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Ferocase Pan-Gora 45-Pen Display Case

ferocase display case box

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#1 A Smug Dill

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 04:50

The Ferocase Pan-Gora Classic Pen Box (45 pens) I ordered from La Couronne du Comte earlier in November, taking full advantage of the free international shipping offer and 20%-off site wide discount for Fountain Pen Day, has finally arrived in the post yesterday.

This is what I was expecting:

Ferocase Pan-Gora Classic Pen Box (45 pens)
[FER-930]

The rosewood Pan-Gora Classic pen collector's box by Ferocase offers room for 45 pens.
The tempered glass window shows your pens in a stylish way, while at the same time the case offers maximal protection. All compartments are covered with a soft plush velvet.
The case measures 40 x 21 x 14 cm and weighs 4.5 kg.

 

Source: La Couronne du Comte

 
but what I received is, well, not even remotely what was shown or described.
 

Lovely case in rosewood.   :thumbup:  Seems well made with attention to detail.
Would love to hear your views, once you receive it.

Mine certainly is not made of rosewood, or look anything like it. But then, had I looked at dneal's review four years ago of the one he won in an auction on eBay, I should have known better.
 
I don't think the material lining the pen trays qualifies as velvet, either.
 

 

 
Not that I mind the darker colour at all – when in fact I would have preferred it – but it's just a thin veneer, and I doubt the veneer itself is made of whichever wood it purports to be, as opposed to just being stained with the particular colour.
 

 
However, I very much took exception to the evidence that someone – either at the Ferocase factory, or in the LCdC warehouse – must have closed the lid (or, more likely, slammed it down) while there was a small hard object, perhaps a loose screw, sitting on the rim of the top tray on the right-hand edge. Whatever happened, it left indents in the wood, and caused the black paint to flake off, on both the rim of the tray and the rim of the lid.
 
(I have photos of the damage, which I sent to LCdC, but I'm not going to post them here.)
 
Of the three slide-out pen trays, each with a capacity of eleven pens, one came loose right out of the box. A second one came out with a little bit of jiggling, but the bottom one wouldn't come out no matter what, so I was a bit confused as to what the design intent was and which trays were the anomalies in manufacture.
 

 
On closer inspection of the tray, specifically to find out why there was an unsightly bulge in the rear right corner (top right corner in the photo above), I figure that the trays were not meant to slide out, but ought to have been prevented from doing so by two wooden pegs coming out of each tray's rear corners. The manufacturing process must have been to glue (or just jam) the peg into place in the rear left corner, then insert the other peg into the hole on the opposite side and allowing it to push the lining slightly off the inner edge of the tray, and insert the tray into the box at a slight angle. Once the tray was inserted, the peg is then struck through the lining with a small hammer or some such, in a manner that not intended to be easily reversible (to extract the tray back out of the box).

Whoever assembled it did not do a particular good job of hammering the pegs into place in the top two slide-out trays. Now, in all fairness, I don't mind that 'fault' that much, since there is utility in my being able to pull the trays out, say for pen display and/or photography. The inconsistency in the workmanship, and therefore the lack of attention to detail, is quite telling though.

Even though this has dented my long-held faith in German manufacture being most precise, with rigid processes that make paying due attention to detail a foregone conclusion, I'm still prepare to trust Japanese and German manufacture above Korean or Italian manufacture, which is in turn above Australian or American manufacture, with Chinese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese manufacture at the bottom of my list of preferences.

(It's just a bloody wooden box! I'd gladly settle for a Vietnamese-made pen display case if the delivered price was right, and I had avenues for recourse if the product is not to specifications.)

I reported the issue of the damage on the rim to LCdC, and atypically for its Customer Service team, I got a reply in the same business day, offering me an apology and a substantial partial refund as compensation. I did not pursue the issue of the colour or the material not being as advertised, but chose to just accept the offer and call it square.

Why? With most of the options available to me in the market today – especially with the display cases (purportedly) crafted in the US or (in other cases, in which I'm more confident) Japan – sellers either simply won't ship to Australia, or want to charge something to the tune of US$80 or US$100 for delivery alone. That's close to the effective price, after accounting for the offered partial refund, it cost me all up to acquire this display case. I need a pen box of this capacity, and if this was to be judged only on its own merits, instead of focussing on where it was accidentally damaged or does not match the description in the item listing, it's actually pretty good for that amount of money. I wouldn't be so keen on spending three- or four-fold just to have a pen display case made actually of rosewood or some such, and I already have a 30-pen display box – slightly better constructed, out of I think better material, purported right here in Australia. Furthermore, I've had plenty of dealings with LCdC these past few months, and in the whole I'm happy with the commercial relationship and what it offers me, so I actually have a reason to stay on good terms instead of pressing the boundaries of what I think I could justifying demand.

So, with that out of the way, let's talk about this display case on its own merits.

This 45-pen case is compact, with a significantly smaller footprint than my 30-pen case. That's good. The depth of the slide-out trays could be a tiny bit limiting, but nevertheless the slots will accommodate just about all of the pens in my household except for the Platinum Izumo pens; those will have to go into the top tray (with a capacity of a dozen pens). Not being made of solid timber, it's also lighter and makes it easier for me to move or carry from one room to another fully loaded, in spite of tendonitis in my wrist. Just lifting the lid on the heavier 30-pen case could cause my wrist to complain@ All the same, it's solid enough.

As I've mentioned before, effectively having removable pen trays is an advantageous 'feature'. The top tray in my 30-pen case can be lifted out, but only after the lid is (almost) fully raised, and thus not very convenient.

The lining material in this display case is adequate, although I'd probably have preferred a darker colour to more readily hide dirt and stains.

One feature this box could do with – but then understandably drive up its price and its size and/or total weight – is a lock.
 

What good is a lock on one of these?  Seriously.  If I meant to steal your pen, I would just grab the whole box and take em' all.  I suppose a lock would stop the "opportunistic" type of thief if this case were in a public place like an office.


Not really for security per se, but simply to stop the trays from sliding out of the box (completely or just halfway) when moving or transporting the box. Unless I'm mindful to either carry the box at an angle, or put a strap around the box prior to moving it, I run the risk of having my precious pens spill all over the floor.

My verdict: This box is of a good enough design, and sturdy enough, to be well worth $200 (in local currency!) delivered – in view of the other options on the market – and if you can get it for significantly less out of pocket, it's positively a bargain, as long as you know what you're getting and not misled. At that price, I don't think you could reasonably expect top-notch workmanship.
A discussion about objects, techniques and applications should not be a contest of personal values. Your values mean nothing to me and require naught from me, and I'll gladly assume my values equally mean nothing to you and do not impose on you in any way; my dissenting views do not oppress your personal views, when neither of us can claim to represent the majority position or consensus, or speak on behalf of the community of fountain pen hobbyists worldwide. Let's treat each other with due respect prescribed by some entity bigger than either of us without our input and just offer our sentimental opinions of no particular standing with anyone else, without trying to control the narrative, or demand moral support and/or solidarity from others as consumers and users.

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#2 SenZen

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 18:35

It's a good looking case, too bad about the problems; but then transporting something made of glass sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, no matter who made it. I'd love to have a similar case but I can't justify their prices... Or rather when I see the price I immediately think of getting another pen... An enterprising carpenter should offer "learn how to make your own case" classes, materials included.

 

I might eventually settle for a cigar case, I have one full of cuban Cohibas but I don't smoke; or someone mentioned old tool boxes, but they're not see through. An acrylic case seems too... Chintzy.


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#3 A Smug Dill

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:53

Or rather when I see the price I immediately think of getting another pen...


I feel much the same way, but then the reality of already having over 150 pens (not including my fiancée's) sets in, and while spending $200 on another fountain pen will no doubt bring some pleasure, the utility (and/or pain avoidance) of having such a box to aid management and accommodation of the best 40% of the fleet trumps it.

Then I find another $200 from somewhere to get that extra pen...
A discussion about objects, techniques and applications should not be a contest of personal values. Your values mean nothing to me and require naught from me, and I'll gladly assume my values equally mean nothing to you and do not impose on you in any way; my dissenting views do not oppress your personal views, when neither of us can claim to represent the majority position or consensus, or speak on behalf of the community of fountain pen hobbyists worldwide. Let's treat each other with due respect prescribed by some entity bigger than either of us without our input and just offer our sentimental opinions of no particular standing with anyone else, without trying to control the narrative, or demand moral support and/or solidarity from others as consumers and users.

#4 XYZZY

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 05:17

Thanks for the warning.  I'm sorry that you had that experience but grateful that you passed it along.  Knowing what to avoid is at least as good as knowing what to seek out. 

 

So it's not solid timber, but is at even wood?  Or is it wood-textured vinyl over MDF?

 

I didn't think you needed to explain the purpose of a lock, it seemed obvious.  I would think any mechanical contraption to keep it closed would suffice, But if you're building a cheap case I'm sure that a cheap lock is very easily sourced.  A nice latch with a good tactile feel that doesn't require me to remember where the key is...more expensive.



#5 A Smug Dill

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 06:54

So it's not solid timber, but is at even wood?  Or is it wood-textured vinyl over MDF?


I don't know the answer, sorry.

I didn't think you needed to explain the purpose of a lock, it seemed obvious.


You'd think so. That's why I quoted the question asked in the discussion thread of the other review.
A discussion about objects, techniques and applications should not be a contest of personal values. Your values mean nothing to me and require naught from me, and I'll gladly assume my values equally mean nothing to you and do not impose on you in any way; my dissenting views do not oppress your personal views, when neither of us can claim to represent the majority position or consensus, or speak on behalf of the community of fountain pen hobbyists worldwide. Let's treat each other with due respect prescribed by some entity bigger than either of us without our input and just offer our sentimental opinions of no particular standing with anyone else, without trying to control the narrative, or demand moral support and/or solidarity from others as consumers and users.

#6 MRose

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 15:02

Mmmm...well sometimes is hard to buy online...but to be quite honest I like yours better even though is not real wood?


FP's: Noodler's Charlie Pen, Noodler's King Philip Ahab, JinHao X450 Blue, JinHao X750 Gold, Jinhao 599 Transparent, Hero 366 Green, Hero 9626, Jinhao Shark Black and Green,Jinhao 992 Coffee, Lamy Safari Black, Lanbitou /2 Transparent/ 1 Black /1 Red, Twsbi Go Saphire
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#7 A Smug Dill

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 22:35

So it's not solid timber, but is at even wood?  Or is it wood-textured vinyl over MDF?

 
Perhaps you're better able to judge what it is than I am; I haven't the first clue.
 
fpn_1548108732__behind_the_ferocase_11-p
 
fpn_1548108838__underside_of_the_ferocas

Unscrewing the drawer handle knobs leaves the stems of the screws sticking out of the front of the drawer, so I cannot inspect the side of the holes that house them.

Edited by A Smug Dill, 21 January 2019 - 22:37.

A discussion about objects, techniques and applications should not be a contest of personal values. Your values mean nothing to me and require naught from me, and I'll gladly assume my values equally mean nothing to you and do not impose on you in any way; my dissenting views do not oppress your personal views, when neither of us can claim to represent the majority position or consensus, or speak on behalf of the community of fountain pen hobbyists worldwide. Let's treat each other with due respect prescribed by some entity bigger than either of us without our input and just offer our sentimental opinions of no particular standing with anyone else, without trying to control the narrative, or demand moral support and/or solidarity from others as consumers and users.

#8 inkypete

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 02:57

Just curious if you have let the supplier know your disappointment and, if so, have they responded. Your product does not look like the quality of the advertised product from what I can tell by your review.


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#9 XYZZY

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 05:17

Just curious if you have let the supplier know your disappointment and, if so, have they responded. Your product does not look like the quality of the advertised product from what I can tell by your review.

 

I should get points for having read the entire story. :D



#10 XYZZY

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 05:23

 
Perhaps you're better able to judge what it is than I am; I haven't the first clue.
 
[snip]

Unscrewing the drawer handle knobs leaves the stems of the screws sticking out of the front of the drawer, so I cannot inspect the side of the holes that house them.

 

Hard to tell from the picture, it appears there may be some laminate of questionable origin, but also something that appears to be wood (or a read wood byproduct  :) ).

 

Presumably the initial shock has worn off... how do you like it?  On it's own merits, not based on the description that you originally bought it for.  But I guess that's kind of a rhetorical question...nobody reading this thread is going to want one of these for the advertised price any more.



#11 A Smug Dill

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 08:34

Just curious if you have let the supplier know your disappointment and, if so, have they responded. Your product does not look like the quality of the advertised product from what I can tell by your review.


I'll alert Dennis that the product doesn't match the description, which I'll gladly wager was just as supplied by Ferocase. That's something I haven't done. Even though I think LCdC and I are square on that transaction, it may be worth his while to know and avoid problems with future orders.

 

Update: Dennis confirmed that the product information came from the manufacturer themselves, and will ask the distributor of the Ferocase product to get some accurate information on the materials used.

 

Presumably the initial shock has worn off... how do you like it?  On it's own merits, not based on the description that you originally bought it for.


It does the job well enough. I've now emptied out my 30-pen solid timber display box, which is heavier, has a larger footprint and more unwieldy; the Ferocase 45-pen case slots quite neatly between two sets of wall shelves where it can be accessible but also out of the way at the same time. I don't look at it for its 'beauty', I don't fondle it to 'touch wood', and I don't generally invite visitors into my bedroom (or bring the pen storage cases out to the living room) so they would go ga-ga over my fountain pen collection. The Ferocase is a fit solution for my requirements, and were it not for the misleading description, I'd have few qualms about buying it for the delivery-included price I paid, so I'm happy enough after the partial refund I received due the minor damage to the box 'in transit'.


Edited by A Smug Dill, 23 January 2019 - 00:32.

A discussion about objects, techniques and applications should not be a contest of personal values. Your values mean nothing to me and require naught from me, and I'll gladly assume my values equally mean nothing to you and do not impose on you in any way; my dissenting views do not oppress your personal views, when neither of us can claim to represent the majority position or consensus, or speak on behalf of the community of fountain pen hobbyists worldwide. Let's treat each other with due respect prescribed by some entity bigger than either of us without our input and just offer our sentimental opinions of no particular standing with anyone else, without trying to control the narrative, or demand moral support and/or solidarity from others as consumers and users.





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