Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The harder I try....

Dang, do you folks remember having that dream where the harder you tried to run, the slower you got?

Ya, well, I'm living it. And it's mighty frustrating too.

I've gotten back into making pens, writing pens. I like making useful things. We've made so many over the last couple years I had got tired of it. But, I made a couple for Christmas presents and the urge to make more was there.

I decided to start making some higher end pens, including fountain pens. Now I've never used a fountain pen, so which ones to make took some research. I bought the parts, and made a couple, but I wasn't happy with them. Seems the parts were not some of the best quality. So, I've started over with different parts and new suppliers. But then I get word that my parts are back ordered. So, now I'm sitting here with some parts, but not all I need.

One thing I wish I could show you (will show you later) is the wood I have for one of the pens. I may be the only one who thinks it's awesome but let me tell you it is!! I can't wait until I get it made to show off.

I'll have some photos up of pens I make in due time. I wish I had been taking photos of all the ones I've made over the last couple years. Most were gifts, and all but a couple of my own are long gone.

Just a quick question for the readers; What do you think makes an pen attractive? And do you use a fountain pen?

Mr Fixit

5 comments:

Starik Igolkin said...

I mostly use fountain pens, and being function over form kind of guy, this is what I look for in them:
1. Good quality nib - personally, I prefer EF, but this holds for any size nib - the width of the line should be consistent (unless this is a special calligraphic nib), and it shouldn't scratch the paper.
2. No spilling ink - after a particularly bumpy car ride with the pen in the bag in the trunk, I don't want any ink on my fingers.
3. The grip should be comfortable and not hurt the middle finger after 2-3 hours of continuous use.

Bob said...

If a pen is made of metal, I want the area where my fingers grip it to not be too highly polished, as slick metal causes the pen to shift and/or slip in my grip; a checkered, knurled or other textured surface is preferred.

I like both thick and slim pens, but for a fountain pen prefer a thick barrel of the Parker Duofold type. Medium nibs are fine for most work, although formerly I'd use an EF (extra fine) nib if it was available, especially for copying work. Nibs should not scratch or go dry. Hooded or semi-hooded nibs of the Parker 51/Parker 45 type are personal favorites; the German nibs used by Lamy are outstanding.

"Ergonomic" gripping surfaces as found in Lamy Safari and Shaeffer Prelude pens I do not like, I prefer a cylindrical gripping area.

I prefer bottle-fill fountain pens to cartridge fill.

For non-fountain pens, I like to use pens with gel ink, such as Pilot G-10's. Parker makes gel refills for their ball point pens, these are good also.

Kay Davis said...

I know they are up in Canuk land, but Lee valley does ship to the US and has an excellent rep amongst serious woodworkers. here is a link to various Pen related stuff including Fountain pen parts
http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/Search.aspx?c=1&action=a&ap=1#start
Kay

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Bob in VA said...

I use a fountain pen almost exclusively. I prefer a medium nib in a larger pen. The large old_style Bexley pens, such as those in their "America the Beautiful" series, are favorites. The German made nibs glide over the paper. The grip area is solid, and they balance very well, allowing use for hours with no discomfort or cramping.

I prefer converters for bottle fill and use Noodler's Inks most of the time. Noodler's bulletproof and "eel" inks flow well, and cannot be removed from paper.