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  1. 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. IMG_20170109_141248 by Infinite_Day1, on Flickr 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. IMG_20170109_141219 by Infinite_Day1, on Flickr 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. IMG_20170109_141228 by Infinite_Day1, on Flickr 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.
  2. Inspired by Do-It-Yourself pen boxes (like this one by StephanV), having a STRONG aversion to the smell of tobacco rendering a re-purposed cigar box unviable, and with a desire/need to keep costs down, I decided to make my own pen box. With the input and help of a good friend with a woodshop, this is what I came up with: I'll post some process photos and a description of how I made it in the event that it may help a future fountain pen enthusiast who wants to give it a go himself.
  3. I'm still new to the hobby, but I decided my small collection could use a decent home. A couple of weeks ago, I swung into a local cigar shop and they gave me one of the empties. After a couple weeks in the garage, the smell of tobacco had mostly dissipated, so I moved on to the next phase. Supplies were pretty basic and available around the house or after a quick trip to the local Michael's craft store... - black foam sheet - 3/8" dowels - sheet of stick-on green felt - double-sided tape I used the foam sheet as padding underneath. I cut two pieces to size and trimmed them for a close fit. I measured out and cut the dowels that would build the spacers. To help position them in the box, I laid a couple strips of double-sided tape onto the foam. Then I experimented with the spacing between dowels. The tape kept them from rolling around freely, but I could easily reposition them if needed. I ended up with about 7/8" between the centers. With all the dowels in place, it was time for the felt. The sticky layer on that felt was strong! The approach of having a foam sheet as a base layer, rather than working directly on the base of the box, turned out to be fortuitous. It was going to be almost impossible to get that stick-on felt pressed down into position neatly without bumping my dowels around if I had been working inside the box. The sides were really that tall, but the glue layer on the felt was unforgiving. Instead, I pulled out the layer of foam, readjusted the dowels I bumped, and worked outside the box. Starting at one edge and working across, it was just a matter of rolling the felt on and pressing it in around the dowels. My daughter gave some light pressure on the back edge of each dowel to keep it from rolling as I pressed the felt onto and around it. Once the felt was on and some slight overlaps trimmed up, it was just a matter of inserting the completed base back into the box. I now have room for up to 7 pens (currently my TWSBI Mini, Pilot Metropolitan, Pilot 78G, and Shaeffer 440) and some extra space to the side for some ink samples. For minimal cost and under a couple hours of effort, I'm pretty happy with it!
  4. I have four vintage cigar boxes that belonged to my maternal great-grandfather (whom I never knew) in the early 1900s. My husband has helped me repurpose one box and we'll eventually be working on the other three. I love that I was able to find a new use for these boxes. We bought acrylic spray, but I'm going to buy a shellac or varnish and brush it on, instead. We also bought balsa wood and felt. We made a frame for the inside of the box and my husband cut braces so the floor would be raised and dividers to separate the pens, which we glued in after I covered the floor with the felt. I really like the look and I even decided to keep the grease penciled 6/97 cents for added nostalgia and vintage appeal. The other three boxes will have floors that aren't as raised as the clips on my larger pens prevent the lid from closing properly so those boxes are where I'll store my larger pens like the Delta Mask and the Stipula and Bayard shown in the photo. Thanks for looking! http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee513/betweenthelens/IMG_5529.jpg http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee513/betweenthelens/IMG_5528.jpg http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee513/betweenthelens/IMG_5527.jpg http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee513/betweenthelens/IMG_5525.jpg

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