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

Friday, 28 August 2015

Cumberland Ebonite Bamboo Style Fountain Pen

Quick post here - just finished this a few days ago, figured I'd put it up to keep the posts going.

This was an order that I received a long time back (as with many of my orders), and finally had a chance to work on.   This is one of my 'Bamboo' style fountain pens in Cumberland ebonite.

Once again, I decided that the grain in the Cumberland ebonite is just too striking to ignore, so I had to make the cap and barrel look like they fit together exactly as they were inside the piece of ebonite from which they were freed.  In fact, this is exactly the case.  I drilled out the barrel to fit a tenon from another piece of ebonite, and used that to create the threading for the cap and for the grip section.

The pen is fitted with a medium JoWo two tone steel nib.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, 24 August 2015

'Susutake' Flamed Bamboo Fountain Pen with Garnet Thread Wrap and Ruby End-Jewels

Some time ago (nearly two years), I had been experimenting with creating fountain pens out of bamboo.  This started out with using compressed bamboo as 'wood' and making a pen as I would with any other wood, but with the added character of a thread wrap - a technique borrowed from my fly fishing rod making days.   I later decided to use an actual bamboo culm to create a pen - a very difficult proposition given some of the characteristics of bamboo!  Finally, taking another fly rod building technique to the pen making hobby, I experimented with 'flaming' the bamboo, which caramelizes the outer layers, darkening them up and giving the bamboo an appearance similar to the long aged, smoked 'susutake' used in some of the famous Sailor pens.  Sadly, bamboo is hard to come by here in appropriate diameters and quality, so that was the end of the bamboo story.  Until now!

Having gotten my hands on some a nice load of good quality, perfectly-sized bamboo culms, and after aging them for the past year or so, I decided it was time to work on another 'susutake' pen.

My previous flamed cane pen was of a fairly large diameter, which was the best I could find at the time, but may not be comfortable for everyone to hold.  This time, I decided to work with some much thinner stock, smaller even than my usual cigar style pens - about 14.5mm.  After picking out the culm I wanted to work with, and cutting it to length, I gave did the flaming process on it to darken it to a much nicer shade.

Once flamed, the bamboo must be scrubbed down with varying grits of abrasive to remove the hard outer enamel, and to rid the pen of any char.

All of that, as long as it took, was by far the easy part!  Working with bamboo on the lathe presents some significant challenges given the irregular shape and diameter of the bamboo…
Still, using some excellent black ebonite to create inserts in the cap and barrel for drilling out and threading, and for the grips action itself, the pen began to take shape.

I decided once again to apply the thread wrap technique that I used to use on my fly fishing rods - not only adds a unique and cool look to the pen, it also strengthens the cap and barrel.

To finish the ends of the bamboo, I inlaid a pair of ruby acrylic end jewels to match the garnet thread wrap.  The finish on the pen is a cyanoacrylate in multiple layers buffed to a pleasant and natural-looking semigloss.

Finally, giving the pen the tools it deserves, I installed a two-tone 18K JoWo fine nib.

I hope you like the final product - my version of the 'susutake' pen!

Thanks very much for looking!


Sunday, 9 August 2015

Coral Swirl Cigar Style Fountain Pen

Here is my latest, an oversize ('Big Hand' size) Cigar style fountain pen done in an alumilite specially made for this customer by Jonathon Brooks.  The resin turned out pretty nice, I think - although the buyer upon seeing it, called it 'Strawberries and Cream', which seems even more suitable for this material.

The oversize dimensions give this Cigar a bigger grip section, roughly comparable to, say, a Montblanc 149, as opposed to my usual sizing, whose grip section might be closer to a Pelikan M800.

The fill system is c/c, and the nib a fine two tone steel JoWo, which I will be grinding to a nice EF.

Thanks for looking!