Alpha Bamboo Fountain Pen
"The Alpha Bamboo is one hell of a pen, unique in my stash of writers--tough and refined. This might be the best EDC out there. This is a delightfully perfect pen. It is a great writer. It is a tough little son of a bitch. And it is a wonderful treat for the eyes and the hands. If you are an EDC kind of guy (and if you are not how you found this site is beyond me), this could and should be your first fountain pen." -- Everyday Commentary
Why a fountain pen? I find it to be the ideal tool for recording ideas and for journaling. Preparing the pen becomes part of the ritual, the literal priming of the pump, as Malcolm Gladwell puts it. The writing action itself is unmatched. If you’ve ever written with a quality fountain pen, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, you owe it to yourself to try.
Derived from my original 3-piece Alpha Executive Pen, the new Alpha Bamboo body design pays homage to the Reed Pen, the original “mother hen” of pens, which dates back thousands of years. It’s also inspired by a “bamboo finish” flashlight I made for my Dad many years ago. Bamboo is a renewable resource – like bamboo, I like to think my good ideas will never run out.
Where do ideas come from? I’ve always been fascinated by this question. That lightning strike, those light bulb moments. Impossible to predict, almost always untraceable.
I’ve forgotten more great ideas than I can count, mostly because I think I’ll remember them later on. Lately I’ve taken to carrying a small notebook and a pen with me everywhere I go – a resolution to never let a good idea get away from me again. Recording it on paper saves it for posterity, while the physical act of writing it down commits it to memory.
The recording of an idea is an intentional act. I have to stop whatever else I’m doing, pull out my notebook and pen, and write. I wanted to make a pen that reflected the weight and importance of that intention – one whose writing experience could mirror, or better yet complement, the natural flow of thoughts and ideas from brain to page. A pen that spoke to the meditative qualities of intentional writing, and most importantly, one that was extremely enjoyable to use.
Life is filled with many rituals that go unnoticed. Maybe it’s your morning coffee preparation, suiting up for the big game, or getting the shop ready for a day of work. These small rituals prepare us for the task at hand and tells both brain and body we’re about to do this thing!
Like the original 3-piece Alpha Pen, the Bamboo Fountain pen delivers a certain amount of ceremony in uncapping the pen and preparing it for writing. It’s an act that requires thought and intent. It’s a ritual that prepares you to make something awesome happen on a blank sheet of paper.
A fountain pen also allows your specific personality to shine through as the line weight changes...a satisfying departure from the uninspired ball point. Ink from a fountain pen flows effortlessly onto the paper, and so do your ideas. Shakespeare didn’t write with a ball point you know. ;) I find any creative process benefits from being a little more in touch with history.
Special Instructions: Electroless Nickel Plated Aluminum, Brass, & Copper
- A light lubricating oil has been applied to the threads during assembly. When your pen is new, please be cautious of this oil getting on things like your shirt pocket. If you notice any residue, you may wipe the threads to clean them, but you should not use cleaning solvents that dissolve oil. This specialty oil will adhere to the surface of the metal and remain active long after any noticeable residue is gone.
- Elecroless Nickel, brass, & copper finishes may exhibit a patina (darkening) over time because of exposure to oils and acids. The development of patina is normal, and develops in response to the individual owner and their use environment. The original finish can be restored with a Sunshine polishing cloth.
Special Instructions: Titanium
- A heavy lubricating "break-in" oil has been applied to the threads during assembly. When your pen is new, please be cautious of this oil getting on things like your shirt pocket. Titanium threads should never be run "dry," and you may wipe the threads to clean them, but you should not use cleaning solvents that dissolve oil.
- A break-in period should be expected with the titanium pens. Titanium is a "galling" material, which means it is very intolerant of friction. Some tightness or roughness is normal, and should disappear with regular use. Over time, the lubricated thread surfaces will polish themselves and smooth out. This polishing action will "carry off" some of the titanium and produce a black residue. Remove the residue by wiping down the threads (tissue and/or Q-Tips). After the threads are broken in, a very light oil should suffice, or may not even be necessary.
- Nibs are mass produced, but a nib is a precision instrument in itself. It's somewhat common (for ALL fountain pens) that the nib does not perform perfectly out of the box. It's also common for nib to get knocked out of alignment during use. Thus, as a fountain pen owner, you'll need some basic nib tuning skills.
- Misaligned Tines: Finer nibs are inherently more "scratchy" than broader nibs. They are also more delicate. Typically scratchiness is due to the most common nib problem: misaligned tines. Please see the videos tab for resources. This is the most common issue and one of the easiest to fix.
- Hard Starting: This describes ink that won't flow easily after the pen sits for a while. This can be caused by a number of different things. Please see the videos tab for resources.
- Writing Technique: A fountain pen must be held at a specific angle relative to the page to work properly, your technique may require some work. Please see the videos tab for resources
- Nib Tuning & Custom Grinds: If you are interested in the ultimate writing experience I suggest sending out your nib to have it custom tuned by a professional. Yes, this is a "thing." I recommend Mark Bacas over at www.nibgrinder.com . He's a friend of the shop and one of the best in the business. Mark can tune up a standard nib for writing perfection. He will grind it if needed, and he can perform modifications like italic grinds and the like.
* Bamboo Body: Accepts the Pelikan Edelstein cartridge only. The good news is the long body of the Alpha Bamboo takes advantage of the extra capacity in an International Standard Long cartridge. Despite being “standard”, the Edelstein cartridge is the only one slim enough to fit inside the body.
* Cap & Clip: The cap includes our trademark 6/4 Titanium Pocket Clip and features a new matching pocket clip screw, machined entirely in-house and laser marked with the Prometheus logo. If you prefer the look of a brass screw instead, you can pledge for one via BackerKit after the close of the campaign...meaning your pen will come with a matching screw and a brass screw.
* Titanium Pocket Clip with custom machined Matching Material Screw & 3mm Allen Key
* Bock 060 XS Nib in choice of EF, F, M, B Point Size*
* One Pelikan Edelstein Ink Cartridge in Tanzanite (Blue-Black)
If you need help picking a nib size, please see the FAQ.
Installing the cartridge
- The grip section fits tightly to the body of the cartridge to hold it in place during use, this is intentional.
- The cartridge must be "fully" inserted into the grip to funtion properly. Push firmly and you should hear a "snap" as the cartridge is punctured. The shoulder of the cartrige should slip into the grip about1/8".
- If the cartridge is not fully inserted, ink will not flow properly and the cartridge may fall out when removing the grip from the body and/or leak everywhere.
materialsElectroless Nickel over 6061 Aluminum, C360 Brass, C145 Tellurium Copper, 6/4 Titanium
Dimensions Capped0.5" x 5"
Dimensions Posted0.3" (grip diameter) x 5.7"
Weights1.0 Oz (Electroless Nickel) / 1.2 Oz (Titanium) / 2.2 Oz (Brass) / 2.4 Oz (Copper)
Compatible RefillsPelikan Edelstein ONLY
Pocket ClipAerospace Certified 6Al/4V Titanium
Where it's Made