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 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.

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


IMPORTANT NOTICE: I am happily overwhelmed with pen orders. This gives me great joy in that my work is so well received, but saddens me that I cannot fill orders anywhere near as quickly as I would like. I am still trying to work through back orders, but if you have ordered from me and heard nothing for some time, feel free to email me and ask how things are going.
I still only make these pens in my spare time, when work and family time permit, and even then the productivity slows down during the coldest winter months thanks to my unheated workshop.
Given that I make these pens primarily as a hobby, I also reserve the right to pursue some other interesting pen projects in between filling orders.
I apologize for long delays in order fulfillment, which may in some case be over a year and a half. In the meantime, you are welcome to contact me to inquire about new pen orders, or to check up on a previously submitted order.

-Ken Cavers

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The 'Pen of Many Colours' (the creation of Frankenstein's pen)

Hello folks.  I thought this time instead of simply posting shots the finished product, I'd try posting a few pics of the production process just for the fun of it.

Fortunately, I had a custom order for a pen that might be fun to see put together.   Having made a similar pen last year, I heard it variously referred to as 'loud', 'cheerful and sunny', 'garish and obnoxious', 'fun'... In truth, I made the first one for an 'ugly/crazy pen contest', as kind of a joke.  I was shocked to discover how many people loved it, and wanted me to make one for them.   I declined - partly because it takes a while to build up some good, colourful scrap, and partly because it really is a lot of work.  When I received another request for one of these a couple of months ago, I thought it would be fun to have another go at it.  This style of pen is made up, not surprisingly, out of all the scraps and left-overs from other pens that I have made.  I called the last one the 'End of the Day Pen', but thought I'd name this one after Jacob's coat, and call it the 'Pen of Many Colours'.  Seemed appropriate enough.

I have skipped a many (most) of the steps and details in this process in the pics below, as I didn't want this to become overly didactic and boring.

The first step in the process was to find a nice big scrap piece to make the nib section out of.  So I picked one with an odd mix of blue and green (though once turned, it was mostly blue anyway).

                                                       The scrap piece for the nib section

                                            Here I am about to outside-thread the nib section

                                           The finished nib section (posing with a B nib)!

Next up was to try to choose from among the more colourful scraps for the barrel and cap of this pen.

                                              Various scraps and left-overs from other pens

In order to glue the pieces together, the ends must be trimmed perfectly flat, with a slightly roughened face.  Medium viscosity cyanoacrylate is wonderful stuff to hold the parts together, as it polished up similarly to the rest of the acrylic.  Occasionally however, the glue fails under great stress, and sends me back to the drawing board.  The first iteration of the cap, pictured below, ended like that.  It exploded when I tried to drill to soon after glueing, and I had to remake a large part of it (seen in the next pic below that).

                                  The first iteration of the cap...destined for an explosive end.

                                 Turning the second cap (with finial), which worked out much better

                        The finial, which screws into the rest of the cap, and holds the clip in place.

                                                 The finished cap, complete with clip!

Next up was to glue up the barrel in the same was as above, trimming each piece to have a smooth, flat end.   I wanted to make sure that I used no acrylic twice, so a number of scraps got used in this.

                     The glued barrel, rough turned, now drilling out and preparing to thread it.

                                                              Turning the barrel

                                                              The finished barrel!

Putting it all together was the next step.  I did a custom grind turning a fine nib into an extra-fine nib (a special request, as I don't usually offer nib grinds), adjusted and smoothed it, and installed it in the pen.

And there you have it.  Not to everybody's taste, but bright, colourful, and certain to make a statement.  Or something.

Comments always welcome.


  1. It's a beauty! I can hardly wait to show it off!

  2. It's lovely to look at and a pleasure to write with! I use it all the time now.

  3. Buahahaha this is a brilliant, brilliant pen! I love it.