24 July 2014

Win a Van der Spek Organiser..

So you have read how they make the Van der Spek Standard size and A5 size organisers. You have read the reviews of the Standard and A5 organisers...

Now is your chance to win a Van der Spek Standard organiser of your own.

Please answer all of the following questions
  1. How many years has Van der Spek been active in the leather industry? 
  2. In which country are Van der Spek planners made? 
  3. What colour numbers of Nappa leather were used to make the Standard size Van der Spek organiser that was reviewed? 
Please send in your answers by email to steve at philofaxy dot com  marking the Subject/Title of your email Van de Spek Competition. The closing date for answers is 12 noon (UK time) on Monday 28 July 2014.

You will find the answers in the reviews or on the Van der Spek website. Please do not post the answers in the comments to this post!

Good luck to everyone that takes part.

1. This competition is a world wide competition run on behalf of Van der Spek.
2. By entering you are consenting for your name and email address to be passed to Van der Spek for the purpose of the competition only. Your email address will not be sold or used for any marketing purposes.
3. The winner will be able to choose which colour planner they get from the range of colours available at the time that the winner is announced.
4. No cash alternatives will be allowed.
5. With your permission Van der Spek will use your name in publicity on their Facebook page.
6. Answers received after the closing date/time will not be entered.
7. The winner will be announced on the Van der Spek Facebook page on Wednesday 30th July 2014.
8. The judges decision is final.

Van der Spek A5 organiser - review

So we are approaching the end of our big Van der Spek feature during the last two weeks. We have been holding back with the release of these posts so that Petra at Van der Spek could get their new Web-Shop up and running.

It was back in March this year that Petra and I started to discuss reviewing her wonderful products and the two you have seen being made and reviewed are the result of that co-operation and discussion.

Yesterday we showed you how this was particular A5 organiser was made by Van der Spek in their own workshops in Holland.

So today we are looking at the A5 Van der Spek Custom model which comes fitted with 35mm Krause rings. The leather colours are 6202 (Ciocolatio) on the outside and 6208 (Cuoio) on the inside. These are both Italian nappa leathers, which is very soft to the touch and very supple.

The overall external design is the same as the Standard size Van der Spek, the design has been scaled up in proportions.

The rear cover is also the same as the Standard size Van der Spek.

Moving to the internal layout this is were it does differ to the Standard.  Starting with the front inside cover. There are two columns of card holders holding 10 cards in total, There is a further two at the bottom of the cover and a slip pocket behind these two card pockets.

There is a full height vertical slip pocket behind this card section this can take folded A4 sheets easily.

The rings on this model are 35 mm Krause rings and we will come on to how these work later on in the review.

The back inside cover has a zip pocket as well as another full height slip pocket behind this zip pocket, this one is gusseted so it can take more papers.

There is an elasticated pen loop also fitted on the back inside cover. It is possible to also specify a 2nd pen loop fitted on the inside front cover at extra cost.

The quality of the stitching is excellent it is both consistent and of high quality. Again contrasting thread have been used on the inside and outside of the organiser.

Like the standard it is possible to order a leather fly leaf, this is quite thin and comes in the contrasting colours of the organiser.

Like on the standard, the flyleaf adds to the appearance of the organiser and also smooths out the writing surface when writing on the left hand side of the organiser when you have various cards in the slots.

Yes they really are 35mm internal diameter.

The inside back cover pocket can neatly take my Kindle eReader.

Looking end on to the rings you can see they are more or less circular in profile so they have quite a large capacity for holding a lot of paper.

The Standard and the A5 have been in use since I received them back in April, I've hardly had any desire to move out of them really they just work so well for me.

In Use: 
The A5 Van der Spek has been the main organiser in my pair of organisers I use on a daily basis. It is mainly sat open on my desk, but during our recent visit to UK it was often carried in a bag or rucksack during the many events and visits I made around UK.

When I first started using the A5 Van der Spek one of the first things I noticed was that the big 35 mm rings can be a bit of a hurdle to get over in terms of writing in my diary, which is where most of my time is spent in the organiser. I might look information up in other sections, but most of my writing activity is in the diary section.

Traditionally, the diary section was one of the first sections in my A5 organiser set up. But with the 35mm rings there was quite a large 'step' between one side of my week view and the other side with the rings forming a 'hurdle' in the middle. This isn't so noticeable with 25 or 30mm rings. So to over come this I moved my entire A-Z contacts section from the back of the organiser to the front and that solved the issue for me.

I would like to thank Petra Van der Spek for supplying the review sample featured in this post and especially her patience when we were trying to decide what colours to make it in!

The Van der Spek website now has a new web-shop which makes it a lot easier to order an organiser from them. There is also a very friendly Facebook group devoted to Van der Spek organisers.

Here is their publicity video, but it shows the people themselves crafting these lovely organisers. There were no stand-ins for the making of this video!

And finally... there will be a chance later today to win a Van der Spek organiser here on Philofaxy, the competition will be open to all our readers.

23 July 2014

How to make a Van der Spek A5 Organiser.

So today I'm going to show you the making of a Van der Spek A5 Manager custom made organiser, this one is with nappa leather a dark brown exterior (Chiocolatto - 6202) and light brown interior (Cuoio - 6208)

The method of construction is very similar to the Standard size we showed last week, but with some differences to the internal layout and the pockets.

Again a big thank you to Petra Van der Spek for sharing this series of photographs with us. Some of the processes are shared with the Standard size, but only shown in one post or the other, so in a way there is an overlap between the posts. Revisit the 'How to make a Van der Spek Standard organiser' to fill in the gaps as it were.

Picking the precise part of the leather to cut the single piece outside cover.

Mr Van der Spek hand cutting the leather with a template. 

The components for the A5, dark brown on the outside, golden brown on the inside.

The press is used with the metal template to cut out the individual parts and in this case cut the slots.

The credit card slots interior leather, the metal assembly is the cutter used in conjunction with the press to accurately cut out these complicated parts of the interior.  

By using this sort of machine cutting you get repeatably parts 

The inside rear cover with the slot where the zip will be. 

Thinning the edges of the leather for gluing and later sewing

The interior components and the closure strap. 

The liners for the pockets and credit card slots. 

The zip is inserted.

Held with some glue before it is then stitched.

Gluing the pocket liner below the zip. 

Creating the other credit card pockets 

Hand cutting the liners. 

Adding the liner for the lower pocket

Assembling the card slot liners

Adding the liners to the credit card section. 

All of the liners have been added to the credit card section. 

Applying glue to the edge of the stiffener

Lining up the stiffener and the foam liner. 

Folding the leather edge over on to the inner liner

Applying glue to the edge before the interior is assembled

Joining the rear inside cover to the spine component. 

Joining the front inside cover to the spine component.

Stitching the credit card slot pockets. 

Stitching in the zip, as well as the stitching of the other pockets. 

The internal components are all stitched with the dark brown thread that matches the external leather colour. 

Adding the lower pocket to the upper credit card slot pocket section. 

Adding the Van der Spek 'tag'

Stitching the edges of the credit card pockets section

Preparing the outside cover

Positioning the clasp on the outside cover, using a template to align it accurately. 

Sewing the clasp to the outside cover, the outside uses thread colour that matches the internal leather colour.

The interior is complete and the 35 mm rings are there to be added too. 

Placing the interior parts on to the external cover. 

Applying some glue to hold the two sections in correct registration before sewing. 

Carefully lining up the interior assembly over the outer of the organiser. 

Applying glue to the edge before folding the outer edge over the interior before it is stitched.

Applying glue to the edge before folding the outer edge over the interior before it is stitched. 

Stitching the front and the back together. 

The closure is stitched the back cover and edge stitching is continues.

The organiser is finally stitched together. 

The finished organiser. 

And if you too would like a customised Van der Spek organiser made for you, you can find out more details on the Van der Spek website and also in the fans Facebook group.

Again thank you to Petra for all of the photographs.

Coming up tomorrow a review of this particular organiser and the chance to enter a competition to win your own Van der Spek Standard organiser.
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