Sunday, February 07, 2016

A Space Pen on the Cheap

I haven't been posting as much as I would like so I'm going to try to put more effort into posting more often. I don't always take pictures of stuff I'm doing or even do anything terribly exciting but I'm still doing things that I think are fun.

When I got married I gave my groomsmen space pens as the groomsmen gift and I got one for myself. I hadn't really found a way to move it into my regular pen use so it floated around my house in a sad existence. A while ago I realized that the clip is steel and will stick to a magnet. Since then it's been stuck to the front of my fridge doing grocery list duty. At least it's being used but still not an existence worth of the pen that went to the moon.

A couple weeks ago I discovered that the price of the anti-gravity space pen was up to $90CDN so I felt that the front the fridge was no place for mine. I moved it to my EDC pen and needed a replacement for the fridge. I liked having it there since it would write reliably on all kinds of paper and at any angle. I had heard that you could mod a zebra pen to hold a space pen refill.

Here is a great guide. http://clickypost.com/blog/2015/2/1/how-to-hack-the-zebra-f-701

I was out and about and found myself at a Staples so I grabbed what I needed. A Zebra F-701 and a space pen refill. I was shocked that they had both in stock and then equally shocked that the refill was worth more than the pen. The guide above also adds the step of getting another pen to replace a plastic part in the F701 but I didn't worry about that.

The basic mod is to unscrew the tip of the pen, remove the refill but keep the spring. There is a little clear plastic collar in the pen tip that has to go so take the space pen refill and poke it through the tip backwards. That should pop the clear plastic part out. Now put the spring on the space pen refill and put the refill in the pen as normal. Screw the tip back on and you're done. That's it. When I originally heard mod I was thinking there would be cutting, filing, welding, grinding, etc involved. Nope.

Now the fridge has a nice stainless steel space pen and I've got my pen in a more dignified roll. The total cost of the new pen? About $18 or about 20% of the cost of a space pen.
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