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Excalibur - A Dan Furlano Custom

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10 replies to this topic

#1 jcbcodywy


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Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:17

I am not a pen aficionado. In fact, I know very little about the makeup of a quality writing instrument. I only know this: I recently acquired one—a Dan Furlano Custom Pen, purposefully named “Excalibur”.

And while I might not know much about the makeup of a pen, I know a fair bit about using one—I have journaled continually since I was in grammar school, nearly 40 years ago. This, I think, makes me well-qualified to assess the performance of a writing instrument and to distinguish between a mere functional object for delivering ink to paper and a delightful tool to enhance my writing experience. My recent acquisition—Excalibur—squarely falls into the latter category.

After surviving eight years of penmanship rigor under the watchful eyes of my grammar school teachers, I swore I would never use a fountain pen again—and for good reason. The ubiquitous instrument of the day was a leak-prone Brand-X cartridge pen. And when mine leaked, it was always in the breast pocket of one of my white uniform school shirts. Besides enduring the furor from a dedicated housewife-mom, who had no chemical in her arsenal potent enough to remove the obvious stain, writing with the Brand-X was no joy either.

The thing I remember most about the Brand-X was the annoying tendency for the nib to spread. When this happened, fibers from the paper would get pinched off and stick in the nib effectively turning the pen into a paintbrush! This in turn would yield poor penmanship results, and, despite the wide brush strokes being beyond my control, would garner me low penmanship grades from my dispassionate educators who only wanted results without excuses.

Considering my less-than-favorable experiences with fountain pens from grammar school days, it might seem illogical that I commissioned Excalibur—a piston-filler fountain pen. Perhaps I was too easily caught up in admiring the craftsmanship of certain other Dan Furlano pens I had seen (I am a friend of the maker). Maybe it was my nationalistic tendency to buy and use USA-made products wherever possible. Maybe it was my desire to own a functional and stylish instrument that makes a statement about its owner (only Dan Furlano and I know the significance of the Excalibur theme for this pen). But honestly, it was all of the above.

Excalibur is a pleasure to use. I had long ago forgotten that writing didn’t have to create strain in my hand and wrist. I accepted these annoyances as a normal consequence of long hours spent journaling with possibly every type of commercial ball-point pen sold in the US in the last four decades.

Excalibur fits my hand well, delivers a smooth fine line, produces no noticeable skip or feeling of drag, whether writing block script or connected cursive, which I abandoned over the years with the exception of signing my name. With Excalibur, however, connected cursive is a far more efficient writing style, owing to the effortless transition of my input strokes to the written word on paper, and all of this without fatigue. Furthermore, I have no ruined shirts and fine lines are possible without paint brushing. Were I equipped with Excalibur so many years ago, I might well have gotten that elusive “A” in penmanship…

Beyond Excalibur’s writing performance, it’s just cool looking sitting atop my journal! There is added satisfaction in using a functional instrument that has style, even though in the world of custom pens, Excalibur is a modestly stylish creation—which is exactly as I wanted it to be.
Posted Image

While Dan Furlano makes some extraordinarily crafted instruments—complete with fine metal overlays on certain models—I simply couldn’t justify either the cost for such functional art, or the risk of inevitable damage to anything more ornate than Excalibur from long-term daily use. Dan built precisely the right tool for me. It is functional and rugged.

And now for you true pen aficionados, here are Excalibur’s specifications:

  • Custom commission, reflecting certain owner history and personality traits. It is truly a personalized pen.
  • German steel fine nib
  • Piston filler (I just liked how they work!)
  • Silver clip; a representation of a medieval broad sword (“Excalibur”). This is the dominant characteristic of the pen, yet overshadowed by the dimensions and substantial feel of the pen as a whole (the pen is mightier…)
  • Reservoir window with silver cutouts whose shapes reflects the sword handle clip
  • Blue (actually teal) G-10 body material, on my request (I collect pocket knives and G-10 has become a popular handle material. This was the first use of G-10 by Dan Furlano Pens)
  • Hammered finish silver accents

And so while I still know almost nothing about the technical aspects of a quality writing instrument, I know one when I use one. I know Excalibur from Dan Furlano Custom Pens is right for my writing.

Edited by jcbcodywy, 19 July 2012 - 14:19.

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#2 fountainbel



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Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:33

Congratulations with this beautiful and exclusive pen !
The metal furniture is just awesome, enjoy !

#3 terminal



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Posted 19 July 2012 - 14:49

That's a really neat pen and it matches your journal extremely well. Reminds me a bit of the Indigenous line by Delta.
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#4 Uncle Red

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 17:00

Welcome. This is a good pen reveiw and a great looking pen. Could we see a picture with the cap off and maybe a writing sample?

#5 jimhughes



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Posted 19 July 2012 - 17:03

Glad to see Dan getting a bit of Sunshine on his art and website. He made me A Custom flat top in the Sheaffer White Dot style. Beautiful work and a wonderful writer with the Sheaffer lifetime nib. Do check out his web site and offerings. Jim

#6 breaker



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Posted 19 July 2012 - 18:25

nice looking pen!
Cogito ergo sum

#7 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:45

outstanding pen thanks for sharing :thumbup:
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#8 Montblanc owner and lover

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 12:24

beautiful pen...dammageable that only 1 picture ;)
A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too... Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F. Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

#9 dfurlano



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Posted 29 July 2012 - 17:26

here are some more photos:


#10 ArchiMark


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Posted 29 July 2012 - 21:40

Gorgeous pen, with so much character to it....thanks for sharing....


@Dan Furlano

Tried checking out your website....but something about it (maybe graphics are too large filesize wise?...) really brought my web browser (Firefox) to it's knees....took forever for images to load on page and then when I tried to scroll on pages, I got the infamous spinning beach ball for a long time....anyway too bad, as I'd like to see your stuff and learn more about your pens...

FP Addict & Pretty Nice Guy

Current Pens:, Cross, Delta, Leonardo, Montegrappa, Parker, Pineider, TWSBI, Wahl-Eversharp


* Please see my current pen listings

#11 Sblakers


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Posted 03 August 2012 - 17:01

I usualy only collect vintage pens ( soenneckens, Parker 51's,) but this pen blew me away. So I ordered one and now have to wait. What a terribly wonderful thing it is to wait for a pen like this). Review to follow once I recieve the pen. Will also be doing reviews on Soennecken 111's and 222's as well. After talking to Dan via email and exploring his website i have concluded that his is truly an art of passion and pride.

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