Tell Me About Your Personal Pen Selection

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theattendant

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Jun 11, 2022
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5
Location
Maryland
Hello Everyone,

I'm still fairly new to pen turning and have turned about 6 pens. I am getting to the point where I want to make myself a nice pen. I would carry this pen with me daily in my pocket and use it many times throughout the day. I realize that "nice" has many different meanings to everyone. I want to know what pen you use the most, your daily carry pen and why.

In the interest of fairness I'll go first. Right now I am using the very first pen I turned pictured below. It is a Slimline made from plywood. I did a poor job turning to the bushings, I created a small crack when assembling the lower barrel, and it has no finish on it so it has since picked up quite a bit of "patina" from use.

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woodwzrd

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Oct 26, 2011
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Baraboo WI
This is my current EDC. It is a new kit to me and as I often do, the first one of these that I turned went in my pocket to test it out before I turn any more to sell. It is a PMK5 kit from Strong Ink dressed in a Fordite hybrid blank (the resin is on the back side). So far I am really liking the feel and it seems to be a fairly well made kit. I like it enough that I am in the process of turning 6 more to put on my table at a show in a couple of weeks. My general rule when I decide to put a pen in my pocket is if I wouldn't feel good selling it I wont carry it. One big reason for this rule is that I have actually sold pens out of my pocket.
 

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egnald

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Jun 9, 2017
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Columbus, Nebraska, USA
Greetings from Nebraska. You pose an interesting question to me. What I have found is a difference between my favorite pens and the ones I carry around on a daily basis. One would think they would be the same, but for me at least they are not. Maybe it is because I'm somehow subconsciously keeping my favorites because they are special or something.

My favorites are almost always the Cigar styles and the one I carry most often is gold plated with a segmented blank made with Sonoran Desert Ironwood, Black Marble, and Malachite Sim Stone with brass accent bands. It was a lesson learned pen for me as I cracked the Malachite when I was pressing the tip in. The lesson is to be sure to use a file and deburring tool before pressing parts into a brittle (stone) blank. It is also when I started applying a little wax on the inside of the tube with a swab as a lubricant before pressing parts together.

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In any case, the pen I carry and use the most is an inexpensive chrome plated Rollester from PSI. The blank is a piece of Ambrosia Maple. The Rollester is one of the thinner and lighter models of a rollerball that are out there -- although I use a Pilot G-2 Gel Ink Refill with a broad point in it instead of a rollerball refill. I made it back in June of 2021, so I've been carrying it in my pocket for nearly 2 years already and I've gone through several ink refills. I like to think of it as a field test for the durability and longevity of the CA finish that I use.

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Dave

PS Another of my favorite styles is the Caballero Rollerball style. It was one of Smitty's designs that Ed picked up and still sells at Exotic Blanks. This is an antique copper one that I made using a piece of very rare Khamphi Rosewood burl that I got from a fellow from Laos. Khamphi isn't really that rare, but it is rare to obtain because it comes from the area between Laos and Cambodia that was very heavily mined during the Vietnam conflict. In 2016 it was estimated that there were still 80 million unexploded landmines and cluster bombs in that area.

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Kenny Durrant

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Sep 11, 2012
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Sachse Tx. 75048
I'm at the doctors office and read this thread. Sorry for the picture but not a lot of options for props. First off I like the roller balls because I like the way they write. As far as which one I carry it depends on where I'm at in my turning projects. The last big change was casting the Abalone Shell. This is a gun metal Rollester with Abalone Heart. I've been carrying it for a few years now. Something to think about what your going to carry. More than likely your going to show it off at one time or another. Carry one of your best pieces of work not a second best. You want people to see what you can do not take your work for it after looking at something less.
 

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Oliver X

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Jun 12, 2021
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Location
Pacific Northwest
The pen I most often travel with and carry to work is a simple fountain pen made from Ultem. It's got a Bock titanium nib which works well with the Diamine Registrars ink I like to use. It's not well finished internally and desperately needs a clip, but I just haven't gotten around to it. Otherwise, it works well and it's comfortable to use.
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The pen I use most is also made from Ultem and I wrote about it here: https://www.penturners.org/threads/ultem-and-brass-fountain-pen.175706/ This pen has probably one of the best modern nibs money can buy.

I have a handful of pens currently inked up, a piston filler experiment built around a TWSBI piston from a broken pen, a half finished desk pen with a Sheaffer "Lifetime" nib, and a bone stock Sailor Pro Gear.
 

floatslow

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Jan 22, 2021
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Long Beach
The pen I most often travel with and carry to work is a simple fountain pen made from Ultem. It's got a Bock titanium nib which works well with the Diamine Registrars ink I like to use. It's not well finished internally and desperately needs a clip, but I just haven't gotten around to it. Otherwise, it works well and it's comfortable to use. View attachment 353229

The pen I use most is also made from Ultem and I wrote about it here: https://www.penturners.org/threads/ultem-and-brass-fountain-pen.175706/ This pen has probably one of the best modern nibs money can buy.

I have a handful of pens currently inked up, a piston filler experiment built around a TWSBI piston from a broken pen, a half finished desk pen with a Sheaffer "Lifetime" nib, and a bone stock Sailor Pro Gear.
How does one procure ultem and what is the experience in machining it? - nice pen by the way
 

Oliver X

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Jun 12, 2021
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Pacific Northwest
How does one procure ultem and what is the experience in machining it? - nice pen by the way
I buy it from onlinemetals.com. You can find it from other plastics suppliers also. The stuff I use is duratron 1000, I think. You want the clear stuff, not glass filled. I use a metal lathe and find machining it to be quite easy. It's relatively hard and heat resistant, but if you get it hot, it can gall the surface pretty bad. Finishing it is tedious. It can be polished, but it takes quite a bit of effort.
 
Joined
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One of my early early pens from deer antler... I think I replaced the top section as the one on my desk doesn't have any cracks... the black has about worn away on the nib end.... I made this when I first started turning pens and used it at work for a numb er of years before I retired.... had to chase truckers and delivery people down the dock many times to get my pen back. Still my favorite of all the pens I've made.
 

derekdd

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Jan 29, 2023
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Wisconsin
My EDC is this Executive rollerball from PSI. Maple burl in red resin. I bought the blank off a guy on Etsy who sells them.

The missus and I are talking about dipping our toes into the fountain pen waters, so I picked up a couple of Majestic Jr kits from PSI I'll turn in the next week or so. Not sure what blanks I'll use, yet.

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theattendant

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Jun 11, 2022
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Location
Maryland
Thanks everyone for your replies. I didn't expect this good of a response. I like the different thoughts that go into selecting your daily use pen and will take them into consideration. I'm pretty much narrowed down to two kits at this point, the Vertex Supreme and the magnetic graduate both in rollerball.
I was surprised and a bit inspired at so many daily carry pens being capped pens, as that was what was giving me a hard time. I was struggling to decide if I wanted to have to take a cap off at each use. I like the act of it because I think it makes the writing I'm about to do more meaningful for some reason, but I also didn't want it to be a burden which led me to the magnetic options.
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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NJ, USA.
Over the years I rotate especially if trying a new kit. I will be carrying a watch part pen for as soon as I get some done. I just started making them and will show them off soon. One pen that I carried the most was the computer blank pen kit. I sold at least 5 of them over the time I carried. Gave a couple away also. People like it alot.
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eteska

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Oct 29, 2019
Messages
261
Location
Wisconsin
Currently carrying a wooden pen I just finished with a bock #6. I am trying out a non ca finish and want to see how it does. But my most frequent daily use pen is still the first kitless pen I made.
 

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TDahl

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Brentwood
I have been using and carrying the first kitless Rollerball I ever made. I poured the blank myself, and thought is was a disaster when I pull it out of the mold. There were a few issues I had to workout during the finishing process. Since it was a prototype, I thought I would use it for a while to see how I could improve it. I ended up liking the shape and size of it, and have since made a few more based on it's dimensions. I think what I like most about it, are the numerous layers of colors running through the body and cap.
 

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sbwertz

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May 11, 2010
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Phoenix, AZ
I carried a Chinese elm pen with a knot filled with turquoise for seven years....then lost it about a month ago. Now I'm carrying this one. I always carry a slimline. I need to burn my initials on this one. I figure when I do, it will make the first one crawl out from wherever it is hiding. Isn't that the way it usually works?
 

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RoxnDox

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Mar 22, 2023
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Gig Harbor, WA, USA, Terra, Sol System
Of the pens I've made, my favorite is a stylus twist kit, roller ball insert, cloaked in a lovely piece of Koa. I made it nice and fat for an easier grip (nerve issues in my hand). My second favorite is a regular slimline in Purpleheart.
I'm just a beginner, so I haven't attempted any fountain pens or fancier work yet.
 

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PreacherJon

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Aug 28, 2019
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Indiana
These are my two favorites. I keep one at my office at church and the other I keep at my home office.
I have a few others kept in a couple of different places. But these two are my favorites. One in a Jr. Gent with Lazer Lines American Flag.
The other is a Jr. Statesman with Curly Spalted Mango.
 

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derekdd

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These are my two favorites. I keep one at my office at church and the other I keep at my home office.
I have a few others kept in a couple of different places. But these two are my favorites. One in a Jr. Gent with Lazer Lines American Flag.
The other is a Jr. Statesman with Curly Spalted Mango.
Wow, that curly spalted mango is a gorgeous piece of wood.
 

theattendant

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Jun 11, 2022
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Location
Maryland
Thank you everyone for your input. I have settled on the Vertex Supreme with a Redwood Burl blank. I also bought a graduate that I'll turn as well and see which one l like the best. I'm just worried about the size. They are larger pens than I anticipated so the graduate I will turn closer to the bushings overall to give it a more linear look.

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