The Maker's Quest

A Podcast exploring the journey of making things and living a creative life


Making Pens with Curt Van Filipowski From Confounded Machine EP22

Making Pens with Curt Van Filipowski From Confounded Machine EP22

Curt creates handmade pens from Titanium that are precision machined in his home workshop.   He got his start from his curiosity in machining and CAD.  He created a pen for himself and started carrying it around with him, and people noticed and commented on the quality.  It wasn’t long before he was able to quit his job and make pens full-time.

You can connect with Curt at



Instagram: @confoundedmachine


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Show Notes

  • Now that his Machining hobby has become his job, his favorite hobby is flying RC planes, helicopters, and drones.
  • Living in Canada, he didn’t have to worry about figuring out the cost of healthcare when he quit his job.
    • The biggest push to quitting his job was having to work all day, then work all night, and lose his free time.
  • Working a day job, you are limited by what your boss is willing to pay you.  Working for yourself, the sky is the limit.
  • Curt goes into how Anodizing works, How to control it with electrical current, and dies.
    • Titanium anodizes with voltage, not dies. 24-ish volts get you blue.
  •  Taking the time to look up how to do stuff is probably the biggest barrier to entry for many people.
  • Curt has used Cerakote Coatings, and Greg put it to the test in his shop using the crap out of his pen coated with Cerakote.
  • Apple does branding inside their products that no one will ever see unless you tear them apart.
  • Curt makes his own titanium springs by hand for his pens out of necessity.
  • Curt is not afraid to experiment with making his own tools.  He made a concrete lathe for fun.  As you can imagine, it was not crazy accurate, but it was a good exercise in figuring things out.
    • Concete lathe video series.
  • How to measure the smallest of small measurements.  Here is the Adam Savage video that was referenced in the video
  • We geek out on 3d printing and how much better it has gotten over the years.
  • Shipping can be a headache, but social media has allowed us to tap into far-away markets.

Hosted by

Greg Porter
Greg On Instagram:

Brian Benham
Brian On Instagram:
Custom Furniture

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