I want to make a last minute gift this weekend so I can't order
online. There is a Woodcraft near me and I have made a few of their
slimline pens before which were nice. But I would like to make
something that has a very nice writting feel to it, perhaps fountain
pen. They have quite a few types and I was wondering which ones
people liked the best. Something with a real quality feel, cost
PS I posted this in the woodturning group, but they seem overwhelmed
with crap. Looks like this one is getting hit pretty hard too...
or, if you want something even bigger, try the cigar pen kits:
or perhaps the Churchill roller ball kit, though it's not as hefty as
some of the others:
Then there's always the El Grande, for a fountain pen:
I've done them all, and they all make nice pens.
Second the vote for the gel. I love fountain pens but good ones are
expensive and cheap ones are just pains in the butt (except the Pilot
Varsity disposables which work quite well for some reason--probably
because they only have to last through one load of ink) and the
Woodcraft kits don't have nibs (the critical part) from any maker with
any kind of reputation. Gel is as good as an average fountain pen,
better than a crappy one, not as nice as a real good one, and you can
bear down on it to make carbons if you need to, so it's really the best
all-round choice IMO.
Woodcraft doesn't say what refill their pens use anywhere on the Web
site--might be wortwhile going down to Staples and getting a Pilot V7
refill (highly regarded by pen aficionados) and seeing if Woodcraft has
a pen kit that it will fit. I suspect that any kit that takes a gel
refill can be made to work with it, but you may have to adjust the
length of the pen.
Note that a slimline pen kit can still result in a quite substantial
pen--the diameter of the grip area doesn't have to match the diameter of
It's a pity that Pelikan and Lamy and Waterman don't make pen kits.
The best pen kit I've found and used are the Majestic kits. Can't seem
to find them at Woodcraft and Rockler seems to have gotten out of them.
Penn State Industries has them here:
They have both fountain and rollerball in rhodium and gold. I made two
out of amboyna burl and they look and feel terrific - substantial
weight, large diameter, excellent quality. They even contain a Swarovski
crystal in the clip.
Only downside is the cap doesn't fit on the pen, but I've got a number
of high-end pens (e.g. Mont Blanc) like this.
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