I decided after seeing a review by USMCMom that I had to have one of his pens. I looked at his site and his pictures. I put it at the back of my mind for a while. I looked some more. Sent him an email asking about price and made small talk. Looked at his pictures. Found a few threads he started in the pen turners forum. Looked at the pics some more. And pulled the trigger.
First thing we did was pick out a material. I went with a green kryptonite acrylic.
He asked me questions about clips and nibs, if I liked the tall finial, what I thought about the section shape, and I told him. And then I changed my mind. Then I changed my mind again. The cap does not post. I had asked him if he could make it post and he said sure -- but like the other things I had changed, I changed it back and asked him to just stick with his original design. I don't really post my pens anyway. So I finally decided to leave it completely alone - just as he designed it. And damn I'm glad I did.
We talked for a couple weeks about different things pen related. About making lever fill and button fill pens. About terminology and nib tuning. He comes across as very friendly and was very very patient with me during the whole planning bit of all this. He was also incredibly informative about the whole process. He does all of this on a wood lathe!
Once he had other customer pens out of the way, and my green blanks had been delivered, he got started. I begged him early on to take a couple shots of the pen during the turning process and he did. I had no clue what I was really looking at but it was really cool. I'm not going to post all the pics of his shop, but here are some of his shots of the pen.
So in the end he shipped it out and I got it just last Friday (August 19 2011). It came in a little pouch thingy with a new converter. He didn't send any carts with my pen like he normally does b/c he knew from talking to me that I wouldn't have used them. He also put in a hand written note that he wrote with this nib.
I tipped the pouch and slid the pen out and WOW. I mean, this thing is just stunning! I turned it over and over in my hands looking at the swirls of black in the green. This thing is well made for sure. Better than I expected - and I expected a lot. I took the cap off and looked at the threads. I was particularly interested in how these would look since done up on a wood lathe. Coarse threads under the cap, fine threads section to barrel. Very nice. I really like the gnarly big threads. I had no idea what ink I wanted to put in it. I went to run some errands and thought about it while I was out.
Just look at that shine!!
It seems very well made. If I had to pick out a weak spot, it would be the cap lip. The cap wall is sort of thin there, but only in comparison to the other parts of the pen. Compared to some of my other pens it's still quite thick. Seems like a very sturdy pen. I don't plan on dropping it of course and would probably cry if I did. Single turn cap threads, 2 turns to remove the cap. The other threads he can cut are multi start and would probably be less than that. Compared to my Indian eyedroppers that's nothing, but it's also the same as some of my other screw on caps.
It is a washer type clip. I think if you wanted the cap wall to be a bit thicker it would hide the clip ring a little bit, but I'm not bothered by it at all. I think it looks really nice. But also the transparency of the acrylic has something to do with this, too, he said. Certain materials won't show through as bad, others would show through even more.
All the bits screw together very well and it all fits nice and tight and snug. The threading is all perfect. No issues at all.
It's not too heavy and not too light. I've handled a few acrylic pens this big and a bit bigger that were lighter and they just felt awkward. The barrel is pretty thick and gives it a nice heft. It feels very good in my hand. And like I said the threads on the barrel are quite coarse. I really like the look of it - it seems unique among pens. He can cut finer threads, but I really like the coarse threads, and wanted to stick with them.
The nib is a silver tone #6 from Meisternibs in medium, and writes perfectly. It's probably a 7 or 8 out of 10. Just perfect for me. Very smooth with no skipping at all.
I love the way those threads feel under my thumb.
It's just a basic C/C filler, but the threads on the section that go into the barrel are fine enough that I may just grease em up and make it an eyedropper pretty soon. Something about the back end of the section that I REALLY liked was how tightly the converter fit in. It's a big pet peeve of mine when I'm turning the converter knob and the whole converter turns. That will never happen with this one. The converter fits in nice and tight. Perfect.
The price was right too. For a custom made pen it was an outright steal!
$150 plus shipping!!
I'm already thinking of which of my other pens I might sell to fund a couple more of these bad boys.
I'm in love.
If you have any questions please ask!
Here are a ton of comparison shots. It's a big pen capped, but opened up it's on the average side of big.
Pelikan M1000, Pilot VP, Bexley 10th Anniversary pen, Noodler's piston filler, Esterbrook J, JEB's Nazca, Lamy Studio, Parker "51", TWSBI 530, Edison Herald Grande.
Stipula Etruria, JEB's Nazca, Deccan M1000.
Here's a detail of some writing. It's a mix of Private Reserve Spearmint with Montblanc black. It's a great shading dark green. Just perfect in this pen! I think the black is about 25% of the volume.
Edited by watch_art, 29 August 2011 - 22:51.