Fountain pens - which kits make good daily users?

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Forum topic by Mark Kornell posted 11-06-2014 04:11 AM 1005 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Kornell

1119 posts in 2072 days

11-06-2014 04:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: fountain pen

I’m a woodworker. I have a lathe. I’m also a fountain pen user.

I happened to drop and kill one of my two daily users. And rather than spend $40 on a decent new pen, I’m considering getting a kit and turning my own. (I’ll probably get hooked and end up with a collection :-)

So, for you fountain pen turners that actually use your pens regularly, which kits make good daily user pens? And/or, which kits make lousy users and ought to be avoided?

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

6 replies so far

View terryR's profile (online now)


6511 posts in 1850 days

#1 posted 11-06-2014 01:39 PM

Mark, I haven’t ventured into turning pens, yet, but have already bought the necessary presses, reamers, bushings, etc. IMO a $40 new pen might be cheaper than everything needed to just turn ONE. :)

Of course…you can see which decision I made. LOL!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View JADobson's profile


741 posts in 1652 days

#2 posted 11-06-2014 01:47 PM

I have a flat top kit from Lee Valley, I don’t like writing with it if the cap is screwed onto the end but as long as its completely off it isn’t bad. I’m just using the siphon that came with it and have trouble getting the ink to flow smoothly all the time. I want to try one of the cartridges and see if that helps improve the pen.

-- James

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1119 posts in 2072 days

#3 posted 11-07-2014 07:37 AM

Terry, I think I’d probably turn more than one. I’ve got a dozen different inks, I’d want at least one pen let bottle :-)

James, good to know. I’ll avoid that one. I like using pens while posted so that doesn’t bother me, but good nib feel and ink flow is paramount. That’s a clean and classy looking pen, nice job.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View RogerBean's profile


1603 posts in 2495 days

#4 posted 11-07-2014 12:32 PM

With fountain pens, it’s all about the nib, and proper adjustment of the nib. Brian Grey, at is a great source of information, and he sells the German nibs that make for a very worth upgrade to a kit pen. I’ve used many of these nibs in all their various configurations, and have never been disappointed.

BTW, it may well be possible to adjust the Chinese kit nibs to write much better. They can be way off when the kit is received, and hence write poorly.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View JADobson's profile


741 posts in 1652 days

#5 posted 12-03-2014 12:42 AM

Mark, I just thought I’d update you as the information Roger posted has proved to be quite valuable. My LV fountain pen is writing quite well now that I’ve played with the nib a bit. Just google “fountain pen tuning” and you will get a host of information. More than I can type here. I’m way happier with my pen now.

-- James

View Wildwood's profile


1930 posts in 1676 days

#6 posted 12-03-2014 04:15 PM

If you check out like they have a thread on fountain pens and might help narrow your search.

-- Bill

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