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

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Special Guest: Jonathon Brooks' Aka-Kin Tamenuri Urushi

Hey all,

Special treat today.   Someone else's pen work!

Some time ago, one of my fellow pen makers, the very gifted Jonathon Brooks began to work with the Japanese Urushi styles of lacquer art, as applied to his pens.  In a very short time, he has developed some pretty amazing skills.

Seeing his work take off, I decided I really must have some of his beautiful work (I love to collect work from other artisans), and Jonathon kindly indulged me, and began work on this amazing piece, which he describes as aka-kin tamenuri (red-gold layered urushi).

I will attempt to describe the technique from what Jonathon told me, though I will undoubtedly get some points wrong.  The base pen is a black ebonite Cigar style, with multiple layers of shu (red) urushi.  The pattern that you can see on the surface was created using the seirei nuri technique, with gold powder applied to the pattern.  After another layer of kijiro urushi, the pen is covered in a thin layer of gold powder, followed by many coats of nashiji urushi.

The result:  a truly beautiful highly polished deep reddish brown pen, with fascinating gold patterns showing from the depths of the translucent urushi.  one of the very cool things about urushi is that over time, it slowly becomes more transparent, revealing more the deeper layers.  This pen will only get better and better with age.

To top it off, the pen is fitted with a lovely 18k nib engraved with Jonathon's Carolina Pen Company logo.

This pen has immediately fallen into the category of one of my absolute favourite pens, and a lifetime keeper.  Thank you Jonathon for a very, very cool pen and fine example of excellent craftsmanship!



Thursday, 8 December 2016

White and Red 'Japan-Themed' Curvy Style Fountain Pen

Hello all,

Here is another Curvy style fountain pen - this one just finished today.  This is the result of an order that I received some time back.  The order was for a custom FP in my Curvy style, but to be themed after the Japanese flag - that is, in white, with round red inlays on the cap and barrel ends.   The red grip section is to match the inlays and tie the whole pen together.

The customer ordering it agreed to go with a pearly material rather than just plan white and plain red - and I am very glad he did, as the result is really quite eye-catching (though sadly hard to capture on camera).  All in all, I am rather happy with how this one came out.

Thanks for looking!


Amber Swirl Curvy Style Fountain Pen with Inlay and 18K Fine Nib

Hi all,

After several weeks of travel, work, family time, and more work, I finally had a chance to put in some hours in my workshop.

Here is one of my Curvy style pens in a lovely translucent Amber Swirl acrylic.  The cap has been dressed up with a black finial with more amber as an inlay - just to add a little extra to the pen.

The nib is a fine JoWo 18K, and the pen is a cartridge-converter filler.

Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

'Susutake' Bamboo Fountain Pen with Garnet Thread Wrap, Ruby Inlay, and 18K Nib

Hello folks,

Here is my latest 'Susutake' style bamboo fountain pen, and I think my best one so far.

Technically, 'sustake' refers to bamboo darkened by smoke over many years, but hey - I don't have many years to work on a pen, nor a lot of smoke to apply to it.  So instead, I use a technique adapted from my bamboo fly fishing rod making days, in which the cane (bamboo) is darkened and caramelized by the judicious use of flame.  The process here involves several rounds of flame treatment, followed by sanding off and buffing the outer layer, and repeating.   The final finish is not applied and treated until after the pen is mostly done.

Taking another design cue from my cane fly rod making days, I have given both the cap and the barrel a wrap of garnet thread, accenting the darkened bamboo.  The ruby end jewels are meant to match the thread wrap, bringing the whole piece together.

The nib on this pen is (in the pictures) a fine JoWo 18K nib, though I will be swapping it out for a juicy B nib which will be tested, tuned and smoothed for the new owner before shipping.  The ink filling system is cartridge/converter.

Thanks for looking!


Monday, 31 October 2016

Large Curvy Style Mocha Swirl Fountain Pen

So here is another one of my Curvy style fountain pens, but this time in the larger sizing.   Unlike my standard sizing, which is worked around a cap thread of 12.7mm (for a max grip diameter of 11.5mm), the larger sizing is worked around a cap thread of 14mm, allowing a grip diameter of 12.7mm max.  Whatever - it's a nice, big pen.

The request was to use one of Jonathon Brooks' nice Mocha Swirl blanks, which I have been wanting to use.  I can see the appeal - a very warm, welcoming colour combo.  Just have to be careful to avoid the temptation to eat it.

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Earth Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen

Hi all,

Here is my latest commission off the bench - using this very cool 'Ocean Lava' alumilite from Bear Tooth Woods.  But of course, like before, I'm going with 'Earth' resin, since the blues and greens remind me so much of the globe - water and green land...

This pen is done in my Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen style, a personal favourite for practicality.  The black trim was added to highlight the Earth resin.

The pen is fitted with a fine steel JoWo nib and is a cartridge/converter fill.

Thanks for looking,


Friday, 30 September 2016

Twin 'Compact' Style FPs in Abalone Explosion Alumilite

Here is the result of a rather special order, placed by a couple of pen fans who both happen to be expecting.  I celebration of the new addition to their respective families, they ordered matching fountain pens.

The material chosen was 'Abalone Explosion' - an alumilite which I purchased from Bear Tooth Woods, and which is a truly lovely mix of purples and blues.

The style chosen was my 'Compact' style - a minimalist version of my Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen.  This style is (as the name suggests), rather compact at 130mm capped, while still able to accommodate a full size converter.  It posts to a very comfortable 145mm or so, but is still quite comfortable to use unposted, at about 125mm.

One of the pens is equipped, by request, with a fine steel JoWo nib, while the other is packing a 1.1mm stub nib.

I really have enjoyed working with this style of pen - shows off the material nicely, without the distraction of a clip, and is a somewhat more user-friendly size and shape than a standard Cigar.

Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Grey Cebloplast 'C600' - and a group shot!

And, here is the third of a set of three fountain pens made using cool vintage cebloplast tubes.  The first one was finished in April, and this one is fresh off the bench last night.  Took a while (been a crazy summer)!

I decided to keep the naming theme that I used for the others, and called this one a 'C600'.

This pen is equipped with a JoWo medium steel nib, and has a cartridge/converter filling system.

Finally, the group shot of all four cebloplast pens (three for the order, one just for fun):

Thanks for looking!


Blue-Grey Cebloplast 'C400'

More cebloplast!

When I received an order for three cebloplast pens, and was sent the material (vintage cebloplast tubes), I liked it so much that I bought a whole pile more!  Here is one of the colours that I ordered a number of months back, and have been wanting to try.  It is not part of a pen order, and I rather like it - so now I have to decide whether I can bear to sell it!

This cebloplast is a cool mix of grey and blue, which is framed by the black cap and black barrel trip.  For a more comfortable feel, I have avoided 'step' in the barrel diameter (which I usually incorporate in order to allow a firm stop when screwing the cap on).  Instead, I have stepped the inside diameter of the cap, which allows the same firm stop.

The pen is fitted with a Bock medium steel nib, and is a has a cartridge/converter fill system.

Thanks for looking!


Red Cebloplast 'C600' Fountain Pen

Wow - it has been quite a while since my last post!  My summer has been absolutely packed - lots of travel, a load of extra work, some home renovations, and best of all, the birth of my first granddaughter!   It's all good, as they say - but unfortunately, have had very little time left over to work in the shop.  We'll see what the months ahead bring....

In the meantime, here is the second installment of a set of fountain pens that I was asked to make using some very cool vintage cebloplast tubes.  The first one, which appeared a few post ago, came out (unintentionally) with a look and size reminiscent of my good old trusty Pelikan M400, so I decided to call it the 'C400' in homage to one of my favourite pen brands.    Following the same line, I am calling this one, which I finished a few weeks ago, the 'C600' :-)

This particular vintage material is rather interesting, as it was clearly made by wrapping a strip of cebloplast around a core (if you look carefully, you can see the seam - though it can't be felt).  It has the usual wonderful depth that cebloplast seems to have.

The cap is made of black acrylic, and the barrel end is trimmed in black to frame the ceblo.   I decided to give the cap finial a bit of an interesting shape for fun.

The pen is fitted with a broad two-tone steel JoWo nib, which has been smoothed for a great writing experience.  It has a cartridge/converter filling system.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

'Stormy Seas' Large Size Cigar Fountain Pen

Hi folks,

Here is another pen made from one of Jonathon Brooks' cool alumilites.  One of the fun things about the alumilite blanks is that you often just can't tell by looking at the blank itself what it is going to look like once it is turned on the lathe.  That is actually one of the things I find most fun about these materials - a bit of discovery and surprise as I make each new pen.  I can't recall offhand what Jonathon called this one, so I am going with 'Stormy Seas'.

In this case, it turned out lighter than I was expecting, and lighter than the prospective new owner preferred, so as it happens this pen is also posted on my 'For Sale' page.

The pen is a Cigar style pen in my larger sizing (thicker grip diameter and overall diameter).  The dimensions are: 150mm capped, 137mm uncapped, diameter max 16mm, grip diameter max 12.7mm (the grip size is comparable to a Pelikan M1000, and just a bit smaller than a Montblanc 149).

It is fitted with a medium polished steel JoWo nib for the photos.  The fill system is cartridge/converter as per my usual.

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, 23 June 2016

'Land and Sea' Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen with Cap Band and Inlays

Hi everyone,

Been meaning to post this one since I gave it to my wife.  This was a birthday gift to her, and a replacement for another pen that had sadly vanished.

I can't recall the nem of this Lava alumilite, but 'Land and Sea' came to mind.

This is one of my 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pens' - the ones that are a decent size for daily carry, and post well for convenience.  This one features a brass cap band, as well as inlays on each end made using another similar alumilite.  It is fitted with an 18K JoWo fine nib.

Happy wife.