Most of us are constantly on the search for the perfect pen. Some of us know the refills we love and want a better pen to put them in. Some of us know some materials that we adore and want a pen made from them. Some of us just want an awesome pen that we can count on.
I don't wear jewelry, but I do carry a few items with me every day. They have been changed many times to suit my needs from day to day. A pen is high on the list of items that needs to be perfect.
This question is usually the first thing people ask about.
The Slider is slightly shorter and comes with a Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 medium point with black ink and will fit all other "Parker style" refills.
The Glider is the slightly longer version that comes with a 0.38mm Pilot G2 with black ink refill. These are a little easier than the old pens to allow refills to fit and most require no modification at all for many different refills.
Both pens fit well in almost all hands, though if you have larger hands you might be more comfortable with a Glider. Sliders tend to fit better in shirt pockets without sticking out.
Overall there is much less need to modify refills on these pens than previous pens. If you do want to fit a few of the refills from the Glider list in the Slider check out the video below. Sliders will include the Glider spring.
The main piece that makes these pens really interesting is the bolt action. I use a shape unlike any other pen out there. It is one fluid motion to advance or retract the refill. Because the surfaces of both the interior part and the inside surface have been carefully machined to be extra smooth, the action feels amazingly satisfying.
Those of you that have participated in my previous projects know that I have my own shop in Richardson, Texas where I machine all of my parts except for the clips which are cut on a CNC laser that is in a shop about 1.5 miles from my shop to exact specifications I have outlined. Because of this, I get to control quality. The best part about this project is that I finally have a mature shop. All previous projects I have hoped to be able to sell enough to upgrade some machinery in my shop. Late last year I was able to buy a lathe that is LITERALLY the ultimate pen making lathe. It is a brand new DMG Mori NLX1500SY with some extra goodies like high pressure coolant, a chip conveyor, a parts conveyor, and a barfeed. DMG Mori are well known for making incredible machinery that is incredibly rigid and hold extremely tight tolerances. Some might think it is overkill, but every feature is used in the making of these pens. Why does this matter? Because previously I've already had a vision of how I was going to do something. I made prototypes with some level of knowing that I would make the production versions differently. For these pens, production has already started and is on track for you to receive them in early October.
Those of you that know me, know that I am a material geek. I'm constantly searching for new materials and these are what I settled on for these pens.
These pens are made from 304 stainless steel, which is extremely tough and corrosion resistant and should last for generations. This is truly an heirloom quality pen that will take any abuse you can give it and still look great. All parts of these pens are made from stainless steel.
360 brass is a beautiful material that has a fairly high copper content so it has many of the antimicrobial properties that copper does. It machines beautifully and as you see the machining videos of these pens you'll see why I like to work with it. All parts of these pens are made from brass except the clip and bolt which are stainless steel.
145 copper, also known as Tellurium copper, is an alloy of copper that is made for machining. Obviously, the copper content in this alloy is extremely high so it has the best natural antimicrobial properties for those of you that want a pen that you can let others use and still feel like you don't have to scrub grime off every day. All parts of these pens are made from copper except the clip and bolt which are stainless steel.
Titanium is tough, lightweight, and extremely corrosion resistant. The center section of these pens is grade 9 titanium and all other parts are grade 5, also known as 6AL-4V. After meeting some great people in the industry and having plenty of experience with the material, I have been able to bring the titanium price point down significantly. All parts of these pens are made from titanium except the clip which is stainless steel.
Physical vapor deposition coatings are extremely tough coatings that are mostly found to improve wear characteristics on machine tools and since the coatings are quite expensive they also are found on high end watches. Diamond Like Carbon aka DLC, is a beautiful black coating that will hold up great no matter how tough you are on your pens. DLC will only be available on the titanium pens.
Zirconium is the element below titanium on the periodic table, so it shares quite a few properties. It is extremely corrosion resistant and strong, as well as fairly light weight. All parts of these pens are made from zirconium except the clip which is stainless steel.
There are some Damascus steels that use low carbon steel that easily rust. The material I use will not rust and you do not need to worry about oiling it or keeping it away from moisture to prevent rust. This Damascus steel is made by Damasteel and is actually made from 304 and 316 stainless steels which are both extremely tough and corrosion resistant. These two materials are forged together to create a beautiful pattern.
People often ask me about how each material feels in the hand. I think all of these pens are perfectly usable, but the more dense the metal is the heavier the pen is. The denser materials certainly make for moderately heavy pens, but I have worked very hard to be able to keep wall thicknesses down to be able to bring weights down a bit. So you have a reference, here are densities from low to high on each of the materials.
Titanium - 4.42 g/cm³
Zirconium - 6.52 g/cm³
Stainless Steel - 7.94 g/cm³
Damascus Steel - 7.94 g/cm³
Stainless Steel - 7.94 g/cm³
Damascus Steel - 7.94 g/cm³
Brass - 8.5 g/cm³
Copper - 8.94 g/cm³
These pens will feature two hidden easter eggs. On the under side of the clip the Tactile Turn name will be spelled out as well as the Kickstarter K logo to denote that these pens are from the Kickstarter. All pens after these will feature the year the pens were made which will allow everyone to know where their pens fit in the timeline. The goal being that early models will now be identifiable and have extra collector status.
These pens will use the ratcheting containers used in my previous Mover & Shaker pens. These containers protect the pens really well during shipping and many people love them for pen storage since they are see through.
I know how hard the wait is for Kickstarter products. You pledge for an item and wait months (and sometimes years) to get the product. I have already started production and am on target to deliver in early October. I really considered not even doing a Kickstarter for these pens, but it is a fantastic way to take preorders, so I decided to do a very short campaign with a quick delivery. I can't wait to see what you all think about these pens.
If you need more than one pen select the first pen you want as a reward to the left, then add the funds for whichever other pen or pens that you want. Do not add any extra funds for shipping as the $4 for people in the USA or $7 for those that are international is all you will ever need to pay for shipping.
I've had quite a few people that want to upgrade the bolt for the bolt action to Damascus steel, so I would like to offer that as an upgrade for $15. If you edit your pledge and add that amount you will tell me you want that upgrade after the campaign is over. Each is Damascus bolt is slightly different as the pattern is very similar, but not exactly the same due to the process the material is made by. Here is a close up image of what the bolts look like:
Want to see more? Click the image below to be taken to a full gallery of images of these pens!
Risks and challenges
As you read this production has already started. The reason for this Kickstarter is to try to gauge interest in each model. Most of the material is already in the Tactile Turn shop and is being machined as you read this very sentence.
Machinery breakdowns could happen, but this is fairly unlikely given that all of the programs have already been proven and all that is necessary is running them. Two parts are being made on the older Kia lathe and four parts are being made on the DMG Mori which still have a year and a half of warranty left with a service center located half an hour away.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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