MK1A - Space Pen

Yes the wait is finally over!  After toiling away with CAD making sure I had the required space and material to mill away, I've produced my first all aluminum pen in the machinist series called the MK1A.  The photos below are images of the first prototype which lacks a few features I will include in the production unit.

The pen is 100% aluminum and has a single part grip, since there is no need to use a press fit sleeve.

The pen has a very VERY light feel in the hand.  I'm quite used to the heft of my prototype MK1 but I will say that the reduced weight is nice when dropped into my pocket

Here you can also see the freshly polished aluminum next to my original pen. The brass and aluminum develop a beautiful patina over time...but the lightly polished surface of the MK1A looks really sleek.

The space pen has a far more blunt nose in comparison to the F701 refill...and I'm still not sure if I like the fatter line the space pen lays down but thats a matter of personal preference.

You can see in the above image that the prototype version has an oversized hole for the tip to exit the pen from.  I've ordered the correct number size drill (its not fractional in size for a slip fit like the 701) and after that we are off to the races!

Keep your eye on the store for this pens release.  If you have contacted me in the past regarding the SP refill you should be receiving an email shortly!

Another Tamper

Oddly enough I was commissioned a few years back to produce another tamper for a customer.  This one had 2 stipulations, it had to match an orange espresso machine and needed to be angular in design.

I bounced a couple design files back and forth with the customer (thanks again should you be reading this) and we settled on this 7 sided arch shape with a 3D printed base.  This tamper was 3D machined from Padauk in two 1 inch blanks. 

After the blank was rough cut to size I mounted it inside the CNC machine and carefully aligned the 2 part CAD model over the work.  I love working with exotics and want to make the most of the material so careful measurements and toolpaths are a must.

The parts held in place during machining with sprue's that are placed in locations where they are either not visible in the final assembly, or on flat surfaces to make finishing easier.  After the machining the halves were glued together then sanded down to 220 to blend everything perfectly and remove all tooling marks.

This is that beautiful exotic hardwood with a light coat of boiled linseed oil.  The base of this was tapped for a stainless bolt stud which mates with the 3D printed part shown next.  The threading on the bottom was also sized to match a variety of "aftermarket" tamp bases incase the customer ever wanted to upgrade to a steel base...although having a 100% custom part gives a nice feeling of uniqueness.

You can just make out the detail in the printed base where the angled sides blend into the round base.  This was a very fun project and I'm happy I was able to share some of these details.  I've recently spoke with the owner of this lovely project (built in 2013) and they said its holding up great and is still part of their espresso ritual.


First Post

Hello all,

Welcome to the new and improved website!  I'm very excited to have grown and developed this hobby into what it has become today.  The next few weeks will be somewhat of a learning curve as I move all the old content into its new home but will give us more room to run in the long term.

As is customary I will start this blog off with a photo of the first item I designed and fabricated many years ago.  Thanks for your continued support and I look forward to what the future holds!