Duofold Inspired Piston Filler

It’s always a pleasure to design and build pens for your friends and family. I particularly enjoy working with people who I have already have an established rapport with, on whatever idea they may have in their mind. The creativity and design energy always seems to flow so well! This pen was the product of a design effort between a friend and I. She had approached me with the idea to build an oversized pen, based on the vintage orange duofold. It was to be a piston filler, be built around the massive Jowo #8 nib, and feature a single wide cap band. The difficult part at first, was to procure blanks in the appropriate color. There are of course acrylic blanks available, made specifically to match, but my friend wanted alumilite, so I called on the talents of another pen maker/ blank maker to cast some blanks in a vintage burnt orange for me.

The pen construction went fairly smoothly. This was a reasonably straightforward build, and being a large pen made it easier: especially in regards to designing, building, and fitting the piston mechanism. Also, the lack of curvature in the profile made it go by more quickly. The color of the ink window was left up to me, so I chose one of my favorite materials: a nice transparent amber acrylic. I thought it went well with the whole vintage theme…like it had been stained with ink from decades of use.

The metalwork was not “hard”, but required some brainstorming beforehand. The cap band was easy enough, as it was simply a wider version of bands I normally make. The clip was the challenging part. One of the first things I thought of when discussing the design of this pen with my friend was “you know, I REALLY need to come up with a ball ended clip to pay homage to the original design.” I had never done a ball ended clip before, so I had to figure out exactly how I was going to execute it. Being that I came from a metalsmithing/jewelry making background in regards to education, I knew how I ideally would LIKE to have made the clip, however the equipment at my disposal was not permitting. Instead I figured out an alternate way of constructing the clip, which I’m happy to say, worked on the first try! This is one of the elements of the pen I’m really proud of!

All in all, My friend and I are extremely happy with the way the idea for this pen evolved, and came into fruition. I don’t do many builds like this, but I always love a good challenge and a little something new! Thanks for looking, and if you have any questions or ideas, please contact me at: romuluspens@gmail.com

–John

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