Author: Carl Fisher

PSA: Extracting a cracked Jowo nib from your pen

PSA: Extracting a cracked Jowo nib from your pen

Jowo nibs are threaded into the the grip section of your pen. Occasionally they get stuck due to ink drying up in the threads, humidity expanding the section or any number of reasons. When this happens and you try to remove it by force it can crack.

The first thing to try is if your nib will not unscrew, pop it in the fridge for a little bit to cool the material and see if that frees it up. If not and you did crack your housing, never fear as you can still save the pen and nib/feed.

Next up is don’t try to unscrew a cracked housing using the nib and feed. You WILL break your feed. This is not meant to have rotational stress and the spine in the feed is very narrow.  Just don’t do it. A cracked housing will try to expand as you unscrew it and as it expands it makes the extraction problem worse.

Instead, pull the nib and feed out of the housing and find a flat blade screwdriver that is slightly larger than the opening in the housing. Since it’s cracked anyway we’re just worried about salvaging the pen so don’t worry if you scrape up the inside of the housing. Just don’t force the issue and end up cracking the grip.

Watch the video below for what works for me.

Right place and time to do something I swore I would not do again.

Right place and time to do something I swore I would not do again.

Stick with me. I’m going somewhere with this I promise.

Let me come right out and say that it has been a pleasure working with Jerry from Additive Pens. However it brought me back to doing something that I swore I would not do again which is large volume production turning. When he came to me with this proposal I had to do some serious contemplation about the commitment it would mean and decide if it would drop me back into the slump I had just come out of which kicked off at the Atlanta pen show last year and the absolute failure of my Elemental series pens.

I was in a difficult place. I had a dying piece of critical machinery, funds too tight to afford the machine I knew I needed and a GoFundMe campaign that despite a lot of verbal support did not gain any financial traction. At the end of the day, his timing was right and I was in a place that I felt I could use this as an opportunity to bootstrap myself back up into the ranks I had fallen out of in the custom pen world. Even if it meant long hours on nights and weekends to grind through 200 units.

Also I chose to do it because I believe in what he is doing. As an amateur maker and fan of new technologies I’m always looking for ways to integrate things like my laser, CNC and now his 3D SLA printing capabilities. Jerry was the right person to partner with and what he is doing fuels my drive to see this and future projects come to fruition.

So where am I going with this?

I turned this into a growth opportunity and an efficiency gain that ultimately I will be passing down to you, my partners and customers in this journey in several ways.

1st, it kept me in business by funding the new lathe that I desperately needed. The new one is bigger, safer, more powerful and most importantly more accurate than the rickety machine I had been working on.

2nd, when you are faced with turning out 200 identical units of something you start immediately searching for efficiency gains. “How can I do this operation faster and more accurately?” is on your mind the entire process Step one kicked my tail to spend more time with my CAD program to make some plans that we could collaborate on and give me a reference for faster setup times for each piece. Step two was to purchase some purpose built tools. Reamers with hard stops for repeatable hole diameter and depth, new taps and dies, etc… The payoff is that all of these gains can be carried over to my normal pen creation process saving time and improving accuracy at each step along the way.

3rd it also provided a bump in social media traffic. Interacting with another maker during his campaign on Instagram and Facebook has increased awareness for both of our brands. It makes the all-knowing social media AI start showing your posts to more people which creates more interactions which creates an exponential bump in traffic which continues the process again.

So in short, it has been a fun collaboration process and I thank Jerry for saving my ass by keeping me in business. I look forward to future projects.

 

2 Athena pens, first of 2018

2 Athena pens, first of 2018

The last 2 pens to come from my now defunct metal lathe (more on that in another post).

A matched pair of Athena pens. One in cool mint water acrylic and one in my exclusive earth elemental series material. Both sporting EF Jowo nibs from FP Nibs all tuned and ready to rock and K6 threaded converters to keep everything seated where it should be inside the pen body.

As a side note, I’ll be opening up all 4 of the elemental materials for ordering now that we’re into 2018.

 

A Note About our Nibs and Supplier

A Note About our Nibs and Supplier

One of the most common questions about custom pens is “what nib do you use”. The standard answer is that I use Jowo brand nibs primarily. While this is not the only nib brand offered, it is the staple nib for many reasons. It’s widely chosen by many custom makers and is compatible with nibs you may already own. They are easily user interchangeable, easy to clean and overall write consistently well.

However going a step further, the primary supplier of our Jowo nibs is FPNibs.com out of Spain. While I can order nibs from state side suppliers for quick needs, I find that the nibs received from FPNibs are better tuned directly out of the box, flow well and are generally more consistent. The bonus is that FPNibs offers a HUGE variation in color, plating and even custom grinds at a terrific price point. The only downside is that it can take 3 weeks to receive orders due to lags in international shipping.

If you’re thinking about having a custom pen made and are unsure of your nib selection, take a browse at the FPNibs.com website and see what fits your desires. https://www.fpnibs.com/94-size-6

One of the new offerings from FP Nibs is a flex modification offered on the gold nibs. Matt Armstrong recently did a review of these nibs on The Pen Habit podcast.

 

 

Big 3 Collaboration for Additive Pens

Big 3 Collaboration for Additive Pens

I was approached by Jerry Tong from Additive Pens with a unique opportunity. Could I make front sections and caps that would compliment his 3D printed pens. After some back and forth a simple but attractive design was decided on.

For material I turned to one of the best in the business. Jonathon Brooks of Carolina Pen Company (aka Brooks Blanks). Jonathon has been one of my primary material providers for some time and I asked him to have at it coming up with two distinctive color combinations. One a darker understated deign and one a lighter more wild color mix. He delivered in spades.

After a bit of retooling for the new front section design it was time for some quality time at the lathe. Below are the first caps and sections that will be sent off to Additive for test fit and final tweaks before a big run for his upcoming Batch 4 orders.

Thank you to Additive Pens for the great opportunity. Check out some of his awesome pens at http://www.AdditivePens.com or Additive Pens on Facebook. You can find Jonathon Brooks at http://www.carolinapencompany.com or Carolina Pen Company on Facebook.

Additive Pens + Fisher of Pens + Carolina Pen Company = a unique powerhouse pen for your collection.


Samples

 


Media

New Model Announcement – The Python

New Model Announcement – The Python

I realized I didn’t have any of the Greek mythological dragons in my lineup besides the Hydra. While testing out a new blank for another blank maker recently I finally made whole a pen that has been in my head for a little while and the Python was born.

In Greek mythology, Python is often represented as a serpent or dragon living at the center of the earth. Python became the enemy of the later Olympian deity Apollo, who slew it and took over Python’s former home and oracle. These were the most famous and revered in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.

The Python is very similar in proportion and size to the popular Atlas model. Where the Atlas has gentle curves and rounded finials, the Python is more hard angled tapers and flatter/cone shaped finials. This makes the Python slightly shorter but the same diameter as the Atlas. This pen lends itself easily to clip, roll stop or naked and is generally postable.

The sample here is shown with an optional front section trim ring and a stainless steel dragon roll stop.