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

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.



  1. This is beautiful. Can you move this operation indoors - like, to your basement? Or get a space heater? Although even a large space heater is no match for Winterpeg temperatures.

  2. I've already warned the kids - the first one to move out will have room turned into a wood shop :-))