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Cali Custom


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#1 Doug C

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 20:48

Appearance:
4/5

I have been intriqued by Cali pens for years, but until recently had never seen one in the flesh. One of our fellow FPN'ers that lives here invited me up to see his. His request was simple in that he wanted a flattop in a certain color, and it had to be small (Cali pens tend to be very large pens).

I had requested that my pen be similar to his 'stubby' style, but not as large, and not at all top heavy. I wanted it to be in blue striated ebonite, but other than that, he could use his imagination. I also said that in achieving the proper balance, he could make it so that it would post or not. This pen does post, but again, it is entirely too long and top heavy for that. With the slightly thinner and longer version of the stubby body I am able to use it unposted. It has great balance that way.

I had ordered the pen in December, but due to a 2 month vacation that Joe was scheduled to take, I just now received the pen.

I love the look of the pen, but they are controversial. You either love his designs or not. One of the things that appears to be a trademark is his slim Delrin sections. I was told that the transition of the Stubby's body to the section was not comfortable for some, so he took this into account.



Posted Image

Construction:
4/5


This pen is overbuilt. If you look closely you can see that the cap is made of raw ebonite, which gives this pen a very handcrafted look. It's a way I can remember the raw ebonite Danitrios that I have sold. Likewise, the pen has a matt finish.

Even though the pen is ebonite, which is usually very light, this pen is a light to medium weight. That is largely due to the thickness of the construction; the pen walls are very thick.

Joe contracts another person to build his clips-I believe his name is Andy Deliveau. To say that they are massive is an understatement. They are made out of solid silver, and even though they are very thick, he still puts another brace under the clip. The only downside to this is that if you tend to keep you pen in your shirt pocket, a Cali will only fit if the fabric is very thin.

Filling system:
5/5

Most of Joe's pens use a button filling system, which is a nice touch. The button is very firm, but as per his recommendation, it only took two presses to fill it up.


Posted Image

Nib:
4.5/5



Joe Cali primarily uses vintage nibs. In early December, he sent me 22 nibs to play with, ranging from OMAS, to vintage Sheaffer and Parker, Wahl, etc. It took forever for me to decide, but I finally chose an older 18k Parker nib (it might have come from a Duofold, but I'm not an authority on this). He fitted a vintage ebonite feed to it, and to my surprise, it is very flexible. Don't every let anyone tell you that there is no flex to 18k nibs. With a light touch, it is almost invisible, but with pressure it will easily turn into a medium.


Posted Image

Value:
5/5


I paid what I felt was a very fair price for this pen. Joe was very concerned that I would not like the choices he made, and was very pointed about sending it back if there was anything that I didn't like, and he would start over. You can't beat customer service like that.


Overall Conclusions:

5/5


This is one of the more unusual pens I own, and I plan to get another at some point (although I did tell Joe that with all the grief I gave him, I might just pick one of the pre-made pens he has on his website). The downside there is that they seem to be selling out at a rapid clip.
It is a given that if you have a Cali in your pocket, it won't be mistaken for any other pen.
the Danitrio Fellowship

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#2 Rena

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 23:23

I remember when you were just beginning the plans for your Cali, and now you have it. Cali pens always look like happy and playful pens. I didn't realize the clips were silver. That's a nice touch. Congratulations, Doug!! Nice review of your handsome new pen too.

#3 Doug C

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 23:30

Thanks Rena. They really are a different kind of animal.


Joe is planning on doing a series of ebonite quill pens (I have no idea as to what this will look like), but at 75, he gets to pick and choose what he wants to do.

I just feel privledged to own one of his pens and plan to get more if at all possible.
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#4 jimhughes

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 16:49

Doug:
Glad to hear it's meeting all your dreams and expectations. Certainly, my Cali met mine. That is a truly unique colour. The traditional Cali end dots are very unique on your pen. With all this flex , you may be out of the Waterman 52 search, for now. What a wonderful way to celebrate Spring, a rebirth and Easter Sunday. I can't wait to take the Cali and your new Edison for a test drive. I apologize for infecting you with the custom pen virus on our meeting in November. I must say your Piccolo has me rethinking who's next on my must have list. I think Chris Thompson is now in 2nd Place. Jim

#5 Doug C

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 17:17

Doug:
Glad to hear it's meeting all your dreams and expectations. Certainly, my Cali met mine. That is a truly unique colour. The traditional Cali end dots are very unique on your pen. With all this flex , you may be out of the Waterman 52 search, for now. What a wonderful way to celebrate Spring, a rebirth and Easter Sunday. I can't wait to take the Cali and your new Edison for a test drive. I apologize for infecting you with the custom pen virus on our meeting in November. I must say your Piccolo has me rethinking who's next on my must have list. I think Chris Thompson is now in 2nd Place. Jim



Still in the market for a Ripple, Jim. See you later this week.
the Danitrio Fellowship

#6 Ed Ronax

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:56

Great review and fine looking pen, thanks.
And how can this be, because he is the Kwisatz Haderach.


#7 Doug C

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 01:16

Thanks Ed.


I am really getting fond of this pen.

Edited by Doug C, 07 April 2010 - 01:41.

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#8 alvarez57

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 03:12

Unusual and interesting-looking pen. Vintage nib!?!?! That is something to consider.
Posted Image I know it is a personal question, but ballpark figure, how much you payed for it?

sonia alvarez

 

fpn_1379481230__chinkinreduced.jpg

 

 


#9 Doug C

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 01:20

Sent you a PM today...



Yes, it is a vintage Parker nib.
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#10 czar

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 21:03

Appearance:
4/5

I have been intriqued by Cali pens for years, but until recently had never seen one in the flesh. One of our fellow FPN'ers that lives here invited me up to see his. His request was simple in that he wanted a flattop in a certain color, and it had to be small (Cali pens tend to be very large pens).

I had requested that my pen be similar to his 'stubby' style, but not as large, and not at all top heavy. I wanted it to be in blue striated ebonite, but other than that, he could use his imagination. I also said that in achieving the proper balance, he could make it so that it would post or not. This pen does post, but again, it is entirely too long and top heavy for that. With the slightly thinner and longer version of the stubby body I am able to use it unposted. It has great balance that way.

I had ordered the pen in December, but due to a 2 month vacation that Joe was scheduled to take, I just now received the pen.

I love the look of the pen, but they are controversial. You either love his designs or not. One of the things that appears to be a trademark is his slim Delrin sections. I was told that the transition of the Stubby's body to the section was not comfortable for some, so he took this into account.



Posted Image

Construction:
4/5


This pen is overbuilt. If you look closely you can see that the cap is made of raw ebonite, which gives this pen a very handcrafted look. It's a way I can remember the raw ebonite Danitrios that I have sold. Likewise, the pen has a matt finish.

Even though the pen is ebonite, which is usually very light, this pen is a light to medium weight. That is largely due to the thickness of the construction; the pen walls are very thick.

Joe contracts another person to build his clips-I believe his name is Andy Deliveau. To say that they are massive is an understatement. They are made out of solid silver, and even though they are very thick, he still puts another brace under the clip. The only downside to this is that if you tend to keep you pen in your shirt pocket, a Cali will only fit if the fabric is very thin.

Filling system:
5/5

Most of Joe's pens use a button filling system, which is a nice touch. The button is very firm, but as per his recommendation, it only took two presses to fill it up.


Posted Image

Nib:
4.5/5



Joe Cali primarily uses vintage nibs. In early December, he sent me 22 nibs to play with, ranging from OMAS, to vintage Sheaffer and Parker, Wahl, etc. It took forever for me to decide, but I finally chose an older 18k Parker nib (it might have come from a Duofold, but I'm not an authority on this). He fitted a vintage ebonite feed to it, and to my surprise, it is very flexible. Don't every let anyone tell you that there is no flex to 18k nibs. With a light touch, it is almost invisible, but with pressure it will easily turn into a medium.


Posted Image

Value:
5/5


I paid what I felt was a very fair price for this pen. Joe was very concerned that I would not like the choices he made, and was very pointed about sending it back if there was anything that I didn't like, and he would start over. You can't beat customer service like that.


Overall Conclusions:

5/5


This is one of the more unusual pens I own, and I plan to get another at some point (although I did tell Joe that with all the grief I gave him, I might just pick one of the pre-made pens he has on his website). The downside there is that they seem to be selling out at a rapid clip.
It is a given that if you have a Cali in your pocket, it won't be mistaken for any other pen.


Excellent review,
but I don't like the pen, but surely I am on the wrong side of the question.

Yours
Cesare



Cesare

P.S> I am not in Fountain Pen Business.
In case I had specific interest posting/giving any information
I will take care to indicate clearly it

#11 Doug C

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 16:19

That's okay Caesare. I like it and I'm okay with our differing tastes.
the Danitrio Fellowship






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