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Wooden Fountain Pens

I've always thought that a wooden fountain pen would be very nice to have, but there seem to be surprisingly few available, past or present. Ryan Krusac (Ryan Krusac Studios - https://rkspens.com/) makes some gorgeous hand-turned wooden pens but I've never felt justified to spend the amount that he asks for his pens. A few months ago, I saw some Chinese pens on eBay that looked tempting. I ended up with these three Jinhao fountain pens.

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The top two are Jinhao 9056 fountain pens. The first is variously known as "Tiger", "Tiger Texture" or "Tiger Sandalwood". It has a smooth-writing, two-tone medium steel nib, measures 5 1/2" capped, and has a nice, chubby "cigar" shape. It has a screw-off cap (1 1/2 turns), uses a cartridge-converter (included) and is primarily made from wood. There is a plastic liner in the cap and a metal threaded insert in the barrel that mates with a metal thread in the grip section. The tapered grip is black enamel but is not particularly slippery. The hardware is gold plated and the clip is nice and springy. Overall, I really like these two pens. They're very comfortable, look great, and write quite well, without any fuss. The second dark brown pen is called "Ebony". The best part of these is the cost, under US $20 shipped from China.

The third pen is another Jinhao, the 8802 in "Rosewood". I'm not as enamored with this one as with the first two. This pen has a metal body with a wood sleeve fitted over the barrel. Despite being considerably thinner, it's quite a bit heavier. The black finial at the end of the barrel is metal and makes the pen quite top-heavy, even without posting (which would be ridiculously long and even more top-heavy.) The nib is small (#5?) chromed steel and writes a little bit rough. It could probably be smoothed, but I haven't bothered yet. The cap is a snap-on. This one is even cheaper, under $10 shipped.

The final photo shows a size comparison with these three pens and a Pilot Metropolitan and Lamy 2000.

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Does anyone else own or know of wooden fountain pens? I know there are hundreds of hobby pen makers turning pens from exotic woods with kit components, but I'm more interested in production-type examples.
 
I have no wooden fountain pens myself. I tend to associate them with "kit pens", but that's not quite fair. I do recall at least one fairly high end wooden pen from a reputable maker, a special edition maple Pilot Vanishing Point, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the model. I remember being slightly tempted when it came out, but I already had a "normal" VP, and couldn't really see paying such a high premium just for the novelty of the thing. Googling it comes up with a number of links; here is one that seems to have good information about it.

 
I have no wooden fountain pens myself. I tend to associate them with "kit pens", but that's not quite fair. I do recall at least one fairly high end wooden pen from a reputable maker, a special edition maple Pilot Vanishing Point, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the model. I remember being slightly tempted when it came out, but I already had a "normal" VP, and couldn't really see paying such a high premium just for the novelty of the thing. Googling it comes up with a number of links; here is one that seems to have good information about it.

Nice but the Vanishing Point pens and I don't get along well. For 3X the normal price, I would expect something a bit more spectacular than pale, straight-grained maple.
 
I almost forgot. The Conklin "All American" (HA!) fountain pen appears to be an identical twin to the Jinhao 9056. For the pleasure of the pen bearing the Conklin name, you get to pay $60-$75 instead of the $20 or less for the Jinhao. I'll take bets on these two pens being built in the same Chinese factory, on the same assembly line.

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tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Nice finds. Unfortunately, wood pens have something of a bad reputation due to cheap kit pens which tend to be heavy, imbalanced, and have terrible nibs. While many of those pens showcase exquisite wood working, the pen part is sort of an afterthought. Having said that, I’m sure that there are hobbies out there crafting delightful pens with good nibs, etc. You mentioned Ryan Krusac. He’s probably the highest profile maker working with wood. Maybe others do by request or for custom pens. I mean, I assume if you can turn acrylic, you can turn wood too, right?

As far as established brands go, the best regarded is Fabre-Castell. They have a few steel nib wooden pens in the $100 range and a few gold nib pens in their big $ Graf von Faber-Castell luxury line. Platinum also has a line of Briar Wood 3776 pens that are JM only, but available on eBay and Japanese exporters like Pen Sachi. Those are $200 and up. Platinum’s Izumo line has a number of exotic woods as well.
 

Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
I’m not familiar with any wood fountain pens. I have one or two wood lamy ball pens. Over time abs with heavy use or clanking around in a bag the wood can get dinged up or dented.
 
I have a Waterman "LeMan 100 Opera" in olive wood. It's 20 years old and has seen a fair amount of use and shows no dings, dents or ink stains (though I'm pretty careful on that count).

Good pen. I think I'll dust her off and fill 'er up for the Sunday Times crossword.
 
Ryan Krusac's pens are extremely gorgeous, and well made. I understand the reasons they go for the price they do, since they are generally made from not your average wood, then possibly having to ditch a piece or two during the process if unseen flaws/cracks show up during crafting. I got to meet him (and his daughters) at the Philly pen show in 2019. Great people to have a conversation with. His daughters sew little cloth pen sleeves/carry bags to sell at the shows (they are quite the sales people themselves lol). I picked up one of his scrimshaw horn pens, and have no qualms or regrets on it. So if anyone does find themselves with the ability to get one of his pens, I'd recommend them for sure.
 
Nice finds. Unfortunately, wood pens have something of a bad reputation due to cheap kit pens which tend to be heavy, imbalanced, and have terrible nibs. While many of those pens showcase exquisite wood working, the pen part is sort of an afterthought. Having said that, I’m sure that there are hobbies out there crafting delightful pens with good nibs, etc. You mentioned Ryan Krusac. He’s probably the highest profile maker working with wood. Maybe others do by request or for custom pens. I mean, I assume if you can turn acrylic, you can turn wood too, right?

As far as established brands go, the best regarded is Fabre-Castell. They have a few steel nib wooden pens in the $100 range and a few gold nib pens in their big $ Graf von Faber-Castell luxury line. Platinum also has a line of Briar Wood 3776 pens that are JM only, but available on eBay and Japanese exporters like Pen Sachi. Those are $200 and up. Platinum’s Izumo line has a number of exotic woods as well.
I've looked at the Faber-Castells (and their more expensive siblings, the Graf von Faber Castells) and although they're obviously high quality and excellent performers, the design just doesn't click with me. The abrupt step-down from the straight barrel to the tiny grip section gives me hand pain just thinking about it! To me, the F-C Loom is a much better writing instrument, even though it's considerably less expensive.

One that I really like (although I've never seen one in person) is the Sailor Kabazaiku Cherry Bark fountain pen. It's a substantial investment, but it's got an "organic", natural look that is very appealing.

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I haven't seen the Platinum pens, but I'll have to check them out. I have a couple of the 3776 pens and like them a lot.
 
Ryan Krusac's pens are extremely gorgeous, and well made. I understand the reasons they go for the price they do, since they are generally made from not your average wood, then possibly having to ditch a piece or two during the process if unseen flaws/cracks show up during crafting. I got to meet him (and his daughters) at the Philly pen show in 2019. Great people to have a conversation with. His daughters sew little cloth pen sleeves/carry bags to sell at the shows (they are quite the sales people themselves lol). I picked up one of his scrimshaw horn pens, and have no qualms or regrets on it. So if anyone does find themselves with the ability to get one of his pens, I'd recommend them for sure.
I've run into Ryan at several pen shows. He's great to talk to if you can catch him at a quiet moment (which is infrequent, as his stand is quite popular.) His pens are works of art and well-deserving of the prices they command.

Speaking of pen shows, I wonder when they will become live, in-person events again? I really miss the experience, although I have to say that my budget has enjoyed the hiatus!
 
I have 2 of these Pilot Custom Art Craft fountain pens -- a medium and fine. I think they are beautiful pens and purchased them from a seller in Japan. Being a Pilot nib, they have a small degree of flex.

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tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
I have 2 of these Pilot Custom Art Craft fountain pens -- a medium and fine. I think they are beautiful pens and purchased them from a seller in Japan. Being a Pilot nib, they have a small degree of flex.

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Wow, that's nice! For whatever reason, that Pilot "cigar" shape with the ball-end clip looks way better on the wooden pen than the Custom 74 translucent plastic.
 
I have 2 of these Pilot Custom Art Craft fountain pens -- a medium and fine. I think they are beautiful pens and purchased them from a seller in Japan. Being a Pilot nib, they have a small degree of flex.

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Those are real nice. Not a bad price, either, particularly for a pen with a 14K nib.
 
I have 2 of these Pilot Custom Art Craft fountain pens -- a medium and fine. I think they are beautiful pens and purchased them from a seller in Japan. Being a Pilot nib, they have a small degree of flex.

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Tempted...tempted...

Temptation resisted. But that is a very attractive pen. If I'd been aware of it before acquiring a Pilot Custom Heritage 91, two CH 92s, and a Custom 74, I might very well have shelled out the extra bucks for it instead of one of those.

I notice that one of the reviewers on the JetPens site recommends that, if you're going to post the cap (and it apparently posts very well), you make sure that no ink has gotten into it, otherwise you're likely to stain the barrel. Well, I always post, and that seems like an accident I'd have sooner or later. But for non-posters, or cautious posters, that is a very nice looking writing instrument.:thumbup:
 
I had a friend that used to turn fountain pens on a lathe. He bought the pen parts in a kit and made the wood body on the lathe and hand finished the body. I’m sorry I didn’t get him to turn me one. Sadly he passed away from COVID in March.
 
I had a friend that used to turn fountain pens on a lathe. He bought the pen parts in a kit and made the wood body on the lathe and hand finished the body. I’m sorry I didn’t get him to turn me one. Sadly he passed away from COVID in March.

My condolences on the loss of your friend.

Although I appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of this type of pen, I am not a fan of the kit components themselves. They are usually awkwardly shaped, have mediocre nibs, and most commonly, slick metal grip sections (which I generally dislike). If I buy a pen from a "boutique" maker, it's usually made totally in-house, with the exception of the nib and feed (e.g., JoWo or Bock).
 
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