Hello, all -
I recently found and contacted John Hubbard about making me a custom cigar box pen case. He did a wonderful job so I thought I would do a quick review. Please excuse my crappy photos.
This is the box that I chose as I wanted something in the range of 10 pens and John stated he had another of this type that he could make such a box from. This box is a beautiful lacquered burgundy color. John nicely applies a piece of foam to the bottom of the box to help prevent slipping and scratching on whatever surface you are keeping it on.
I requested that John do some sort of antique map of Scotland in the lid (I'm infatuated with the place) and he chose a beautiful, vibrant map to print out and lay into the lid. It matches the color and style of the whole box well.
I was assuming he would do a black pen tray, but he contacted me and asked what I thought about red because he thought it looked even nicer. Honestly, in photos I preferred black, but I trusted John and wanted to make the work easiest on him and facilitate the fastest turn-around time so I told him I wouldn't complain about the red because it looked nice too. Once I had the case in hand, I realize John was probably right - the red really pops and looks very nice. It goes well with the map and the burgundy exterior. Also, the black felt he inserted at the bottom of the tray blends with the black stained wood on the interior to provide a nice contrast with the red. It's a beautiful case, in my opinion and a nice cozy place for my growing collection to rest.
I think John does great work and his prices are reasonable. I payed $50 plus shipping for a custom case made of a solid wood re-purposed cigar box (I like the idea of up-cycling instead of buying a lesser built laminated tray new). This box is unique to me and suits my style perfectly. If you're looking for a nice case for pen or ink, you may be interested in getting in touch with John. He has a wordpress page which is how I found him and I think he may post here too. I'm not sure if I can put a direct link to his page here, so if you google "cigar box pen storage" you should be able to find him easily enough. I know some others here have purchased cases and reviewed them from John before. I think from purchase to receipt of the case it was around a week and a half.