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Edison Pens Herald in Tortoise Lucite


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#1 AndrewC

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 01:48

Some will know I have a thing for tortoise pens. When I saw Brian Gray's Edison pens I loved the shape immediately, but the colors did not catch my eye. I'm not an ebonite fan because the smell really is strong to me. When I saw the tortoise Lucite I was hooked. I ordered my pen and in time it came. At first I was not thrilled. The insides were bubbled and hazy and the outsides were hazy, with the exception of the cap finial. I think Brian has been slammed with orders and this was the one that got away.
Before:

I contacted Brian and he said to send it in and he'd see what he could do. He worked on the pen, polishing it up. While doing this he talked to Howard Levy at Bexley who gave Brian a tip about using acetone (I think.)to clean up the inside of the pen. He buffed up the outside too. Oh yeah! This is what I envisioned!






Oh. I got the Edison nib and have to say it is a wonderful nib. Brian adjusted it just the way I like on the first go. The nib is smooth, the flow is perfect for me, and the is some springiness that allows some line variation. I am thinking of ordering other nibs and having them ground in varying tips. The nib is very cool looking IMHO.


The size of the pen is medium. It fits most of my shirt pockets and is comfortable for extended use. Here it is with a Poseidon for comparison. It is pretty lightweight, which I like.

Brian packed the pen very carefully for shipping,

and was clear and prompt in his communications. He worked with me to give me what I want, and I got it. And am quite happy, too.

This is an unsolicited review. No affiliation, etc. I'm just really stoked with my new pen, and I think it is important to support the smaller craftsman in this hobby. Especially in these economically challenging times. And it is made in America, not outsourced.

Thanks Brian! And thanks Howard, for sharing info with the newbie.
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#2 Splicer

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 02:40

Color me jealous!

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#3 Peheme

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 03:15

I wonder how long the pen will look like this.
Probably not very long if you use it, I guess.

Do you know if the polishing is permanent?

#4 AndrewC

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 04:02

QUOTE (Peheme @ Jan 23 2009, 07:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wonder how long the pen will look like this.
Probably not very long if you use it, I guess.

Do you know if the polishing is permanent?



The pen should wear like any other. I take pretty good care of my pens and don't scratch 'em up much, and the Lucite is well polished and seems fairly hard. I have Pelikan demonstrators that I've had a few years that look much as they did when I got them, and I use my pens or sell them.

Also-Brian has told me that any time the pen needs polishing to just send it to him. Cost is shipping.
Some people say they march to a different drummer. Me? I hear bagpipes.

#5 blopplop

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 05:16

Oh great! Now I've gotta add another to the list. bawl.gif

Dave
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#6 hari317

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 06:32

Thanks for this review Andrew, I have been admiring these tortoise pens from Brian. Very nice!

I have noticed similar bubbling and crazing in my Bexley Simplicity Tortoise pen, I would be interested to know if this defect(if it is) is inherent to the material or caused while machining:









Warm regards,
Hari


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#7 Heirphoto

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 18:06

While not a pen making expert I have worked with plexi and acrylics extensively. Most of the acrylic machined pens guys like Brian make are not transparant so the typical maching marks fron drilling and threading the insides is never seen. The tools leave a rough, matt finished that is uneven in texture at best and for the most part hidden from view...until now. usually it is the heat generated that actually melts the surface just a bit causing the matt, crazed look seen here. On a see through material like tortoise this poses a problem as now one needs to polish the insides, as well as the outsides of the pen. Not an easy task and adding extra labor above and beyond what the typical Edison pen already goes through.

Once polished the inside should stay this way as there is no wear to that. The outside should wear just like any other acrylic and should polish up again just fine, a task Brian offers on all of his pens.

I love the tortoise look and already have one of Brian's new Edison #76 pens on order in tortoise acrylic and with the 18k Edison nib. I think he may be unveiling this model at the Philly show this weekend or if not next week when he returns. Seeing the Herald pick here I'll probably get one of these as well a bit later.

As this thread points out Brian is on top of his game, always striving to improve his product and making customers happy. I have an Edison Pearl now that has been my daily user since Christmas.

On the Bexley the odd look near the trim ring looks typical of a "glued" acrylic joint (solvents, not glue are used to melt the acrylic together). The barrel views look like tool and machine marks. Many of the clear demonstrator pens are using injection molded components so both inner and outer surfaces are smooth and clean as they were molded, not drilled and turned inside.
Tony

Edited by Heirphoto, 25 January 2009 - 01:34.

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#8 Blatherscribe

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 00:15

Beautiful pen! Thank you for sharing the photos and the story. I'm ever more impressed with Brian Gray's work.


#9 Gandalfandula

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 22:48

very nice pics, thanks for posting them.

i recently found his new website and am really impressed with his work. the materials and shapes are wonderful to these eyes. the only problem is that $225 for a steel nib pen is pretty spendy! ah well...they are one of a kind though.
I have a predilection towards preponderously sized nibs and I refuse to prevaricate

#10 bgray

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 05:23

First off, thanks for posting the review, Andrew.

In regards to the internal finishes....

On Howard's pen, I think that you are seeing two things. The bubbles around the centerband is epoxy. There's no way around this, it's just the nature of the beast.

The other tool marks on Howard's pens are the same as what you will see on mine.

Slight crazing is unavoidable with manual lathes like mine, and sometimes avoidable (but not always) with a CNC lathe like Howard's.

When a large manufacturer of pens does demonstrators or other translucent materials, they will do it in one of two ways...

1. Super high RPM's with diamond tipped tooling.

2. Injection molded plastic.

With my setup, obviously both of these options are not within my financial budget.

I can't speak on Howard's behalf, but I'm pretty sure that he cannot do speeds high enough or wants to bother with diamond tipped tools. But please don't quote me...you can ask Howard.

So I need to rely on custom mandrels to get sandpaper as deep as possible, and then buff with a custom made buffer, and then a clear coat to eliminate and blend even more.

So as a small operation, I can get demonstrators VERY close, but achieving absolute perfection in the inside is tough.

Actually, I have a demonstrator that I'm going to be working on this week. Remind me, and I'll post pictures.



#11 Frank_Federalist_Pens

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 05:48

I got to see, and try, this new Tortoise version of the Herald at the Philly Pen Show!
It is a beautiful pen! Brian's 18k nibs are great writers! I love demos, and feel this is the best custom demo IMHO.


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#12 hari317

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 07:41

Thank you Brian for illuminating the practical issues involved. Your work as I have seen from the photos on FPN is stellar. We will look forward to the photos of your new demonstrator.

Regards,
Hari



QUOTE (bgray @ Jan 26 2009, 10:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
First off, thanks for posting the review, Andrew.

In regards to the internal finishes....

On Howard's pen, I think that you are seeing two things. The bubbles around the centerband is epoxy. There's no way around this, it's just the nature of the beast.

The other tool marks on Howard's pens are the same as what you will see on mine.

Slight crazing is unavoidable with manual lathes like mine, and sometimes avoidable (but not always) with a CNC lathe like Howard's.

When a large manufacturer of pens does demonstrators or other translucent materials, they will do it in one of two ways...

1. Super high RPM's with diamond tipped tooling.

2. Injection molded plastic.

With my setup, obviously both of these options are not within my financial budget.

I can't speak on Howard's behalf, but I'm pretty sure that he cannot do speeds high enough or wants to bother with diamond tipped tools. But please don't quote me...you can ask Howard.

So I need to rely on custom mandrels to get sandpaper as deep as possible, and then buff with a custom made buffer, and then a clear coat to eliminate and blend even more.

So as a small operation, I can get demonstrators VERY close, but achieving absolute perfection in the inside is tough.

Actually, I have a demonstrator that I'm going to be working on this week. Remind me, and I'll post pictures.


In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.






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