Burl Fountain

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Project by MarkWilk posted 02-01-2011 09:07 PM 1231 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Though I usually only keep the pens that have a flaw of some sort for myself, I have been wanting to turn a burl fountain pen for a while. I love writing with fountain pens, and found a great deal on a clearance kit from Wood Turner’s Catalog that I couldn’t resisit.

The burl is Amboyna, which turned beautifully and took a great shine with three part friction polish. It writes beautifully, and the kit comes with an advanced piston that makes it easy to fill the pen from an ink well. Cartridges are great for convenience, but really enjoying a fountain pen means writing with high quality ink most often found bottled from great suppliers. I buy from Lanier Pens and Levengers for good values and quick delivery.

Like all of my projects, this one had twists and turns that drove me crazy. I bought the pen kit months ago in a clearance offer, but didn’t bother checking the names carefully. It’s a Jr. Gentlemen’s pen, but since I already had the drill bits and bushings for an Apprentice Jr. Gentlemen’s kit, I figured I was okay. Imagine my surprise when I drilled the hole for the cap, but couldn’t put the tube in the bore hole. It was way too small. I didn’t have the proper instructions, either, as they were not sent with the kit. Bad day number 1.

So, I returned to the website, discovered my mistake, bought the appropriate drill bits, but still assumed that I had the right bushings. Nope. When the drill bits arrived, I bored proper holes, but now they were waaaaaay to big for the bushings to fit properly. So, I returned to the website and tried to find the proper bushings. Once found, I ordered them and waited for my package to arrive. Bad day number 2.

Got my package, but put it away for several weeks over the holidays with too many other people’s pens to produce. I finally got around to trying to build it this weekend, when I discovered that I did’t have the instructions for a true Jr. Gentlemen’s pen, just the apprentice (smaller bushings) kit.

So, not to compound my previous errors, I went to the website to download instructions and returned to the shop. I opened my bushings box and discovered that I ordered bushings for a Jr. Retro pen, not the Jr. Gentlemen’s Fountain Pen. Just before I surrendered to bad day number 3, I checked the website and looked up the Retro kit instructions. Turns out that the bushings are the same size, so I was okay.

I really like the Penn State Industries new policy to include printed instructions with every kit. It really helps make sure that I keep the right instructions with the correct kit parts to make a pen. I just wish that Wood Turner’s Catalog would follow suit.

All in all, the pen turned out pretty nice for such misadventures. It’s making quite a stir at the office, too, so it must be a good one. Two new orders today alone.

Happy sawdust!

-- Mark, Florida,

3 comments so far

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 3710 days

#1 posted 02-01-2011 10:56 PM

Looks amazing

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View savannah505's profile


1813 posts in 3611 days

#2 posted 02-01-2011 11:55 PM

Wow !!!!!! A beauty.

-- Dan Wiggins

View daknoodle's profile


2 posts in 2717 days

#3 posted 02-03-2011 10:41 PM

Very beautiful pen! Though I’ve always gotten instructions with each kit / tool I’ve gotten from Wood Turners Catalog.

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