12mm).
The 8mm and 12mm glass cabochons I ordered from China three weeks ago arrived this morning, so I've put together the disks for Baren Mk.II (bottom right) and Baren Mk.III (bottom left). I ordered 200 of each size, and the 8mm cabochons just covered the disk surface with three left over; thanks to the magic of geometry, the 12mm cabochons required only about a third the number to cover the same area.

The disks are 120mm in diameter, cut from 3mm hardboard. Hardboard is more hard-wearing and less vulnerable to water than MDF; it's not likely that these will ever get significantly wet, but better safe than sorry. The cabochons are glued to the disks with 24-hour cure epoxy resin (so they won't be ready for use until tomorrow at the earliest).

Both of the new ones are wider and flatter than the first one I made, which should make it less likely that they'll push paper down into the voids of a block where excess ink can often be found. The 8mm beads make for the flattest surface of course, with the largest number of contact points; I suspect that will also make it the hardest, physically, to use, as it will require more strength to keep all those points in firm contact with the paper surface. The proof of the pudding will be, as they say, in the eating. I won't know for sure until I actually start using them.

The 8mm beads have been laid out in a regular grid, while the 12mm beads were laid out in decreasing concentric circles. What difference (if any) that will make, I don't know; I'd like to try the less regular layout with the smaller cabochons, but I'll have to order some more in that case as I've used up almost my entire supply on this one.

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