29 August 2016

Guest Post - My Deskfax Collection – Part I - Alan

Thank you Alan for sharing with us more insight in to the now discontinued Deskfax model. 

Several years ago, I became aware of the long-discontinued Deskfax format. To me, the Deskfax size seemed like a perfect complement to the personal format.  I have been frustrated with the lack of hole-spacing compatibility between the personal and A5, and was intrigued when I discovered that the Deskfax had compatible hole spacing, nicely demonstrated in Steve’s post about the Deskfax size from March 2014.

Shortly after Steve’s Deskfax post, KarinĂ© Tovmassian created a Facebook group dedicated to this format, The Fraternal Order of Nine Rings, which she wrote about in this post.

One thing that impressed me was the small amount of additional difference in desk space used by the Deskfax, which is B5 size, and the A5 size. This picture compares open Kensingtons in three sizes, Deskfax, A5, and Personal.  While the Deskfax page is 21% larger than the A5, (250x176mm vs 210x148mm), the marginal desk space used seems to be less.

This picture also illustrates the hole spacing compatibility between the Personal and Deskfax sizes, and feature that I have not taken advantage of very often.

Another feature that has made the Deskfax useful to me is the overall dimension of the binder, which is almost identical to the North American letter page size.  This makes it very easy to put a Deskfax with a stack of exams or assignments into a briefcase. If I used a conventional North American letter-sized binder, it would take up more space.  This picture shows my old, well-used York on a stack of assignments.  You can just see the pages underneath, and the sizes are virtually identical.

Enough of justifying myself.  It’s time to show my collection.  In today’s post, I will show you my vintage Statesman Deskfax models.  The Statesman was designated DX1CLF5/4 for the larger 1.25” rings and DX1CLF7/8 for the smaller 7/8” rings, found in most personals.  There were other leathers, examples being the crocodile print calf leather (CCF, instead of CLF), lizard print calf leather (LCF) and iguana print calf (DX1CLF7/8I).

First, we have the one that appeared in my recent post about fixing poppers, a Black DX1CLF5/4:

I have been using a frustratingly-manual layout I created in Excel™ that I created in order to have the same style and layout in my desk organizer and the Slimline Personal that I carry with me. It is do frustrating to use that I am not sure how much longer I will continue using it!

I also have two of these in burgundy:

I love the compactness of the smaller-ringed model, which I have in both black:

and red:

If I recall correctly, Filofax called this colour “Montana Red”.

I recently acquired DX1CLF7/8 that I have never used, as it has a lot of content that I don’t have the heart to remove. It was used as a promotional item by Capital Radio in 1991.  As you can see, it is in near-perfect condition:

The layout of these models is extremely simple:  Inside the Front Cover is a secretarial pocket and the back cover has a horizontal slit to slide in a pad of paper.  There are no other pockets but there is a single pen loop on the back cover.

Now as much as I love these Vintage Statesman models, I don’t like using them in situations that required me to carry them around for one simple reason:  The rings are not riveted. While the clip-in style of ring is preferred by many, they are simply not strong enough to withstand the stresses of carrying around a kilogram or more of pages!  On several occasions I found that when I opened my briefcase, the ring mechanism had separated from the cover!  This issue is not a great with the smaller-ringed 7/8” models, which I still use for a few classes.  In my next post, I will share the rest of my collection, that all have larger, and riveted, rings.


  1. Alan, thank you for sharing these pictures. The ability to just pop in Personal size pages...talk about flexibility.

  2. Nice to see all these thanks Alan. It's a format I've not dabbled with, but have sometimes been tempted to.
    I think the Montana was a qualifier of "calf" rather than pertaining to the colour. A catalogue I have refers to a "Scarlet Montana Calf" model, which may well be yours in the photo.

    1. Thank you for the clarification, Max.

  3. Have you ever tried fitting double width personal leaves into a nine ring Deskfax Alan?
    I think they would just fit, but not sure how it would work when the binder is closed.

    1. Was the double-width personal 190mm or something slightly narrower? B5 Deskfax is 250x176, so it's only about a 1/2 inch we're talking about here.

    2. Double width personal is 181mm, so you're right that the width difference is small. Seems like it should fit quite well.

  4. Thanks for sharing these, Alan. I haven't tried the size, but saw some B5 notebooks recently & did like the dimensions.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...