About this project
Still looking for the perfect pen or maybe you just want a nice metal clicky pen with a quality feel as opposed to a disposable plastic toy? Then look no further, we've got the perfect pen for you.
After the successful completion of our Mini-Click pen project last year, people immediately started asking us to make these awesome little pens in titanium. Well.. we listened. Plus, we didn't just stop at making the same pen out of titanium, we took all of the backer feedback and user input and made the new Mini-Click even better!
What is the Titanium / Brass / Copper Mini-Click?
It's an all metal clicky pen made entirely in the USA by us and our friends. The pen is designed to be functional and perfectly balanced. It's made to be durable but at the same time clean and elegant. It comes with a stamped clip (spring steel or titanium) to keep it securely in place. There is no traditional spacer but any Parker style refill will easily fit into the pen. It will accept cartridges from Fisher, Foray, Parker, Waterman and many others. Best of all, the pen uses an improved version of our now famous 416SS Swiss-machined advancing mechanism with a chrome steel ball bearing cam design for silky smooth operation. It is the world's finest click mechanism available.
Titanium (Grade 5 / 6AL4V)
Titanium is about 45 percent lighter than steel, 60 percent heavier than aluminum and stronger than either of them. It’s not easy to machine and a pain to drill (especially through barstock) but the finished pens are light, durable and look great. Designed to survive the end of civilization and well through the zombie apocalypse.
Flamed Titanium is first polished then polished again, cleaned and finally flamed using a two gas mixture. This creates a beautiful, multi-colored surface finish which is unique to each and every pen (like a snowflake, a virtually indestructible titanium snowflake) and also creates an hardened surface layer making the pen even tougher than before.
NOTE: This was added as an optional finish by request for the Titanium pens - please add $5 to your reward for any titanium pen and in the final survey you will be able to specify the flamed finish.
Copper (C145 Tellurium)
Ever changing, copper is warm and vibrant. With a great feel and weight in the hand it patinas and changes over time making each pen unique.
Flamed copper is simply stunning as it brings out a rainbow of colors unlike any other material.
Tumbled copper is a subtle, semi-matte finish which gives the copper a worn and weathered look.
NOTE: This was added as an optional finish by request for the Copper pens - in the final survey you will be able to specify the tumbled finish.
An old-work material with a classic, ageless feel. It exhibits a beautiful luster when polished yet is elegant and timeless when aged. Brass exudes character.
Aged brass, when you want a timeless look but don't want to have to wait for it.
The tumbled brass look came out better than we had even hoped and applies the weathered brass look and feel to the smooth and semi-matte material.
NOTE: This was added as an optional finish by request for the Brass pens - in the final survey you will be able to specify the tumbled finish.
What's awesome about this pen?
In addition to be made out of titanium, brass or copper the pen has also been updated based on backer feedback. The tip now has thicker o-rings with deeper o-ring grooves. The tip o-rings are also now made out of Buna-70 for better durability and resistance to cracking. The tip has also been re-designed and the seam with the body is now above the o-rings (you don't have to remove any o-rings to remove the pen tip). Finally, we're now using the latest version of the 416SS mechanism.
What makes the 416SS mechanism so special?
The materials and more importantly, the design. Until ours, most pen advancing mechanisms were made from plastic or brass (easier and cheaper to manufacture but not nearly as durable), our mechanism is machined out of 416 stainless steel (a much harder and more durable material). For this reason we have to have it Swiss-CNC'ed at Chris's shop which, while more costly, means we can hold much tighter tolerances (less than .0005" all day long on the Citizen L-20). But the material is just the start, we designed a new race profile with rounded edges and even had a custom tool made to machine it properly. We then used the highest available precision chrome steel balls for the cam-ing action. We used to think this was overkill but seeing some of the mechanism failures and reliability problems experienced by other pen makers using lesser mechanisms, we're pretty sure this is the way to go.
Who are we?
Hi, I'm Jack (owner of Tuff Writer MFG), the designer, in-house pen fanatic and head machinist. There's Peachy, she handles shipping and food. Joe puts stuff together and makes sure we have enough parts. Itzel handles the dirty work while she chuckles at our crude jokes and last but not least, Adam (the one with the beard) assembles mechanisms and helps run the CNC machines all the while telling us about the latest books from Audible.com (seriously though, if you like zombies check out the Arisen book series on Audible, we're all hooked).
Why are we funding it on Kickstarter?
We're still a pretty small shop for a pen company and while we've been at this for a while, developing new products is mucho expensive. Swiss-CNC machining in particular only becomes affordable with larger production runs. In addition, the titanium clips require a new stamping die. Most important is the feedback from the Kickstarter community. Every time we create a new pen we use input from previous projects to make improvements, design changes and help make the pens all of you asked us for. This entire project is the result of feedback from our previous successful projects but we still need your help.
Length: 5.125 inches
Thickness: 0.450 Inches
Weight: 1.1 oz - 1.5 oz
Material: Titanium / Brass / Copper / Stainless
Clip: Titanium / 1075 Spring Steel
Mechanism: 416SS USA Made Advancing Mechanism
Refill: Fisher (SPR4) - Included
What refills will it take?
Any Parker compatible refill, including:
- Parker GEL or QuinkFlow
- Franklin-Christoph Ultra-Glide
- Schmidt Easyflow 9000
- Schmidt Pressurized S
- Schmidt Private Reserve P900
- Fisher (Space Pen)
- Foray Rollerball
- Monteverde Soft Roll
Since we already have suppliers lined up and most of the pen is made by us anyway we can move pretty quickly once the project funds. I've already spoken with our suppliers to get scheduling commitments:
Once the project funds things will move quickly. Material suppliers can have material to our doorstep in 1-2 weeks. Once we have material, we will begin having pen bodies and mechanisms machined. Both should be ready in 4-8 weeks.
The clips will be stamped locally at Greg' shop and there's a 2-3 week wait for the new die to be made. Then another 1-2 weeks for stamping and another 2 week wait on heat-treating. Once the clips are completed our local powdercoater can turn them around within 2 weeks.
Once the pen bodies are done, we will do all post-machine finishing (tumbling, blasting, polishing, brushing, aging and flaming) in-house and should be able to turn around 50 pens a day. We have friends up north that are willing to jump in and help if we need more lathe time.
Every pen will have to be cleaned before assembly and we can easily clean and dry 100+ pens a day.
Finally, there is assembly. We can assemble anywhere between 50 pens a day once they are prepped and cleaned.
Mechanism assembly is tedious and time-consuming (has to be done with a magnifier) but we've gotten to the point that we can build 100 of these a day.
As you can see, our previous pen projects have prepared us well for this project and we can realistically scale up to over a 500+ pens without slipping too much on the delivery timelines. If project funding exceeds that, pens will still ship within the original delivery window but later backers will probably end up having to wait a few extra weeks (we would then split machining into batches to help get the first orders pushed out on time).
Risks and challenges
With the successful completion of three projects already (along with a few collaborations) we have a pretty good idea of what it will take to get this one completed and delivered. As usual, we've already completed functional pre-production units, done quite a bit of the groundwork and secured materials suppliers. We believe that doing all of this work ahead of time has allowed us to significantly mitigate most project risks in terms of completion or delivery, well worth the effort in our eyes. Since our last project the 416SS mechanism has become the gold (or stainless steel in this case) standard for push button pen mechanisms. This latest version is even better and smoother.
Since all post-machine finishing (blasting, tumbling, polishing) and assembly is handled by us, we've got it covered. We've sourced all of the o-rings and bolts and our buddy doing the stamping has already made us some prototypes and is ready to make a batch titanium clips.
With Joe, Itzel and myself hand assembling every single pen, Peachy handling post-assembly inspection and keeping us fueled with Chipotle and Smash Burger, we're confident in being able to meet our projected delivery timelines and exceed your expectations.
With our experience in high-quality, small run manufacturing and order-fulfillment we feel comfortable that we can complete the project in a timely manner and deliver a truly amazing reward to our backers, something special that you just can't get anywhere else.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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