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

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Flamed Cane: The True Bamboo with Garnet Thread Wrap and Ruby End Jewels

In my last couple of blog entries, I introduced a technique of thread wrapping used in fly fishing rod construction, particularly in that of the bamboo, or 'cane' rods.   Another technique widely used in bamboo rod construction is that of 'flaming'.   In this process, the raw bamboo is subjected to flame (usually in the form of a blow torch of sorts) in order to carmelize and lightly charcoal the bamboo to give it the colour and texture.  As you take off the outer layers of more burnt cane, the deeper, browned cane appears, giving the bamboo a rich tan or brown colour.

Here I have applied that same technique to a small culm intended for use as a fountain pen.  Having flamed the culm, I took off the outer scorched enamel, smoothing it with steel wool, and then giving the outside (and inside) a good soak in thin (low viscosity) cyanoacrylate to stabilize and seal it.  I buffed the outside to a matte finish before adding the garnet thread wraps (as mentioned in my last post, the blonde bamboo is often paired with spring green thread, and the flamed cane with a darker thread such as garnet).

The end jewels in the last post were convex, like the end jewels in most popular pens.  I didn't think it looked right with the bamboo, so this time, I tried plain flat end jewels in ruby red flake acrylic, and am reasonably pleased with the result.

The nib section, cap thread, and barrel tenon are all in black acrylic.

I think I have gotten some of the bamboo obsession out of my system.  For now....

Thanks for looking!


PS - here is a group shot of these last three bamboo pens:


  1. Very nice :-)
    Is this pen available, or is it already spoken for?

    1. Thanks very much, Michel.

      I haven't decided yet whether to sell this one.

    2. Well if you do, keep me in mind :-)

  2. They are all gorgeous, but I especially love the brown one. If you make more, please let me know. I love my ebonite bamboo, but the real thing is the real thing.