Custom Fountain Pen Desk Stand




Introduction: Custom Fountain Pen Desk Stand

Everyone should have a hobby. And hopefully more than one to keep your mind occupied during these pandemic times.

I somehow fell into the hobby of fountain pens. Using them at first and somehow growing a collection of sorts. They all reside in a big pencil cup now but deserve to be in a display stand.

I also have my music synthesizers. I've got a few keyboards and a couple of electronic music synthesizer modules to noodle around on. All keyboardists will aspire to have a Mini-Moog Model D. It's a classic instrument with a definitive sound.

Never having been able to afford one when I learned how to play piano and vintage ones now are so expensive, I can at least have a model of a Mini-Moog. And why not turn it into a fountain pen holder.

By the way, what I make can be applied to anything else. Make a custom fountain pen holder in any shape or form you desire. I could have made one in the shape of a sewing machine...or a spaceship...

* Submarine pen stand added after I wrote this ible. Because, well, stuck at home, you know...

Step 1: Cut Off, Filter, Tweak...

Find a high quality photo of the thing you want to make a small model of.

Print it out and break it up into parts that you can build.

You want to take a 2-dimensional flat picture and make a 3-dimensional object.

The main control panel of the Mini-Moog is actually a flip-up panel hinged to the case which is propped up in position. I want to have the stand when it is in this upright position.

As usual, try not to measure too much, just take the piece you are connecting to and mark off from there. I trimmed the graphics to what I wanted to use. Constrained by the size of the print on standard letter paper, it defined the scale of the final product.

For small projects like this, I can use my Japanese-style wood rip/crosscut and trim saws. I made a shooter/steady board that fits over a 5-gal bucket to quickly cut anything I need without getting out the power tools or setting up a workbench.

Cut the base piece according to the size of the keyboard graphic.I had a scrap piece of 3/4 inch thick stock to use. I used 3/4 in square wood stock as the endcap pieces.

The flip-up panel was constructed from similar scrap pieces. I cut lengths of 3/8 in square stock to double and use as the end filler and middle separator. A 3/4 in square strip serves as the top front trim strip. Since the flip-up panel is tilted toward the rear, the front with trim strip and back piece were glued to the separator pieces with the top edges all aligned. The offset created at the bottom gives us the natural angle cut when the pen holder section is glued to the base part.

Trim and sand all the pieces so get smooth surfaces.

After constructing everything, I printed out another set of graphics scaled a smidge smaller so it would fit better.

Step 2: Additive Synthesis...

Since I didn't have any amber colored wood tints and didn't want to venture out to find some, I figured, it's a fountain pen stand, why not use fountain pen inks to dye the wood?

I used Noodler's Ink Apache Sunset for the orangey amber color.

I used Waterman Intense Black for the black.

I wet down an area and swabbed on some ink. I then wiped the excess off. Just like using regular wood stain. It is a little harder to control on more porous softwoods. It's an art to get even color throughout.

Mock up the final product by positioning everything in place.

Since I did not build in individual slots or dividers for the pens to keep them evenly separated, I drilled some holes in the base so that the ends of the pens could rest in them. Forstner bits are better than regular drill bits because they make a flat bottomed hole without punching through the bottom. Ideally, you would take this to a drill press to drill a hole at an angle to fit the angle of the pen holder section.

Glue the Mini-Moog flip up panel pen holder in place.

Step 3: Gloss Over Your Sound...

When all is dry, apply the keyboard and front panel "decals". I guess you could print it out on full size adhesive label sheet or sticker paper to make things really easy but...

I had an old bottle of E6000 spray adhesive(non-toxic, no fumes) but the spray nozzle was clogged so I resorted to using a glue stick to apply the printed cutouts. Paper warps and wrinkles if you try to apply it with a coating of wet glue on the back so you try to use the driest kind of glue you have.

I then coated the entire piece with clear polyurethane. This was water-based so it took a couple of coats to get a nice finish. A varnish or clear coat helps to decoupage or seal all the graphics. It was lightly sanded between coats. The poly seemed to pick up some of the ink so it tinged it yellow. I was careful not to contaminate the rest of the can of poly with the brush. It did give an aged road worn look to yellowing the usually white ivory white color of the keys though.

You can then line the inside of the pen compartment with a strip of foam insulation weatherstripping to secure your pens a little bit better or glue on some felt/plush fabric to dress it up.

You can also add rubber feet or felt pads on the bottom to help keep the stand in place on your desk or prevent it from marring your fine furniture wherever it is placed.

So make a pen holder or tool holder, whatever you need.


Step 4: From the Depths...

I had some scrap left over and used it...

Piece together the wood bits with glue.

Sand, carve, cut, chip, grind, file ... to shape it.

Glue on more wood bits for detail.

Put a finish on it.

Add more fountain pens!

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