- black/green cotton micarta barrel, cap
- steel #6 Jowo nib ground to 0.7mm smooth italic
- button filler mechanism
- large size, bulging barrel, rounded ends, pinched section
- silvered, rounded rolling ball clip
Quoted cost for my choices were $362 shipped (would have been $262 if just cartridge/converter)
I received updates during the manufacture of the denim/cotton material to the finished pen, at least once a week, usually 2-3x/week, with pictures.
He sent me pics of the pen being turned, and even let me know when things didn’t go well & he had to start over with new material. I really appreciated the photos he’d email me, just to reassure me that he’s working it.
When he showed me his final photos, I knew I’d be receiving it any day now.
I received my pen today, 9/1/12 - took Shawn just under a month.
Barrel/Cap - Cotton Micarta manufactured with denim/resin, drilled/sculpted by Shawn Newton
Nib - Jowo of Germany, stainless steel w/iridium tip, ground to smooth italic 0.7mm by Shawn Newton
user replace-able with other Jowo nibs (like Brian Gray’s or any other #6)
Filling Mechanism - button-filler - made by Shawn Newton, ?rubber sac powder w/talc
The section: ebonite, also hand-turned by Shawn Newton - for durability, non-staining properties.
pen weight dry - 40.6g (1.43oz)
pen weight full - 41.8g (1.47oz)
ink capacity - 1.2ml (about 25 drops)
Nib - 8.6mmx27mm (0.315”x1.06”) - #6
pen without cap - 13.5cm (5-1/3”)
pen posted - 18.6cm (7-1/3”)
pen at section below threads - 15mmx21.8mm (0.59”x0.86”)
pen barrel at widest bulge - 19.3mm (0.76”)
pen barrel tapers to 12mm near blind cap
cap - 19.3mmx73mm (0.76”x2.87”)
cap weight - 27g (0.95oz)
Overall Impression on opening the pen: What a massive bulging pen. Meaty.
In hand: amazingly ergonomic contours - form-fitting, melts into your hand.
The Material (Micarta):
warm, woody feel, heat/temperature/water resistant.
(see my TWSBI review for more details about Micarta).
Compared to the Micarta material on the twsbi, Shawn’s micarta is smooth also but with
many pits & imperfections on the surface. At 10x loupe level, you can see the fibers of
green & black layered & interwoven. Since the material is sealed in resin, this shouldn’t
cause problems in contact with water when cleaning. Prolonged soaking of micarta is
not recommended. I think these pits and slight imperfections lend character to the
pen that you’d expect and want in a custom pen like this. Anybody can pick up this pen
and see that it is a totally custom pen, not an off-the-shelf piece.
The rolling-ball clip allows smooth/low-friction glide on/off from shirt pocket.
The fitting of the clip grabs shirt tight & secure (important for the pen of this weight)
The threading: at the cap it takes 5 turns to uncap (compare: vintage Waterman 56 is 1 turn, Brian Gray’s custom Huron is 2 turns, Speedy’s TWSBI Micarta is 4 turns). At the blind cap, the threading is 3 turns to take off.
The barrel feel is extraordinary. This meaty thick barrel focuses your mind on your writing experience - it makes you hyper-acutely aware of your writing experience. The weight is pleasant and also contributes to this autonomous sensory meridan response. The pen is too long posted, but still shorter by a little than the Edison Huron posted. Extended writing will lead to fatigue due to weight if posted, so uncapped writing is recommended. The posting is by friction only, and therefore the cap can slip off. This large pen clips onto standard shirt pockets with slight bulging. The weight doesn’t make the pocket sag too much, but does a little bit. The roller-head clip is awesome - easily glides off/on one-handed. I worry how durable the contacts to the roller pins are, but I think if it ever goes bad, I might be able to get another one. Clip-less carry is a good option also using for instance the Franklin-Christoph leather pen-holder necklace.
My only other button-filler is the circa 1920s Parker Duofold which fills beautifully and is one of my larger capacity pens at >2mls. Shawn’s Micarta button-filler pen has a good capacity at 1.2mls, but it could be much larger given the size of the pen. A secondary filling method could be employed with care: unscrew the feed from the barrel, dip the nib above the section in ink, squeeze the sac directly (like a bulb-filler). This did not give me any greater ink filling than the button mechanism, so this button-filling method works very well! The filling-mechanism and easy and fool-proof. Down-sides? You can’t gauge how much ink is left in your pen except by weighing it. But this would be true for any sac-pen.
The Nib Grind:
Shawn says he is a totally self-taught nib-meister. His nib smooth, wet in a perfect-way without loss of control. At 10x magnification, the tines are perfectly lined up, the edges are smoothed in an oval. The centering to the iridum is about 60%/40%. Overall the glide, feel, as well as bite and italic nib character on paper is perfection. His background as an artist I think serves him well when it comes to things like this.
Conclusion: Great experience, Great Pen. Great Nib. I will use this pen as a display-piece, as a show-piece on my desk. I will carry to work tomorrow and try it out. I’ve already written several pages with it as I haven’t been able to put it down. With the service, dedication, and design artistry here, Shawn could totally take Brian Gray’s lunch, so he’d better watch out! Actually Shawn emailed me how he loves Brian G. Two great guys to buy pens from, and both from the heartland of the U.S.A. At $362 what a great value. I’ve spent that amount for plastic mass-manufactured pens like the Pelikan Souverans, the Aurora Optimas, and Omas Milords. This pen absolutely annhilates those pens in the field of battle (IMO). If anybody tries to show you their Montblanc 149 bling-piece, one could easily counter with this much more impressive Herculean Handspike Hewn in the Hydrolysates of HotSprings, Arkansas. I was not paid nor induced in any way to review this pen by Shawn, nor did I receive any fringe benefits for doing it, in fact I never knew him until I simply checked out his website & youtube vids, where he posts under snnewton, and at FPN forums as watch_art -, but do try out his custom pens - I don’t think he’ll keep his prices this low for long: email@example.com, or www.newtonpens.com
- pelahale, September 1, 2012
Edited by pelahale, 02 September 2012 - 05:26.