Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Quill Pens For Cub Scouts?


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 bongo47

bongo47

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2015 - 15:26

I'm a den leader for Cub Scout Bears (8 year olds) this year, and part of the curriculum is learning to use a knife. Usually the scouts can't actually do much useful stuff with them other than sharpen sticks. So I was thinking, could I actually have them try and make a quill pen? I could pre-temper the feathers in advance and they'd do the cutting.

But I've never made one. So I was thinking of trying to find a supply of cheap-but-usable feathers and try it out. I've seen some stuff on the Internet about how to do it, and best feathers, but I need these to be cheap, easiest to cut (maybe that means biggest?), and aesthetics aren't as important.

Any ideas of type and sources, or is this too crazy to even consider?

"We can become expert in an erroneous view" --Tenzin Wangyal Rinoche

Sponsored Content

#2 HolzMechanikerUSA

HolzMechanikerUSA

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Location:Michigan.
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2015 - 17:50

First rule in teaching is to have done it yourself. What do they have you teach, I hope a how to on sharpening for a dull knife is far more dangerous than a sharp one. Might I suggest looking for a local carving club, chances are you will find them in a senior center or at least working out of one.  I am sure that they would be tickled to show these young minds something positive to do with such a hated tool.  

Where to find feathers?  Michaels, hobby lobby or Jo-Annes crafts might have turkey feathers, or at least they did a few years ago.

However I will suggest too, while there see if they have a book on Whittling.  just need one and photo copier.

I don't mean to harp on this subject, and yes they were called pen knives for a reason as you wish to demonstrate. Yet they were soo much more.  


Andrew Arndts.

Owner of Holz Mechaniker, LLC. Holz Mechaniker USA is my You Tube Channel

I make Dip Pen Styluses and Fountian Pens with Component Hardware.

 


#3 dms525

dms525

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,954 posts
  • Location:San Joaquin Valley of California
  • Flag:

Posted 06 September 2015 - 17:53

I think that's a great idea! (Great and crazy are by no means mutually exclusive categories.)

 

I see you are in California. Foster Farms, a major poultry producer, has their main processing plant in Livingston. Turkey wing feathers are one of the best for quill pens. I would call the  plant and ask if/how you could get some   turkey wing feathers. 

 

I don't have a link right handy, but I know there are instructions for cutting quills for pens online. I would search for both quill pens and reed pens. The cuts are the same for both.

 

Have fun! If you pull this off, post a report.

 

David



#4 smk

smk

    Antique

  • FPN Tech. Admin

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,593 posts
  • Location:Toronto
  • Flag:

Posted 07 September 2015 - 17:58

You could also try making reed pens out of 1/2" (or smaller) Bamboo stakes. These are easier to shape than Quills but the material is harder. A sharp knife is required in either case.

 

Donald Jackson shows how to cut a reed pen at about 15 minutes into the video and how to cure and cut a Quill at about the 38th minute in this video:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=7IUBglyvt8o

 

- Salman


I have an opinion and I'm not afraid to use it.

 

Store :: Instagram :: Blog


#5 Randal6393

Randal6393

    Love italic handwriting.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,408 posts
  • Location:Charlotte, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 07 September 2015 - 18:14

Hi, bongo47,

 

Sounds like a great plan to me. But would suggest acquiring the quills uncured. Cured quills, these days, are so brittle and dry that it is almost impossible to make a good pen out of one. At least, in my experience. But the uncured turkey wing feathers from Foster Farms? If available, that would be ideal.

 

Don't count the reed pens out, either. In many ways, that is easier and better than quills for beginners to work on.

 

If you are going to show them how to use the pen, might need to work on "springs", reservoirs for the pens. If you cut your own strips of metal for springs, watch the sharp edges. They can be mean.

 

Enjoy,


Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?
 


#6 Stanley Howler

Stanley Howler

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 327 posts
  • Location:South West Wales
  • Flag:

Posted 07 September 2015 - 19:41

As a Scout leader I think that sounds like an awesome idea. An afternoon spent on a bit of practice yourself will mean you are one step ahead in the game (and who needs more). Perhaps they could then write letters to a neighbouring pack with the pens.

Dom

#7 Charles Rice

Charles Rice

    Mr. Pink

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,790 posts
  • Location:Osceola, WI
  • Flag:

Posted 07 September 2015 - 19:50

As an aside, it does make a difference which wing the feathers come from - (right or left).  Without looking it up, I can't recall which is better for a right hander. 

 

Crow and goose feather are good, too.  Long ago I tried it with an eagle feather I found, but I am told that that is a no -no.

 

Just my opinion, but the project might be a bit much for eight year olds.


Edited by Charles Rice, 08 September 2015 - 01:59.


#8 dms525

dms525

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,954 posts
  • Location:San Joaquin Valley of California
  • Flag:

Posted 07 September 2015 - 23:32

Right handers should use feathers from the left wing, and left handers ... you get three guesses.

 

BTW, I ran across this feather vendor. No experience with this source but looks interesting and economical: http://www.smileyme....y-quill-feat...

 

If this project happens, let us know how it turns out.

 

David



#9 bongo47

bongo47

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 September 2015 - 17:47

All, not sure what's happening with my quote feature, so let me just first say thanks for the tips and advice.  I will definitely be trying the reed idea too.  I have a few months to try things out and tinker with the lesson plan.  

 

One question for Randal, do you mean I should just do it uncured, or cure them myself.  I realize that youtube instructors seem to imply they need to be cured, but I don't care much if these are not long lasting, just easy to make and use for a few notes (or sign their whittling chip card).

 

Thanks

 

 


Edited by bongo47, 08 September 2015 - 17:50.

"We can become expert in an erroneous view" --Tenzin Wangyal Rinoche

#10 Randal6393

Randal6393

    Love italic handwriting.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,408 posts
  • Location:Charlotte, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 09 September 2015 - 22:45

I don't really know which would be better. The referenced Jackson video above shows how to cure the nibs in hot sand, not sure you would want the cubs to try that. But I have used uncured nibs, picked up on the ground. Usually worked out okay but didn't last long.

 

Guess it's your choice.

 

Enjoy,


Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?
 


#11 smk

smk

    Antique

  • FPN Tech. Admin

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,593 posts
  • Location:Toronto
  • Flag:

Posted 10 September 2015 - 04:14

Being exposed to the elements can also cure a quill - heat just speeds up the process and gives you better control. For any quills found in the wild, you can tell by the colour whether it needs further curing.

 

Salman


I have an opinion and I'm not afraid to use it.

 

Store :: Instagram :: Blog


#12 bongo47

bongo47

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 September 2015 - 12:17

Being exposed to the elements can also cure a quill - heat just speeds up the process and gives you better control. For any quills found in the wild, you can tell by the colour whether it needs further curing.
 
Salman


So I bought a few from the wilds of Michael's to try out. The package gives almost no information about them. What would be a clue as to whether they've already been cured?

Cheers

"We can become expert in an erroneous view" --Tenzin Wangyal Rinoche

#13 Ergative

Ergative

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 356 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 September 2015 - 13:50

Regarding the spring reservoirs: I have successfully folded aluminum foil into approximately the right shape, and it worked okay. Fiddly work, though, but then eight-year-olds have smaller fingers than me.

 

If you want to be sure you've got good quills that are mean to be cut into pens, you can get them from John Neal: http://www.johnnealb...?keyword=quills

 

I don't know how big your troupe is or what your budget is. They're $3 - $3.5 each, which adds up, but you will be sure you're getting quills exactly designed for the activity, rather than getting a bunch of unprocessed turkey feathers that you don't know how to evaluate or cure.

 

You could even buy one or two pre-cut quills (farther down the page) so you have an expert model to follow.



#14 Stanley Howler

Stanley Howler

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 327 posts
  • Location:South West Wales
  • Flag:

Posted 11 September 2015 - 05:56

So I bought a few from the wilds of Michael's to try out. The package gives almost no information about them. What would be a clue as to whether they've already been cured?
Cheers


I believe, although I am no expert, that the stems of cured quills are clear as the curing process breaks down the white membrane inside, whereas stems in their natural state are white-ish.

#15 bongo47

bongo47

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 September 2015 - 13:49

Thanks Stanley, mine may have been cured at least a bit then. I'm hoping to give it a try this weekend and see what happens. Haven't bought any reeds yet, but that's also on the to do list.

"We can become expert in an erroneous view" --Tenzin Wangyal Rinoche

#16 bongo47

bongo47

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 04 June 2017 - 14:47

I kind of dropped off the fountain pen face of the earth for a while, but jumping back in. Realized I never posted how this project went. In short...Great! By the end of it, all the scouts had made a quill pen that worked well enough for them to sign their names on the whittling chip cards. Had them practice/play with them before signing. No scouts injured themselves in the process. A few of them brought knives that weren't sharp enough make the first cut, but after that, they were able to kind of whittle the end to sharpen the point.

I played with placing a spring or wire in the shaft to store a bit of ink. It worked, but didn't bother trying to do that with the scout's quills. I didn't bother curing the feathers, because when I tried it, they seemed to work fine without it.

Again, a very delayed, but still heartfelt thanks to those who helped me think through this project. I have recommended it to other leaders, but haven't heard if any have done it yet.

"We can become expert in an erroneous view" --Tenzin Wangyal Rinoche

#17 kenfraser

kenfraser

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,171 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 10 July 2017 - 14:37

Quill Pens for Cub Scouts? 

 

Sounds like a fair exchange!








Sponsored Content




|