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Advanced Pen Making Kit-less construction; designs and challenges beyond those normally associated with kit pens.


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Old 09-06-2017, 04:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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I see people wondering about what taps, dies, drills, etc. to get so they can start working with kitless pens and being inhibited by the cost of everything without knowing if the will like doing it.

So here's a simple solution, you probably already have everything you need to make a kitless if you do it a bit differently (which does not mean doing it second rate).

Here are a few pictures (my horrid photography as always, which is why I rarely post pics). Everything here is done with nothing other than drill bits and a lathe, no thread cutting. The section, cap, finials, etc. are made with drill bits and are all hand lapped to a perfect friction fit with no threading.

Everything is made from some leftover pieces of Ebonite I had and the feed is also Ebonite (a sort of generic 6mm feed available from a few sources and used on a number of commercial pens, about 5 bucks or so). Clip is left over from something I don't remember and nib is a Jinhao 6mm medium nib (about 2 or 3 bucks). these are the only metal parts on the pen. I made this quickly and didn't put much effort above minimal quality to finishing, but the pen actually looks a lot better than the picture.

It can be made from anything you want and have on hand, just experiment some and have fun doing it. (A note: if you friction fit the cap well enough, you may need to drill a very small hole in the finial to let air in when you take it off and avoid sucking too much ink into the feed with a vacuum effect.)
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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That looks great.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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You, sir, have stick-to-it-iveness! I wish I hade seen this five months ago when I decided that I wanted to try my first kitless pen.
If I was going to make a suggestion, I would recommend buying a nib already in a casing (and the proprietary - and expensive tap) to accompany it. The seating of the ribbed portion to the back of the metal nib is so critical for ink flow - spend that money and then experiment with everything else. In the end, a pen that truly functions well is the critical point.
This is an amazing pen. Thanks for "bringing down the wall!"
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Hey Frank. Nice design.

Is it an eyedropper?
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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May I ask a dumb question? What exactly is hand lapped?
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Yeah, it's an eyedropper. That's about all I make anymore, I like the larger ink capacity and less filling with an eyedropper.

Hand lapping is custom fitting the parts to each other by very carefully sizing them to their final fit by the use of abrasives. This can achieve perfect fit or a slightly tight or lose fit as you desire instead of being tied to the size of drill bits and machine tolerances. YouTube gives examples, but they need to be adapted a bit for use with a pen instead of machine shops fitting metal parts and such (it's actually easier for pen materials).
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Gotcha. Thanks for the explanation. So I take it you just pick a drill bit that is close to the size you want to end up with and then just sand each component until it fits like you want?

How do you account for any material that comes off during polishing? Or do you just make it slightly tighter than you want and it comes out right in the end?

I'm not all that sure about some of the other terms mentioned about, eyedropper, filler, etc as I've always made kit fountain pens but it seems straightforward. Worth giving a shot in the future!
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithncsu View Post
How do you account for any material that comes off during polishing? Or do you just make it slightly tighter than you want and it comes out right in the end?

I'm not all that sure about some of the other terms mentioned about, eyedropper, filler, etc as I've always made kit fountain pens but it seems straightforward. Worth giving a shot in the future!
The important dimensions, the ones that are lapped to very close fit so there is no leakage, are the ones that count, are internal and they don't need to be polished since they aren't visible. (they can still be removed for filling since they are just short of being a press fit and can still be pulled apart (think about a stopper in a bottle that just barely fits tight enough to be leak free). Silicon grease aids in keeping them freely removable, especially with Ebonite, but a lap fit shouldn't leak.)

For an eyedropper filler you remove the section and fill the body with ink using an eyedropper or syringe. You can get 3 to 5 times the amount of ink contained in a cartridge or converter that way, depending on the size of the pen, and it makes it easy to use the last drop of ink in a bottle.

There's no reason you couldn't design one to use a cartridge or converter instead if you wanted, just a little more complicated to do it that way. I like simple.
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Ok that certainly makes sense. Last question, I think , where can you get the filler piece? I've never seen one loose like that. Or should I just buy one of the assembled ends from one of our great vendors and take it apart?
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I assume you mean the section, or the feed? If not let me know.

The section is made by you, the feed (I used an Ebonite one since I far prefer the performance of Ebonite to that of the lower cost plastics that are common now) if purchased since it is a real challenge to make them. They are available from a number of sources on the Internet and can be found once in a while on Ebay.

For the 6mm feed use a "G" drill for Jinhao and some similar nibs or a 17/64 for other ones if they are too tight with a G. Fairly close and tight fit is important for the nib/feed to insure proper ink flow without dripping or seeping out the end. I drill the feed bore about 3/4 inch deep with a smaller hole behind it so that the feed sets to the correct depth each time it is removed and installed with a little flexibility in the nib depth to adjust how wet it writes. I drill the through hold around 3/32 and use a longer stub since I've found it holds just enough ink in it to give an instant start after being stored upright for a while (I only made this a few days ago and haven't stored if longer than 24 hours so far and it starts instantly after that time). You have a very large amount of leeway to experiment with here and you don't have to make and fit an entire pen to try out different drill and size dimensions since you can just make experimental sections from scraps and put a drop of ink in them then cap the rear off to try out different ideas.

Glad you're interested, I like people that want to do their entirely own design and encourage you to give it a try.

Edit to add:

An addendum, when you are experimenting you don't have to take the time to fully shape the whole section, just use a round rod and leave it like that till you are satisfied how it writes then turn the outside shape of it to something you like.

Last edited by frank123; 09-07-2017 at 03:20 PM.
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