How to build a custom steampunk fountain pen

With thanks to Vasilev Eftim who sent us this link to the processes he used to create this outstanding pen he’s just made. You’ll need your Google translator if you don’t happen to speak Russian, but it’s most definitely well worth a look.

http://steampunker.ru/blog/our_workshop/15287.html

Custom steampunk fountain pen by Vasilef Eftim

Custom steampunk fountain pen by Vasilef Eftim

Sophie of Wessex receives her Beaufort Mistral fountain pen

HRH Princess Sophie Countess of Wessex has recently taken over from the Queen as Patron of the Blind Veterans Association. To mark the occasion of her visit to open their new Llandudno centre, the Association decided they would present Sophie with a hand made pen, and Bill Mooney, a member of the Association who is both a veteran and almost totally blind, was asked to make it.

We were asked if we would help, and were happy to donate some Mistral pen kits for Bill to use. We also happened to know (goodness knows how) that Sophie is left handed, so in addition, we donated a Bock left handed nib to fit in her pen.

Bill made four Mistrals in total, one of which was presented to Sophie, and was also used to sign the official documents of the day. A second one was given to her to take home to Hubby, HRH Prince Edward, and the two others were auctioned by the association to raise funds for their work.

Bill Mooney is such a lovely man, who after serving in the forces, spent his remaining career as a professional woodturner until his deteriorating sight overcame him. Despite his poor eyesight, he remains though a talented pen maker, and many a young turner and pen maker has benefited from his experience, not to mention the Blind Veterans association, from which he both benefits, but also works tirelessly to help raise funds through his pen making.

Congratulations to Bill, both for the honour and for his remarkable work.

http://www.beaufortink.co.uk/mistral.html

Sophie Countess of Wessex being presented with a Beaufort Mistral fountain pen by Bill Mooney of the Blind Veterans Association

Sophie Countess of Wessex being presented with a Beaufort Mistral fountain pen by Bill Mooney of the Blind Veterans Association

Princess Sophie of Wessex signing the official documents of the day, with her new Beaufort Mistral fountain pen, at the opening of the Blind Veterans Association's new Llandudno centre

Princess Sophie of Wessex signing the official documents of the day, with her new Beaufort Mistral fountain pen, at the opening of the Blind Veterans Association’s new Llandudno centre

Using liquid melamine as a pen finish

The boss is a pen maker, and he is  frequently asked what finishes he recommends for our pen kits, the answer to which will of course depend on what the pen is being made from in the first place. However, in his opinion, as far as wood is concerned you are never going to achieve a good, strong, lasting finish from wax products alone, and CA, which was never intended as a finish, simply serves to encase the wood in a plastic shell, thereby losing touch with the wood itself.

It’s a personal choice of course, but for most woods he prefers  liquid melamine, and Phil has finally found time to write down his method.

Click the link below to see  Phil’s tutorial on achieving success with melamine as a pen finish. It’s in PDF format and should just open on your screen.

Achieving success with melamine as a pen finish

Introducing our new Tempest pen kit

If you’re looking for a click pen with a reliable mechanism, here it is. With a specially engineered mechanism designed to keep on clicking, it’s available to buy online right now.

Introducing the new Tempest click ballpoint from Beaufort Ink

Introducing the new Tempest click ballpoint from Beaufort Ink

www.beaufortink.co.uk/tempest.html

Have you seen the new Mistral ballpoint pen kits and pencil kits yet?

Have you seen the new Mistral ballpoints and pencils yet? They’ve been on line for a couple of weeks now.

Long awaited, we now have the the final additions to out world class suite of Mistral pen kits, which we believe are possibly the only suite of kits available word wide that truly do match. Choose from a fountain pen, rollerball, ballpoint and pencil.

All kits in the suite are designed by us and made to our renowned  exacting standards and tolerances, and feature premium platings, a choice of accent colours and our own high quality nibs, converters, refills and mechanisms.

See the full range of Beaufort Mistral pen kits and Mistral pencil kits here
www.beaufortink.co.uk/mistral.html

The Beaufort Mistral suite of pen kits are all designed to match one another and are available as a fountain pen, rollerball, ballpoint and pencil - Image courtesy of Brad Herrington

The Beaufort Mistral suite of pen kits are all designed to match one another and are available as a fountain pen, rollerball, ballpoint and pencil – Image courtesy of Brad Herrington

Triple start thread taps and dies now in stock

Great news for makers of kitless pens or custom pens.

Triple start threads, or triple lead threads are popular amongst pen makers because it means the  pen cap can be removed or replaced with fewer turns.  Whereas, depending on the length of your thread,  it takes several turns of the cap to screw it on with a single start thread, a triple start thread will do it in a couple of turns or less and is far more professional that way.

They’re not cheap, but there again they are not poor quality throw away items either. Made specially for us from M2 HSS steel by TapCo, the globally acclaimed precision thread cutting specialists, they are available as a set comprising  a split die paired with an intermediate (second) tap, which with care and proper use will last a lifetime.

Currently available in 10 x 0.8 and 12 x 0.8, the range will be expanding over the coming weeks and months to include six sizes from 9mm up to 14 mm

www.beaufortink.co.uk/3starttapsanddies.html

Triple start thread taps and thread dies are now in stock at Beaufort Ink

Triple start thread taps and thread dies are now in stock at Beaufort Ink

Upgrading a Baoer 388 nib

Our latest extravagant indulgence has arrived at last, a Baoer 388 for which we had to splash out a massive £1.97  –  delivered. Rediculous!!

And what a great little pen it is – we can’t fault its appearance, balance, feel in the hand and so on, but the nib is truly horrible. Nothing wrong with its looks –  well, we could live with it anyway, considering what we paid for it. Nothing wrong with the ink flow either, but scratchy? Scratchy is not the word. Abrasive would be more like it.

Maybe we’ve just got a particularly bad example.

That doesn’t matter in the slightest though because the main purpose of buying the pen was to find out if a Baoer 388 can be upgraded with a Bock nib. Not a week goes by when we don’t get asked if a Baoer will take a Bock nib, so we decided it was time to find out for ourselves.

It can. A size 5 Bock nib to be precise. We had to remove the Bock from its housing and fit it in the Baoer housing, but the geometry of the two nibs is identical and the new one is a perfect fit, and so is our own Beaufort size 5 nib.

www.beaufortink.co.uk/bocksize5.html
www.beaufortink.co.uk/bfisize5.html

It's easy to upgrade a Baoer 388 nib. A Bock size 5 and a Beaufort size 5 are both perfect fits

It’s easy to upgrade a Baoer 388 nib. A Bock size 5 and a Beaufort size 5 are both perfect fits

Now is the time tto upgrade your nib

There has never been a better time to upgrade your fountain pen nib if you live outside the UK. With the pound at its lowest point for over 30 years, your dollars go further.

Bock fountain pen nibs are available in sizes 5 and 6, in a choice of finishes and point widths, straight from stock. Visit our online shop to see the full range.

www.beaufortink.co.uk/bocknibs.html

There has never been a better time to upgrade your fountain pen nib

There has never been a better time to upgrade your fountain pen nib

How’s this for a great photo?

Kelvin and his wife Christine at Pittswood Crafts kindly sent us this image, which we think is well worth sharing. Kelvin has turned a Jr Gent rollerball from one of our unique wine cask blanks and Christine has used her considerable talents to stage and photograph it.

Well done both, and thanks for your kind permission to share the photo, which is worthy of any high class lifestyle magazine in our opinion.

Jr Gent turned from a Beaufort reclaimed wine cask blank - image courtesy of Pittswood Crafts

Jr Gent turned from a Beaufort reclaimed wine cask pen blank – image courtesy of Pittswood Crafts

A new nib on the scene (and a bit of nib knowledge too)

This is our brand new size 5 fountain pen nib, which is supplied as standard with all Beaufort Mistral fountain pen kits, and will also be available to buy on line within the next few days. We promised elsewhere that we’d publish a bit of information about it, so here it is.

Nearly all pen kits are supplied with a so called IPG nib, so called because they are engraved “Iridium Point Germany”. Nothing is further from the truth as they don’t have an iridium point, nor have they ever been any closer to Germany than Shanghai. They might as well claim they are made on the moon.

Iridium point is a different issue – once upon a time, European nibs were all tipped with iridium, which is an extremely hard metal in the same group as platinum, that neither corrodes or tarnishes with the effect of ink. These days, tips are not pure iridium but are an alloy of precious metals, specially formulated by each manufacturer and kept a closely guarded secret, but the further east you go, the less precious the alloy gets, to the point that some of them are nothing more than a bit of stainless steel with drop of cobalt added.

The new Beaufort nib has been a long time in development. It really is made in Germany, to our own specification, and with our own precious metal tips. They are as smooth as butter to write with, with an excellent ink flow, and make the difference between a nice pen kit and an excellent writing instrument.

If you are interested in making excellent writing instruments, then you have the Mistral, which is one of only a tiny handful of pen kits worldwide that is supplied with a nib that isn’t out of the Far East. You also have the ability to upgrade the nib in most pen kits with our popular and established range of Bock nibs, and now you also have a slightly cheaper option to upgrade with our new Beaufort nib, which will go on sale at about the £8 mark.

It is a two tone gold plated nib with a medium writing point, and is currently available in size 5 only. Other writing points will follow in time, as will a size 6 version, and we are also currently working on a full-flex nib, which we think will be of interest to many fountain pen owners.

Here it is – we hope you like it.

Beaufort Ink size 5 fountain pen nib

Beaufort Ink size 5 fountain pen nib