New Pen Day: Woodshed Pen Co. Demonstrator

Mike makes this model of fountain pen in a variety of materials, both solid and clear. Here’s a photo of some of what I call his “ribbon demonstrators” at the show, with mine in the middle.

Mike Allen Woodshed Pen Co. colored demonstrators

The pen model is cylindrical, with blunt ends, and the cap slightly wider than the barrel. It’s nicely wide, and Mike designed it with a long, tapered section, so it’s a very comfortable pen. It’s light, but not featherweight, at 20.1 grams capped with full converter, or 14.9 grams pen body only with full converter. It’s a good, standard size for a modern pen. The length capped is about 5 1/8 inches or just under 13 cm. The length of the pen body only, excluding nib is about 4 inches or 10.2 cm. The pen does not post.

Here are some size comparisons. From top to bottom, Lamy Al-Star (or Safari/Vista), Woodshed Pen Co., Carolina Pen Company Charleston, Franklin-Christoph 03 and Kanilea Classic.

size comparison Kanilea, Franklin-Christoph 03, Carolina Charleston, Woodshed Pen, Lamy Al-Star Safari

For girth, here are the end of barrels, with, from left to right, the Kanilea Classic,  Franklin-Christoph 03, Carolina Pen Company Charleston, Woodshed Pen Co. and Lamy Al-Star (or Safari/Vista)

size comparison Kanilea, Franklin-Christoph 03, Carolina Charleston, Woodshed Pen, Lamy Al-Star Safari

As comfortable as the pen is to write with, what pushed me over the edge was how it looks. Mike makes his pen barrels thicker, because he doesn’t want them to break if they drop. Being exactly the sort of person who drops pens, I like that, but the bonus is that, with these materials, the extra thickness of the pen barrel gives the ribbons a three-dimensional quality.

This may be easiest to see in closeup. In this one, you can see the depth of the lighter orange ribbons as they wrap around the barrel

Woodshed Pen Co demonstrator

Another angle.

Woodshed Pen Co demonstrator

And another.

Woodshed Pen Co demonstrator

I absolutely love this look.

In the material I chose, the ribbons are lighter orange on one side and darker than the other, and you can just see the contrasting color on the very edge. It reminds me of Hot Wheels — both the tracks and the color scheme.

Woodshed Pen Co demonstrator

What may not come through in photos is how carefully Mike has thought through every detail or the pen, and how well fitted and finished the pen is. He’s a super nice person, too. I’m thrilled with this purchase, and feel very lucky to have my pen.

Prices are $175 shipped with steel nib for the demonstrator pens like mine, which require finishing both inside and out, or $135 shipped for non-demonstrators (until January 1, when they’ll increase to $145). The pen comes with a converter, or can take international cartridges. If you like a huge ink capacity or want to see your ink slosh around in the barrel, you can use the pen barrel as an eye-dropper. The pen takes any Jowo-type Number Six nib, so I look forward to swapping in my Kanilea, Brooks, Edison and Franklin-Christoph nibs, too.

If you are interested, you can see Mike’s pens in person at US pens shows. I first met him at San Francisco and then was drawn like a lemming to his table in Ohio. Next year Mike is coming to my home show, in Chicago, May 2-5, 2019, and I’m sure a bunch of other shows. You also can find him on Instagram at @woodshedpenco and see new work as he makes it. I warn you, that is very tempting.

10 thoughts on “New Pen Day: Woodshed Pen Co. Demonstrator

    1. Remember buying those cars, too? And Matchbox and other brands? I loved the ones with doors that opened, or with rumble seats. My brother had a bunch, and a cute little case for them. Selecting, showing and trading those seems like a precursor to the fountain pen hobby, now that I think about it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I loved playing with cars. We had Matchbox, Corgi and Dinkie as the main brands. Favourites might be the James Bond car, or the Batmobile with extra features or my Mercedes with windscreen wipers which 2operated when the car was pushed along. I didn’t trade them though…just accumulated them and enjoyed getting them out to play with. Life before fountain pens!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My older sister had a James Bond car with a beautiful metallic finish and doors that opened, and an ejector seat! And I am proud to say I heroically swiped it from her on behalf of all the younger siblings — which may sound bad, but if you knew that sister you’d know that what I pulled off was almost literally death-defying, and an act of principled resistance to the forces of evil on a scale of, oh, Braveheart or the Avengers. It was a good car, too. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

      2. OMG, rumble seats! I had one with a rumble seat, and it was the best! Why don’t I have it any more? I also had one that looked just like Jim Rockford’s car in the Rockford Files. Now I want to go on eBay and try to re-acquire all my favorites!

        Liked by 1 person

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