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Local Pen Maker - Pens Canada - Beginning Review Of The Retro Jr.

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3 replies to this topic

#1 Nashten


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Posted 20 May 2013 - 21:58

Hey everyone! 


Let me begin by saying that it is a pleasure to have a local pen turner. I live in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada and I happen to live just down the road from a man who makes some of the most beautiful pens I have seen. 


Here is his website: http://www.penscanada.com/


The Man behind the pen:


His name is Mike and I just got back from meeting with him for the first time. He is truly a great person. He is a survivor of Stage 3 Colon cancer. (My grandfather died of Colon Cancer and my uncle had it too, and he survived. So I get where he comes from.)


Making pens and other spectacular crafts are his passion and I got to tour his workshop. I dropped by when he was in the process of making a pen and he gave me the scoop on what he does and how he does it. It takes him anywhere from two hours to two days to make any one pen. And regardless of the time, they are all spectacularly made, with passion. He has a few cases full, ranging from ballpoints to fountain pens. 


Mike's wife is also into the crafts that he does and she has a few of her own crafts around their house. 


He even offered me the chance to fully learn how to turn pens. And, well... I accepted it. 


The Pen I Got:


He calls it the Jr. Retro. 


It is made of a piece of Elder Burl wood which was dyed dark turquoise. So as you can expect, this pen has a lot of heft to it. 


The finishing on the pen is top notch and the lacquer is deep and it plays a bit of an optical illusion in the way that it looks almost like water--the way it magnifies the wood underneath and makes it have a nice shine, and of course, depth. 







It takes standard international cartridges and converters. He gave me some Monteverde cartridges to use with it. I just threw a cartridge in without caring to clean the section of its manufacturing greases, so writing with it at first was a bit odd. 




The blind cap on top of the pen unscrews, as you can expect. But the section and grip do as well. This is kind of nice as it makes it easy to insert mini cartridges, or use the piston filler, which I got with the pen too. The cap of the pen also screws onto the blind cap at the top of the pen. Some may find this feature very helpful. I like the idea to it as well. 


And if you like writing with nails, then this is the pen for you. There is no bit of flex to the nib at all. And due to my rush, I don't have a fair idea of how well it can truly write, so that fact will be updated later on. The standard nib is a medium point. But he also carries EF and F nibs. 


~I am going to progressively update this thread as it is merely first impressions only! 


"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often at times we call a man cold when he is only sad." ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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#2 barleycorn



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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:07

Nice looking pwn!  Last year in the summer there was an outdoor craft fair where I live.  No Calligraphers but a few pen turners mostly wooden stock.  The genttleman told me that he sourced his supplies from Lee Valley tools.  So I looked them up online - warning this catalogue may be dangerous for your wallet...Apparently they do workshops as well.

The problem is the internals are cheap so the writing experience will not live up to the looks.  You may be able to tune the nib to be smoother but it won't match a quality manufacturer.



#3 Gloucesterman


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Posted 22 May 2013 - 18:20

VERY nice looking pen. I am impressed that he will provide other than a medium nib. Have seen some beautiful pens that I walked by because they only had a "M".


Enjoy your new pen and keep updating as you have more fun.


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

#4 Wonder Pens

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 22:00

Gotta love our local (or pretty far but still in the country) pen makers!


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