My first two kitless/bespoke fountain pens

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bvcreates

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Mar 23, 2021
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Just finished up with my first three kitless pens. The first was the prototype so it's not worth showing here but the second and third turned out ok, I think. I made my own alumilite blanks and turned them on my smallish Rikon wood lathe using Easy Wood Tools negative rake cutters (they are awesome). I'm using cheap Chinese taps and dies but I did get in on the group buy for some triple start taps and dies from Tapco. Can't wait for them to get here! The nibs are Bock #6 fine. BTW, does anyone have a preference between Jowo and Bock nibs? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 

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duncsuss

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Jun 29, 2012
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Nice - and I like the materials you poured.

I use both JoWo and Bock nibs - some customers prefer one over the other. The important thing is that they have to be properly adjusted; search for a post I made with links to Richard Binder's "10 commandments for nib smoothing" and his guide to smoothing fountain pen nibs.

Personally, for size #5 I prefer JoWo - but not because of the nib, it's because I don't like the Bock molded housing/feed, I find it unnecessarily long and it forces the section to be longer than I like. Makes no sense to me why the #6 housing is shorter than the #5 housing.

That said - I've used both. Sometimes the choice comes down to whether a particular nib (F, M, B, italic) is available in the style and material the customer wants (14K, 18K, two-tone, modified breather hole ...)

Have fun!
 

bvcreates

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Mar 23, 2021
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Spokane, Washington
Nice - and I like the materials you poured.

I use both JoWo and Bock nibs - some customers prefer one over the other. The important thing is that they have to be properly adjusted; search for a post I made with links to Richard Binder's "10 commandments for nib smoothing" and his guide to smoothing fountain pen nibs.

Personally, for size #5 I prefer JoWo - but not because of the nib, it's because I don't like the Bock molded housing/feed, I find it unnecessarily long and it forces the section to be longer than I like. Makes no sense to me why the #6 housing is shorter than the #5 housing.

That said - I've used both. Sometimes the choice comes down to whether a particular nib (F, M, B, italic) is available in the style and material the customer wants (14K, 18K, two-tone, modified breather hole ...)

Have fun!
Thanks for the feedback and I'll definitely check out the link on nib smoothing.
 

Pierre---

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Jun 10, 2012
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313
Location
France
I used both, and both are enjoyable to write with when properly tuned, much more than Chinese IPG. But Bock nibs need to be tuned seven times out of ten, while Jowo are usually perfect out of the box. Besides, steel Jowos have more choice regarding plating, and plain gold nibs are cheaper than Bock. So now, I only use Jowo.
Bock offers semi-flex titanium nibs though, and Jowo doesn't.
 

RichAldrich

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Nov 26, 2007
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544
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Just finished up with my first three kitless pens. The first was the prototype so it's not worth showing here but the second and third turned out ok, I think. I made my own alumilite blanks and turned them on my smallish Rikon wood lathe using Easy Wood Tools negative rake cutters (they are awesome). I'm using cheap Chinese taps and dies but I did get in on the group buy for some triple start taps and dies from Tapco. Can't wait for them to get here! The nibs are Bock #6 fine. BTW, does anyone have a preference between Jowo and Bock nibs? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Are you having any issues with the cheaper taps and dies? Please advise. Thanks.
 

duncsuss

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Wilmington, MA
Are you having any issues with the cheaper taps and dies? Please advise. Thanks.

Rich, I buy standard-sized taps and dies from Victor Machinery - most probably made in China, but I like the fact they are a real tooling supply company. Their descriptions are accurate and don't require you to search page after page to find the size you are looking for.

The only downside is their minimum order size (if it can be considered a "downside" to be forced to buy more tools :cool: ) usually means I end up buying a couple of extra drill bits to fill out the $25.

(By standard I mean normal metric sizes - M9 x 0.75, M8 x 0.5 and such; Victor don't have the weird sizes needed for Bock and JoWo nib housings.)
 

bvcreates

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Mar 23, 2021
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Location
Spokane, Washington
Are you having any issues with the cheaper taps and dies? Please advise. Thanks.
Not really, the threads look pretty good. The threads seem pretty loose when I start threading the cap or section into the body but they get nicely snug and square when they're threaded all the way in. It's that way regardless of the size of the tap or die. Not sure that's normal as I have pretty limited experience threading acrylic. See pic for a closeup of the threads.
 

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Not really, the threads look pretty good. The threads seem pretty loose when I start threading the cap or section into the body but they get nicely snug and square when they're threaded all the way in. It's that way regardless of the size of the tap or die. Not sure that's normal as I have pretty limited experience threading acrylic. See pic for a closeup of the threads.
It's common for threads to start loose then tighten with depth, in fact with single start it's easier to put on. Just remember to always flip your die for a second pass, and have enough of a fillet at the bottom of the tenon to ensure a snug fit. Great work!
 
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