Sheaffer Craftsman Fountain Pen, Carmine, F

(sold) This is a mid-1940s Sheaffer Craftsman lever-filled fountain pen in striated Carmine red celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Feather Touch Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish (by hand, with a soft cloth). The pen measures 5.1" capped and 0.45" in diameter.

The vast majority of modern fountain pens are made of injection-molded plastic. Such pens are relatively inexpensive, as the manufacturing process lends itself to the usual cost-saving thanks to mass production. If you wish to own a more visually interesting  pen, you need to pay more, and your typical material choices include acrylic, ebonite, wood, and celluloid.  Each material has its pros and cons, but there seems to be a consensus in the pen community that celluloid is the royalty of pen materials.

Celluloid is truly an organic material, made from natural cotton seed fibers, colored with natural dyes, created in a painstakingly long, intricate, and tightly controlled process. Today, only a handful of pen companies use celluloid due to the incredibly high cost of the material and the inherent manufacturing complexity involved. Still, many discerning customers are willing to pay a substantial premium for modern Montegrappa celluloid pen. The material's beauty, its depth and chatoyancy, it's shimmering quality are simply irresistible.

If you are interested in owning a celluloid pen but are discouraged by the price, may I offer you an alternative? Here is a beautiful, restored, vintage Sheaffer Craftsman, made of the famous striated Carmine celluloid, a lever-filler, vested with a fantastic 14k gold Feather Touch Fine nib. A pen that's truly as beautiful as it is functional, and, best of all, it costs a fraction of a modern Italian celluloid fountain pen.

The pen is in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects, with gorgeous, vibrant, smooth celluloid, excellent gold-filled trim, and a strong imprint. The nib is tuned to write at the lightest touch, laying down a Fine line of about 0.4 mm (on my paper). The pen provides an enjoyable, smooth, confident writing experience that would be very hard to match by a modern pen, regardless of price. It would be an ideal first vintage pen for a fountain pen enthusiast, but, in the hand of a skilled fountain pen writer, it would produce the most graceful handwriting, and, most importantly, give you lots of joy and a great reason to just write.

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown, Burgundy, F

(Sold) This is a late 1940s Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown fountain pen in Black, with a 14k gold, "33" Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This is a medium-size pen, measuring 5.08" capped and 0.44" in diameter.

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown, Burgundy, F, uncapped.

The price range between $50 and $100 is somewhat odd in the modern fountain pen market. The vast majority of the pens are likely to be mass-produced, plastic, C/C filler pens with a stainless steel nib. Some exceptions do exist, with nicer acrylic or metal bodies, but the steel nib is the constant fixture on those pens. What if you could find a pen that's just as well made, with a unique, high-capacity filling mechanism, and a gold nib? Impossible? Well, yes, unless you consider pens such as this awesome Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown.

The Craftsman is a very interesting pen in its own right, but its key feature is the 14k gold nib. The least expensive gold-nibbed pen on Goulet Pens is the Pilot E95S, priced at $136. Though it's a very interesting pen, it's way outside our range of interest. If you're in the market for a new, economically priced pen, perhaps a gift for a friend, under $100, may I suggest that you consider this Craftsman?

It is a fantastic pen in excellent condition! In true Sheaffer fashion, it is well-balanced, posted or not. It's built to last, and holds a lot of ink. The nib writes a gorgeous, smooth, luscious Fine line of about 0.5 mm (on my paper), and has a very pleasant springy feel. It's tuned to write at the lightest touch, but it will take increased pressure in stride, giving you a hint of line variation. The nib is a dependable writer, without any hard-start, skipping, or ink starvation issues. It would be a perfect school or office pen, and it will put the fun back into note taking. Do you enjoy writing in a journal? This pen will deliver a superb performance on the go.

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown Fountain Pen, Black, F

(Sold) This is a late 1940s Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown fountain pen in Black, with a 14k gold, two-tone Feather Touch Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This is a medium-size pen, measuring 5.08" capped and 0.44" in diameter.

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown Fountain Pen, Black, F, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

One of the reasons I enjoy restoring vintage Sheaffer pens is that all of the models made between the early 1930s and the late 1950s, including entry-level pens, were of very high quality. Such pens, if restored well, can be enjoyed today even by people who are new to the pen hobby. No special skills required! The pen I am offering today is a very interesting Craftsman from the late 1940s, equipped with Sheaffer's trademarked Touchdown filling mechanism. The mechanism is very easy to use, and, with one push of the plunger, the pen fills up to capacity, holding more ink than most modern cartridge/converter pens. A simple, yet efficient design. And, it's a lot of fun to use!

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown Fountain Pen, Black, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The Craftsman was economically priced then, and I price it economically today. I think it would be an ideal first vintage pen for a pen novice, and it would be perfect as a gift for your friend or family member, to start them on the exciting and utterly enjoyable journey into the world of vintage stationery and penmanship. The pen is in very good condition, without any flaws or defects, with excellent gold-filled trim. It functions as well as it did when it left the factory. 

The Feather Touch really deserves its name. A soft, springy nib, it writes reliably at the lightest pressure, laying down a consistent line of about 0.5 mm (on my paper). Today, gold-nibbed pens are extremely expensive, but you can purchase this complete pen, restored and tuned, for much less than the price of a modern gold nib alone.

Sheaffer Craftsman Touchdown Fountain Pen, Black, F, capped

Sheaffer Craftsman Fountain Pen, Evergreen Green, F

(Sold) This is a mid-1940s Sheaffer Craftsman fountain pen in Evergreen Green with a 14k gold Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish (by hand, with a soft cloth). The pen measures 5.1" capped and 0.45" in diameter.

Sheaffer Craftsman Fountain Pen, Evergreen Green, F, uncapped

One of the reasons I love restoring Sheaffer pens is the excellent quality throughout the entire product range. This Craftsman is a great example of Sheaffer's leadership in the pen market. An lower-priced pen, it has the Iowa company's familiar ergonomics, beautiful material, a fantastic 14k gold nib, and superb quality of craftsmanship. 

Sheaffer Craftsman Fountain Pen, Evergreen Green, F, nib profile

The pen comes vested with an exquisite gold nib. It probably sold as a Medium, but it writes closer to a modern Western Fine, a confident, juicy line of about 0.5 mm (on my paper). It's a firm nib, yet it feels soft on paper. Sheaffer was a master nib maker, and the "33" gold nib is among my favorites. It gives you that desirable gliding, almost hovering sensation, but without disconnecting you from the page. An expert shock absorber, the nib will feel smooth even on fairly rough paper, a quality that most modern gold nibs lack. If you don't yet own a vintage pen, this would be a fantastic pen with which to start your exciting journey into the vintage world, a great tool with which to practice your penmanship and take it to the next level.

Sheaffer Craftsman Fountain Pen, Evergreen Green, F, capped

Cosmetically, the pen is awesome, without any flaws or defects, and some very, very faint surface wear. The ink window is clear, the gold-filled trim excellent, the imprint strong. A handsome pen!

Sheaffer Craftsman, Golden Brown, XF

(SOLD) This is an early 1940s Sheaffer Craftsman fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a 14k gold "33" Extra-Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). 

Sheaffer Craftsman, Golden Brown, XF, uncapped

I love restoring vintage Sheaffer fountain pens! Sheaffer made a lot of excellent pens, particularly in the 1940s, some of which have survived in desk drawers, shoe boxes, attics, cellars, and other less-than-favorable storage. Still, Sheaffer's quality was so good that most of the pens that come across my desk can be restored and enjoyed as excellent daily writers. I also find Sheaffer pens to be beginner-friendly. Let's not forget, fountain pens were made to be used all day, every day. They were meant to be writing instruments, not luxury goods. Sheaffer built a lot of quality and innovation into their pens, and, today, decades later, we can enjoy their genius: - fountain pens that "just work."

Sheaffer Craftsman, Golden Brown, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

This particular pen, with its beautiful gleaming celluloid and an awesome 14k gold nib, was the "Lamy Al-Star" of the 1940s, a more upscale version of Sheaffer's Craftsman line. A medium-size pen (4.9" capped, 0.45" in diameter), the pen posts very well and is as comfortable as can be expected of the company that brought us the Balance.  It is in excellent shape, both cosmetically and functionally. 

The 14k XF nib is truly the star of the show. I tuned it to write at the lightest pressure, but it will reward you with a nice "give" if you press harder. The tines will spread a little, adding character to your handwriting, but do not expect this to be a flex nib. A gold point, made by a team of skilled technicians in a process that's mostly lost to us, the nib performs beautifully, producing a 0.3 mm line that's smooth, wet, consistent, and, most of all, confident.

This pen would be an ideal first vintage pen for a fountain pen novice, a gateway to the wonderful world of classic writing instruments. 

Sheaffer Craftsman, Golden Brown, XF, capped

The pen is priced at $99. Please, contact me if you're interested in ordering it. Shipping fees are listed here. Thanks!

Sheaffer Craftsman in Golden Brown, XF

(SOLD) This is an early 1940s Sheaffer Craftsman fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with an ink view window, and a 14k gold XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, adjustment of ink flow, tuning of the nib, and a gentle hand polish.

Sheaffer Craftsman in Golden Brown, XF

Pelikan has just released its new M400 Tortoiseshell Brown, and the similarities between the M400 and the Craftsman are unavoidable. Both pens are made by well-respected brands with great heritage, both are entry-level in their companies' line-ups, both pens are of comparable size, both made of striated brown celluloid, both are self-fillers and hold a lot of ink, both come with solid gold nibs. Both have ink windows. So which pen are YOU going to buy? The Craftsman has two features in its favor. First, a true XF gold nib, which is finer than Pelikan's XF and feels softer on paper. But the biggest difference is price. The Pelikan sells for around $380, and the Craftsman for $99. The phrase I wrote comes from a Sheaffer advertisement.

The pen is in very good condition, with gleaming Golden Brown celluloid and excellent gold-filled trim. The nib is a delight to use! A true extra-fine, the nib is smooth, but not overpolished. It writes with confidence, at the lightest touch, and feels soft on paper. It's not a flexible nib, but it does have nice, gentle "give" to it. And it's excellent at absorbing micro-shocks caused by dragging the nib across the rough surface of the paper.

Sheaffer Craftsman in Golden Brown, XF, capped