Welcome to my Custom Fountain Pen website/blog. I put this site together a while ago so that I could let some of my fellow pen enthusiasts and penmakers, as well as my customers, see what I have been up to lately in the workshop. I don't publish all of my pens here, but good percentage of them.

A Little About My Pens: I love doing fine work on the lathe, which is what got me into this work. That is, I enjoy the focus on the details of a project - the material and colour selection, the form, the fit and finish of the pen. I also test all of the my nibs before shipping. I fill the converter, run ink through the nib and feed, and write with it. I spend a significant amount of time smoothing and adjusting the nib of every pen that I sell. My goal, with each pen that I make, is to create a writing piece whose fit and finish will impress you when you first pull it out of the packing, and that will serve you well as a great writer when you fill it up with your favourite ink.

Have a look at my posts to see some of the work I am doing lately, or see my pricing guide in the link below to the right, or check the link to my current inventory of already-made pens (usually small, as most of my work is by commissions/orders).

Or, if you are interested, you can see some of the work I have done previously in my Custom Pen Gallery on Photobucket!

If you have a Twitter account, I am @drgoretex

If you are a Tumblr kind of person, look up 'drgoretex' - but give it time. Just breaking in to that one.

If any of my posts generate particular interest, I will pin them as links on the right (eg 'Basic Nib Adjusting 101').

* ORDERS: Please contact me at kencavers@gmail.com to place an order.

* PRICES: Please see the link on the right side of the screen 'Pricing Guide' for an idea as to the cost of a pen.

Have a look at the bottom of this page for some reviews done by previous buyers!


IMORTANT NOTICE: I only make pens in my spare time, when work and other aspects of life permit. This amounts to somewhere around one to four pens per month. This, combined with a brutal winter this past year, which shut down my workshop for about three months, has led to a ridiculously long wait list for pen orders. This wait time is now about a year and a half. After some careful consideration, I have decided to close my pen making to new orders until I finish most of the orders on this list. My apologies for the inconvenience.

-Ken Cavers

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Root Beer Float Cigar Style FP

Here is another 'first go' at a material I have been waiting to use (one that is not commissioned), and finally just decided to jump in and make something with it.  This is another one of Jonathon Brooks' great alumilite blanks, with warm shimmering tan swirls in the black background.  I decided to label this one ' Root Beer Float' as it is pretty reminiscent of just that - though truth be told, it reminded me even more of the lovely black and tan of a nice Guinness stout being poured into a glass…

Here the pen is posing with its JoWo two tone steel broad nib, which I think I plan to grind to a smooth stub to add a bit of writing fun to this pen.

Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Jade Pebble 'Bamboo' Style Fountain Pen

Well, I have had this lovely Jade Pebble acrylic sitting on the shelf for a long, long time while it waited out (along with the new owner of this pen) the crazy long wait list.  But, finally got to have a go at this material.  I have never used it before, but I can certainly say I will be using it again.  I really like it!

The only tricky part of this process was the diameter of the blanks, which were thin enough to make it very difficult to pull off the Bamboo style pen.  In the end I had to make the whole pen a bit slimmer to allow for the nodes.

This pen will be headed for hot and sunny Australia (yes, I am envious).



Friday, 12 December 2014

New Style of Fountain Pen - the 'Compact' in Charger Lava

OK, so it's really more of a modification to a previous style, the Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen.   A little smaller, no clip, and rounded ends.

The idea behind this was essentially to make a pen about as small as I could, but while still using the large #6 nib, and allowing the pen to still be able to use a long cartridge (such as a Waterman long) or the standard converter that it comes with.   Long and short of it (pun intended - sorry) is that it comes out to nice compact 130mm (a hair over 5") closed, and since like the SPFP it posts quite deeply, the posted length is only 138mm (or just under 5 1/2").  A nice carrying size for purse, backpack or briefcase.  

This one is going out to my Mum - so Mum, if you are reading this, pretend you didn't, and act surprised  :-)

Thanks for looking!


Monday, 8 December 2014

'Cool Mint Water' Cigar Style FP - (first go at using transparent acrylic)

Once in a while I get an acrylic that is relatively translucent, and as I finish off the pen, I wonder how it would look with the inside polished.  Well, here was a great opportunity to experiment with that.  I had an order for a Cigar pen using this 'Cool Mint Water' acrylic, which I have ever used before, largely because it is not just translucent, but actually quite transparent.   After talking with RenĂ©e Meeks (Scriptorium Pens), a fellow pen maker (with a much cooler website than mine) who has really done a stellar job of mastering the technique of polishing the inside of these transparent blanks, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go.

I must say that I am reasonably happy with the result, though I am looking forward to practicing it a bit more to work out a few kinks.

The pen is posing here with a polished steel nib in the first two pics, and with a two-tone steel nib in the  second last.  The converter can also be seen in the barrel.

Thanks for looking!  Thoughts and comments welcome.


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Charger Lava Cigar Style Fountain Pen

Back to the basics - the Cigar style fountain pen.  When using a very colourful, interesting resign like this Charger Lava alumilite, the Cigar style is perfect for showing off the brilliant swirls and iridescence.

This pen is posing with a JoWo medium two-tone steel nib, which is about to be ground to a cool, smooth italic stub.  In other words, I get to play with this one for a bit longer before it ships out :-))

Thanks for looking!


Friday, 21 November 2014

Orange Crush SPFP

Here's the latest to come off my bench - first time I have made this style of pen out of the Orange Crush acrylic.   One of the things that I notice about this acrylic is that it seems to have an even lower melting point than most other acrylics.  Not sure why, but wow - slow drilling here…

Turned out to be a fairly translucent material this time.  I think I might try polishing the inside of the cap and barrel the next time I use this stuff, see about making a 'semi-demonstrator' with it.

In any case, this cheerful little pen is fitted with a fine JoWo steel nib that I have ground to an EF, but in  an 'Architect' grind, allowing extra fine verticals, and fine to medium horizontals.  Adds a nice flair to the writing!

Thanks for looking!


Monday, 10 November 2014

'Fall Foliage' Cigar Style Fountain Pen

Nothing like a good cigar   A good cigar style fountain pen, that is!  The great advantage of the Cigar style is that it very simple.  Sometimes, the simplicity of the shape is itself the focus of the pen - when using a uniform material with a single colour, the shape of the pen can speak volumes.   On the other hand, when using a very beautiful material, the simple shape of a Cigar style becomes the canvas, and the brilliant swirls of colour become the focal point.  Such is the case with this gorgeous material, which was called 'Fall Foliage' where I bought it (Slabs, Blanks and Boards).  And with its bright swirls of red and gold, the name certainly seems appropriate!

I have fitted this Cigar pen with a broad steel two-tone JoWo nib.  The filling system is cartridge or converter.

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Blue Tiger SPFP

Here is another material that I have not used in quite a while.  Similar to the 'Tiger' acrylic that I seem to use quite often, this one has the same stripe and swirl, but with blue instead of orange.  So, what the heck - 'Blue Tiger'.

This is another 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen', the style I seem to do most often lately, and my personal favourite for an every day carry pen.  Fits great in the shirt pocket, comfortable to use unposted, but posts deeply and securely too, for convenience with long periods of writing.

As I often do with this model of pen, I have framed the blue tiger acrylic in black to compliment it.  This pen is fitted with a steel JoWo medium nib.

Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

'Arctic Nights' Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen

Well, I so liked this material (which I last time called 'Blue Nebula') that I just had to get more.  So, back to Jonathon Brooks, who kindly mixed up a batch for me.  This time, I decided to make the blank into one of my 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pens' ('SPFP).

This material just keeps grabbing my attention.  When I was looking at this pen last night, something kept tugging at my memory, when it it suddenly occurred to me that it evoked memories (not so distant) of cold, cold mid-winter starry nights, with their cold light sparkling off drifts of fresh snow, and of the beautiful eerie blue northern lights.  I decided I just had to give the material a different name for this pen - so, for this pen anyway, it's 'Arctic Nights' :-))

I have fitted this one with a broad JoWo nib for the pictures.

Thanks for looking!


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Curvy Style FP in Inlaid Blackwood and Amboyna Burl

Most of the time, I work with various plastics for my pens, as they are durable, nonabsorbent, and strong materials - but once in a while, I get a request for a pen made of wood.  This presents a few challenges, but not insurmountable: making a pen out of wood without using brass tubing inside means making the walls thick enough for structural integrity; since wood is absorbent, the inside of the cap must be coated and sealed to avoid too much nib drying; since wood cannot be threaded, the cap and barrel must be drilled out, and acrylic inserts created to fit inside them, which can then be drilled and threaded as needed; and finally, since wood is irregular in its consistency, and the drilling (for the inserts to be threaded) has a tolerance of only a few microns, the drilling is incredibly tricky!

However, when the product is finished successfully, I am always happy to have done it.  That is certainly the case here -   this is my latest pen to come off the bench, just finished this weekend.  The request was for a pen in my 'Curvy' style (yep.  Need a better name), and in wood.  After some discussion back and forth, and inspired by the inlays acrylic curvy pens I have done, we came up with this idea - the barrel was to be made from african blackwood, and the cap of amboyna burl.   Of course, the threading inside the cap is created from an inset piece of black acrylic, as is the threaded tenon on the barrel.

To tie the cap and barrel together visually, I created an inlay of blackwood on the end of  the cap, and and inlay of amboyna on the end of the barrel.   I have to say that doing these inlays on a wood lathe is rather tricky, but very much worth the effort.

The finish is a nice heavy coat of cyanoacrylate, sanded and polished to a high gloss.

For this pen, I made two separate grip sections (one with a fine nib, and one with a 1.1mm stub nib) to allow easy switching of nibs without the risk of putting the nib tines out of alignment from the torque of removal and insertion of the nib units.   Both nibs have been tested, adjusted, and smoothed, and write very nicely - now with the extra grip section, they can stay that way!

Thanks for looking,