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

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,


Friday, 24 October 2014

Turquoise Cebloplast FP in a Duofold-Like Style

Here's a cool material that I picked up some time ago - some vintage Cebloplast, made by Mazzucchelli of Italy.  From what I have read, this particular stock is vintage, dating to circa 1950's.  Cebloplast is a material called cellulose acetate, which was first developed in the 1860's, and became fairly common between the first and second world wars.   It was cellulose acetate that replaced the previously used (and highly combustible) nitrocellulose in film production.

One of the things I really like about this plastic is its low melting point, which allows for a truly brilliant polish.  But then, one of the things that I really hate about this stuff is the low melting point - drilling is very, very tricky…

The new owner of this pen expressed interest in the Parker Duofold style of pen, so I thought I would do something similar to that.  It is very similar in size to my 'Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen' style, but with a barrel that doesn't have the taper to allow for posting

At the request of the buyer, the nib has been ground to a cursive italic broad for some very enjoyable writing.

I've decided that this material is my new favourite, and will have to keep some of this for a pen for good old me…

Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Colour Splash Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen

Here is another one of my SPFP (Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen) style pens, this one done in another of Jonathon Brooks's lovely alumilite pours.  This one (which he calls Primary Manipulation), is one I have used before, but thanks tot he nature of the material and the array of colours that go into it, each blanks looks quite different from the last.

This particular pen has been fitted with  steel JoWo nib in Broad, that has been custom ground to  a cool smooth stub.

Well, there you have it.



Saturday, 18 October 2014

A Two-Pen Order: Tiger Stripey Long Cigar and Orange Crush Classic - with Pen Rests!

Hello fellow fountain pen folks.  Here are a couple of new pens that I finished this past week, a two-pen order for husband and wife.

The first is a 'Long Cigar' style fountain pen in what I have been calling 'tiger stripy' acrylic - a lovely material with depth and pearlescence, combined with the rugged durability of acrylic.  Nice material indeed.  The fellow who ordered it wanted it to be longer than my usual Cigar style, so this one measures a whopping 150mm (6 inches) uncapped!   Very comfortable for larger hands…
As requested, I have a made a matching pen rest for it as well.

The nib is a fine steel JoWo nib, and the fill system is cartridge/converter.

The second pen in the set is one of my 'Classic' style pens, but with a barrel diameter just slightly thinner than usual, by request.  This one is done up in the popular 'orange crush' acrylic, and has also been fitted with a fine JoWo steel nib, and has a matching pen rest.

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, 9 October 2014

'Lava Flow' Cigar Style Fountain Pen

Here is one that I just finished last night for a colleague who is busy celebrating the birth of his twins!  His request was for a Cigar style pen, which is one of my favourites - especially when combined with a beautiful resin, as the simple unassuming shape with its smooth curves and gentle taper doesn't distract from the beauty of the material from which it is made.

The material from which this one was made is another of Jonathon Brooks's lovely alumilite creations, to which I am rapidly becoming addicted.  This one, sold as 'alternative combustion' (as opposed to his original 'combustion') I just have to rename 'Lava Flow' for my pen.  It deserved a cool handle - its pearly depth combined with the rich red and black swirls completely catches and hold the eye!

So now I just finished smoothing and tuning the medium steel JoWo nib, enjoying writing with it for a while, and will be packing this one off to Montréal shortly.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Purpleweb Celluloid Shirt Pocket Fountain Pen

Been a while since I turned any celluloid (so busy with all the alumilite lately)!  Here is an order I received - like most of my orders - some time ago.  The order was for one of my SPFPs, only made in celluloid.  Well, celluloid is rather hard to come by in Canada, as I think I might have mentioned - in fact, there are no suppliers of it in this country at all, to my knowledge.  So, once again, this had to come from the US, and unfortunately this means a bit of a hassle because being nitro celluloid (and thus rather vigorously combustible), it needs to be handled specially to go across the border.  Long and short is that I rarely ever get any real celluloid to turn.   What a treat!!  When turning it, or sanding it, the whole workshop fills with the powerful scent of camphor, giving the strong impression of being covered in Vics Vapo Rub :-))

Anyhow, here it is, decked out with silver coloured hardware, featuring a medium steel JoWo nib, ready to smooth and tune.

Thanks for looking!