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Feeding your addiction…

Feeding your addiction…

For those who can’t get enough behind the scenes action by following my Instagram page, I’m now starting to publish YouTube videos showing highlights of the pen making process.

My channel will also be filled with other aspects of my life so don’t be surprised if you get caught watching something entirely non-pen related. I wont judge 🙂

I’ve finally found a video editing platform that works on my Surface Pro 4 reliably. Filmora9 is shaping up to be a great little tool and will allow me to do some rapid editing and promote more content on a regular basis.

Check out the latest video showing some action footage while working on the next batch of Mint Collection pens.

Make sure to subscribe to my channel and mash that like button to get updates when I post new content.

Mint Collection Pens

Mint Collection Pens

The Mint Collection

Introducing the Mint Collection by Fisher of Pens

The Mint Collection combines the art of coin rings and coin shaping with fountain pens. Folding coin rings for use as cap bands and doming coins as finials adds a unique flavor to these custom pens.

The Mint Collection has been a concept that has been in my head for a number of years. I have always been fascinated by the artists that were making coin rings and on numerous occasions I attempted to hone my skills but could never produce a ring small enough for the need.

Proof of concept pen

Recently I was reintroduced to new tooling that now made the vision possible. Through a series of dies I am now able to create coin rings small enough to fit on one of my standard sized pens.

These will be run in batches that are configured in a particular material, nib and coin selection.

The initial batch of 5 will be numbered 1-5 and are crafted in a custom poured color mix called “Dark Side” from Carolina Pen Company. Nib option will be a black oxide Jowo #6 steel nib and the coins will be a United States quarter for the cap band and dime for the pen body finial. Pricing will vary per batch with the initial batch priced at $349 per pen.

You will also be able to purchase coin rings separately from the fountain pens. Rings will be available from numerous coins both domestic and foreign. Contact me to see if your coin of choice can be ringed.

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 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 website and see what fits your desires.

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.