Thanks to all of our backers, we are still going strong!
I have included a video in the latest update showing the workings of the pens. A must-see! Rated 6 1/2 stars by the Daily Herald Tribune Times! Or something like that.
We have reached Stretch Goal #4!
Since we have met several Stretch Goals I decided to detail what every backer will be receiving at this point:
You will receive a beautifully finished, hand crafted pen (or pens) as selected by you from the rewards, with 1 ink cartridge and a velvet drawstring pouch with each pen.
You will also receive a wooden presentation box (also beautifully finished, but not by me) with each pen you receive.
But wait, there's more! Every backer will also receive 1 mini key chain pen. Yep, that's right!
And now every pen will come with 2 extra ink cartridges. You choose the ink color and point thickness. Gel ink will be available for the Parker style pen cartridges.
Here's a picture to drool over. But try to keep it off the keyboard.
Now, here's what's next...
Stretch Goal #4 - $4,000
If we reach this goal, I will be able to add much-needed storage space for inventory, show displays, etc.
As a reward to all of our backers, each pen will come with 2 additional ink refills (1 cartridge is already included). You will have the choice of ink color (blue, black, red) and point size (fine, medium). Gel ink will be an option for the Parker style refills. I don't think gel ink is available for the Cross style refills.
Stretch Goal #3 - $3,000 Successfully Completed!
Many thanks to all of our backers!
By meeting this goal I will be able to build an inventory of hand crafted pens, pencils, key chains, pocket flashlights and more.
As an added reward, each backer will receive a Mini Key Chain Pen similar to the one shown below.
I am very grateful to everyone for your support, especially to have surpassed my original goal, plus 2 stretch goals!
Stretch Goal #2 Successful! All of your pens will now include the beautiful wooden presentation box shown below. And my shed thanks you.
As you can see from the photo below, my humble workshop could use some work. And a little less ventilation. If we can reach $2,500, I will be able to replace the exterior siding. Yeah, that would rock.
As an incentive, I will upgrade the current presentation box to the wooden one shown below.
Stretch Goal #1 Successful! The presentation box shown below was an added reward for reaching this goal. Since we have reached Stretch Goal #2, your presentation box has been upgraded to the beautifully finished wooden box shown above. Thank you!
Ode To Pen
Whether you use them a little or a lot it's always frustrating when
No matter where you look you can't find a working pen
Oh, the scourge of those store-bought pens, so plastic, so cheap, so benign
Maybe it's time to try something new and create a pen of your own design
OK, so I'm no poet. But I can make an awesome writing instrument!
I'm also a pen addict. For years, I denied it. It started out innocently enough when I got my first nice pen. I only used it occasionally. I told myself I could quit anytime, but then I would see it - another beautiful, unique pen for my collection. Before I knew it I was using them all the time.
As time went by, I found it more difficult to maintain my habit. Finding quality writing instruments became increasingly difficult. All I could find were those boxes of cheap, disposable pens at the big-box stores. Out of desperation, I tried some of their expensive pens but it just wasn't the same. They looked good at first but it didn't last. I became possessive of the few good pens I had left. Friends started to talk.
Then I saw the light; I didn't have to live this way any longer. Being a creative type and an experienced carpenter, I decided to make my own pens. Then I made some as gifts for family and friends. That's when I realized I wasn't alone in my addiction. It seems everyone I know is a pen addict, too. I posted pictures online of the pens I made and people started buying them. I feel like Walter White of the pen world. Anyway, pen making is the best opportunity I have for a much-needed second income.
While this is great news, there is a downside. I don't have the tools needed to make this a viable business. I am lacking a drill press and band saw suitable for making the pen blanks. The tools I currently have sometimes do more damage than good during the process and I have to start over with new material, which leads to waste (both money and time). I have also begun using reclaimed wood, but it needs to be stabilized first. This requires a vacuum pump and pressure tank.
With your support, I know I can produce some of the finest writing instruments around and make this dream of mine a reality. And help support the habits of pen addicts everywhere. Thanks for stopping by!
The first 2 pens pictured below are both made with Spalted Maple Burl, yet look very different. That's the unique beauty of natural wood.
Top: 30 Cal Bolt Action Bottom: Graduate
From Tree to Pen
The picture below shows the process: For this pen, I began with a piece of Black Locust from a fallen tree. I cut out the smaller pieces shown in front of the chunk of wood. Then it was turned on the lathe to the desired shape. While still on the lathe, I used a gloss friction polish to produce a beautiful shine that brought out the woods natural character.
The completed pen is below.
The most popular pen continues to be the 30 Cal Bolt Action pens pictured below. Top is 24k Gold with Spalted Maple Burl. Second row left is Chrome with Lignum and on the right is Antique Brass with Deer Antler. Bottom row left is Chrome with Bocote and on the right is 24k Gold with Bocote.
The 30 Caliber twist pens are pictured below. From the left is 24k Gold with Cocobolo, Gun Metal with Bocote, and Antique Brass with Deer Antler.
The Graduate twist pens (below) are also a big favorite. On the left is 24k Gold with Cocobolo and on the right is Gun Metal with Spalted Maple Burl.
The Tycoon fountain pens (below) are of exceptional beauty and quality. They are available in Rhodium and 24k Gold. Rhodium is a member of the Platinum family of precious metals.
My favorite everyday pen is the Slimline Pro click pen, below. Top left is Black Titanium finish with Spalted Asian Tamarind. Top right is Gun Metal finish with Aqua Pearl Acrylic. Bottom left is Black Titanium with Spalted Maple Burl (made for my wife). Bottom right is Antique Brass with Olivewood (made for me).
The Bolt Action Tec-Pens below include 24k Gold with Spalted Tiger Oak (left), Antique Brass with Spalted Maple Burl (center), and Gun Metal with Cocobolo (right). Each comes with an optional stylus cap for the techies.
The Southwest twist pen is one of the nicest pens I have made. It is available in Pewter or Antique Brass with inlaid stones.
The Comfort pens below are (left) 24k Gold with Goncalo Alves and (right) Rose Gold with Cocobolo.
Below are the Funline Slimline pens. All are in chrome with (from left) Cocobolo, Goncalo Alves, Zebra Wood, and Burmese Rose Wood.
The fountain pens pictured below have magnetic caps for ease of use. These pens are also available with roller-ball ink refills.
Below are Spartan click pens, which have been added as Reward #7. They are very sturdy and well-constructed. On the left is Gun Metal with Zebra Wood. Antique Brass with Molten Lava Acrylic is on the right.
Below is the Shock Absorber pen. It works like a real shock absorber, too. A great gift for your favorite mechanic.
My 2 younger kids (well, 17 and 19) made the pens pictured below, with my help. My daughter made the Teacher's pen on the left for a favorite teacher. One end has red ink, the other end has black ink. My son made the Spartan pen on the right in Antique Brass with Molten Lava Acrylic.
All of the click pens (including the Bolt-Action) use a standard Parker style refill. These are available as ballpoint and gel ink.
The Southwest twist pen also uses the Parker style refill.
All other twist pens pictured here use a standard Cross style refill.
The Shock Absorber pen uses a mini refill.
All of these refills are available at any office supply store and online. They are also available in other brands, such as Monteverde.
See below for pictures of each.
SELECTION OPTIONS FOR YOUR PENS
Enter your selection on the survey you received using the full name of the wood or acrylic as it appears below.
Please double-check your survey responses to ensure that the information is correct.
If you have any questions, please let me know before you complete and return the survey.
The available wood options are below. Scroll down further for acrylic and other non-wood options.
Acrylic and other non-wood materials are shown below.
Fiji blanks below are made from wood caps encased in resin.
Trustone blanks below are made from pieces of natural stone and acrylic.
Deer antler is also available (not shown).
Here is a size comparison of the fountain pens. I realized that the top 2 pens (Vertex and Graduate) are reversed in the photo. They are labeled correctly, though.
Risks and challenges
The risks are few with this project. The first that comes to mind is the possibility that some of the supplies needed to complete the rewards could be back-ordered, like one of the pen styles or finishes. In my experience thus far, it usually does not take the suppliers long to restock. The only other risk would be to have so many rewards to fulfill that it takes longer than expected to complete them all. In both of these cases, it would mean a delay at most. I will certainly keep everyone informed as to the progress. My first priority will be to craft each pen with the highest quality and second, to fulfill all of the rewards. The reason I chose September as the fulfillment date is to give me adequate time to purchase and set up the needed equipment and tools, as well as the time to craft each pen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)