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Found My Perfect Leather Pen Case -- A First Look

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#1 persco

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 14:44

I spent a few months looking for a molded leather pen case in order to carry one of my Nakayas with me in my bag. The silk Kimonos that come with the Nakayas are cute, but don't make for the most protective case. I searched the internet and found a couple of cases that fit my idea, but they were available in Japan only, had a waiting list of up to a year and cost about $400 USD (yikes). Much of what is available online is the basic flap fold-over design. It's a basic leather sock, some are quite floppy and, for the price, don't seem worth it to me. After looking for a long time, I decided to approach a leather maker to see if someone would make me what I was after. Because I was after a hard molded case, I approached makers of leather sheaths for knives. Not many of them care about fountain pens, and a few outright refused to do it. So I moved on. I finally found a custom leather maker whose stuff I came across while looking at examples. He hadn't done a pen case, but he had worked on a variety of leather projects and his molded leather examples were beautiful.

 

Dave Hauser at Dragonthorn Leatherworks really jumped on the chance to design a protective pen case. It turns out he also loves fountain pens. He developed a novel idea, using kydex sandwiched between two layers of leather. Nice natural veg tanned leather outside and soft natural calf leather inside. I'm not sure how he did it, but you cannot tell that there is a hard molded layer of kydex in between the layers. The kydex is a material used to make gun holsters and knife sheaths. It is super light, hard and practically indestructible; and it holds its shape once it is molded.

 

Here are the photos. This is still brand new, the colour will develop over time until it looks like my notebook (which started out looking the same as the case).

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Edited by persco, 23 October 2013 - 15:16.


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#2 terminal

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 15:03

The finger slot is kind of unusual.  How much did he charge you?


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#3 persco

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 15:19

The finger slot is kind of unusual.  How much did he charge you?

 

That's a slot for the pocket clip if you have them... my Nakayas are clipless, but I asked for a slot for it in case I have a pen with a clip later on. The price depends on what you ask for. If Dave has posted these for sale on his site, he will have a price there I think.



#4 OakIris

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 15:56

Very nice looking case, persco.  Congratulations!

 

Dave does indeed have it on his website - STARTING price is $200.  Fountain Pen Case (hard)

 

(Well worth it if you have the money, I am sure, but, considering that a 12" square sheet of kydex costs $3.60, the leather costs approx $6.49 a square foot....  I know you are also paying for his skill and daring, but I think I would make my own.  Wouldn't be as pretty, but would be just as sturdy and useable.   :P  I am not disparaging your choice of case, persco, it really does look nice and is certainly well-made, it is just that I am POOR!)

 

Holly



#5 Pen Nut

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 15:57

Now that is a great looking case and one of those that will look better as it ages. If Saddleback made one I imagine it would look something like that!

 

Is the notebook cover made by Dave as well ? If not could you tell me where it came from. Thanks.


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#6 persco

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 16:12

Very nice looking case, persco.  Congratulations!

 

Dave does indeed have it on his website - STARTING price is $200.  Fountain Pen Case (hard)

 

(Well worth it if you have the money, I am sure, but, considering that a 12" square sheet of kydex costs $3.60, the leather costs approx $6.49 a square foot....  I know you are also paying for his skill and daring, but I think I would make my own.  Wouldn't be as pretty, but would be just as sturdy and useable.   :P  I am not disparaging your choice of case, persco, it really does look nice and is certainly well-made, it is just that I am POOR!)

 

Holly

 

Thanks Holly! It was a bit spendy, I know! But given I am keeping my Nakaya in it, I think it was worth having a well-made case. It's actually surprising how much expensive junk is out there made from a single layer of cheap leather. I don't mind paying more for something that's hand made with skill and attention. He makes them custom fit to you pens, as well. So no surprise when you get the case and it's too small or too big.

 

 

Now that is a great looking case and one of those that will look better as it ages. If Saddleback made one I imagine it would look something like that!

 

Is the notebook cover made by Dave as well ? If not could you tell me where it came from. Thanks.

 

Thanks! If Saddleback did molded leather they'd be like this. The build quality on this case is amazing. Dave did not do the notebook cover. I got that from GroveMade (just ordered a plain veg tan cover without their fancy engraving). It aged really nicely on its own. I wanted to show the patina I had in mind when I ordered the case. undyed veg tanned leather always looks so shockingly white when it's new. But it can age so beautifully. So now I will carry it for a few months and watch it develop!



#7 pelman

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 17:32

beautiful case persco.  I am sure this case will do splendidly with the daily rigors of life.  Dave's site is way too tempting. 



#8 persco

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 18:06

beautiful case persco.  I am sure this case will do splendidly with the daily rigors of life.  Dave's site is way too tempting. 

 

Thanks pelman! Yes, he's got some nice-looking stuff for sure!



#9 French

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 19:30

gorgeous pen case...something new for me to drool over and think of a way to generate the play money to purchase a double case that would be stiff and still be able to hold all of my pens.    The idea of leather covered Kydex is pure genius.



#10 inkypete

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 21:28

The pen case looks sensational. Expensive, but sensational. Like all these bespoke pieces of leather you usually get an amazing result that will last a lifetime. I have had some notebook covers made that weren't cheap but I will use them forever. I love them, they're unique and they are special to me. Congratulations to Dragonthorn for making such a beautiful product and thanks for sharing persco.

 

I know this is mere words if you cannot afford a product but I saved for my covers, had them made and use them everyday (Gfeller rocks).

 

Just remember the old adage - price is forgotten long after the quality remains.


Edited by inkypete, 23 October 2013 - 21:28.

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#11 persco

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 22:19

The pen case looks sensational. Expensive, but sensational. Like all these bespoke pieces of leather you usually get an amazing result that will last a lifetime. I have had some notebook covers made that weren't cheap but I will use them forever. I love them, they're unique and they are special to me. Congratulations to Dragonthorn for making such a beautiful product and thanks for sharing persco.

 

I know this is mere words if you cannot afford a product but I saved for my covers, had them made and use them everyday (Gfeller rocks).

 

Just remember the old adage - price is forgotten long after the quality remains.

 

I feel exactly the same, inkypete!



#12 Hauseda

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 22:36

Thanks to all for the kind words. Good custom leatherwork is a labor of love and sheer terror all at the same time. Dave, Dragonthorn Leatherworks

#13 NobleDel

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 00:46

Wow, is that case beautiful!  Looks like a great item to put on a Christmas present wish list. 



#14 terminal

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 06:56

There's a great seller on ebay named coastocoast who makes pen cases (they are in the US too).  They aren't made with kydex, but man are they nice for $33.

 

Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 12.55.17 AM.png


"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#15 persco

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 10:12

I saw those when I was looking. The problem with them is they're not molded leather. Just sewn leather. And not lined, at that. I really wanted something more substantial. There are many examples of leather cases like the ebay one, including lots on Etsy. They're probably just fine, but a different animal altogether from what I was looking for.


Edited by persco, 24 October 2013 - 10:13.


#16 MisterBoll

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 14:38

There's a great seller on ebay named coastocoast who makes pen cases (they are in the US too).  They aren't made with kydex, but man are they nice for $33.

 

Thanks for the link, Terminal. These look really nice.



#17 my63

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 15:42

Persco you have a pen case that will get better looking as it ages well done to you for supporting a craftsman in his work.

 

Fantastic leatherwork Hauseda (Dave) I have not tried molding with veg tanned leather maybe one day

 

Kaydex looks like an impressive material off to google it and learn a bit more

 

Michael


For more details on my current projects please visit my blog.

http://my63leather.wordpress.com/


#18 Hauseda

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 13:45

Thanks Michael. Takes, time, practice and a warped way of looking at things... Dave



#19 my63

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 18:21

I have been inspired by your work Dave I spent an hour this morning looking through your website it is very impressive.

I have dabbled with leather and suede for my writing slope restoration's and the boxes I have made. 

Michael  


For more details on my current projects please visit my blog.

http://my63leather.wordpress.com/


#20 Bonekrusher

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 02:17

A lot of nice cases on those sites, which would cause an individual to acquire more pens in order to fill them..







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