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Old 09-26-2017, 09:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Hey,fellow turners & craftspersons,

I'm looking for creative input. I've been asked to craft a fountain pen as a gift for a husband who is a "writing instrument enthusiast" and owns several high-end Mont Blanc & Omas pens... His passionate areas of interests are National Parks, Photography, and Cycling. He prefers a fine nib and a medium weight.

I'd love to hear some ideas about what pen you'd recommend for this person. Obviously, it needs to be of supreme quality. I'd also love to hear ideas about themes for this pen. It can include any combination of exotic wood, casting, engraving/lasering, and inlay. The wife's initial thought was a rare or special wood from a specific National Park. I think she'd like to combine all of his passions into the pen, although that might not be possible. I'm brainstorming, so I appreciate your input.
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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kitwise, i would go for https://www.signaturepensupply.com/c...mistral-series

if his interests are national parks and photography then it suggests a wooden pen rather than an acrylic. I would go for a show-stoppingly beautiful burl or wooden blank. It is a nice idea to get a blank from a national park, but you would be unlikely to get something comparable to the best available from elsewhere.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Marcros View Post
I always like a "show stopping" burl. Not to criticize the Mistral as it is a nice pen, but I do wonder if it might be a bit mediocre for someone who owns a $1000 fountain pen? Just thinking out loud...
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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There is one gentleman in the classifieds selling a Great Palace Vine pen... And then you can always upgrade the nib to something different from the usual Dayacom nib.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpford View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcros View Post
I always like a "show stopping" burl. Not to criticize the Mistral as it is a nice pen, but I do wonder if it might be a bit mediocre for someone who owns a $1000 fountain pen? Just thinking out loud...
I think that any kit pen would struggle against a $1000 pen. I presume that you are comparing with a special edition mont blanc pen, probably loaded with precious metals, and having a statement design. I think that a well made, well designed pen made with quality kit components could potentially retail in a showroom/gallery at several hundred dollars. You would certainly need to be in the pen art rather than the pen making business though.

I have a couple of lower end montblancs- a simple black resin and a (simple) chrome barreled one with a carbon fiber top. They were chosen primarily because i liked them, rather than being budget driven and were to be used daily (the fact that they were duty free and low down in the range helped!!). These are my yardsticks- any other pen that I make or buy is mentally compared to these two for function. The form is important too, but a good user can have many forms. What i like is the understated design, simple lines etc. I think that a kit pen could compete with these, if well designed and executed.

In my opinion... I have seen the mb special editions in displays. I am not a huge fan of many of them, but each edition is unique. Each to their own. I don't think that you will compete with those using any kit, because they are one offs. It is like looking at the whitehouse and the empire state building as inspiration for your new workshop and then trying to compare which of the three is best.

I would be impressed with a good looking, nice writing pen that performs as well as my yardsticks. I can see through branding. In my opinion, if you make a pen that looks good and writes fantastically well, it will be appreciated by the recipient, even if they have a collection of $5000 pens. Make a beautiful, unique and expensive pen that doesnt write well and it will be left in a drawer.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Another option would be: Silver Pen Parts

If you have to have precious metals... (Personally I think plated holds up better to daily use but there is something to be said for owning the high end stuff I suppose)
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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For a pen afficionado, the nib is fundamental. By definition, the one that comes with a kit is not appropriate -- and you might need to fit a gold nib rather than steel (that's something the lady commissioning the pen has to decide, as it adds significant cost.)

I'd get in touch with one of the nib experts -- here are three off the top of my head: Michael Masuyama, John Mottishaw, Linda at Indy-Pen-Dance -- about tuning the nib.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcros View Post

I would go for a show-stoppingly beautiful burl or wooden blank. It is a nice idea to get a blank from a national park, but you would be unlikely to get something comparable to the best available from elsewhere.
Is what I was thinking as well.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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It looks to me like you're being asked to take a shot in the dark.

Are these friends of yours?Does the wife have any ideas? Does she have a budget? Is this to be a surprise? Is she on a fishing expedition? Does she know anything about pens? Is the husband an accumulator, a collector, or a user? I'm assuming he uses his pens since he prefers a medium weight. What size of pen does he like? Both Omas and Montblanc have a broad range. Does he like bling? Probably not too much since bling can get you out of the medium weight range really fast. Some enthusiasts like limited editions only, some prefer vintage Pelicans to new Pelicans.

I would worry that this could be one of those situations where a novice buys something expensive/custom/non-returnable for an aficionado who doesn't really want it.

You need a lot more help from her than you do from us at the moment.

Just things to think about IMO.

FWIW
Bill
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmachin View Post
It looks to me like you're being asked to take a shot in the dark.

Are these friends of yours?Does the wife have any ideas? Does she have a budget? Is this to be a surprise? Is she on a fishing expedition? Does she know anything about pens? Is the husband an accumulator, a collector, or a user? I'm assuming he uses his pens since he prefers a medium weight. What size of pen does he like? Both Omas and Montblanc have a broad range. Does he like bling? Probably not too much since bling can get you out of the medium weight range really fast. Some enthusiasts like limited editions only, some prefer vintage Pelicans to new Pelicans.

I would worry that this could be one of those situations where a novice buys something expensive/custom/non-returnable for an aficionado who doesn't really want it.

You need a lot more help from her than you do from us at the moment.

Just things to think about IMO.

FWIW
Bill
Bill,

Thank you. No fishing expedition, here. I simply didn't want to create an excruciating list of requirements since I felt I had already loaded a lot on to my post. I also don't want to limit anyone's creativity. The budget is flexible and in the area of $500 - $1500. This is a gift and they are not friends. The husband is a lover of quality pens and writes with fountain pen every day. The wife is looking for something unique. I've expressed to the customer that incorporating all three passions might be challenging, so we'll narrow it down as we continue to talk.
As for "bling", he's going to prefer a more subtle and elegant beauty over something flashy. Think Emperor over Oriental Dragon.

I'm also looking for are some ideas about hardware. I don't think the average "kit" will make the cut here. Maybe something like Silver Pen Parts instead of dayacom?
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