Introduction: Poor Man's Mont Blanc From a Bic Clic Stic

Now I admit, this is not an original idea of my own. Instead, I got my inspiration from another Instructable called "Save $200 in 2 minutes and have the worlds best writing pen." As a diehard fan for several years of the Zebra Pen F-301 series, I thought it nearly impossible to find a better writing utensil.  With the entry level Mont Blanc pens coming in at around $200 and prices going up to the you-have-to-be-joking range, there must be something to it, right?

Yes. When I first wrote with a Mont Blanc, I wasn't terribly impressed. It seemed a little smoother than average, but not much. It took a split second for the ink to flow causing your first letter to have a bald spot. Once the cartridge was worked in, it was another story. It feels like writing with grease on glass it's so smooth. The pen practically writes by itself.

Now is your chance to have your own German engineered Mont Blanc fine writing instrument for the cost of a $0.25 pen and a $7 dollar Mont Blanc refill. It's better this way, trust me. Your colleagues will appreciate your down-to-earthness for using such a humble pen. Little will they know your Pinto of a pen is rocking a McLaren engine.

Step 1: Collect Tools and Supplies

You will need:
-a Bic Clic Stic
-a Mont Blanc $7 refill
-scissors
-machinist rule

Optional:
-Safety cutter or Exacto Knife
-Super Glue

Of course, be careful when using the incredibly unsafe "Safety" cutter or Exacto and keep Super glue off your flesh, especially orfices.

If you have the opportunity, pull the clicking mechanism off of the backend of the pen prior to purchase and measure the the length that inserts into the pen body. Some of them insert 1" others insert 1 3/32". You want the one that goes in 1". You can use the other one, but you'll have to shave off 3/32". Come on people, it's a Bic. They don't have the precision and constistancy of the German engineered Mont Blanc. In due time, in due time...

Step 2: Get to Know Your Bic

Pull your Bic apart. Remember how sweet of a spit wad shooter the pen body used to make? Sorry Mrs. Purner, but you probably deserved it. We're all grown up now though. You practically own a Mont Blanc pen and are therefore far too debonaire for that kind of monkey business.

You'll be using all parts of the Bic, so don't lose anything.

Step 3: Snip Your Bic in All the Right Places

You can do this in as little as 2 cuts if you got a pen with a clicking mechanism that only inserts 1". Otherwise you'll need to make atleast 3 cuts.

1.) You'll need to snip the shoulders off of the the backend of the tip. In this case, cutting too much really isn't an issue. Cutting too much will only make the tip a little less secure when you insert it back into the pen body. A very light bead of Super glue can rectify this, but don't glue until everything has been fit tested at the end.

2.) If you have a clicking mechanism that is longer than 1", trim it down to exactly 1" being careful not to deform it or damage the internals.

Step 4: Adjusting the Refill Length

Basically, now you're going to cut a piece from the back of the ink tube and stick it in the back of you Mont Blanc refill. It fits like a glove.

At first, I was having good luck by using exactly 12 mm from the ink tube. Because of the lack of precision with Bic in the manufacturing of their $0.25 pens, 12 mm doesn't always work.

Your best bet is to cut a piece a little larger than 12 mm (like 13 mm). Put the pen together and test it out. See if it functions properly and see if the point protrudes the correct distance out of the tip. If it hangs, you may not have trimmed the tip enough (hope you didn't glue already) or the plastic tube in the end might be too long. Keep trimming ever so slightly until you get it just the way you like it.

It's much better to make tiny incremental cuts. You can always cut off a little more, but once you cut there's no putting it back. If you find that you cut it too short, there should still be enough of the ink tube prior to the ink to allow for a couple more attempts.

Step 5: Put It Together

Put the Bic back together. If the tip is a little loose, make sure you glue it a little. You especially want to glue it if you prefer a stiffer click and have stretched the spring out or risk taking someone's eye out when the tip comes loose with all of the extra spring tension.

Step 6: Write a Check

Write a check for a very large sum and donate it to the charity of your choice. There better be a lot of zeros on it too. After all, you have a Mont Blanc; you can afford it.

Comments

author
Aloyssius (author)2010-09-25

I've never tried Mont Blanc or Zebra refills. Are they better than PaperMate Lubriglide? Those are only $3.50 for a pack of two, and they write like a dream and last forever.

Unfortunately, PaperMate stopped making a decent pen to accept them. Now they only make weird-looking contraptions with awkward lumps and protrusions everywhere.

But I find that the original non-Stic Bic Clic accepts them. It costs $1.75, and it has about the same shape as the classic PaperMate Profile or Malibu.

author
The DNR (author)2010-02-22

Hello,
I believe this is is really a misnomer.  A large part of the reason Mont Blanc pens command such a high price is the weight and feel of the pen.

If you would like to spend $15 to change the ink in your bic, that is fine, but realize that expensive pens are expensive for their heft, ergonomics, weight distribution, and many other reasons, not just the cartridge.

Overall a good idea to change writing inks.  I am a huge fan of the jetstream ink refills.

author
austin (author)2010-01-19

I used a Pilot G2 with the mont blanc refils and it works well, I dont think the refils are worth the price though. Zebra sansa pens are smoother and i like being able to tell the ink level. Ive had problems in the past with the mont blanc refils dieing before they are really out of ink, especially the fine ones.

author
austin (author)austin2010-01-19

*Zebra Sarasa

author
troseph (author)2010-01-19

I'd completely black out the numbers on your check because If I tried hard enough I could read those clearly.

author
Jayefuu (author)2010-01-19

There are LOADS of these ibles flying around, I like how yours though kept me interested enough to read to the end though. It was worth it for the last step. Thanks :)

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