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Edison Pen Churchill


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#1 goodyear

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 19:39

A while ago I got interested in pens produced by the penturning community. I looked at a lot of websites and saw some stunning work on display, but the one that really grabbed my attention was a green and black woodgrain ebonite pen on the website of a member here - Brian Gray.

Much as the pen appealed to me, due to unemployment I had to pass, but sent Brian an email commenting on how great it looked. The pen sold very quickly (not to me), but on hearing I was interested Brian offered to keep enough of the material on hand to make me a similar pen.


(Green and black ebonite Churchill by Edison Pen.)

When I got a new job, family offered to buy me a celebratory pen (they know me too well!), so I emailed Brian. Within a couple of days the pen was made and mailed (after waiting on the nib to come in from Bexley), and once the various postal services had done their job (and HMR&C had taken their cut), I had my latest pen!

All my contact with Brian has been simply superb. He has put up with all kinds of annoying questions from me, and has been very patient and accommodating - he is a gentleman indeed. It's the kind of quality communication and service that I keep finding in this hobby.

On to the pen...

Appearance, Design & Finish. The pen is what is often termed a 'kit' pen, but let me be clear - the word 'kit' just doesn't do it justice. Don't let it give you any negative preconceptions, or you'll miss out. Consider it the canvas for an artist to work on; kind of like a kit car - basic bits that a skilled worker will turn into an awesome machine.

Built on the Churchill hardware, this is a big pen. There's a fair weight to it (my vague kitchen scales put it at closer to 50g than 25g, with the cap being maybe a third of that). The cap is rather heavy in relation to the pen, but the pen won't post so that's okay. I don't post my pens, so that works for me, but it may not please you.


(The pen capped and uncapped.)

The barrel and cap are made of a very attractive green and black woodgrained ebonite. The green is a sensible, quite subtle, colour, and the woodgrain is indeed very wood-like in appearance.


(Levels altered to show 'grain' of ebonite - don't trust this for colour!)

The ebonite is polished and waxed to give a very smooth, warm and pleasing feel in the hand. It also appears quite durable, as I discovered when I managed to knock the pen off my desk onto a hard floor ohmy.gif Not a scratch smile.gif

The section, centre band and cap finial are black plastic, which is produced and finished to a high standard that doesn't look out of place alongside the ebonite. You can feel the difference, of course. In a perfect world the section in particular would be made of hard rubber (black, though, for my taste) as well. Brian tells me he is working towards that - which isn't so good, as it means I'll have to buy another pen from him!


(Size comparison with Lamy Vista.)

All in all, the fit and finish is of an excellent standard, and the pen feels simply great in my hand. All good.

Nib Design & Performance. While the pen as originally produced has a steel nib, Brian offered it with (and I went for) an 18k Bexley fine point (made by Bock, I understand).


(That wonderful Bexley nib - twotone 18k F.)

This is my first experience of a Bexley nib, and if this one is typical it certainly won't be my last! Laying down what I would call a normal Western fine line, it is nice and wet, and really, really smooth. A wonderful writing experience. It starts with no hesitation whatsoever, and provides plenty of flow for me.

Filling System. What I know will be sticking point for some, the pen uses a standard international catridge or converter. I paid an extra US$5 for the 'premium' converter, which is nice solid and durable-feeling Schmidt model. No problems so far. What more can I say?

Cost/Value. The pen with a steel nib would have been US$110, plus an extra US$100 for the Bexley nib. It's not school-pen cheap, but I've paid an awful lot more for a lot less pen. In feel, performance, fit and finish, this pen definitely would rank among the best in my small collection, and it's of a design and style that is a great fit for me. So for me I would say that is simply excellent value, and I'm also glad I paid the extra for the Bexley point.

Conclusion. It's not perfect, no pen is. But this pen does come closer than most of the pens I own. As my introduction to the penturner's world, I could hardly have found better, and I know for sure it won't be the only pen I buy off Brian.

Yeah, I know I'm gushing. A lot. Sorry biggrin.gif You know the way sometimes you get a certain pen that just does it for you? This really does for me...

Edited by MYU, 13 October 2008 - 14:07.

Mark Goody

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#2 Jerry

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 21:36

Thanks for sharing.

I am intrigued with the possibilities of custom made pens. I wish there were an easy "kit" for a Omas or Pelikan type fill,
though.

#3 NeoTiger

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 00:42

Great review! Very nice looking pen, congratulations on the new job too.

Maybe I will have to bookmark that page from Brian to consider in future, when I am finally out of my pen buying ban.

#4 rroossinck

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 01:11

Ah, I'm glad to see that someone else has noticed Brian's work. I've been eyeing (and admiring) his work for quite a while now. Someday.

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#5 southpaw

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 01:38

Wonderful looking pen. Could you post a photo of the section unscrewed, as this pen just seems to scream, "EYE DROPPER FILLER!!!" Thanks for posting.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#6 rroossinck

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 14:21

Mark, thanks for a great review, by the way.

You mention that the pen isn't perfect. What would you change in order to get closer to the elusive state of perfection?

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#7 jpolaski

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 15:13

Great...another site to make me drool...Oh well, I'll get the drool cup! Nice looking pen and a great review. Enjoy!
"The older I get, the more I realize I'm getting older".

#8 John Cullen

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 15:13

HI Nice pen! Where is this Brian Gray located? Looks like he does great work and is making sure he gets nice nibs.





#9 Keng

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 15:18

Another new info, another new pen to add to the wish list. It will be perferct if it is an ED. Thanks for sharing Mark.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.
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#10 goodyear

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 08:16

Thanks all for your comments.

Regarding eydropper use: the threads are all plastic, but I believe the inside of the barrel has a brass sleeve, so I presume (it's not something I've ever considered) that would hinder the pen's use as an ED.

QUOTE(rroossinck @ Aug 8 2007, 03:21 PM) View Post
Mark, thanks for a great review, by the way.

You mention that the pen isn't perfect. What would you change in order to get closer to the elusive state of perfection?


Well... no pen is perfect. For me - like I said in the review - I would like it to be all ebonite rather than with the plastic bits. The plastic isn't a bad thing in itself, just that HR would complete the package. There's a lot of weight in the cap, which isn't a functional problem as the pen won't post, but is a little disconcerting the first time you handle the pen. I've got used to it, though. As far as writing experience goes, it's an excellent nib in an excellent package. C/C filling doesn't bother me in the slightest, it's handy for my frequent ink changes, but pistons are nicer.

I can't remember off the top of my head where Brian is - somewhere in the US.

Again, thanks all.

A couple of days' hard use at work later, and I'm still loving this pen all the way!
Mark Goody

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#11 jonro

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 17:26

Thanks for the review. I rarely see reviews of hand turned pens and it's good to get this perspective. One of the things keeping me from buying a "pen kit" FP is that the nib is an unknown quantity. But being able to purchase it with a known, excellent nib changes things.

#12 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 18:53

Very nice looking pen. I am a huge fan of Ebonite pens and this is a perfect example of excellent craftmanship!!!

You are lucky indeed!! Thanks for the review!!

TNS
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