Review: Zeller Writing Co. 1-Pen Stand – Steam Bent Chair Arch

Lamy 2000 resting in the Zeller 1-Pen Steam Bent Chair Arch penstand (side view)The Steam Bent Chair Arch is a unique handmade pen stand from Zeller Writing Company. I bought it mainly for its unique looks. From a pen stand point of view it’s got its drawbacks, but if viewed as a display stand its a winner.

The stand arrives well packed and includes a certificate of authenticity and a personal note from Aaron Zeller. While neither the certificate or the note make for a better pen stand, they do indicate a high level of care that goes into making the stands. The packaging and presentation is top notch.

The stand is a simple design. There’s a dimple in the base to hold the pen in place. The steam bent arch has a notch at the top to help hold the pen in place against the smooth surface. Since each stand is hand made the exact size will vary, but the base of my pen stand is 2 1/4 inches wide and 4 inches deep. The base is about 3/4 inches high and the arch rises about 3 1/2 inches above the base.

The pen stand isn’t as delicate as it looks. While I wouldn’t throw it around it isn’t going to break during normal use. Or even if it’s dropped on a carpeted floor, as I learned.

The pen can be knocked out of the stand relatively easily, although how easily depends on the pen. It’s been more stable than I expected with my Lamy 2000 and Franklin-Christoph Model 66. I could kick my desk and most times the pen would hang in there. But pens do fall off and this has to be taken into consideration when placing the stand. I keep it away from the edge of my desk. I also keep it clear of my Mac Mini which has sharp edges which could potentially scratch a pen that falls against it.

The product page at Zeller Writing Co also has a video about the Steam bent Chair Arch 1-Pen Stand.

The ZRC 1-Pen Steam Bent Chair Arch stand is a cool looking handmade stand that looks good on my desk. No pictures of it on my desk, while it looks good the res of the mess doesn’t. But more pictures below.

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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.