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, 5 May 2016

Ebony and Paua Shell FP in a Rustic Styling

A few times now I have been attracted to a certain Japanese pen company's website, admiring the nice work they do on their pens, particularly their beautiful work in ebony and in rosewood.  So I recently had a look at their prices ($1500 - 2500), and very quickly decided that buying one of their pens would never be in my future.  So I decided that I would just make one myself.

Of course while this pen is inspired (especially in shape) by the ones I noted above, I have also taken it in my own direction, wanting to make a pen (for me) that really spoke to me.

I have a nice collection of pieces of various exotic woods, and after sifting through them decided on ebony.  Incredibly messy to work with (sticky black dust everywhere), but the end results are usually very much worth it.

One of the problems that I have had with wood pens before is their tendency for the nib to dry out over a few days.  This has been the case whether I leave the cap unsealed inside, sealed with CA, sealed with polymerizing oil, with epoxy, etc.  One solution I came up with was to add a small plastic inner cap that covers the nib.  This worked fairly well, but was still not entirely satisfactory.  This time, what I did was to create an acrylic liner that filed the entire cap, continuous with the thread (I could have done this in ebonite too, but that seemed like a bit of a waste of expensive ebonite).  This has worked beautifully, and there are absolutely no dry-out issues in this pen.  Finally, the cap is flared at the top to allow a nice big paua shell inlay.

Another new technique I wanted to try on this pen was to add a cap band, something that I have not really gotten in the habit of doing.  But in this case, I wanted a bit of gold colour to contrast against the ebonite, and to complement the 18K nib.  An interesting process that involved a bit of figuring, some serious frustration, a few unsavoury words, but ultimately a happy success.

Another break form my usual styling was to change the active thread location on the end of the barrel to allow for a larger 'thread-free' grip zone, making the pen more comfortable to hold.  The barrel itself is shaped to allow a nice perch for posting the cap, which fits on the barrel quite securely and with great balance.   To finish off the look of the pen, I added another paua shell inlay to the end of the barrel.

The pen is fitted with a medium JoWo 18K nib, which writes like a dream.

Yep, this pen fanatic is smiling today.

Thanks for looking!