I'd been seeing several pen addicts out there who'd gotten ahold of repurposed cigar boxes for pen and ink storage from BamaPens. It intrigued me at first, but I quickly let the idea go because from the pictures I'd seen of these products, I knew they had to be very expensive. On a whim, I looked up the website for these boxes, and was shocked to learn that they were VERY affordable. I immediately knew I'd be placing an order.
I perused the site and found several boxes that I was interested in, but ultimately whittled it down to the OSOK 6-pen box, and the Hoyo de Monterrey ink storage box. I reached out to John Hubbard, the man behind BamaPens, to see about shipping. John was very prompt in returning my email and let me know that he could combine shipping for both boxes, which would save me a few bucks. I was definitely pleased that the total cost for both boxes, plus shipping was $57.50.
I paid via PayPal and waited a few days while John stained and varnished my ink box. I received updates from him as things progressed, and finally and email letting me know that they were on their way to me. I was impressed at how great the communication was throughout this process - great customer service.
The boxes arrived just a couple days later, and I excitedly tore open the box to find that my new beauties were packaged very carefully. John wrapped each box in tissue paper, and then surrounded that with bubble wrap and filled the box with packing peanuts. I loved the care he took to make sure that my boxes would arrive undamaged.
The OSOK box was lined with red felt and had 6 slots for my pens. The felt was cut perfectly for the lining of the box and felt as if it was always a part of the box. The pen tray was wide enough to accommodate even my Ahab and there was plenty of room to accommodate a pen of any length. I really love the pirate artwork on this box, that was actually the main draw for me. John varnished all the unfinished parts of the box, and though his site mentioned that he'd placed 4 rubber "feet" on the bottom to prevent slipping, I unfortunately didn't find these present on my box. Not a huge deal, I can always do that myself down the road.
The Hoyo de Monterrey ink box was beautiful as well. John stained and varnished this box, and though I love the color of mine, I should mention it looks a bit lighter than the one pictured on his website, so I'm thinking he may have used a different color stain on this one. He placed a rubber pad on the bottom to prevent slipping which was nice. On his site, he mentions that the depth of this box will accommodate the tall 3oz Noodler's ink bottles, which is true, but unfortunately my box will not snap shut with Noodler's bottles in there. That was a bit of a disappointment, but not for long because this thing looks awesome on my desk, and is already full of other shorter ink bottles.
I will most definitely purchase from John again, as the craftsmanship of these boxes are spot on. John has quite an array of boxes to choose from, and from what I can tell he's always getting new and different designs. I am also glad that he always has these ink boxes on hand, because my ink collection is ever-growing and I love the look of this box. I highly recommend you check out his site - the prices are very affordable for what you get, not to mention the customer service that is included!