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Think Before You Buy: "6-Layer 78 Pens Display Box ..."


A Smug Dill
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N.B. This is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the product.

 

I ordered one of these unbranded "6-Layer 78 Pens Display Box Organizer Fountain Wood Storage Collection Tray Case" advertised on eBay last Saturday, and it was delivered by Tuesday. That's lightning fast for online shopping in Australia! The item was very well packaged inside the sturdy shipping carton, with a thin foam sheet all around the display case and sheets of long, parallel cylindrical air pillows on each side sitting neatly between the foam sheet and the cardboard. I consider myself to be very 'anal' when it comes to packing things for shipment, and I couldn't have done a better job of that.

 

That heading of the item listing is a bit of a 'misnomer'; the display case has six removable 11-pen trays each with a tiny drawer knob, and a 'layer' at the top for displaying 12 pens sitting under plexiglass. The actual construction of the frame and trays is sturdy enough, roughly comparable to that of the German-made(?) Ferocase Pan-Gora pen display case I have, but with a superior design with respect to the drawers; as mentioned, they are removable, but held in place by (weak) magnets at the rear when closed.

 

The finish of the box borders on the cheap-and-nasty, and my unit arrived with a number of unsightly chips, dings and scratches; it mustn't have taken much for enough of the thin coating to come off and show the white material beneath it. Not that the finish on the Ferocase is great, but it is still superior to this. Never mind; I got an acceptable partial refund for that, but not without a little bit of a fight.

 

The biggest issue with this box, however, is how shallow the removable trays are. The liners in the drawers (as well as in the display section at the top) are just semi-rigid sheets of plastics covered very thinly with some 'plush' material, and hollow underneath; and they don't all sit 'regularly' to give 11 troughs of the same depth in each drawer. If and where you're lucky generally towards the central troughs on each tray, but on some trays the troughs on one side is lower/deeper than the opposite side the troughs will juuust accommodate a Nemosine Singularity, 'classic' FPR Himalaya (with #5.5 nib), PenBBS 308 or Platinum Balance; otherwise, even a Platinum Plaisir will get caught and/or scrape against the edge of the drawer (or the frame of the case) above it. I have a tray of exactly 11 Platinum Plaisir pens, and the pens on one side of the tray or the other are apt to get stuck when I'm sliding that drawer out; I have to then push down on the pens to elastically deform the hollow drawer liner to get the drawer and the pens out.

 

It's okay to put a LAMY cp1 or Logo, or a Nemosine Neutrino, or a Sailor Profit Junior or a Delike Submarine in the trays, no worries. However, you can totally forget about storing a LAMY Safari, Diplomat Aero or Monteverde Rodeo Drive in the drawers, unless you're prepared to rip out the liners.

 

Now, if you're buying a 78-pen case, I'll hazard a guess you have more than 12 pens (that would fit in the display section at the top) out of 60 or 70, or are at least planning on eventually having a large variety.

 

None of my gold-nibbed (or, in other words, pricier) Aurora, Platinum or Sailor pens are going into this display case. I'm not even sure I'll trust it to house a Sailor ProColor 500 or a Moonman M200 (of which I've just ordered several); the tray occasionally causes my Moonman S1 and M100 pens to scrape against what's above the drawer when I'm pulling it out, and Delike Alpha and New Moon 3 pens are just out of the question.

 

No such trouble with my Ferocase (but the troughs in its drawers are shorter, and cannot accommodate, say, a Platinum Izumo).

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Thanks for the detailed information on the display box. It's obviously difficult to know how big a pen will fit into the slots just from the advert, so your post is fantastic. Clearly, the box wasn't designed by someone with knowledge of the wide variety in sizes of pens collected.

"In my early days there were few schools to help us in the pursuit of learning.

If we wanted to climb, we had first to make our own ladders".

Benjamin Brierley (1825-1896),

English weaver and self taught writer/publisher in Lancashire dialect.

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Hmmm, sorry about the link to the eBay search results being wrong above (even though I thought I tested it while composing the post), but I can't edit it now. It should be easily enough to search for "6-layer pens display box" in the search bar, though.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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