Australian Woodcraft Galleries

My Hand Made Writing Instruments

Ballpoint Pens

The ballpoint design was developed as a cleaner and more reliable alternative to dip pens and fountain pens, and it is now the world's most used writing instrument. Millions are sold every day. Ballpoints range from the humble Bic® to boutique manufacturers such as 'Montblanc'® for the high-end and collectors' markets.

The most popular ballpoint pen is the 'Bic Cristal' which surpassed 100 billion units sold way back in 2006!

The thick oil based ink of the ballpoint pen is delivered to the writing surface via a metal ball at its point. The thicker ink of the ballpoint is very long lasting and refills for the higher end ones are generally readily available.

My ballpoint pens are fitted with a Parker® style refill. Replacement refills are readily available but I do recommend shopping around as this design of refill is made by several manufacturers other than Parker who are usually the most expensive. My personal choice of ballpoint refills are the German made Schmidt® P900.

My ballpoints are all unique as no two pieces of timber are ever identical. They make wonderful gifts and are daily reminders of the occasion or person that gave it. Their smaller size make them the perfect choice of gifts when they have to be delivered by mail or carried in luggage.

Rollerball Pens

Rollerball pens are pens which use ball point writing mechanisms with water-based liquid ink, as opposed to the oil-based ink used in ballpoint pens. These less viscous inks, which tend to saturate more deeply and more widely into paper than other types of ink, give rollerball pens their distinctive writing qualities.

Rollerballs use an ink and ink supply system similar to a fountain pen, and they are designed to combine the convenience of a ballpoint pen with the smooth ‘wet ink’ effect of a fountain pen.

Rollerball pen ink flows very consistently and tend not to ‘skip’. The lower viscosity of liquid ink ensures consistent inking of the ball.

The benefits of rollerball pens include,

  • Rollerball pens have a unique ink flow system for an even, high-performance writing experience.

  • Less pressure needs to be applied to the pen to have it write cleanly. This permits holding the pen with less stress on the hand, saving energy and improving comfort. This can also translate to quicker writing speeds.

  • The inks usually have a greater range of colours due to the wider choice of suitable water-soluble dyes and/or pigments.

Possible disadvantages of rollerball pens are,

  • Rollerball pens are more likely to "bleed" through the paper and be absorbed into the paper due to its lower viscosity. This viscosity also causes problems if the tip is left on the paper as the bleed-through effect can cause blotching.

  • Rollerball pens generally run out of ink more quickly than ballpoints because they use a greater amount of ink while writing. They will never last as long as a ballpoint.

  • Rollerball pen also needs to have a cap to provide an air tight seal and prevent leakage. Mine are made with screw-on caps that add to the very stylish look of these instruments.

Fountain Pens

A fountain pen uses a metal nib to apply water-based ink to the paper. It is distinguished from earlier dip pens by using an internal reservoir to hold ink, eliminating the need to repeatedly dip the pen in an inkwell during use.

The pen draws ink from the reservoir through a feed to the nib and deposits the ink on paper via a combination of gravity and capillary action.

Filling the reservoir with ink can be done by use of an eyedropper or syringe, or via an internal filling mechanism that creates suction (for example, through a piston mechanism) or a vacuum to transfer ink directly through the nib into the reservoir.

The fountain pens that I make are fitted with a push fit piston reservoir which is easily removed if pre-filled ink cartridges are preferred. Disposable fountain pen cartridges are available in a massive range of colours.

All fountain pens are all fitted with screw-on caps to protect the nib and prevent leakage.

Because of workshop activity the most
reliable way to contact me is by email.

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