Posts filed under Storage

The Pen Rest by Walden Woodworkers: A Review

The Pen Rest by Walden Woodworkers

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

Galen Leather sent me several wonderful pen items after I encountered problems with my six-pen case (reviewed here). One of those items was “The Pen Rest” by Walden Woodworkers.

Woodworkers Pen Rest.jpg

The Pen Rest is made out of a single piece of mahogany wood. It has an aged brass plate on the front with “Walden Woodworkers Istanbul” inscribed in it.

Brass Plate.jpg

The holder is carved with three slots for pens to rest lengthwise. I really like the design with its subtle curves and simplicity.

Curves.jpg

The Pen Holder accommodates small and medium-sized pens well. I tried it with a Platinum, Sailor 1911L, and Pilot Vanishing Point, and all the pens fit and were accessible.

Platinum and all.jpg

However, oversized pens overwhelm the holder. You can fit two comfortably, but three is definitely a crowd.

Two Oversized.jpg
Three Oversized.jpg

I definitely prefer a pen holder that allows my pens to be in a horizontal position. In vertical holders, the ink sinks to the bottom, and that can lead to hard starts. That said, detail that would make this pen rest even better is felt on the bottom to protect other surfaces.

You can purchase the Walden Woodworkers Pen Rest from Galen Leather for a very reasonable $16.00.

(Galen Leather sent me this pen rest as a gift. I did not request it for review nor did they ask me to review the product.)


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Bottom Image.jpg
Posted on January 18, 2019 and filed under Walden Woodworkers, Storage.

How I Keep Track of My Pen Collection

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

When I started collecting fountain pens over five years ago, I never imagined I would own enough pens to need a system to keep track of all of them. But collecting pens is an addiction, and like any addiction, there’s always at least one more pen to buy. You start with one and wind up with one hundred.

I decided that, for insurance purposes and my need for sanity, I should come up with a way to keep my collection organized. I despise Microsoft Excel, so I knew I wouldn’t want to use it. I found a database app that works on my iPad, iPhone, and Mac called TapForms.

TapForms can manage any kind of information you want: recipes, books, home inventory, research, and cats (if you’re a cat lady). And what I love most about it is I can design each database with the layout, content, fields, and photographs I want. Right now my most used database is my fountain pen collection, but I also created a database to keep track of all my poetry for my M.A. thesis, and I started one to organize my ink.

I set up my Fountain Pen Collection Database with the information I need, and the great thing is, if I want to add more fields at any point, I can. Here’s a screen grab of the form I created:

You can see what kinds of information I find useful for each pen, including the manufacturer, color, nib type, photographs, where and when I bought the pen, repair information, and information about pens I’ve sold.

Here’s a screen grab of one of my pens catalogued in the form:

I can have the database organize the pens alphabetically by manufacturer (that’s my default), but I can also categorize pens by searching any field. For example, I can get lists of all the pens I’ve sold, all the pens with fine nibs, all the pens from a particular manufacturer, etc. Below is a partial list of pens with italic nibs in my collection:

This is a terrific tool for many reasons. First, I can keep track of all my pens. Second, I have the information I need for insurance purposes, including photos of each pen, limited edition numbers, and how much I paid for each pen. Third, if I decide to sell a pen, I already have the information about it in my listing, including whether or not I have the original packaging, what I originally paid for the pen, if it’s been repaired, etc. For example, here’s the information on one of the pens I sold.

I highly recommend TapForms if you don’t already have a method for keeping track of your pen and ink collections. You can secure the database with a password, which is especially useful if you keep it on your iPad or on a computer accessible to others.

For computers, TapForms is Mac only, but if you own an iPhone or iPad, there’s a stand-alone app. If you own both a Mac and an iPhone/iPad, you can sync your data across all devices (and you can even have it on your Apple Watch if you like).

The iPhone/iPad app is $16.99, and you can download it from the App Store here. The Mac app is $49.99, and you can purchase it directly from TapForms (or download a trial) or purchase it in the Mac App Store here.

(I purchased TapForms for Mac and iPad with my own funds.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Posted on June 16, 2017 and filed under Storage, Pen Reviews.

Containing the Chaos of Pen Addiction: Pen Cases and Boxes

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

Like many people, my pen addiction began with a Lamy Safari and quickly escalated. I'm not quite sure how many pens I own right now, but everyone in my family will say, "Too many." One of the many symptoms of pen addiction is pen clutter. This is my usual method of organizing pens:

Obviously, this is not an ideal method, since it is not a method at all. Rather, the pens that I'm currently using are strewn across the living room side table. They are easily within reach, and I can choose from a variety of pen styles and colors without having to move an inch. Unfortunately, the pens are exposed to the vagaries of living room life, which includes cats skittering across the table on their way to capture a moth. Thus far, I haven't lost any pens to the cats, but the danger always looms.

Danger!

Danger!

My first attempt at pen organization was when I had fewer than ten pens. I ordered a faux crocodile, six-pen Penvelope from Franklin-Christoph.

This wonderful case managed my pens for a month or two, but I quickly outgrew it. Now the Penvelope serves as my carrying case for the favored pens I take with me to work each week.

Next, I ordered a wonderful cigar pen case from BamaPens. I love the glass top so I can see my pens while they are protected in the box. The box holds ten pens and has a lovely felt interior and a padded bottom so it doesn't scratch any surface. Just in case anyone wonders, the case has absolutely no residual cigar smell.

But, my collection kept growing because of my insatiable love for pens. I ordered another BamaPen case, hoping that this would take care of the overflow. I planned to keep my Urushi pens in this simpler, glass-free box to protect them from the sun.

The inner fabric is gorgeous, and I love the lion design on the outside. This pen box holds twelve pens horizontally.

Unfortunately, right after I bought my second BamaPen box, I went on what can only be described as a manic spending spree. I bought a ton of pens. Even with my Penvelope and my two Bama pen boxes, I didn't have a place for all of my pens. The living room side table looked like the aftermath of a tornado.

This time, I was determined to find something that could hold lots of pens. I thought about going really cheap and buying a tackle box or an art supply box. I even thought about trying to reengineer a jewelry cabinet. But I'm not crafty. I eventually found a gorgeous wooden, three drawer, thirty-six pen, display case with a glass lid, but, man, it was expensive ($240 at nibs.com). After some extensive searching I found it at Penn State Industries for $99.95.

This case is absolutely beautiful and well made. It is crafted from solid rosewood. The lid sports brass hardware and glass, allowing you to view the top drawer of pens. Another drawer sits below this one. Both slide out for viewing and can be completely removed, if you wish. A bottom drawer is independent of the other two and it also can be removed. All the pens are nestled in contoured foam.

I'd like to say that this pen case solved all my storage problems, but no. I've managed to fill it, the two BamaPen boxes, and my Penvelope. A few unlucky, stray pens sit adrift on table surfaces.

The only hope for completely containing the chaos is to sell some pens . . . or buy another pen case.

Posted on April 15, 2016 and filed under Fountain Pens, Storage.