Friday, 23 December 2011

Filofax clasps (size DOES matter!)

Well, I moved into Cavendish #1 and have started renovating Cavendish #2 (more on that another day). My first impressions of the Cavendish are:
1) I wish it would lie flat (but the more used Cavendish #2 lies a lot flatter so maybe it will come with time…) 
2) what were filofax thinking of with the clasp/strap thing that is just a bit too short.

Surely the point of having 30 mm rings and two pen loops would be that you can carry more…? But the fastener could do with another cm of wiggle room (at least) I would say.

Anyway, scientist as I claim to be and being sure that my baroque had more space, I decided to measure the straps on each. Now, measuring this was a bit tricky and so I ended up jamming the ruler-end against the edge of the binder, using the ruler to pin down the strap and weighting the other end of the ruler to make it stay still while I took pictures. Hence each strap measurement is about 5 mm short of reality (but this is the same for each strap I measured as I used the same method). I figured that the measurement I needed was from the edge of the binder to the middle of the press-stud.

First up, the Cavendish (30 mm rings).

Cavendish strap length

Then the baroque (23 mm rings).

Baroque strap length

And out of curiosity, the A5 Finchley (25 mm rings).

A5 Finchley strap length

Then I noticed that although the baroque was miles ahead in the length stakes, the other half of the press-stud (on the front cover) is much further away from the edge of the binder. Out came the ruler again to take measurements of this distance.


Cavendish, press-stud to binder edge measurement


Baroque, press-stud to binder edge

A5 Finchley:

A5 Finchley, press-stud to binder edge

Hmm. Now to do some sums. The Baroque strap length is 7.8 cm (including the error mentioned earlier) and the press-stud is 3.5 cm from the edge of the cover, leaving a working length of 4.3 cm. The same maths for the Cavendish (5.8 cm - 1.5 cm) also leaves 4.3 cm. For the Finchley it’s  4.8 cm (7.3 - 2.5 cm).

Why does the Cavendish have the same working length as a binder with smaller rings and only one pen loop? Surely it should be longer…? The 25 mm binder has a longer loop (and 2 pen loops incidentally). I feel like I am not quite able to take advantage of the extra ring space and the extra pen loop.

Picture of the Cavendish from the side (long edge). The other pen is a Coleto 4 colour pen that Gerard sent me (thanks Gerard!!). Look at that strap straining away!

Side-on. Tight strap!

And a picture from the side (short edge). Look at that unused ring space!

Space to fill...!

I’m wondering if you can get extensions for the straps, like you can for bras…?

Hope everyone has a happy Christmas!


  1. So Prof. Filofax... did you notice that the Cavendish is the opposite sex to the other two... in terms of its press stud orientation? Which bit the male part of the popper is fitted to compared to the female bit!!!

    But that aside... how about a clasp extension.. A short piece of leather with a female part of the popper on one end and the male part at the other end on the other side. So this would join to the existing clasp and then attach to the existing press stud on the binder at the other end.

    Think of it like extending a trouser belt with another trouser belt....

    Does that make any sense? Or should I send you a simple drawing?

  2. @Steve
    You and I are cut from the same cloth at times! I know exactly what you mean! They would need to be firmly snapping press-studs for the thing not to fly open at the least provocation and I'm not sure (yet... I'm hoping people will say) where I can get them from or how to fix them to a nice bit of leather...
    But it's an option I'll investigate!

  3. My thoughts where along the lines of not in any way modifying the organiser, but keeping it original as possible. Just giving it a little add on to give it that little bit of extra capacity.

    I believe you should be able to get some suitable press studs and a suitable punch from your nearest dress making shop?

    Generally the press studs come in two halves. You punch the leather then fit the two halves through the hole and then using a tool you squeeze both halves together and Robert is your mothers brother... I think the tool will do both the popper and the press stud.

    Try looking on Amazon or Ebay you should find a supplier may be. But if you have a dress making shop you should be able to find one the right size to 'mate' with the ones on the Filofax. I think generally they only vary in size in terms of diameter so it shouldn't be too difficult to find some that fit.

    You could in fact put additional press studs on the strip of leather to give you some adjustment capacity.

    If you wanted to go as far as modifying the organiser, you could attach a longer clasp to the existing one, just sewing one to the other. But you might end up with sore fingers stitching through leather!


  4. No, I'm with you! It would work in exactly the way the bra-extenders do! I was thinking of a leather strip (like a watch strap bit) with the two halves of the press-stud on it - one to 'mate' with the stud on the strap of the filofax and the other at the other end (and other side) to 'mate' with the stud on the cover.
    My nearest dress-making shop... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I live in rural Scotland so that would be Edinburgh or Glasgow I reckon! 55 miles+
    I will investigate eBay!

  5. I share the frustrations over the clasp sizing. I have an A5 Kendal and the strap is too short to actually make use of both pen loops. It's not even near full of paper. I had it replaced and the new one was longer by about 2mm, not much better, but it helped a bit. Not sure why they do that, as the one on the personal Kendal is plenty long enough.

  6. I never thought about this, but it explains A LOT.