Dudek Modern Goods (Mike Dudek) “The Groove”

Dudek Modern Goods logo

Mike Dudek runs The Clicky Post website and also makes hand made wooden pen holders under the Dudek Modern Goods brand. I’ve admired them since I first saw them online although I never came up with a scenario where I could actually use one. My home desk is too cluttered and until recently I worked from home more often than not. But now I go into the office most days and there’s plenty of room on my office desk. So I ordered one last Wednesday.

I ordered “The Groove” ($55 plus shipping) which holds 9 pens and has a place to store small notebooks. I ordered the version with six 1/2″ holes and three 5/8″ holes since many of my pens are too small for the 1/2″ holes.

Timing is everything. I ordered just before going to bed on Wednesday and by the time I awoke I had the shipping notification and a note that he had just made a batch and had one ready to ship. (The website says turnaround could be 3 – 5 weeks as they are handmade to order.)

The holder arrived on Saturday. It was well packed and also included a Doane Utility notebook and a note from Mike.

Many of my pens are too big for the 1/2″ holes but none had a problem with the 5/8″ holes.

  • Kaweco Sports fit in the 1.2″ holes but rest on the cap since they don’t quit reach the bottom. This doesn’t seem to risk harming either the pen or the holder.
  • Some tapered pens such as Parker Vacumatics and my Edison Menlo fit until the taper expands beyond 1/2″. This seems to risk damage to the pen or holder since the pen could wedge itself in there.
  • The TWSBI Vac 700 need the 5/8″ holes as do the vintage Sheaffer Balances.
  • Esterbrooks fit nicely in the 1/2″ holes.

The Groove can hold 3 Field Notes or Doane Paper style pocket notebooks. But I’ll be using mine with a Maruman Mnemosyne Today’s Act notepad which I is where I keep my current work related To Do list. The notebook fits with enough room for a pocket notebook.

There’s not much else to say. At the simplest it’s just a block of wood with holes drilled into it and some stain applied. But it comes together nicely. I like the simplicity and the fact that it’s hand made, functional and I like the wood finish.

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Perfect Match: Pelle Notebook and Retro 51 Pen

Retro 51 Deluxe Tornado LincolnThere’s one pen in my accumulation that’s not a fountain pen. It’s paired with a leather notebook cover and I consider them a set,

The pen is a Retro 51 Deluxe Tornado Lincoln Rollerball. It’s got a terrific antique copper finish. It’s developed a unique patina over time and use. Pictures don’t do it justice , but I love the look. If the finish was available as a fountain pen it would be perfect.

The notebook cover is a small Pelle Leather Journal in brown. The notebooks inside include a Pelle notebook and a Field Notes notebook, both with blank pages, The Field Notes notebook is a little big but more on that in a moment.

I came across the Retro 51 Lincoln last May but was unsure if it looked as good as it sounded. Pictures didn’t tell the story. As for the leather cover from Pelle I had come across it when looking for a pocket notebook but it seemed small for the notebooks I wanted to use. The replacement books from Pelle were a bit expensive for my intended use (abusing a notebook by carrying it around all the time and using it for disposable notes).

As I was debating this episode 18 of the Pen Addict podcast was released. Myke had bought the Lincoln Retro 15 and his description removed all doubts I had about look of the pen. As for the notebook he solved that problem too. Well, not so much solved as turned it into a feature. The Field Notes notebook are in fact too big, but just a little and only if the intent is to keep them entirely inside the leather cover. The books fit inside the retaining straps just fine. The books stick out a little, but since they are brown they match the leather cover and give it character.

I use the notebook as a pocket notebook or carry it in my computer bag. It’s generally paired with the pen. Except for the Pilot Vanishing Point a fountain pen is typically too cumbersome for quick notes.

Any notes I make in the notebook are temporary by nature. If I need to keep the info I transfer it someplace else.

The Pelle paper is nice. It’s more fountain pen friendly than the Field Notes paper. But it is thin so there is show through, but no bleed through.

The Pen Addict has a review of the Retro 51 Tornado. It’s a different finish but the same basic pen. I like the pen, although a thin metal pen wouldn’t be my choice for longer writing sessions. It’s perfect for quick notes.

The rest of the story can be told in pictures.

Pen Cases: Franklin-Christoph Penvelopes

Franklin-Christoph Logo on Penvelope SixRelated to my fountain pen addiction is a recent addiction to pen cases. Until March of last year all my pen cases had been either free throw-ins with a pen, or a case I bought because it was the cheapest I could find.

That changed last year when I decided to upgrade the quality of my cases and bought a Franklin-Christoph leather case. I was hooked.

Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six

Photo of the F-C Penvelope SixI bought a Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six case in March of 2012. This remains my favorite case to this day and holds my daily carry as I travel to and from work. As the name suggests, it hold six pens. I got the boot brown leather with a rust colored interior. The boot brown leather has a distressed look. The scuffs it gets during normal use gives it character.

The case is 6″ wide by 7″ tall and 1.25″ thick and can handle pens up to 7″ tall and .75″ thick according to the F-C website. Based on my case I find the 7″ X .75″ pens size a bit too generous. My 6.5″ Edison Huron Grande does fit, but it’s a very tight fit. Maybe a thinner pen would allow the leather to stretch up rather than out. Still, I’d be wary of expecting a 7″ pen to fit. The Franklin-Christoph Modell 66, at 6.3″ fits in just fine, no stretching required.

There’s a magnetic snap to close the case. The magnetic snap is more secure when my large Huron Grande is in the case, putting some tension on the snap. When there’s no tension the snap can slip open when some lateral pressure is put on the case, such as when sliding it in our out of a tight bag. The cover still stays closed but if I have any complaint about the case, it’s the snap closure. I’d prefer a more secure physical connection, rather than the magnetic one. But it’s a minor complaint.

The interior is a nice heavy cloth that protects the pens well. There’s 6 individual slots for the pens. In my Penvelope 6 the slot on the right side is clearly smaller than the other five. It can handle all but my thickest pens, but there are pens that have to go in one of the other slots.

Penvelope Six side view

The pens aren’t completely enclosed in the case. There case is open about 2 1/2″ on ech side, although the pen slots rise about 1″ into the opening to protect the pens. While the material is thick and provides good protection, it’s still a soft case which doesn’t protect the pens from being crushed. I’ve never had any problem after nearly a year of carrying the case in my computer or messenger bag.

As the name suggests, the front opens like an envelope and there a thin pocket for papers or other small items. I typically just carry a slip of paper listing what ink is in which pen and the occasional Field Notes notebook. But as a test I was able to fit a box each of Lamy, Pilot and Waterman ink cartridges.

There’s room next to the pen loops, but still inside the case, for an additional pen on each side. There’s less protections for the pen since they aren’t in a loop, but if the pen has a clip is stays in the case. I wouldn’t recommend in as standard procedure, but it comes in handy to carry extra pens into the office.

After nearly a year of daily carrying the case is still in good shape. It’s got the scuffs that give the distressed leather character, but that’s to be expected.

Franklin-Christoph Lucky 13 Penvelope

Photo of the F-C Lucky 13 PenvelopeAfter the success of the Penvelope Six I bought a Lucky 13 Penvelope, also in Boot Brown leather. Everything about the Penvelope Six applies to the thirteen pen versions, except for the obvious size difference. It’s a little big for my daily carry so it travels a lot less, mainly being used for pen storage. The Lucky 13 Penvelope is 12″ X 7″ X 1.25″.

Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Two

Photo of the open F-C Penvelope 2A couple months later I decided I wanted a smaller pen case and bought a Penvelope Two. I stuck with the Brown Boot leather and as the name suggests, it’s a two pen case. The material and build quality is the same as the other Penvelopes but there’s a leather tab and slot to hold the cover closed rather than a magnetic snap.

There’s also a loop on the back with two snaps that can be used to attach the case to a belt or a strap. The case seems to big to be comfortable on a belt. The snaps weren’t secure enough for me to trust them to hold the case on my computer bag. On my first test trip, traveling to work the case must have snagged on something when I pulled the bag out of the car as the Penvelope Two was missing when I got to my desk. I retraced my steps and found it on the car floor. So I haven’t attached the case to a strap since then.

This case easily holds my Edison Huron Grande so I do believe the claim that it can hold a 7″ pen.

I don’t use this case as much as I thought I would. Mainly because I can’t seem to leave the house with just two pens. But it does take less room than the Penvelope Six so it gets some use.

Wrapping Up

Like I said in the beginning, the Penvelope Six is my favorite pen case. But all three Franklin-Christoph Penvelope fountain pen cases are at the top of their class. The cases are pricey, but worth every penny in my opinion. The materials and build quality are top notch.

Bottom line – highly recommended.

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