While it doesn’t qualify as a project, taking less than 10 minutes, I converted my Franklin-Christoph Model 66 fountain pen to an eye dropper. The conversion also wasn’t much of a conversion. Just a little silicone grease around the section threads and a little more around the feed threads just to be safe.
I put in about 3ml of Rohrer & Klinger Blau-Schwarz ink and closed it up. It looks like it can hold about 4ml if I top it off. That’s if my syringe is to be believed. In my opinion this ink is perfect for the pen and I haven’t used any other in it since I first matched them up. Add to to that the fact the the pen always has ink it seemed the perfect eye dropper candidate.
No leaking so far. Now I just have to remember not to absentmindedly open the pen to check for the ink left in the convertor.
With a couple recent pen announcements I figured it would be a good idea to keep track of the pens I think I want, and why I want them. I say “I think” because I can change my mind anytime.
Platt Rogers Spencer Fountain Pen: I’ve already ordered this one but it isn’t due until the year-end holidays. I love this style of pen and sent the email within minutes of learning about it. It’s called a limited edition, but the only limit is that it must be ordered by Oct. 19th. It’s a pen made by Edison Pen with nib work by Greg Minuskin, it can’t be bad. It would have been a crime to have the pen pass through Greg Minuskin’s hands and not have the nib customized, so I ordered a 14kt fine nib with flex.
Pilot Vanishing Point Gun Metal with Black Trim: I’m on the fence about this one. I like the gun metal and I like the black trim. I’m undecided if I like them together. I liked it at first glance but sometimes think it looks like mismatched colors. But I suspect a body only purchase at the least.
Monteverde Invincia, in matte black: I’m not sure exactly which model, since there are several which are matte black or “stealth” which are all the same basic design and the same nib. This one keeps popping up whenever I’m browsing pens. I like the all black (including nib) and this gets generally good reviews and is the cheapest pen currently on this list. I think an acquisition is inevitable.
Franklin-Christoph Models 19, 33 and 40 Pocket. OK, I have a F-C addiction and these are the remaining F-C pens that strike my fancy. It would be easier to list the ones that don’t make the wish list. Between the unique designs and great nibs there’s nothing not to like.
At this rate I should start a “one pen in, one pen out” policy. But I can’t stand parting with any of them.
This weekend’s mini-project was to fix and polish my Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver pen. It hasn’t been used in about a year, ever since the crown on the top of the cap popped off. I didn’t lose it, and it was an easy fix, but I never got around to fixing it. That is until Saturday.
That is when I got out the polishing cloth and shined it up. Then it was a little superglue to attach the end-caps at each end of the pen.
As I writing test I filled it up with J. Herbin Rouge Hematite 1670 Anniversary ink. The 21kt medium nib writes as well as I remember. It’s a medium nib, but a thin medium so I like it for everyday writing.
Click on any of the thumbnails below to open the galley.
One of my first jobs was as a computer network tech and one customer was Sikorsky, the helicopter maker. It was cool walking down the factory floor watching the helicopters come together in my own backyard. While fountain pens can be made in smaller factories I still have an affinity for ones made in my home country. There’s not a lot to choose from but I like the options.
While several pen companies are U.S. based or have a U.S. headquarters only a few manufacture here. These are the U.S. made pens I’ve accumulated.
Bexley is oftern described as the last U.S. manufacturer of fountain pens. As we’ll see, that’s not entirely true, although they may be the only one that can be described as a major manufacturer.
I bought my first Bexley pen in October of 2005, a orange Bexley Submariner. Unfortunately it’s one of two fountain pen I’ve ever lost (The other being a Lamy Safari). At the time I lost it, it was my favorite pen and it always had ink in it.
The Bexley Imperial I added in July is the fifth Bexley in my current accumulation. I like most of the Bexley designs and the pens have held up well. Three of them are ebonite/hard rubber pens which is a particular weakness of mine. I have two of the 2007 owner’s club pens (both hard rubber), in addition to an ebonite Imperial, an Intrepid and a Poseidon.
While their website doesn’t specifically say all their pens are made in the U.S., the ones I’ve accumulated have been. They also have a manufacturing facility in Houston, TX according to their website.
While I just learned of F-C this year, I’ve already added four of their pens to my accumulation. The workmanship has been great and they feel solidly built. But with less than six months experience I can’t speak to their long term durability, but my expectations are high. Especially since they offer a lifetime warranty.
Edison is another brand that is new to me this year. It’s a one man operation, but since the guy is in Ohio they are certainly American made. Like the other pens I’ve mentioned, the workmanship and quality is great. I haven’t had them long enough to know their durability, but my expectations are high. I have the Collier, Herald, Nouveau Premiere and a Pearl.
Gate City Pen
Gate City Pen is a brand created by Richard Binder. Their tagline is “Modern Pens, Vintage Flair”. The three Gate City pens I have were clearly made by Bexley although the designs were unique (I assume Richard does all the design and Bexley manufactures). I have the New Dunn Pen, the New Postal Senior, and the Belmont. All Gate City Pens have unique fill systems. Well, unique to modern pens since they’ve vintage inspired.
It’s nice to see quality pens made in my home country. I’ve no complaints about the quality and don’t regret any of the acquisitions. But that last sentence can also be said about many non-US made pens.
Any other American manufacturers out there? Anyone else have an affinity for fountain pens made in their home country?
There was a time, not long ago, that I would decide what pen and ink to use as independent decisions. Even though I had a limited selection of inks, that wasn’t the reason, it was simply that each was an independent decision.
I’m not sure when this began to change, but it became apparent at the end of last year. At that time I was still just shopping for pens at the end of the year. I had decided on the pen. As I was deciding on the color I thought to myself – I’ll get the “Claret Stone” (Red) color because I need a pen for maroon and brown inks. That was the realization that I was matching inks to pens.
I’m not talking about matching a specific ink to a pen because it flows well with the pen. I’m picking the color to complement the personality of the pen.
Sometimes it’s just a logical choice and it is because the color matches the pen. A deep black ink makes sense for a Sailor Imperial Black or Pilot Matte Black pen. But every day black pens don’t demand black ink. While there are those who do try to match the actual shade of both the pen and the ink, that wasn’t what I wanted to do. At least it isn’t at this point, but I seem to be heading down that path.
Some of my choices had only a weak aesthetic argument, rather they just seem right for the pen.
My Chrome Vanishing Point likes red ink for some reason, yet my other silver & aluminum pens don’t have the same preference.
The Woodgrain, lever fill, vintage looking Marlborough Vintage likes black ink but can handle brown.
My Caran D’Ache Ivanhoe, another silver pen, does like red ink but likes any bright ink so often has purple. This is probably more about the way I use the pen than any ink affinity that it has.
Lately I have drifted more towards matching ink colors to pens. My woodgrain pens tend to get brown, my reddish pens get red. My daily carry pen with green ink is usually green. At least demonstrators give me a choice.