WELCOME!

Welcome to my Custom Fountain Pen website/blog. I put this site together a while ago so that I could let some of my fellow pen enthusiasts and penmakers, as well as my customers, see what I have been up to lately in the workshop. I don't publish all of my pens here, but good percentage of them.

A Little About My Pens: I love doing fine work on the lathe, which is what got me into this work. That is, I enjoy the focus on the details of a project - the material and colour selection, the form, the fit and finish of the pen. I also test all of the my nibs before shipping. I fill the converter, run ink through the nib and feed, and write with it. I spend a significant amount of time smoothing and adjusting the nib of every pen that I sell. My goal, with each pen that I make, is to create a writing piece whose fit and finish will impress you when you first pull it out of the packing, and that will serve you well as a great writer when you fill it up with your favourite ink.

Have a look at my posts to see some of the work I am doing lately, or see my pricing guide in the link below to the right, or check the link to my current inventory of already-made pens (usually small, as most of my work is by commissions/orders).

Or, if you are interested, you can see some of the work I have done previously in my Custom Pen Gallery on Photobucket!

If you have a Twitter account, I am @drgoretex

If you are a Tumblr kind of person, look up 'drgoretex' - but give it time. Just breaking in to that one.

If any of my posts generate particular interest, I will pin them as links on the right (eg 'Basic Nib Adjusting 101').

* ORDERS: Please contact me at kencavers@gmail.com to place an order.

* PRICES: Please see the link on the right side of the screen 'Pricing Guide' for an idea as to the cost of a pen.

* REVIEWS:
Have a look at the bottom of this page for some reviews done by previous buyers!

* HOW LONG WILL MY ORDER TAKE?:

IMORTANT NOTICE: I only make pens in my spare time, when work and other aspects of life permit. This amounts to somewhere around one to four pens per month. This, combined with a brutal winter this past year, which shut down my workshop for about three months, has led to a ridiculously long wait list for pen orders. This wait time is now about a year and a half. After some careful consideration, I have decided to close my pen making to new orders until I finish most of the orders on this list. My apologies for the inconvenience.

-Ken Cavers








Friday, 21 November 2014

Orange Crush SPFP

 
Here's the latest to come off my bench - first time I have made this style of pen out of the Orange Crush acrylic.   One of the things that I notice about this acrylic is that it seems to have an even lower melting point than most other acrylics.  Not sure why, but wow - slow drilling here…




Turned out to be a fairly translucent material this time.  I think I might try polishing the inside of the cap and barrel the next time I use this stuff, see about making a 'semi-demonstrator' with it.

In any case, this cheerful little pen is fitted with a fine JoWo steel nib that I have ground to an EF, but in  an 'Architect' grind, allowing extra fine verticals, and fine to medium horizontals.  Adds a nice flair to the writing!

Thanks for looking!

Ken

Monday, 10 November 2014

'Fall Foliage' Cigar Style Fountain Pen


Nothing like a good cigar   A good cigar style fountain pen, that is!  The great advantage of the Cigar style is that it very simple.  Sometimes, the simplicity of the shape is itself the focus of the pen - when using a uniform material with a single colour, the shape of the pen can speak volumes.   On the other hand, when using a very beautiful material, the simple shape of a Cigar style becomes the canvas, and the brilliant swirls of colour become the focal point.  Such is the case with this gorgeous material, which was called 'Fall Foliage' where I bought it (Slabs, Blanks and Boards).  And with its bright swirls of red and gold, the name certainly seems appropriate!



I have fitted this Cigar pen with a broad steel two-tone JoWo nib.  The filling system is cartridge or converter.

Thanks for looking!

Ken

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Blue Tiger SPFP


Here is another material that I have not used in quite a while.  Similar to the 'Tiger' acrylic that I seem to use quite often, this one has the same stripe and swirl, but with blue instead of orange.  So, what the heck - 'Blue Tiger'.

This is another 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen', the style I seem to do most often lately, and my personal favourite for an every day carry pen.  Fits great in the shirt pocket, comfortable to use unposted, but posts deeply and securely too, for convenience with long periods of writing.




As I often do with this model of pen, I have framed the blue tiger acrylic in black to compliment it.  This pen is fitted with a steel JoWo medium nib.

Thanks for looking!

Ken

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

'Arctic Nights' Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen


Well, I so liked this material (which I last time called 'Blue Nebula') that I just had to get more.  So, back to Jonathon Brooks, who kindly mixed up a batch for me.  This time, I decided to make the blank into one of my 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pens' ('SPFP).

This material just keeps grabbing my attention.  When I was looking at this pen last night, something kept tugging at my memory, when it it suddenly occurred to me that it evoked memories (not so distant) of cold, cold mid-winter starry nights, with their cold light sparkling off drifts of fresh snow, and of the beautiful eerie blue northern lights.  I decided I just had to give the material a different name for this pen - so, for this pen anyway, it's 'Arctic Nights' :-))




I have fitted this one with a broad JoWo nib for the pictures.

Thanks for looking!

Ken






Sunday, 26 October 2014

Curvy Style FP in Inlaid Blackwood and Amboyna Burl


Most of the time, I work with various plastics for my pens, as they are durable, nonabsorbent, and strong materials - but once in a while, I get a request for a pen made of wood.  This presents a few challenges, but not insurmountable: making a pen out of wood without using brass tubing inside means making the walls thick enough for structural integrity; since wood is absorbent, the inside of the cap must be coated and sealed to avoid too much nib drying; since wood cannot be threaded, the cap and barrel must be drilled out, and acrylic inserts created to fit inside them, which can then be drilled and threaded as needed; and finally, since wood is irregular in its consistency, and the drilling (for the inserts to be threaded) has a tolerance of only a few microns, the drilling is incredibly tricky!

However, when the product is finished successfully, I am always happy to have done it.  That is certainly the case here -   this is my latest pen to come off the bench, just finished this weekend.  The request was for a pen in my 'Curvy' style (yep.  Need a better name), and in wood.  After some discussion back and forth, and inspired by the inlays acrylic curvy pens I have done, we came up with this idea - the barrel was to be made from african blackwood, and the cap of amboyna burl.   Of course, the threading inside the cap is created from an inset piece of black acrylic, as is the threaded tenon on the barrel.


To tie the cap and barrel together visually, I created an inlay of blackwood on the end of  the cap, and and inlay of amboyna on the end of the barrel.   I have to say that doing these inlays on a wood lathe is rather tricky, but very much worth the effort.


The finish is a nice heavy coat of cyanoacrylate, sanded and polished to a high gloss.

For this pen, I made two separate grip sections (one with a fine nib, and one with a 1.1mm stub nib) to allow easy switching of nibs without the risk of putting the nib tines out of alignment from the torque of removal and insertion of the nib units.   Both nibs have been tested, adjusted, and smoothed, and write very nicely - now with the extra grip section, they can stay that way!

Thanks for looking,

Ken






Friday, 24 October 2014

Turquoise Cebloplast FP in a Duofold-Like Style


Here's a cool material that I picked up some time ago - some vintage Cebloplast, made by Mazzucchelli of Italy.  From what I have read, this particular stock is vintage, dating to circa 1950's.  Cebloplast is a material called cellulose acetate, which was first developed in the 1860's, and became fairly common between the first and second world wars.   It was cellulose acetate that replaced the previously used (and highly combustible) nitrocellulose in film production.

One of the things I really like about this plastic is its low melting point, which allows for a truly brilliant polish.  But then, one of the things that I really hate about this stuff is the low melting point - drilling is very, very tricky…


The new owner of this pen expressed interest in the Parker Duofold style of pen, so I thought I would do something similar to that.  It is very similar in size to my 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen' style, but with a barrel that doesn't have the taper to allow for posting

At the request of the buyer, the nib has been ground to a cursive italic broad for some very enjoyable writing.


I've decided that this material is my new favourite, and will have to keep some of this for a pen for good old me…

Thanks for looking!

Ken





Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Colour Splash Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen


Here is another one of my SPFP (Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen) style pens, this one done in another of Jonathon Brooks's lovely alumilite pours.  This one (which he calls Primary Manipulation), is one I have used before, but thanks tot he nature of the material and the array of colours that go into it, each blanks looks quite different from the last.


This particular pen has been fitted with  steel JoWo nib in Broad, that has been custom ground to  a cool smooth stub.

Well, there you have it.

Cheers,

Ken

Saturday, 18 October 2014

A Two-Pen Order: Tiger Stripey Long Cigar and Orange Crush Classic - with Pen Rests!

Hello fellow fountain pen folks.  Here are a couple of new pens that I finished this past week, a two-pen order for husband and wife.



The first is a 'Long Cigar' style fountain pen in what I have been calling 'tiger stripy' acrylic - a lovely material with depth and pearlescence, combined with the rugged durability of acrylic.  Nice material indeed.  The fellow who ordered it wanted it to be longer than my usual Cigar style, so this one measures a whopping 150mm (6 inches) uncapped!   Very comfortable for larger hands…
As requested, I have a made a matching pen rest for it as well.




The nib is a fine steel JoWo nib, and the fill system is cartridge/converter.




The second pen in the set is one of my 'Classic' style pens, but with a barrel diameter just slightly thinner than usual, by request.  This one is done up in the popular 'orange crush' acrylic, and has also been fitted with a fine JoWo steel nib, and has a matching pen rest.

Thanks for looking!

Ken

Thursday, 9 October 2014

'Lava Flow' Cigar Style Fountain Pen

Here is one that I just finished last night for a colleague who is busy celebrating the birth of his twins!  His request was for a Cigar style pen, which is one of my favourites - especially when combined with a beautiful resin, as the simple unassuming shape with its smooth curves and gentle taper doesn't distract from the beauty of the material from which it is made.




The material from which this one was made is another of Jonathon Brooks's lovely alumilite creations, to which I am rapidly becoming addicted.  This one, sold as 'alternative combustion' (as opposed to his original 'combustion') I just have to rename 'Lava Flow' for my pen.  It deserved a cool handle - its pearly depth combined with the rich red and black swirls completely catches and hold the eye!



So now I just finished smoothing and tuning the medium steel JoWo nib, enjoying writing with it for a while, and will be packing this one off to Montréal shortly.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Purpleweb Celluloid Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen


Been a while since I turned any celluloid (so busy with all the alumilite lately)!  Here is an order I received - like most of my orders - some time ago.  The order was for one of my SPFPs, only made in celluloid.  Well, celluloid is rather hard to come by in Canada, as I think I might have mentioned - in fact, there are no suppliers of it in this country at all, to my knowledge.  So, once again, this had to come from the US, and unfortunately this means a bit of a hassle because being nitro celluloid (and thus rather vigorously combustible), it needs to be handled specially to go across the border.  Long and short is that I rarely ever get any real celluloid to turn.   What a treat!!  When turning it, or sanding it, the whole workshop fills with the powerful scent of camphor, giving the strong impression of being covered in Vics Vapo Rub :-))



Anyhow, here it is, decked out with silver coloured hardware, featuring a medium steel JoWo nib, ready to smooth and tune.


Thanks for looking!

Ken