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

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Colour Splash Cigar Style Fountain Pen

This was kind of an impromptu project.  I picked up one of these Jonathon Brooks blanks that I had in stock, and decided I wanted to know what it looked liked turned.  So, I went into the shop and started working on a cool Cigar style pen.  I love this!  Each of these blanks is like a bit of discovery - you can't tell at all what it will look like from the outside of the blank, but as the layers come off on the lathe, the final colours start to show.

In any case, this is a very bright and cheerful, 'upbeat' kind of pen, perfect for those who like colour.  Lots of colour.  Garish, wild, out-of-control colour.  For those who don't, it may give you a migraine.

                                          Another profile view to show the different colours

The nib is a broad, two-tone JoWo nib that has been tested and smoothed, and is a true pleasure to write with.   The pen is a cart/converter filler, but the nib unit threading has a bit of silicone grease on it, and the grip section threading made to be tight in order to allow the new owner to use this as an eyedropper filler, if so desired.

Now, to pack it up and ship it off the the one who claimed it!

Thanks for looking,


Friday, 10 April 2015

'Curvy' Style Fountain Pen with Clip and Inlay

This has been a very good week for shop time :)

Here's one that I finished last night, a Curvy style fountain pen in black and white.  The request was initially for  mix of plain black and white, but the one who ordered it settled on the pearly black and white swirl for the cap, and plain black for the barrel.  The finial is in plain black to match the barrel, and the barrel itself has an end-inlay of the pearly white to match the cap.

The pen's curves are a bit subdued compared to my usual Curvy style - this was so that the cap could accommodate a clip, which it doesn't do very well with to much curve.

The pen is fitted with a broad polished steel JoWo nib, which will shortly be receiving a custom grind to cursive italic to spice up the writing.

Fill system is as with the vast majority of my pens, cartridge/converter.

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, 9 April 2015

'Jungle Life' Large Size Cigar Fountain Pen

I have to say, I am really enjoying working with these amazing alumilite resins.  They have demonstrated such incredibly vivid colours, and this one is no different.  Gorgeous rich browns and greens in very organic swirls - to me, this material's brilliant colour immediately evokes thoughts of rich Jungle life.   So, I dropped that name on it (though I bought it as 'Genesis' alumilite from the supplier).

This Cigar is one of my large size ('Big Hand') Cigar style pens.  Not for tiny-handed!

The buyer for this pen wanted to be able to use two different nibs JoWo nibs with it (which she kindly supplied for the making of this pen), so I have made two different grip sections, one to house each nib.  This allows for the easy swapping of nibs without having to grip the nib and feed itself to unscrew (risk putting nib tines out of alignment).   One nib is a lovely 18K medium, the other a very cool music nib.

Accompanying this pen is a matching pen rest made out of the same resin - to keep the pen from falling to its death from desk-height.

Thanks for looking,


Wedding Pen: Pearly White with Roll-Stop Jewel

Here is a pen that was a true pleasure to make - it is a wedding pen for my son and his fiancĂ©e, who are to be married this summer.  

The pearly material is an alumilite from Jonathon Brooks, and is rather nicely suited to this particular occasion.  The pen of course did not need a clip, but as it will be sitting on a table at the wedding itself, preventing its sudden fall to the floor seemed wise.  So, the pen has a matching pen rest, and the cap itself has a small roll-stop jewel.  

I actually started out with two of those jewels on the cap, thinking proudly how this might symbolize the two of them together….  When I finished, something seemed odd about it.  I showed it to my wife and asked what she thought.  "Honestly?"(uh oh), "It looks like two little eyes".  Ah.  Yes, in fact, that was exactly what seemed so disconcerting about it.  Had a good laugh, and then removed one of the 'eyes' and re-turned the pen.  Well, it seemed like good idea at the time…

The pen is fitted with a nice broad nib for the signing of the forms.

Thanks for looking,


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Curvy Style Fountain Pen in Copper Lightning

Here is one of my 'Curvy' style fountain pens, a comfortable, more whimsical looking style ideal for purse/briefcase or desk.  By special order, I made this one out of a Rhino Plastic named 'Copper Lightning'.  This is the first time not only that I have used Copper Lightning, but that I have used Rhino Plastic at all.  I was not sure what sort of plastic/resin this material was, as Rhino Plastic is obviously a trade name.  But, I figured it must be pretty tough stuff with a name like that.  Wrong!  As soon as I started turning it, I realized by smell and feel that this material is actually Poly Resin, which is incredibly brittle.  In fact, as careful as I was, I made the threaded tenon on the end of the barrel four times - The first three times, regardless how careful I was, the threaded end of the barrel kept shattering while threading.   But, the fourth time was the charm, and it worked well, with enough blank left to make the barrel as long as I planned in the first place.  Yep, there is a good reason that I stopped using Poly Resin to make pens…   Now - here's hoping it never gets dropped…

On the very positive side, Poly Resin can make some absolutely beautiful material, and takes an incredible glossy shine when polished.  This Copper Lightning is certainly no slacker in this respect - gorgeous stuff indeed.

When the pen's buyer found out about how brittle it is, she wisely requested a pen rest to help keep this beauty from rolling off a table or desk and shattering.  So, I made this three-groove pen rest to keep this pen as secure as possible.

The pen is fitted with a broad two-tone JoWo steel nib, which I have custom ground to a cursive italic/stub as requested.

OK.  Enough computer screen time.  Time to get back into the workshop.  Or, more likely, to start working on the 'other' to do list….

Thanks for looking,


Sunday, 5 April 2015

'Urushi Red' Bamboo Style Fountain Pen

This is another of my 'Bamboo' style fountain pens, done up in a specially ordered acrylic, which was called 'Urushi Red' for it's dark reddish brown urushi-like colour quality.  Nice looking material, and enjoyable to work with.

I was asked by the one who ordered it to make it as slim as I could while still using a #6 nib.  I shaved a fair amount off the diameter, making the cap as thin as is sound, which allowed for a somewhat smaller step between the barrel and the grip section.  Certainly quite comfortable to hold.

The pen is fitted for the photos with a polished steel JoWo broad nib.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Cool Mint Water Cone-end Cigar Fountain Pen

Despite the enormous amount of work these transparent acrylics take, I was so taken with the last one (once I re-did it, that is) that it did not take much convincing to try it again.  So, this order came up and I jumped at it.  And, even had enough material left over to create a matching pen rest!

The transparent acrylic really is quite tricky - drilling speed need to be at a snail's pace, and the polishing of the inside is incredibly time-consuming.  That is especially true because you can't see any faults in the finish until you are completely done.  Then, 'there that blemish in the finish…gotta start over again'…  Still, I am quite pleased with this one.  I did have to do make a second barrel, as I forgot to drill super slowly the first time, resulting in a barrel that even when sanded and polished inside, had lots of tiny surface fractures (crazing).  I only had to re-polish the cap once.

This pen is fitted with a medium steel JoWo nib, as well as a colourless converter to allow showing off of ink :-)

Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Black Cherry Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen

Winter again.  Sigh… Seems to happen every year!  Yep, I am once again in a cold-weather slow-down (though admittedly nowhere as bad as last year).  As much as my workspace is well above the temperatures outside, it is still pretty cool at -5 to -10 C lately.  Have had to throw on a lot of layers and suffer very cold hands to get anything done!

Here is one that I did manage to get done yesterday, a 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen' in a very cool alumilite resin called 'Black Cherry' at Slabs, Blanks and Boards, where I got it.  When I looked at the unturned blanks, I saw - well, basically purply silver stuff.  But, having turned blanks by this resin maker before, I knew I was in for a treat, and it was no disappointment as I saw the rich swirls of purple, red, silver and black come together in a nice gloss.

I have fitted this pen with a broad polished steel JoWo nib for the pictures, and it has a converter installed for filling.

This pen is about to embark on a long trip overseas to the UK.  Bon voyage!

Thanks for looking,


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Arctic Night Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen

Yep, wanted to work with this material again, one of Jonathon Brooks' lovely alumilite resins also called 'Blue Nebula'.    I'm going with 'Arctic Night' again for this one because it is rather dark, reminiscent of those cold, dark starry winter nights up north.

This is another of my Shirt Pocket Fountain Pens, the good old workhorse pens that are just the right size, fit in the shirt pocket, and post deeply and securely for long periods of writing.  This is the style of pen that I bring to work on a regular basis.

In this case, I have ground the polished steel broad JoWo nib to a smooth stub/cursive italic that is a lot of fun to write with.

Thanks for taking a look!



Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Charger Lava Cone-End Cigar Style Fountain Pen

Seems the weather has once again plunged to deep cold, slowing down production in my shop (of course, the Christmas season, a crazy work schedule and being sick didn't help either…), but here is one that I finished off a couple of weeks ago.   

This Charger Lava is really quite popular.