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BCHR Fountain Pens and more…

One of my latest projects was trying to see if I could create pens with patterns that mimicked the old BCHR fountain pens. If you’re not familiar with the term, BCHR stands for Black Chased Hard Rubber. The ‘hard rubber‘ is the material. Today it’s commonly called ebonite. Chased refers to a machining method used to apply a pattern around a round pen cap or barrel. The process consisted of a set of metal dies that pressed the pattern into the hard rubber (think of pressing a pattern into a cookie before it’s baked). You can read more about chasing at

Employing a modern BCHR method…

I’m employing a more modern method for my BCHR embellishments. Instead of the mechanical dies, I’m using a laser engraver! Laser engravers have been around for a while, but only in the last several years have they become more common. Mostly due to the diode laser. Diode lasers are a level below CO2 in terms of power. Being less powerful, they’re not as expensive. So it’s a good laser to get started with for a reasonable investment cost. I’ve been wanting to get one for years to see if I could use it to engrave names on pens instead of sending them out to an engraving service. But once I got the engraver, I realized I could do much, much more with it.

Getting Started with BCHR…

When I purchased the engraver, I also purchased a rotary attachment that allows me to engrave on round items. Once it arrived, I began to see what it could do. I found out that engraving names was easy. I only found one drawback with the Diode, and that’s due to the color of the laser. The diode laser has a blue light, so you can’t engrave anything blue because the blue material simply absorbs the light beam. But it works on every other color! Shown below are some samples I ran on various solid colors that show the potential.

Engraving BCHR Patterns…

The next step for BCHR pens was to create the patterns. But for me, that’s actually the easy part. Time consuming, yes. But easy because I’ve been creating stuff with CorelDRAW for over 20 years. I just had to put in the time to work up some patterns. The images below also show examples of the patterns I created so far.

Check out my BCHR fountain pen samples…

I created a set of sample pens to demonstrate the capabilities of the laser engraver. Click here to see them. The size of the laser dot is only about .5mm, so the patterns can be quite intricate. If you’d like to know more about my new technique or would like to order a pen, please send a message or email.

Scallop BCHR Fountain Pen Pattern Closeup
Scallop BCHR Fountain Pen Pattern Closeup
Circle BCHR Fountain Pen Pattern Closeup
Circle BCHR Fountain Pen Pattern Closeup

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