My name is Brian Fellhoelter.
I’m a Toolmaker from Arizona. Some of you may know
me from the many things that I make: Award Winning Pocket Knives, Pens, Whistles,
Bottle Openers, Belt Grinders and various other tools and gadgets. Some of them
can be seen by visiting www.Fellhoelter.com.
I’d like to introduce my newest project and my first Kickstarter offering - I call it the TiBolt. It’s an American made Titanium bolt action pen based on the bolt action mechanism I came up with several years ago.
The bolt action is becoming a pretty popular mechanism, with many folks using it lately in one form or another. The TiBolt has recently won an award for the Best Non Knife Accessory at the 2012 Usual Suspect Network’s Gathering against some pretty stiff competition, including pens from a well known manufacturer and a custom pen maker. Enough about that, let’s get down to what I am offering.
What we have here is the latest iteration of the pen that I have been making for years, but with several improvements. Instead of just one guy, the TiBolt will be built by an experienced team of American craftsmen.
First, the TiBolt is 100% Titanium. Everything is Titanium except the ink cartridge, the spring, the O-ring, and the stylus nib.
The Body? Titanium.
The Tip? Titanium.
The Bolt? Titanium.
The Ball and Shaft? Titanium.
The Torx Screws, Cap, Pocket Clip, and even hidden parts? You got it, all Titanium.
If it can be Titanium, it is. Why? Because Titanium is a light but strong material and is simply cool, that’s why. It may be an expensive and difficult material to work with but I make a lot of things out of Titanium even if they don’t need to be. All the Titanium parts of the TiBolt, with the exception of the body, are Grade 5, 6AL-4V. The body itself is Grade 9, 3AL-2.5V. It’s tougher to work with than the Grade 1-4 commercially pure stuff, but all the cooler for it.
Diameter: 11 mm (7/16”)
Length: 139 mm (5-15/32”), Stylus Nib adds 3 mm (1/8”) to Length
Weight: ~42 g or 1.5 oz
Second, one of the great options for the TiBolt is to add a Stylus Nib to the end of it. Made from capacitive silicone, the Stylus Nib works great on the touchscreens for your tablets and smartphones. It works a lot better than my fat fingers do, that’s for sure. The Stylus Nib is held in place with the pocket clip screwed into a hidden Titanium carrier. This carrier doesn’t need to be Titanium as you can’t even see it, but it is.
Third, I simplified and improved the TiBolt to now accept Parker or Fisher Space Pen refills. The new design also eliminates the need for any tools to change the ink refills. To swap refills, simply unscrew the tip, remove the old one and replace with a new one. Screw the tip back on and you’re back in business. The TiBolt will arrive already loaded with ink because it’s just silly to receive a pen that doesn’t work right out of the box. Each TiBolt will ship with a Fisher Space Pen ink cartridge and adapter for the Parker format. Fisher Space Pen’s Sealed Pressurized Ink cartridges performs in temperatures from -30°F to +250°F, underwater, in zero gravity, at any angle, even upside down! For those that prefer a different ink refill, you can replace it with any of the wonderful Parker formats widely available all around the world. The tip includes a silicone O-ring to provide friction and keep it from inadvertently unscrewing on you during the incessant playing you WILL do with this pen.
Finally, there are now Four distinct versions of the TiBolt.
Two regular versions, AND Two decorated versions!
There is a regular version with a solid cap, and a regular version with the stylus nib.
There is a decorated version with a solid cap, and a decorated version with a stylus nib.
It's your pen, configure it the way you want it!
The TiBolt is addictive. You will find yourself running the bolt action mechanism through its paces repeatedly. Annoy your friends and family as you obsessively Click/Thwack the bolt while thinking, reading, watching TV, etc… I know I do, as do many of my past customers. The TiBolt is a high quality, American made pen that feels great in your hand. You will write with it, and you will play with it, and I am sure you will enjoy it.
The TiBolt is American Made.
All the work for the TiBolt is being done right here in the USA. This is important to me as I am a big fan of keeping America employed. Not only is it American made, it’s made by myself and my friends, in our own studios/shops. I know the folks making the parts that I am not making myself, some of them for many years and through many projects. They and their employees are good at what they do. These are production shops with scalable capabilities to produce hundreds or even thousands of pens. We have a good, solid, conscientious team assembled ready to build your TiBolt.
Why Am I Here on Kickstarter?
To be honest, due to the overwhelming success and positive reception of the TiBolt, I simply cannot keep up with the demand. The price of a pen made 100% in my shop is also pretty high, think $300+. So the plan is to scale up, if I can get enough orders in, I can use my friends’ shops to everyone’s advantage. As quantities go up, prices go down, and folks stay busy and employed. Everyone wins.
In anticipation of success, I have already got the ball rolling. The Titanium for the first 100 pens is paid for and in the hands of the Massachusetts shop that will be making the main body parts that are too time consuming to be cost effective in my own shop. The ball and shaft parts of the mechanism are already in my studio, made by renowned body jewelry manufacturer Anatometal in California. This part is the hardest for me to make and having it done by folks who do this sort of thing day in and day out is a huge leap in getting the price down. It knocked more than an hour off the manufacturing procedure. The rest of the parts being manufactured are handled by a production shop in Massachusetts. These folks all have the experience, equipment, and the personnel to make high quality parts quickly.
I will be doing everything humanly possible to ship the first
100 Early Backer TiBolt pens in time for Christmas!
Updates will keep you informed of expected shipping dates.
The first 100 TiBolts will be the standard pens, not the decorated versions. I need to know how many of those I need and won’t know that until we see if this campaign gets funded. Pens that are pledged after the first 100 will come later. How much later depends on how many more are ordered. There’s a finite amount of Titanium tubing that I use available at the moment. So if this project is a wild success, I will have to have more tubing manufactured. I can make hundreds of TiBolts now, thousands will require a custom run of more tubing. Moderate success will mean a delivery time in February – March of 2013, while wild success means a delivery time in March – April of 2013. I will update the delivery status at the end of this Kickstarter campaign. I think I have all of my ducks in a row on this, and I have planned for many contingencies. The unknown now is just how many pens will be needed!
Risks and challenges
I have been diligently working for several months to overcome the challenges associated with a project like this, from supply, to manufacturing, to fulfillment. In the last year, I’ve taken my shop from a one man operation to two and added a Haas Milling machine. More machines are on the way!
I’ve negotiated with, and proven the capabilities of the shops that will be manufacturing the various TiBolt parts and ascertained their capabilities to make hundreds, even thousands of parts in a timely manner.
The main risk I see would come with overwhelming success. This brings some specific challenges, mostly meeting deadlines.
I am very determined to meet my deadlines, and things like material availability can become a challenge.
I have a plan though and assurances from my suppliers that I can get the materials for as many pens as I need in time to meet the deadline.
I’ll be very happy if I meet my funding requirement, but am preparing for every outcome from hundreds to thousands of pens.
Shipping will be likely handled by Jack Roman of Tuff Writer, a friend and previous Kickstarter success story, with plenty of experience shipping large quantities of high quality pens all over the world.
- (28 days)