Alumilite Fountain Pen in Lovely Green and Copper

I recently completed a customer pen (my Chiosa model) using a Bob Dupras' custom alumilite blank with green and copper coloring. This has proven to be a popular color and I now have it in a lighter green as well. This pen includes a 14K Rhodium plated gold nib with a left oblique grind with additional flex (not done by me). With a triple start thread on the body and the cap there are plenty of opportunities for variation in the cap and body patterns - not a dull pen.JackW Green Copper Alumilitev1 JackW Green Copper Alumilitev2 JackW Green Copper Alumilitev4 JackW Green Copper Alumilitev5 JackW Green Copper Alumilitev6 JackW Green Copper Alumilitev7 JackW Green Copper Alumilitev8 JackW Green Copper Alumilitev9 JackW Green Copper Alumilitev10 JackW Green Copper Alumilitev11

The View From My Shop Window

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. In my uninsulated shop it is the beginning of the end of the easy days of mild temperatures. Still, looking out the window, dirty as it may be, I am reminded that loveliest handiwork of all is always there for me to see. I am inspired by the colors and am truly thankful I have my shop in such a nice location. Being your own boss isn't too bad either. As we move into the season of thanksgiving and the holiday season don't forget that kind words and consideration are as valuable as anything we can buy.

Out the Shop Window

Busy Making Roller Ball Pens

My first love is making fountain pens. On the other hand, sometimes it is hard to resist a challenge when someone asks you for something you haven't made before, especially if there are size limitations for the pen. So I drew up some plans and got started. After a month or two (I work on multiple projects) I have come up with four variations. Three (the two tortoise and the reddish-brown pens) use standard 110mm Schmidt roller ball cartridges, and the fourth (white, turquoise / aqua, and dark blue) uses a Schmidt roller ball section with a cartridge converter. Take a look and see what you think. The Tortoise and reddish-brown versions are about 125mm long; the white / turquoise / dark blue is about 150 mm long (more like a large fountain pen).RollerballCCv1 RollerballCCv2 RollerballCCv3 RollerballCCv4 TamasPrototype1v1 TamasPrototype1v2 TamasPrototype2v1 TamasPrototype2v2 TamasPrototype2v3 TamasPrototype2v4 TamasRollerballCapAdjacentv5 TamasRollerballP3clipviewv2 TamasRollerballP3Postedv4 TamasRollerballP3Sectionv3 TamasRollerBallP3v1

Recent New Commissions and a Desk Pen for Myself

One of the things I like about alumilite is the broad range of options you have in colors, colors you can "paint in" when you are making custom pens. I have worked closely with Bob Dupras to develop alumilite blanks that provide color transitions to make them interesting. Greens and blues are my favorites, with a splash of precious metal color. I decided to showcase as much of the transition of two pen blanks as I could by making a desk pen for myself (the green pen); I also find the longer pens easier to write with. The blue fountain pen I made for my favorite Aunt, who is in her nineties and still writes. This other pair is done in purple and gold Flexigran, but different in style. Neither pen has a clip because clips were not desired. On the smaller pen with the rounded finials, I worked with Bob Dupras to come up with a solid alumilite color for the finials and the section close to but not exactly the same color of purple of the Flexigran. The other larger pen has the single finial done in Italian resin.VenetianGPV9 VenetianGPV7 VenetianGPV5 VenetianGPV3 SeaBluePen6 SeaBluePen4 SeaBluePen3 SeaBluePen1 PG FlexigranV6 PG FlexigranV5 PG FlexigranV3 PG FlexigranV1 CG Desk PenV6 CG Desk PenV5 CG Desk PenV4 CG Desk PenV2

SomethingWrite Pens Tests the Web

BottleStopperBlankS7Welcome to the new SomethingWrite Pens Website. SomethingWrite Pens is all about creating elegant custom pens for writing: for work, journaling, writing letters, or for recording those memories that you alone carry for those you love. Not only for you, but as a custom pen gift to someone else who loves to write or may love to, but doesn't know it, yet. SomethingWrite Pens are unique: made from special custom cast alumilite pen blanks, celluloid, ebonite, Italian resins, acrylic, and poly resin pen blanks.

I use metal lathes to produce each custom pen: from my small HiTorque 8X16.5 lathe to the 1200 pound 13X40 PM1340GT metal lathe added July 2014. I taught myself how to use a metal lathe, how to work with different materials on the lathe, and to continuously seek materials to make fountain pens. I strive to produce pens that honor simplicity of design while presenting excellence in fit and finish to achieve beauty and elegance.

I hope, as I roll the new website out, that you will take a few minutes to look at my pen gallery and see if there is a pen that catches your fancy or encourages you to explore possibilities for a pen designed just for you.

Welcome to My Shop (Officina)

PatioSnow02062010Winter is over and spring is on its way; soon we'll have very comfortable weather for working in La Officina (The Shop). I work in the shop year round. My shop isn't insulated yet and I rely on two baseboard units to keep me and the equipment within operating parameters. Sometimes it gets so cold in the winter (yes, even in Virginia) that I worry the equipment will not tolerate the chill. Anything below 20 degrees F is compromising so I will usually skip a day in the shop. This year that was a chunk of late February and early March. The picture is the snow of February/March 2010 when we had close to 58" of snow.


I have been slow getting this site up because I have been building the content and learning WordPress at the same time. So thanks for your patience. This time of the year is also busy for a small business getting everything shipshape for tax purposes. Let me show you around the shop.

I have two metal lathes: a small Sieg 4, from the Little Machine Shop called the HiTorque 8.5 X 16 Bench lathe, which weighs in at 300 pounds. I do most of my finish work and turning of very small parts on this lathe, although it is quite agile for making complete pens.


My production lathe is a Precision Matthews PM1340 GT that weighs in at a dainty 1200 pounds. Hard to imagine that something so big can be used to make something as small as a fountain pen, but it works so well. This is a picture of the two lathes in their current configuration:



Getting it in the shop was quite an undertaking because the delivery truck off loaded it on the driveway on the front of my property, and it was July. The very day it was delivered was the start of three days of thunderstorms, go figure: