Home » This Ballpoint Pen Has A Functional Manual Transmission And I Can’t Stop Watching It Shift

This Ballpoint Pen Has A Functional Manual Transmission And I Can’t Stop Watching It Shift

Five Speed Stick Shift Manual Pen Ts4
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When was the last time you’ve thought about pens? They’re usually disposable objects many people use daily, but probably don’t think too much about aside from when you accidentally steal one from the bank. Here’s a pen that would probably be the most fun you’ve ever had writing. A YouTuber has milled a six-speed manual pen out of copper and the coolest part is that the pen works, with each gear deploying a different color pen or a pen eraser.

If you’re feeling a sense of Deja Vu, it could be because you may have seen something similar to this before. A couple of years ago, YouTuber W&M Levsha made a different pen with a manual transmission. That pen is also a work of art, but the “transmission” portion wasn’t functional outside of being able to retract the pen.

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YouTuber Maker B has taken this concept further. This pen not only has a manual transmission where each gear is attached to its own pen color, but you have to use the cutest clutch pedal in the world to change “gears.” Writing has never been so engaging.

Maker B is a channel run by a person who goes by Jony. The channel is refreshing in that it doesn’t serve up 20 minutes of people messing around and 5 minutes of actual content. Jony gets right into the project at hand and you get to watch something new get made in awesome detail. There’s no clickbait, no annoying music, and not even fancy graphics. There isn’t even any commentary to spoil the sounds of machinery and hands at work. It’s also not just for show, either, as Jony has a website where technical drawings of the projects are sold. That way, you can make your own version of whatever object you saw get made. The pen isn’t there yet, but hopefully, it will be there soon.

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The pen starts life as a tube of copper. Jony slices it in two with a saw before milling little pieces of copper into the pen’s body. It’s deeply satisfying to watch how the threads on the pen’s case get made and how you can turn a cylinder of copper into the cone at the bottom of the pen.

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The real magic starts happening after when Jony turns a small piece of metal into the most adorable gated shifter. The detail is incredible here from the engraved gear numbers to the use of a paint marker to make each gear in the shifter pop.

The clutch pedal is even more amazing. It started out as a coin-sized piece of metal. A bunch of milling later and just look at the little guy!

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With the body, shift gates, and clutch pedal made, it’s time to make the pen’s internals. As I said earlier, Jony does not explain anything in this video. Jony next makes a slender shifter complete with an impossibly tiny shift knob.

It appears the shifter acts on one of six shift pushrods. There’s also a locking pin to keep the chosen ink color in place as well as a cap with six holes in it to align each ink refill. With all of that finished, plus other small bits, Jony puts the pen together.

Here, you can see how things work. Jony arranges ink refills of five colors, plus an eraser. Each refill gets a pushrod, a spring, and what appears to be a small locking ring.

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The ink refills are then sent into the internal structure of the pen, the “clutch pedal” is connected, and the shifter is sent through the gate. The pen’s function appears to be straightforward. Choose a gear and click in to set it. If you want to change gear, hit the clutch to release the locking pin and unlock the shifter. Then, choose your next gear (color) or reverse if you want the eraser.

When I was a kid, I had several funky pens that deployed several different colors. This is exactly like one of those pens, but far more fun to play with and beautifully crafted out of metal.

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Sadly, Jony won’t be putting these into production, but the YouTuber provides a list of tools used in each creation and hopefully, the plans will be made available. Honestly, you could just ignore everything I’ve written here. Watch the video, it’ll probably be the best moment of tranquility you have all day.

Hat tip to VanGuy on our Discord!
(Screenshot credits: Jony of Maker B)

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Chronometric
Chronometric
21 days ago

This was even better than a This Old Tony video. It is so enjoyable watching someone with that kind of skill.

Drock87
Drock87
21 days ago

This is beautiful. I would buy one for sure.

FrontWillDrive
FrontWillDrive
21 days ago

One of my friends has his own craftwork business, and made me one similar to this, just one color ink and no clutch pedal, but it is still fun. This one you found looks awesome!

Edward Hoster
Edward Hoster
21 days ago

TAKE MY MONEY!

I’ve “played” around with a mill and a lathe and they are not easy! I love watching professionals like Jony create beautiful objects out of “nothing” but small rods and chunks of metal!
P.S.
More Torch Drives videos!

Ben Chia
Ben Chia
22 days ago

I will buy this. I will buy this so hard.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
22 days ago

“That’s a nice pen.”

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
22 days ago

They should make it a different color for each gear!

Robert M. Graham
Robert M. Graham
21 days ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

In the first paragraph, “with each gear deploying a different color pen or a pen eraser”

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
21 days ago

oops 😐

Robert M. Graham
Robert M. Graham
21 days ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Having one of those 4 color pens years ago, that was the first thing I looked for!

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
22 days ago

This is awesome! Even better than the space pen…”TAKE THE PEN!!!”

Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
22 days ago

Baaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmm… whaaaaaaaaaa… brrrrrmmmmmmm. brrrrmmm… brrrmm. BRRRRMmmmmmmm….. BWHAaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAA…. brummmmmm……

Oh yeah… I would drive my coworkers nuts with one of these. All day, just me at my desk making cars noises.

Totally not a robot
Totally not a robot
22 days ago

I mean, I do that anyways, but at least the pen would give me a reasonable explanation for making all the noises.

10001010
10001010
22 days ago

Videos like this are so relaxing to watch but I’ll never find the time to make anything like that.

Nick Fortes
Nick Fortes
22 days ago

Great, another YT channel I’m going to get immersed in.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
22 days ago

Why are you doing this to me, Mercedes? You show me this thing that I NEED, but do not have the tools and skills to make, but that I also cannot purchase.

Do you hate me? I thought we were friends…

Marc Fuhrman
Marc Fuhrman
22 days ago

Oh dang, that was so satisfying to watch being built. I miss making things on manual mills and lathes. CNCs may be better in a lot of ways when it comes to production, but man are they bloody boring to run.

RayJay
RayJay
22 days ago

The Pelikan M800/1000 machined brass piston actuator assembly is pretty awesome for a production pen, but the complexity and detail on this project are incredible.

A. Barth
A. Barth
22 days ago

I love this! It looks like something Adam Savage would build.

a six-speed manual

That would be nice, however… 🙂

or reverse if you want the eraser.

I was really hoping that would be the case, though it couldn’t really be anything else, I guess. Next I’ll have to watch the video to see if neutral retracts all colors so you can safely put the pen in a pocket.

NotSpanky
NotSpanky
22 days ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Spoiler alert, but effectively, yes.
Hold clutch whilst selecting a gear and plunging shifter in, release clutch and there’s a locking mechanism to hold selected pen out.
Then press clutch to release pen and drop back into ‘neutral’, safe for pocket.
Delightful work.

Drew
Drew
22 days ago

I don’t have it in me to make this, and I wish it were for sale. I recently got into fountain pens, but this would probably pull me right back to ballpoints.

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
22 days ago
Reply to  Drew

Fountain pens are still more enjoyable in most cases – assuming you have quality paper, but ballpoints, rollerballs, and gel pens definitely have their place.

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
22 days ago

Someone needs to send this to the guys at Tactile Turn so they can make them out of titanium and sell one to me for $500 because I totally don’t already have enough expensive writing implements.

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