Clip thickness

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Muggsy1776

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
129
Location
Shelby Township, Mi
I’ve started making my first kit-less fountain pen and I want to try my hand at making the clip. I’m down to making the clip and instead of altering an existing one I want to start with making my own. My question is what thickness of metal should I use? Does it depend on the material?
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

hokie

Member
Joined
May 29, 2017
Messages
80
Location
DC Area
I am currently in the same boat. I don't think I've got the material or method down pat 100%, but the material and the tools at your disposal are big determining factors.

A lot of clip makes I've seen use either nickel silver or brass. They are relatively soft and therefore must be thicker to avoid getting bent. Steel is stronger, but also makes it more difficult to finesse into the size/shape you want. It still may also be susceptible to getting bent without certain a certain variety of steel and hardening procedures.

I played around with some 20 gauge 304 stainless and got something like this:

Not perfect, but I'm getting there. I ordered some samples of nickel silver to try and we'll see how that goes.
 

bmachin

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
410
Location
Owensboro, KY
I would start with 1/16. I believe that Mike Redburn has mentioned that thickness in the past. I have used it for bronze based on John Albert's recommendation and I believe that's what he uses for bronze and nickel silver.

If it's too thick you can always file it down; if it's not thick enough, you're sunk.

Bill
 

TG Design

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2018
Messages
163
Location
Dayton, Oh
I made one out of 0.042” (1.07mm) titanium. I had to heat it to get the 90deg bend at the top and clip end. I then bead blasted it for the matte finish, Ti also polishes real nice.

IMG_3677.JPG
 

darrin1200

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
798
Location
Lyn, Ontario, Canada
I just ordered some 510 Bronz at .04 and .09, Nickel-Silver at .06 and SS-301 full Hard at .050”. I also ordered some silversolder to try my hand at that type of connection.
 

bmachin

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
410
Location
Owensboro, KY
Tony,
There's an old series of videos by a guy named Steve4948. I've linked to the one of him making a cap and attaching a clip here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKM9WWYob_E

This guy is really interesting and when disaster strikes, you see it. Some of his Toastmaster speeches are also quite humorous. He also has videos on making a mandrel on a wood lathe and making a kitless pen on a wood lathe. He's not slick, but you can learn a lot.

There is also a library article on the same technique here:

http://content.penturners.org/library/techniques/finial_options.pdf

If you have a clip with a large enough OD you can leave the it exposed and a bit proud. Just make sure that the male thread of your finial is a very close fit to the ID of the clip to keep it fro moving around. Screw it down tight and use some sort of thread locker/sealant to keep it from coming unscrewed. DAMHIK!

Bill
 

Muggsy1776

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
129
Location
Shelby Township, Mi
Thanks everyone! I found sheets of aluminum at my local hobby shop that I’m going to use to experiment with shapes and fitting. I’ve been wanting to take this next big step into pen making for some time and I’m excited (I’m easily amused. Lol).
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
10,240
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
:) :) ;)
I made a note of this for future reference ......
Some guy called Darrin used a thickness of 0.062" for the clip in this thread:

IAP THREAD - by darrin1200 - Making Clip For Kitless Pen - May1719 - Source of 0.062" (corrected) nickel-silver was Online Metals
 
Top Bottom