Category: Fountain Pens

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.

Updated Athena model

Just a quick update to customers who are familiar with the popular Athena model. Except for a few rare occasions where the material dictates a thinner pen, the Athena has now increased in diameter by 1mm. This was done to alleviate the thin wall of the cap and front threads as a proactive measure. While I haven’t had any issues to date, this is a comfort factor of adding an extra 0.5mm of wall thickness to all sides for my own sanity.

The old Athena uses a 12mm double start thread for the cap while the new version uses a 13mm triple start cap. So it actually provides a faster open and close experience.

The v1 Athena is available by special request and will still be used when the selected material does not allow for the larger diameter. Such is the case for many of the vintage celluloid rods.

The below examples show old vs. new. Pardon the buffing compound on the red pen. I haven’t finished making it all pretty.

MTN Fountain Pens & Inks Group Buy Details

GROUP BUY ORDERING HAS CLOSED


 

Group Buy?


Fisher of Pens is sponsoring a group buy for the MTN Fountain Pens & Inks Facebook group. This group buy has been organized by Vijay Mistry and I would like to thank him for his hard work in helping to put this together.

The following was established based on a number of polls within the MTN Facebook group. A single pen model and 3 material options have been identified.

 

Model


Our popular Athena was the pen model of choice. The Athena features a cap and body that are the same diameter so the pen is flush when closed. The Athena is not postable and is relatively straight line from end to end with a slight taper leading into the finials. For this group buy the finials will be partially rounded with a rounded over lip and flat end. The grip section will be tapered with a step at the front as shown in the sample pen in the gallery below.

Dimensions are approximately 13.5mm in diameter and approximately 140mm-145mm in length when closed depending on clip or no-clip option.

Shown here are the Starry Night and Copper Earth

 

Material


Jonathon Brooks was tapped to create two custom color mixes that will be exclusive to this group buy. A variation on the Starry Night color pallet and an earth tone pallet that I’m referring to as Copper Earth. These combinations of colors and saturation will remain exclusive to this 2016 group buy.

Based on popular demand a 3rd color was also added to the options however this one is non-exclusive. I requested a color mix of the popular Koi blank line that leaned more towards the magenta purple pallet than his standard mix. The results are beautiful but not exclusive going forward.

A video of the materials can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/FisherOfPens/videos/1426842364008604/

The 3 rods on the left were the poll winners. From left to right, Starry Night, Copper Earth and Magenta Koi. The other two materials did not receive enough votes to be included in this group buy.

 

Nib & Ink


steel-nib-unit-size-6-two-toneThese pens will come with a two-tone steel nib from German manufacturer Jowo. The nib size is #6 and is directly compatible with their lineup of 14k and 18k nibs should the buyer wish to add their own gold nib later. Please note that gold nibs will be the responsibility of the buyer and the pen will come with a steel nib in the line weight selected.

Available in your choice of Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, 1.1 and 1.5. Each nib will be installed and dip tested prior to shipping. Each pen will also come with a Schmidt K5 converter installed but is compatible with standard international sized cartridges.

 

Engraving & Numbered Limited Edition


These pens will be Limited Edition identified by the exclusive material selection and engraving. Each pen will be engraved with the following text:

Fisher of Pens LE 2016
Athena 1 of 30

Where the first number is your spot in the order process and the second number is the total number of participants (regardless of material selection). The engraving will be a small font text on the body and will not be color filled.

To be fair to all buyers, specific numbers may not be requested or assigned with the exception of #1 which goes to Vijay for his work in organizing the group buy. Each buyer will receive their number based on the order they completed the order form starting with #2.

The total number of participants is planned to be capped at 30 in order to meet he turn around time of 4-5 months as promised. No entries beyond #30 will be invoiced and the form will be disabled as soon as possible after the limit is reached.

 

Pricing & Ordering


Final pricing is as follows:

  • $170 for No-Clip option as shown in the gallery above
  • $190 if you choose to add a clip
  • +$30 for shipping outside of the United States
  • Domestic shipping is included

Orders will be accepted through the official order form only. Your serial number will be assigned based on the order in which orders are received.

PayPal payment invoices will be sent to the email address provided when filling out the order form. ** Payment will be due in full at the time you receive the invoice. Failure to pay by the order deadline will forfeit your order and exclude you from any future group buys sponsored by Fisher of Pens.

If you are not able to pay via PayPal for whatever reason please reach out to me for alternative payment methods. Note you do not need a PayPal account to pay with your credit card.

 

Fulfillment


Orders will be shipped to the address provided on the order form when all pens are completed. Each pen will come with a basic black gift box and securely boxed and padded for shipment. In order to stay organized pens will not be able to ship early so please don’t ask. Order status updates can be requested through Vijay Mistry on the Facebook page. He will be kept up to date on the status of the entire order. I will do my best to post any order updates to the Facebook page as well but please contact Vijay if you have any direct questions.

Tracking information will be emailed to the email address provided on the order form.


GROUP BUY ORDERING HAS CLOSED


Video review of a Fisher of Pens custom – Alternative Nib

Video review of a Fisher of Pens custom – Alternative Nib

While our standard nibs are the JoWo or Bock steel nibs, we do offer alternatives. This video reviews one of my custom gray line celluloid pens using an Esterbrook 9048 fine flexible nib from our friends at Anderson Pens.

This pen has also been converted to use a converter instead of your typical eye dropper or sac configuration.

 

Gallery

 

 

 

Rare vintage celluloid fountain pens

Rare vintage celluloid fountain pens

2 of the 5 planned direct-for-sale rare and vintage celluloid pens have been finished up and hit the store front today.

Celluloid and it’s variants such as cellulose acetate and cellulose nitrate were precursors to our modern plastics. Typically the material was created in thin sheets that were then spiral wrapped around a mandrel to form a finished tube with a fixed outer and inner diameter.  This was the dominate material for the highest end pens from approximately the 1920’s through the early 1950’s when modern plastics started to hit the market.

There is a finite supply of this material left in the world and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. This is your chance to get a one-of-a-kind custom fountain pen in these vintage materials.

View the Gold Herringbone Vintage Celluloid Custom Fountain Pen in our store.

View the Green Web Vintage Celluloid Custom Fountain Pen in our store.