PFP Custom Clipless POCKET Fountain Pen
in Black M3 Lava with black acrylic inserts.
(Click each photo to view larger views)
Specifications and material information about this pen are listed below.
About the Name:
I had a little trouble coming up with a name for this one using my standard naming scheme (names from the worlds tallest mountain peaks). I wanted it to reflect the style of the pen, but also wanted it short to reflect the pens size. Looking through the list of (mountain) names, there just wasn't anything that fit. So I decided I had to come up with something different, but a name that would still fit the pen and would be easily recognizable. After carrying it around in my pocket for a few days, it finally hit me, and I had the perfect name-- The "PFP" (short for "Pocket Fountain Pen"). OK, it may sound a little lame at first, and not very imaginative, but it fits perfectly and after a while I thought it sounded kind of catchy.
About the PFP:
Originally, this pen was just to be an exercise to see if I could make such a small pen, but once I showed it around, it was so well received (and desired) that I decided to add it to my line-up permanently. And as you can see from all the colors, it has since become one of my most popular pens.
Design Idea... OK, I'll admit, it's not a totally new design, but rather my take on a the old Stipula Passaporto. A friend sent me a Passaporto, and I fell in love with it! Now that I'm in my retirement years (retired from my OLD 9-5 job that is), I'm not much of a suit and tie guy anymore (only an occasional sport coat), so I need a fountain pen that travels well with casual clothes. Clip pens are OK if I have a shirt pocket or I'm wearing a sport coat, but I don't always wear those. I use to carry one of the original "Bullet" pens (a stubby football shaped ballpoint). But being into fountain pens, I wanted a portable fountain pen that I could easily carry AND use. So started looking around to see what was out there, and found their weren't many. I mentioned it to a friend and he told me about his Passaporto. It just so happened that he didn't use it, so he offered it to me. Once I started using it, it didn't take long to fall in love with it. Besides being handy, it's also a great conversation piece. So whenever I pull it out of my pocket, it stirs a conversation about pens and gives me a prefect segue into a sales pitch! But what isn't good, (and it always comes up), is when people inquire about the Passaporto, and ultimately ask if I made it. Of course although I hated to say it, I had to say no. Not a good answer from a custom pen maker. So after having to say that too many times, I decided I needed to come up with my own pocket fountain pen. Something that I felt was a more suitable calling card. So this pen is my take on the Passaporto. NOTE: Stipula has since changed their design and eliminated the posting threads on the barrel.
The overall target specs for the pen are: 3.75" capped, 5.25" posted (with #5 nib). Maximum diameter is about .62". Because it's a hand-made pen, the specs can vary slightly based on the desired shape and hardware used. The standard PFP uses a #5 nib, but can be ordered with the larger #6 nib. However it will require a slightly longer cap. The barrel length can also be adjusted (longer) if desired.
Options & Ordering Parameter:
As stated earlier, the PFP can be special ordered in your choice of material, color or pattern. The pens shown here are examples of previously ordered pens, but most of the colors can also be reordered. As you can see from the examples below, the pen can also be modified in a variety of ways, allowing you to create your own unique one of a kind pen. Many of the alternate styles shown were custom orders from previous clients. So if you have a favorite style, color or pattern you would like, please contact me to discuss your preferences.
The PFP is also available in a Flat-top version with a sturdy CLIP that makes it handy for securing in a hip pocket, purse, computer bag, or knapsack. A few samples of the clip version is also shown below. Please note that the standard round-end style can not be ordered with a clip.
The PFP was originally made specifically as an Eyedropper. It includes a special rubber o-ring on the section that seals the ink inside the barrel. The o-ring eliminates the need for using silicone on the threads in order to seal the barrel. However the pen is also made to accept a standard (short) disposable cartridge or a mini-squeeze converter. Each pen comes ready to use in any of the three inking options. It comes with a pair of disposable cartridges (one blue and one black), a mini squeeze converter, and several spare o-rings.
Other JEB's PENs Offerings...
I also offer a variety of hand-made Pen Props and Pen Buttons. You can order a Pen Prop in a material to match your pen, or any one of the wooden styles made in a variety of stained or dyed colors. The Pen Buttons are available for any of the clipless pens. Other new items available are cuff-links and button covers. Both can be ordered with acrylic centers that match your custom pen.
About this Pen and Material:
The main material used for this pen is called "M3 Lava", and is one of the "M3 Metals" sold by metalpenblanks.com. M3 is short "Macro-Molecular Materials" and the website states it is part of a new breed of new age designer materials that makes everything from the Stealth Bomber to the International Space Station possible. The Lava is the newest edition to the many materials they currently offer. The supplier claims the M3 Lava is produced with real volcanic material from dormant volcanoes found in southwest United States. If you wish to read more about the M3 Lava or any of the other M3 materials offered, go to: www.metalpenblanks.com.
The M3 Laval is very hard, and quite brittle. Since I use a wood lathe to make my pens, I use conventional taps and dies to make my threads, but I found it impossible to create the external threads on the Lava. So to get around this, I use black acrylic and drilled the Lava and added an acrylic inserts for the threads, fairly similar as I would for a wooden pen. The main difference on this pen is that I use the M3 only for the front part of the front-section, then acrylic for the threaded end because the client wanted to be able to feel the Lava as he used the pen. The only difference you will actually notice between the Lava and standard black acrylic is the lava has a little more of a velvety look and feel, so the added acrylic is seamless. Even if you look closely with a magnifying glass for the seams, it's still hard to spot.
The threads weren't the only obstacle I had to overcome. Besides turning with a conventional wood lathe, I'm also usinf mostly standard steel (non-HSS) tools that will dull easily on this sort of material, so I had to stop and sharpen my tools after nearly every pass. It took quite a bit longer to make but I eventually worked through it. Once I got to the sanding and polishing, it was pretty routine. It sanded fairly easily, and polished up to a beautiful velvety shine. The shine and feel are very similar to the Alumilite acrylic I've used.
Nib... To add to the black theme, the client elected to use a steel Ruthenium nib from Meister. The Ruthenium has a dark finish similar to black-chrome, and I think it helps to bring the otherwise understated black pen up a notch.
This Pen's Specifications:
Color / Material: Black M3 Lava w/black acrylic inserts (threads).
Length: Capped = 4.0" / Uncapped = 3.50" / Posted: 5.32".
Diameter: Center = .60" / Barrel end = .50" / Cap end = .45".
Weight (capped w/o ink): 13.8 g. / .48 oz.
Nib: Medium #5 Steel Ruthenium Meister.
Filling System: Cartridge / Eyedropper.