How to make a Glacia pen longer

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad
See more from magpens

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
13,277
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Firstly, I apologize for the poor photography!!
Secondly, I apologize for the poor photography !!!!
Thirdly, I apologize ... Oh, what the heck ! . Let's just get on with it ...

The Berea Glacia pen kit has seemed attractive to me for some time ... for its styling, but it is too short, for my liking.
As supplied, the kit results in a pen with a finished length of 4 3/4". . It needs to be at least 1/2" longer.

Recently, I set myself the challenge of modifying the kit to achieve the longer length.
I am amazed at the number of hours I spent thinking about methods of increasing the length.
For several days, all I could come up with were methods that were overly complex, requiring considerable lathe work to create new parts.

Finally, yesterday, I had the "Eureka moment", and the method is extremely simple ... using one added part from a very old Berea Sierra Click Pen.

Please refer to the picture below. . The Glacia pen with the green barrel is unaltered from the original kit design. . Notice the length of 4.75"
The red-barreled modified version has a length of 5.25". . Notice that the clip is in better proportion to the longer barrel length.

The barrel was lengthened by 0.5". . This involved cutting the brass tube in half, and using one half at each end, leaving the center of the barrel un-tubed.

Of course, this change requires an extension piece for the Parker refill, so here's the revelation that was a long time coming to me but proved the ideal solution.
The original Berea Sierra Click Pen included a half-inch long refill extender which was the source of a lot of consternation because it had a habit of getting lost.
I made a lot of those Sierra Clicks when I first started making pens 10 years ago. . The kits came with two of the extenders .... just in case you lost one.
So when I made those pens (none of them sold) I collected a bag of extra extenders .... which I managed to find yesterday afternoon !!
Turns out that these extenders are exactly what I need ... perfect fit and everything ... to complete my project of lengthening the Glacia.

So in the picture, you will see the two completed Glacia pens along with a ruler to show their lengths. . Both pens have their refills fully retracted.
You'll also see a Sierra Click refill extender (small chrome cylinder 0.5" long with a pin out one end of it ... that pin fits perfectly into the Glacia twist mechanism.)

In the upper part of the picture, you'll see two of the Glacia twist mechanisms plus Parker refills. . One twist mechanism has a Sierra refill extender inserted.
The other Glacia twist mechanism does not have the Sierra refill extender. . Notice that the tip-to-tip lengths differ by 0.5" ... just exactly what I need.
Both twist mechanisms are in the fully retracted positions, as they should be for comparison with each other and with the pens shown.

And ... Guess What ! ... the Sierra refill extender is a snug friction fit into the Glacia mechanism ... it does not fall out when you replace the refill !!! ... YIPPEE !!!

Oh .... I DO apologize for the poor photography .... I don't know what went wrong. . But I just HAD to get this exciting result published tonight !!!

I hope you are as excited as I am !!! šŸ˜ :po_O . . ( I might retake a better picture. . Will post if I do that. )

IMG_1562CR.jpg
 
Last edited:
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
995
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
Experimenting is great fun; it takes us back when we were in the laboratory, being productive, before we became administrators, pushing pencils. Good on ya, MAL . your mod definitely makes that pen look much better, much more visually appealing.

So you think 5.5 inches is the optimum length for a pen; interesting, I had been using that same approximate length on my modified pens.

Oh, about that photograph . . .
 

1080Wayne

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
Messages
2,923
Location
Brownfield, Alberta, Canada.
A very definite improvement on the appearance of that pen design . I would be a bit concerned about having a half inch of unsupported tube with some materials , such as a brittle PR . Think you should be okay with the Ceboplast . Alumilite clear might be the safest .
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
13,277
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
A very definite improvement on the appearance of that pen design . I would be a bit concerned about having a half inch of unsupported tube with some materials , such as a brittle PR . Think you should be okay with the Ceboplast . Alumilite clear might be the safest .

@1080Wayne

Thanks for your comments.

Obviously a good point, to be concerned with the unsupported central portion of the blank. . But that is not hard to rectify .... if you can find a length of brass tube of the right diameter to cover the full length of the lengthened blank. . I did not look hard for such a brass tube. . It seems that this particular size of brass tube is not widely used in pen turning. . In fact, the Glacia kit is the only kit that I know of that uses this size .... the kit instructions call for a 11/32" drill bit, so that is how we refer to brass tubes for pen kits, but in fact the brass tube O.D. is a few thou under the 11/32" drilled hole size. . I have not seen, on any pen-turning vendor website any "long" length brass tubes of that size, but of course you can buy such "long" tubes for requirements such as 10mm or 3/8".

As I have made these Glacia pens, I am not concerned about the unsupported central portion of the blank collapsing because it is of "reasonable" thickness in that area for the blank material that I have used (a vintage acetate). . Of course, I would have used a full length brass tube for my lengthened Glacia if I had it in my possession. . I will keep my eyes open for such tubing.

If I had been really concerned, I could have made a bridging piece of brass tube. . It could easily have been made and soldered to the two outside pieces of the 11/32" (so-called) size. . The I.D. of the bridge is not critical because the Parker refill is sufficiently narrow.
 

1080Wayne

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
Messages
2,923
Location
Brownfield, Alberta, Canada.
@1080Wayne

Thanks for your comments.

Obviously a good point, to be concerned with the unsupported central portion of the blank. . But that is not hard to rectify .... if you can find a length of brass tube of the right diameter to cover the full length of the lengthened blank. . I did not look hard for such a brass tube. . It seems that this particular size of brass tube is not widely used in pen turning. . In fact, the Glacia kit is the only kit that I know of that uses this size .... the kit instructions call for a 11/32" drill bit, so that is how we refer to brass tubes for pen kits, but in fact the brass tube O.D. is a few thou under the 11/32" drilled hole size. . I have not seen, on any pen-turning vendor website any "long" length brass tubes of that size, but of course you can buy such "long" tubes for requirements such as 10mm or 3/8".

As I have made these Glacia pens, I am not concerned about the unsupported central portion of the blank collapsing because it is of "reasonable" thickness in that area for the blank material that I have used (a vintage acetate). . Of course, I would have used a full length brass tube for my lengthened Glacia if I had it in my possession. . I will keep my eyes open for such tubing.

If I had been really concerned, I could have made a bridging piece of brass tube. . It could easily have been made and soldered to the two outside pieces of the 11/32" (so-called) size. . The I.D. of the bridge is not critical because the Parker refill is sufficiently narrow.
Soldering would be a good idea . I didn`t do that with my wreck - just butted the two pieces together .
 

Curly

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
3,962
Location
Saskatoon SK., Canada.
Mal it is amusing that Marla use to make a fair number of those Berea Sierra Click pens and in order to improve the "click" she would replace the refill with a Uniball 207 refill. It was marketed as a cheque (check for you USA types) writing ink because the cheque couldn't have the ink washed out and a new amount added.
So the 1/2" extender in the kit was tossed and the Uniball 207 replaced it. I suggest for grins you get a couple refills at Staples and see if they will fit your modified pen without the extender. Then it will be a useful mod for those that don't have a bucket of those extenders from the olden days. The gel ink writes better too. ;)
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
13,277
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
@Curly

Thanks, Pete !! .
How funny !! . I totally forgot all about the Uniball 207 refill. . Just like I have (almost) totally forgotten about cheques !!
Thanks for the laughs .... already !!!
 

DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
995
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
Mal, I agree totally with your premise, and your mod to the 4.75" pen is a definite improvement. Did you look at or consider the Executive pen or pencil kit from PSI? Arguably the BHW Glacia is BHW's response to the the Exec - I don't know that, just conjecture on my part. Nonetheless, the LOA of the finished Exec is just ever so slightly over 5". Just wondering about your thoughts on that pen. It is 1/2" short of your desired goal; however, it does not require the extension which may not be available as a stand-alone spare part. I was told by BHW that they do not sale spare parts.

Don
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
13,277
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
@DrD

Don, thanks for your suggestion about the PSI Executive. . I have made several of them and I do not like them very much.

The Berea Glacia is quite a bit more classy in its styling, although its longer tapered nib piece is a bit too long, in my opinion.
Generally, I prefer Berea products over PSI.

I have been using a chrome PSI Executive as a daily carry; the black paint on the tapered nib piece has come off and that is a big put-off.
Its overall length is OK, but just a little on the short side.

With regard to the refill extension required in my modification of the Berea Glacia ... they are not a big problem.
You see, I have about 100 of these refill extensions left over from my previous work with the original Berea Sierra Click pen kits.
Also, I can easily make more of those extension pieces (as could anyone) out of brass rod ... they are easy to make even on a wood-turning lathe.
I even plan to do some experimentation with extension pieces a little longer than the current 0.5". . I probably won't report this experimentation.

I have some additional mods in mind for the Berea Glacia which I will report if they work out favorably.

Thanks again !!
 
Top Bottom