Pen Making Update 39: Splice is Nice

Well it’s that time again and I am going to try and help inform you of things which have happened this week concerning the making of custom fountain pens. I will try my hardest to keep on topic. Oh happy fountain pen day, happy halloween.

  • Pen making

So yeah, as you can see by the above image I am getting a bit more adventurous again. This has had its own pratfalls. I am not used to drilling so deep into a blank. This has caused some heating issues as on my first attempt I didn’t use nearly enough coolant/lubrication/cutting oil. I need to up my cooling game anyway and this sort of nailed it home. I was drilling a blank. I went a little too long and a little too deep and the drill bit seized up in the blank. This has happened once before but I managed to get it out. Not this time. It was completely stuck, I ended up getting the mole grips out and trying to twust it out, again to no avail. It took me about 20 minutes and all I ended up with was a rescued drill bit and a completely shattered blank. Upon closer inspection the swarf of the plastic had got so hot it had welded itself to the inside of the drilled hole and caused the drill bit to jam. How to stop this from happening? Simple, lots of lube and only drill in about 15-20mm at a time. Thing is even when you are drilling into a blank you need to be wary as the deeper you go the more heat there will be as the walls to the hole will still rub against the drill bit as you go deeper. What this means is that the deeper you go the more lube and coolant you need to use and the more often you need to bring the drill bit out to cool. Another option is to have a bank of drill bits, when one gets too hot take it out, put it aside and then get the next cool one.

Anyway, so I managed to get the second one down using the techniques above and manages to make a workable pen barrel. It’s not finished I need to complete the cap. The section was finished tonight and it is one I am happy with. So far I think it looks good. I also managed to finish this one, what do you think?

I have got a commission for a new pen for someone. Thing is it uses a Jowo #6 nib unit. I am going to have to retool as at the moment I am set up for Bock #6 nibs. I do not see this as a bad thing, in fact I see it as an opportunity. Thing is getting Jowo nib units in the UK is annoying. Only place I have found will have to ship from Europe and that means postage and possible taxes in the future. This will up the price of the pens which is annoying. At the moment I can order bock nibs from inside the UK and all I have to do is wait a day or two. Looks like I will have to keep a small stock of Jowo nibs to make the ordering cost worth while. Luckily I can get the correct size taps from ebay for cheapo.

I finished off this pen and all it needs is a good sand and polish, you may recognise the blank. It is the same as the spliced pen I have made detailed above. I am quite happy with this one I think it looks quite good. I met with another potential client the other day for a coffee as they were passing through the town I live and that went quite well. I got to totally geek out and now I have a bunch of pens on my list of pens I want to buy.

That is it for this week. Have a good weekend.

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