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 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!

* HOW LONG WILL MY ORDER TAKE?: A note about 'wait time' for pen orders: First of all, a big 'THANK YOU' to all those who have supported me through pen orders! Without you I would have little excuse to do what I so love - spending time in my workshop making these pens. Unfortunately, since I do my pen making only in my off hours when work permits, I am only able to make about 3-5 pens each month.
As of the end of August 2013, my order list is about 60 pens long, which translates to about 15 months wait time. My sincere apologies for the long wait, and thank you for your understanding.

-Ken Cavers

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Forest Lava Cigar!

Just finished this tonight.  Have had this Forest Lava resin sitting in stock for some time, and no takers.  Which was just killing me, because I thought this stuff looked spectacular!  So, I thought I'd have a go at it, and the best way to show it off would be to make a Cigar style pen, so here it is.

I have used several of these 'Lava' blanks now, and I have to say that I really like them - they have amazing depth and colour!

I made this Cigar a touch longer than usual, at 155mm capped, and 14mm uncapped.  The diameter is a comfortable 15.5mm.  This one is fitted with a broad polished steel JoWo nib, though two-tone or gold would look very good with this material as well.

Hope you like it!


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Clipless 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen' in Raspberry Swirl

Here's one I didn't think I'd be likely to make - a 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen', but without a clip.  I would have thought that a clip would be necessary for the whole 'shirt pocket' thing, but as it turns out, there are many who prefer to leave the pen loose in the pocket unclipped.  Well, this works out nicely for the aesthetics of the pen, as the clip, for all its utility does break up the lines of the pen.

I made this one out of this bright and cheerful raspberry swirl acrylic, which is certainly no subtle colour - it rather demands notice.  Like all my SPFPs, the cap is designed to post securely on the barrel for convenience and comfort while writing.

This pen has a special nib awaiting it upon its arrival, but here is posing with a medium steel JoWo nib.

Well.  Enough play, and time to go off to work.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Flat-End Cigar FP in Blue Cowrie with Black Trim

So, I had a nice piece of this Blue Cowrie acrylic left over from one of the pens in my recent four-pen SFP order.  Such a beautiful material!  I kept looking at it, wanting do play with it some more.  Finally, since I had a nib section ready to go anyway, I caved an started working on a new 'whim' pen.

I thought I might try some good old black trim, but with a twist - set it inside a second trim in the original material.

Anyhow, here is the result - a Cigar style fountain pen (c/c fill) with flat ends, an inset black trim on each end.  The pen is fitted with a broad steel JoWo nib, and feels might nice in the hand.

Anyhow, I thoroughly enjoyed making this one.  I am placing it on the 'Available for Purchase' page of my blog.

Thanks for looking.  Comments welcome.


Saturday, 15 March 2014

'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pens' - a Four-Pen Order

Well, it finally started to warm up a bit here.  Mostly still well below zero (Celcius), but at least it is trending in the right direction.  My workshop is actually useable now, so to kick off the long-awaited warmer temperatures, I spent the last several days working on an order placed by a colleague to give as gifts to graduating family members.

The desired pen style was not specified, nor the material to be used, so I figured that my most practical fountain pen style,  the 'Shirt pocket Fountain Pen' (SPFP), would probably be the best option.  It is sized, as the name suggests, to fit well in a typical shirt pocket, and has a tapered barrel to allow the cap to be posted very securely.  I have fitted each with a fine steel nib for now.

Just for a bit of fun, I gave each of these pens a different end shape - one flat, another coned, another domed, and one rounded.

Pictures are always fun to look at, so I will just load up a bunch below.

Thanks for looking!


Saturday, 1 March 2014

At the Mercy of the Season...

Hello all.

I thought I had better post an update on my work of late (or actually, the lack thereof).  Generally, winter tends to slow down my pen production to some extent thanks to the effect of the cold on my equipment (and my hands!).  My workshop is, sadly, unheated - and while it usually a good deal warmer than outside, it is still nowhere near room temperature.  However, I can usually fit in some productivity on the warmer days.

This winter,  on the other hand, is a completely different matter.  We have had almost completely unwavering bitter cold for over three months now, with temperatures below -20 C being the norm.  In fact, we celebrated March 1st today with a morning temperature of -32 C (and a wind chill of -43C)!  This has unfortunately meant very, very few workable days in the shop over the past several weeks.  In fact, I can probably count them on one hand.

So while it is still bitterly cold here right now, Spring is officially only three weeks away, so it has to warm up soon.  Right?  I hope?

Anyhow, many apologies for delays in completing orders --- please stand by and please think very warm thoughts!

Kind regards,

Ken Cavers

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Clipless 'Classic' Style in Charger Lava

Just finished this one this afternoon - nice having a bit of time away from work.   Still, the garage could be warmer...

This is another example of one of my 'Classic' style pens, clipless, and as the title suggests, made from a  piece of Charger Lava resin.  Beautiful stuff, but sometimes the little voids in it can be a pain to fill in while finishing.  Given the amazing glowing swirls, pretty much worth the effort, I think!

This pen is fitted with a fine nib, a steel JoWo, which I will tune and smooth prior to shipping.  The pen is cartridge/converter filler, and comes with the converter pictured.

Thanks for looking!


Friday, 10 January 2014

Something Completely Different - a Walnut Nib Holder for Glass Nibs!

Hello folks,

It has been a while since I have had opportunity to post one of my pens.  Over the Christmas Holiday, we needed the room where I usually keep my photo gear set up, so away it went - which meant no decent pics of the pens of recent pens.  Mind you, since we were hit by a serious deep freeze here in Manitoba through December, my workshop was crazy cold, and not a lot of projects got done during that time...

In any case, here is a special order I got some time back.  The one who ordered this nib holder sent me the glass nibs so that I could ensure a decent fit.  We settled on a darker wood colour, and since I have a good stock of walnut, walnut it is.

The holder is long - around 7 1/2 inches, but very light.  Feels good in the hand.  The nib itself fits by friction into an acrylic sleeve which is inset about 3/4" into the wood, sealing the nib off from the wood itself completely.  The walnut is finished on the outside with several layers of thin CA, nicely soaked in to seal the wood against ink spills.

This was an enjoyable project, as it is something I have not tried before.  I may actually pick up some more of these glass nibs and try another at some point...

Thanks for looking!


Saturday, 30 November 2013

Red, White and Black 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen'

OK, so here is another example of turning a disaster into an opportunity (something I am a big believer in - at least in pen making...).   A couple of weeks ago, I was turning the nib section on this pen, but it was for one of my larger longer pens, and I accidentally turned the nib section too short.  Well, that wasn't going to work, so I had to start all over again and make a longer nib section.  But before I did that, I figured I would finish the foreshortened nib section that this one had become, and then put it aside.

Well it then occurred to me that I generally use shorter nib sections in my 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pens' (SPFP), so this became an opportunity to turn some acrylic that I had long been wanting to have a go at.

So, here it is - the red, black and white swirl acrylic, framed in black, as one of my favourite styles - the SPFP, which is the ultimate in practical for those who carry their pens (as I do) in their shirt pockets.  It is a perfect length to sit in the shirt pocket, and it posts deeply to a comfortable writing length.

This pen is fitted with a medium polished steel JoWo nib, as well as a converter for filling.

Yep, good fun.


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Ivory Celluloid and Black Acrylic

I LOVE turning celluloid!  Too bad it is so hard to obtain...
It is a wonderfully nice material to turn on the lathe, and yet produces reams of incredibly tough shavings.  But the coolest thing of all is the powerful camphor smell while working this stuff.  I had a cold while turning this one, and it was very soothing to work on - like working with a giant cough drop!

Celluloid is cool stuff.  It is the first thermoplastic invented (back in the late 1800's!), and while not made very often any more, it is still much loved by pen makers and fountain pen aficionados for its appealing feel and smell.  Of course the historic value as a vintage pen-making material doesn't hurt either...
The ivory celluloid is particularly lovely, with its prominent striations.  I decided for this pen, rather than make the whole pen out of the same celluloid, to frame this material in black to help bring out its amazing grain.

I decided to make this pen a non-posting pen, as I didn't want to risk marking up the celluloid.

The nib on this pen is a JoWo steel 1.1mm stub, great for calligraphy (of course, since the nib units are threaded, the nib can easily be swapped for another).  The fill system is, no surprise, cartridge/converter.

Thanks for looking.  Comments welcome as always.


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Coned Cigar in Ocean Lava 'Earth' Resin

Just finished this one after work today.  This pen is the second of a two-pen order - the first was the mosaic pen I last posted.

This Cone-ended Cigar style pen is done in this lovely Ocean Lava resin that I pick up from Bear Tooth Woods.  With the green swirls in the midst of the blue, it is incredibly reminiscent of an aerial view of the Earth...

I made this particular pen with a slightly longer grip section and an extended tenon to make the grip easier.  The nib installed is a medium steel JoWo nib, smoothed and tuned to medium flow.

Thanks for looking!  Comments welcome.