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Hello from Ontario

#1
I would just like to introduce myself and say hello.

I just want to start by saying what fabulous support this site has. For whatever reason, I could not receive my confirmation email to set up my account. After a couple of hours back and forth, last night, John finally got me all set up. Thank you very much @Janger, as well as whomever it was that connected with me on facebook.

I am a retired CF RCEME Vet, 26 years as a Weapon Tech. I have settled down in a little village just outside Brockville.
What I do now, is handcraft custom writing instruments, specializing in fountain pens. Here is a sample made with Tasmanian Myrtle and Ebonite with Bronze clip and rings. The only part I don't make, is the nib unit itself.
CF014004-IMG_0622_Final.jpg

The metals I am starting to use are Alluminum, Bronze, Nickel Silver, Stainless and Titanium. The clip in this one is a two piece with a groove milled in the back to accept a stainless steel ring tab soldered in and some excess material milled from the main body to thin it out (making less file work)
Up until this point, I have been using a Frankenstein setup on my drill press to do the milling. PLEASE do not try this at home kids.
When it comes to milling, there is a ton of slop in this setup.
IMG_0590 small.jpg clip back small.jpeg

It is then hand shaped and polished.
I am now happy to say that I will not be doing this again. I just recently picked up a little Taig Micro-Lathe II with a milling attachment. Much, much safer.

As I started out working with wood, I have a full woodshop including a Oneway 1224 lathe, on which I started working Aluminum and Brass. While wood tools including indexable carbide work, but its not for the faint of heart.
For metal working, as mentioned above, I have just gotten a little taig. I also have a Veil grinder and a Milwaukie porta-band with a makeshift table.
I also have a Standard Modern 10" Utilathe. It is a heck of a beast and I am only starting to learn its capabilities.
Taig Lathe.jpg SM 10 Utilathe.jpg

A lot of the machining I do is in various "plastics", such as the acrylic acetate in the photo below. Because of that I have been able to muddle through ok. Most of my threading is done using tap and die. However, now that I am moving more into tougher materials, I am trying to learn a lot more, especially feeds and speeds. A retired machinist that lives down the road, is going to come and spend a day or two with me, tuning my equipment and my techniques.
fountain pens.jpg

After browsing around the forum, I believe there is plenty here for me to learn, and hopefully a few things I can help with or pass on.

Thanks for the warm welcome.

Darrin
 

gerritv

Gerrit
Premium Member
#2
Hi Darrin
I just dusted off my Taig to do some clock making/fixing/finishing. A very versatile device. Those are lovely pens, I still use my fountain pen from the 1970's, need to buy some more ink soon.
Welcome from St Catharines

Gerrit
 
#5
Hi Darrin
I just dusted off my Taig to do some clock making/fixing/finishing. A very versatile device. Those are lovely pens, I still use my fountain pen from the 1970's, need to buy some more ink soon.
Welcome from St Catharines

Gerrit
I couldn’t pass this up, from an auction, for $165. I’m waiting for a new belt. I’m also thinking about a second carriage/cross-slide, so I can leave the milling attachment and vice, setup.
I started making kit pens, then got sucked into the fountain pen world.
 
#9
I would just like to introduce myself and say hello.

I just want to start by saying what fabulous support this site has. For whatever reason, I could not receive my confirmation email to set up my account. After a couple of hours back and forth, last night, John finally got me all set up. Thank you very much @Janger, as well as whomever it was that connected with me on facebook.

I am a retired CF RCEME Vet, 26 years as a Weapon Tech. I have settled down in a little village just outside Brockville.
What I do now, is handcraft custom writing instruments, specializing in fountain pens. Here is a sample made with Tasmanian Myrtle and Ebonite with Bronze clip and rings. The only part I don't make, is the nib unit itself.
View attachment 16181

The metals I am starting to use are Alluminum, Bronze, Nickel Silver, Stainless and Titanium. The clip in this one is a two piece with a groove milled in the back to accept a stainless steel ring tab soldered in and some excess material milled from the main body to thin it out (making less file work)
Up until this point, I have been using a Frankenstein setup on my drill press to do the milling. PLEASE do not try this at home kids.
When it comes to milling, there is a ton of slop in this setup.
View attachment 16183 View attachment 16184

It is then hand shaped and polished.
I am now happy to say that I will not be doing this again. I just recently picked up a little Taig Micro-Lathe II with a milling attachment. Much, much safer.

As I started out working with wood, I have a full woodshop including a Oneway 1224 lathe, on which I started working Aluminum and Brass. While wood tools including indexable carbide work, but its not for the faint of heart.
For metal working, as mentioned above, I have just gotten a little taig. I also have a Veil grinder and a Milwaukie porta-band with a makeshift table.
I also have a Standard Modern 10" Utilathe. It is a heck of a beast and I am only starting to learn its capabilities.
View attachment 16185 View attachment 16186

A lot of the machining I do is in various "plastics", such as the acrylic acetate in the photo below. Because of that I have been able to muddle through ok. Most of my threading is done using tap and die. However, now that I am moving more into tougher materials, I am trying to learn a lot more, especially feeds and speeds. A retired machinist that lives down the road, is going to come and spend a day or two with me, tuning my equipment and my techniques.
View attachment 16187

After browsing around the forum, I believe there is plenty here for me to learn, and hopefully a few things I can help with or pass on.

Thanks for the warm welcome.

Darrin
And yet another warm welcome, from Brampton this time. Again, highest complements on your exquisite work and chosen retirement plan! We all need one!
John
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
#11
The only part I don't make, is the nib unit itself.

Beautiful workmanship. And welcome. I've been intrigued by shop made fountain pens (but not intrigued enough to do anything about it LoL). When you say the nib unit does that include the upstream assembly like ink cartridge or pump/bladder/lever thingy? I always assumed they must be kits or harvested from other pens. Can you show some details of the innards? How about the body & cap threads, are you doing that single point mode on your lathe or have a special die?
 
#13
The only part I don't make, is the nib unit itself.

Beautiful workmanship. And welcome. I've been intrigued by shop made fountain pens (but not intrigued enough to do anything about it LoL). When you say the nib unit does that include the upstream assembly like ink cartridge or pump/bladder/lever thingy? I always assumed they must be kits or harvested from other pens. Can you show some details of the innards? How about the body & cap threads, are you doing that single point mode on your lathe or have a special die?
Currently, my designs use readily available international standard Ink cartridge or a converter (which is essentially a screw type piston pump). Hopefully as my machine skills grow, I plan to make an integral piston pump.
7B0E6F4B-79C0-4258-9DE0-F3FC156442CD.jpeg
At present, all of my threading is done using Taps/Dies. The cap threads are 3 start metric. They are specially made for pen makers, hence expensive. They can cost upwards of $300 per set. The ones on the Tasmanian pen are M14x0.8, while the acrylic ones have an M13x0.8.

Similarly, the nib unit is a proprietary metric thread. M7.5x0.5
E2777A1B-C4CC-4B6A-BE9A-1886D5ED3E98.jpeg

Darrin
 
#14
Welcome to this forum. Fountain pens is also one of my hobby and I wish to make one for myself with my lathe, I hope you might not mind to help me to get started if you wish.

And I noticed that your drill press setup looks it got an original Emco part, hopefully you did not discard that one because that's hella rare to find on ebay and for anyone who needs it.

You can ask me for some tips concerning about metric threading or more, but I am just someone who started machining.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
#15
Darrin, what is your finishing methodology for predominantly wood pens like the picture in post-1?
Just curious, is there a favorite supplier you prefer for the pen components?
 
#16
Welcome to this forum. Fountain pens is also one of my hobby and I wish to make one for myself with my lathe, I hope you might not mind to help me to get started if you wish.

And I noticed that your drill press setup looks it got an original Emco part, hopefully you did not discard that one because that's hella rare to find on ebay and for anyone who needs it.

You can ask me for some tips concerning about metric threading or more, but I am just someone who started machining.
Good morning Fermic. I really went down the rabbit hole of fountain pens, when I found the Ottawa Fountain Pen Society. I would be glad to answer any questions about making them. Just reach out and ask.
On the drill press, that is a carriage and cross-slide from a small Craftex 7” mini lathe. I mounted it in a drill press vice to hold it on the table, then mounted a small “cheep” machinist vice on top to hold the material. I used it a couple of times, but the vibration and movement, just made it way to scary. I am very glad to have the Taig now.
 
#18
Darrin, what is your finishing methodology for predominantly wood pens like the picture in post-1?
Just curious, is there a favorite supplier you prefer for the pen components?
Good morning Peter
I have two finishes I use on wooden pens. Depending on the wood and the desired end result.
Sometimes I will use a friction polish. It leaves a beautiful soft “wood” feel. This finish is also best for oily woods like rosewood, cocobolo etc. But it does not get a durable high gloss finish. It will get a shiny soft patina from hand oils that needs to be cleaning and maintenance by the user. Many people, although they love the feel, hate the work involved.

For a durable high gloss finish, I use Cyanoacrylate (CA), commonly called crazy glue. The pen above uses this type of finish. It is very durable, and relatively easy to apply once you get the hang of it. It also helps to stabilize very soft woods or fragile Burls. The Tasmanian Myrtle is a prime example of this. Even after stabilizing it tends to chip apart. I apply CA in a series of layers. I will slightly sand every few layers to remove high spots, and to show me any holes or cracked that need filling. Once it’s smooth, I wet polish. I used to use micro mesh, but have stared using a 3M polishing paper. Finally, I buff it using a plastic polish and a soft cloth (tissue) on the lathe. However, I have finally set up a 3-wheel buffing station, to learn how to properly buff.

As for pen kits, I don’t really use them anymore. That said, when I do need an occasional kit, or for other project kits, I buy almost exclusively from William WoodWrite in Guelph, ON. Bill got me started many years ago, at a woodshow in Woodstock. He has awesome customer service, and a great selection of kits. I have also ordered from a couple of the US shops, Exotic Blanks or PennState, for specific items I can’t get in Canada. But I always come back to WoodWrite. I actually just got a batch of letter openers, from them, on Friday.

If you have any questions, just reach out.

Darrin