Tuesday, January 15, 2019

BLACK NOODLE - G-nib fountain pen by Drewscape: 5 PENS FOR SALE! (SOLD OUT)

This is BLACK NOODLE - a fountain pen that works together with a G-nib. It is hand-made by me. It comes with a Zebra G-nib. Body of the pen is delrin. Length is about 15cm capped and 1.15-1.2cm wide. The feed is made from german ebonite, modelled after vintage flex pen feeds. This allows the nib to be generously supplied with ink, so you can achieve those wide lines when flexing the nib. As an illustrator, I want to concentrate on what I'm drawing and not get distracted by a skipping pen. So I've made sure this pen delivers consistent ink flow for drawing. You will be able to go from hairline to full flex over and over again, well, until the ink runs out. (Ink used in above pics is mainly Noodlers Singapore Sepia.)

Why did I made this pen? For several years now, I've been intrigued by fountain pens that could give me nice line variation. They are more exciting than stiff-nibbed mono-linewidth pens. I've hunted down and bought many pens- Namiki Falcon, Vintage Watermans and Eversharp, Hero Fude fountain pens. They are excellent pens which I still use. But I very much wanted to use a G-nib in a fountain pen. To those who are unfamiliar, a G-nib is a cheap Japanese disposable dip nib without tipping (it will wear out with use) but it gives amazing line variation. It is used by many manga artists in Japan. I felt it would be fun drawing with this nib in a fountain pen.

So I bought a Sherline Metal lathe and started learning how to make my own pens. After a few years of trial and error, and sourcing for the right materials, I finally managed to make a fountain pen that worked well with a G-nib. It took about 3+ days to make it. And I felt like I had made my own lightsaber.

2018, I took some time off from work and decided I'd do an experiment. I made 5 pens. Just 5. And now, I will see if they sell. I modelled each one after my own prototype G-nib fountain pen I made a couple years back, but add in some improvements like a bigger ink capacity and nicer finishing. Delrin is a material that cannot be polish-shined. So I've given it a matt texture that feels smooth yet will give you a nice grip. The finishing is by no means as perfect as a machine mass-produced pen found in a store. If I may be honest, I'm not a master pen machinist yet. And there are handmade pens with much nicer finishing than this pen. However, this pen is designed to be a workhorse tool rather than a museum piece. Meaning, it will work well but will not look aesthetically perfect. Do note this before deciding to buy!

I don't like logos or any branding on my own stuff, whether on T-shirts or pens. Plain and simple is more beautiful because it lets the new owner have full ownership of the product. So there are no logos or markings on this pen.

Watch a video on the making of the pens HERE. (The pen at the beginning of the video is my own prototype. The pen at the end of the video is the version I'm selling)

Costing was something I debated with. Each pen took about 2-3 days to make (And I'm still doing some fine-tuning) A handmade fountain pen does take a lot longer than one made with an automated machine. And it's a lot more work. I couldn't possibly charge my freelance illustrator day rate. But I had to charge a price that would justify my time.

So each pen is priced at SGD$200 each (US$146). You will receive a BLACK NOODLE pen together with a pen hoodie, hand-sewn by me. Email me at andrew@drewscape.net to purchase the pen. Payment can be made via PayPal or though back transfer. Pens will be released on a first-come first serve basis and I have only 5 in stock.


Can I test the pen before purchasing it?
Yes. I want each customer to be satisfied with the pen, so I would recommend it. However, this will be possible only for Singapore customers, of course. Do contact me at andrew@drewscape.net or 91070735 so we can meet up at Holland Village Food Centre for a pen test. Then you can decide if you want to purchase it. If you are overseas, I will personally test the pen for you before sending it over.

If there are flow issues like skipping or dripping after I purchase the pen, can you help me adjust it?
Yes, I will be happy to help you adjust the flow if the pen keeps skipping. It should not skip. But there are exceptions when it does.

1. If you don't use the pen for some time, ink may started drying up and clogging the feed. This might happen quicker with waterproof inks eg. Noodler's bulletproof inks or india ink. Wash the feed out and it will flow well again.
2. It might start to skip if the ink is a very dry ink (eg. Diamine saddle brown). Try a wetter ink.
3. Oil on a brand new G-nib might prevent ink from sliding down to the tip. Simply put the nib over a flame for a second to burn off the oil.

The pen is designed to be a wet pen. Meaning, the ink flows generously. So don't expect a dry pen. But at the same time, it should not be dripping off the nib as you use it. If it does, let me know and I will fix it.

Which inks work best with the pen?
So far, I've tried Platinum Carbon Black and Noodler's Singapore Sepia. Works perfectly. But when I used Waterman's Intense Black or Noodler's Bulletproof black or Diamine Saddle Brown, it would keep skipping when flexing. I haven't tried every ink in this pen but I would say most inks would work. But you would have to try to see which flows best.

Can I use India ink in this pen?
Yes. Certain kinds of India ink that isn't so thick may work in this pen. I've personally used Talens drawing ink and it worked fairly well. But it did start to clog and skip a little after a week. Simply dismantle the pen and wash it out if india ink clogs the pen. It's not a big issue with this pen.

Should I expect ink to flow every time I start using the pen or once I've just inked it?
Once inked or after taking pen out from a bag, do give it a few seconds for ink to flow down from the ink tube into the feed and out the nib. Once it starts flowing, it should be consistent.

If I bought it and don't like using it, can I return it for a refund?
Yes. But you must notify me and arrange to return it to me within 3 days. The pen and hoodie must be returned in good condition without any parts damaged.

If I accidentally lose or damage a part, can I purchase a replacement part?
Yes, it is possible. I will have to handmade any replacement part. And it will be chargeable. Price will be dependent on what that part is.

Will you be making more pens in the future?
I can't say for now. It was a lot of work getting these 5 out. I'd like to focus more on illustration rather than pen making for now. But I will keep it open.