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!


IMPORTANT NOTICE: I am happily overwhelmed with pen orders. This gives me great joy in that my work is so well received, but saddens me that I cannot fill orders anywhere near as quickly as I would like. I am still trying to work through back orders, but if you have ordered from me and heard nothing for some time, feel free to email me and ask how things are going.
I still only make these pens in my spare time, when work and family time permit, and even then the productivity slows down during the coldest winter months thanks to my unheated workshop.
Given that I make these pens primarily as a hobby, I also reserve the right to pursue some other interesting pen projects in between filling orders.
I apologize for long delays in order fulfillment, which may in some case be over a year and a half. In the meantime, you are welcome to contact me to inquire about new pen orders, or to check up on a previously submitted order.

-Ken Cavers

Monday, 23 July 2012

Green Bamboo!

Of all the styles of fountain pen that I have come up with, the 'Bamboo' style has been the most frequently requested.  Not entirely sure why, but I suppose the combination of a large size pen with an interesting shape strikes a chord with some people.   What characterizes this style is the bamboo-rod-like shape complete with nodes and inlet ends.

In any case, I got a request for a Bamboo style pen in a green swirl acrylic which the fellow who ordered it picked out.

Overall, I rather like it - while it is not as 'bambooey' as the polyresin pen I have made so many of (this website's background pic), it has a nicer feel to it.  Acrylic is slightly softer and I think more comfortable than the polyresin.

One of these days, I will have to build one of these for me...

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Front Page!

Wow - this morning I logged onto IAP (International Association of Penturners) to find my latest pen featured on the 'front page' this month!  What a great surprise - but also very humbling when I consider the enormous number of incredibly talented pen makers who frequent that and other websites.

Here's the pen that hit the feature:

This particular pen is made of 'ebonite', or hard rubber - a material first used in pen making over a hundred years ago, and still highly prized and much sought-after in fountain pens today.  It is  prized for its resiliency, and for the fact that it is lightweight and takes on a brilliant shine, but also for its warm 'feel' when using.  This particular type of ebonite, called 'cumberland', has lovely patterns of lighter and darker material running through it, giving the finished pen a unique look.  The downside of ebonite is its high sulfur content, making it downright stinky to turn.  Fortunately, the smell fades quickly and is unnoticeable after a few weeks.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

A brand, spankin' new website

OK, well...a Blogger page, anyway.  But hey, it'll do.  And, it's free.

I had been trying to think of a good way to leave a bit of info for folks who are looking to get a custom pen made up, and have a lot of questions.  Don't get me wrong - you are still welcome to ask questions, but perhaps I will be able to use this medium to give a of basic info about this hobby.

First of all, I got started into this pen making hobby several years back not because pen making had been weighing on my mind for years, but because I loved fishing.  I know that makes no sense, but again, bear with me.

Out of a love for fishing, particularly flyfishing, I fell into the hobby of building my own custom flyfishing rods.  One of the components of a fly rod is the space where the fly reel sits, called the 'reel seat'.

 This particular part is often made of some beautiful, exotic or burly wood, and often sets a rod apart.

Well, my loving wife realized that I need a lathe to make these reel seats, so she went and bought me a General Maxi Lathe for Christmas several years back.

After using the lathe to make dozens of reel seats and grips (the above rod sports an amboyna burl reel seat and an amboyna/laminated birch bark grip) along with a large number of wooden bowls and such, someone mentioned the idea of making pens on the lathe, as there are an enormous number of 'pen kits' out there for just such a hobby.  I gave it a try - a little tentatively at first, then with growing enthusiasm over the results, quickly fell into it (like the fishing) hook, line and sinker.

After several ballpoint and rollerball pens, I thought I'd have a go at a few fountain pens, and found that I quite liked the result.

The problem was that I found the nibs to be of rather variable quality in the kits, so I decided to venture into the world of fully customized fountain pens (often called 'kitless' pens in the pen making world), using high end steel or occasionally gold nibs, and building a pen to use it.  These have varied from pens made of exotic woods...

...to pens of varied colours of acrylic...

...or ebonite...

...or polyresin...

Whatever the material I use, I love to make a little piece of art that can be carried around and used.

Well, enough for now,  time to get back to the family...