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

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Pen for VanGogh

I just finished this pen last night, a custom order for one of my Classic style pens, but with this lovely 'Charger Lava' resin from Bear Tooth Woods.  I have not used this stuff before, so I was game to give it a whirl.

It was labelled as 'acrylic', but is very, very different from the usual acrylic acetate that I use for pen making.  It was much more chippy and brittle (though not nearly so as some other resins, like polyresin or worse, inlace acrylester), and was a bit tricky to thread, but on the other hand, WOW!  The colours and depth on this stuff is fantastic!  Despite the challenges of using it, I think I will be ordering more of this.  With it's brilliant swirls of gold on the dark blue background, this particular pen immediately reminded at least a couple of people I showed it to of one of VanGogh's paintings, 'Starry Night'.

Finishing this pen is a ball-end gold finish clip, as well as a two-tone JoWo steel nib, and a converter.  The finial screws into the cap to hold the clip in place.

I hope the one who ordered it likes it as much as I do!



Friday, 15 February 2013

Tiger Stripey Cigar Style Fountain Pen

Here is a pen I just finished this evening, a cigar style fountain pen in a  tiger - stripey acrylic that just keeps coming back, by popular demand.  The rich gold colour and irridescent swirl gives this material a lovely depth indeed.

The pen is fitted with a medium two-tone steel nib by JoWo of Germany, and is a cartridge/converter filler (converter installed).

Well, extra short post this time, as I have to run for my son's soccer game.

Comments welcome as always.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Bamboo Forest!

Some time back, I was contacted by a customer in Singapore who was interested in pursuing a group order of my 'Bamboo' style fountain pens.  After sorting out all the various preferences for the pens, there was a bit of a wait to get through the already existing order list (and to get past Christmas etc), but at long last I managed to get started on this small collection...

The first to be finished was the pen done in blue crush acrylic (a personal favourite):

The second one to be produced was the matte black acrylic.  I had not done a matte finish in acrylic before, and found it a little more challenging to do a finish like this on acrylic than on ebonite (hard rubber):

Next up was the 'Bamboo' style pen made of wood.  The customer requested that the wood be of one piece, so that the cap and barrel grain would match, and so that the whole pen would clearly be of one piece of wood.  Eventually, we settled on black walnut as the wood of choice.  This pen involved some significant challenges, as the threaded components could not be made out of wood.  Not wanting to use any parts from a 'pen kit', I had to create an acrylic insert in the cap, and also in the barrel, which I could then drill to size and thread just as I would one of my acrylic pens.  Required some very precise measurements and turning, but it was an interesting and enjoyable exercise:

After this was the jade green swirl acrylic Bamboo.  I was quite pleasantly surprised at how nicely the jade colour suited the Bamboo motif:

Finally, the order was finished off with a pen done up in the handsome, woodgrain-like cumberland ebonite.

Now, to contact the customer, and start packing up some pens!

Friday, 1 February 2013

A Black and Yellow Short Cigar...From the Deep Freeze

Turning pens in the depths of winter on the Canadian prairie can be a bit of a challenge.  Or, if you prefer, an adventure.  My unheated garage, where I do all my shop work, is insulated.  This manages to keep it from plunging to the extreme temperatures outside,which can drop as low as -35 C (-31 F) - but,  that doesn't mean it's warm.  At times, my garage and workshop can be as low as -15C (5F), and many new considerations come into play in the turning and finishing - even apart from having to dress in a dozen layers just to be able work out there for a couple of hours.  For instance, acrylic becomes incredibly brittle in that degree of cold, and just seems to beg for an opportunity to shatter as I try to shape it on the lathe.  Even holding the tools is tricky, as I have to warm them up a bit first, or risk frostbite (gloves not recommended while doing lathe work, for safety reasons).  Or, reaching for the bottle of water I keep on my bench to cool the drill bits, I find it rock solid.  Or, having to throw my container of plastic polish into a bucket of warm water to thaw it out so I can finish a pen.... Ah, well, such is life in the barren wastelands...  On the positive side, if I have a beer out there, it won't get warm.

Anyhow, here is the latest pen off my bench, just finished last evening.  This particular commission was for a short, 'cigar-style' fountain pen, but came with the request that instead of the usual rounded ends of a cigar pen, that it have coned ends (as it turned out, the design ended up being very similar to one used my a number of other pen makers, so it may look...somewhat familiar).

The nib, which was supplied by the the gentleman who ordered the pen, was specially ground prior to being shipped to me.

I have to say, I am pretty happy with this pen.  A nice, compact cigar!

Thanks for looking!  Comments welcome.