The Solution: “The Block” by Mike Dudek

Soooo, you buy a pen. Then you listen to a podcast about pens and you buy another pen. And another. And another. Dot dot dot.

The pens start piling up. Some are too nice to throw all willy-nilly into a pen case, and the coffee mug pen cup isn’t really cutting it anymore. What to do, what to do??

Yes, this pancake helped solved a pen storage problem.

I have a few pen storage solutions that I’ll cover in the coming weeks- one of which is The Block, by Mike Dudek. I stumbled onto Mike’s creation while sitting in a diner waiting for my breakfast to arrive. Fred was reading one of those free real estate newspapers and I was messing around on my phone. Pancakes the size of Wyoming take awhile to cook, so I had a lot of time on my hands. As I scrolled through Twitter, I stopped dead when I saw the answer to my pen storage prayers on Mike Dudek’s @ClickyPost feed…

The Block
The Block

After a quick Twitter exchange which directed me to his Trading Post, I made my selection, and processed it via PayPal. Just as I wrapped up the transaction, that PANCAKE arrived. It was a good morning.

The Block vs. TWSBI Vac 700
The Block vs. TWSBI’s Vac 700

There are two offerings in Mike’s store…the Cube, which holds 9 pens and measures 3″ x 3″ x 2.5″, and The Block, which holds 21 pens and measures 6″ x 3″ x 2.5″. Given the number of pens I own, The Block was a no-brainer. Mike was quick to acknowledge my order and offered to make the four corner holes slightly larger than the rest of the holes. (The bulk of the holes accommodate pens up to 1/2″ in diameter, while the larger holes will obviously accommodate slightly larger pens.) Sounds good, I replied. Simple transaction. Great feedback. Happy customer.

The Block arrived about a week later, and I couldn’t be happier with it. It looks, feels, and even smells, great. The walnut wood is satiny smooth and very rich and warm looking. The footprint is so small that The Block fits just about anywhere…on a desk, dresser, or end table. Twenty-one pens easily stored in a very compact space. Perfect.

Enough yakking…here’s The Block in action (or inaction, I guess):

Note that the regular sized holes hold the Safari and Vista models perfectly, while the AL-Stars are slightly larger and need to be stored in the bigger corner holes.

Lamy Storage
Holding some Lamys

The Retros stand up great, and look very much at home, don’t you think?

Retro 51s
Retro 51 Tornados at attention

Mike lives near Karas Kustoms so it’s no surprise that he’s a fan of their pens and that The Block holds them perfectly.

Karas Kustoms creations
Karas Kustoms: Aluminum Bolt, Aluminum Render K, Orange Render K, Copper Retrakt

And here’s the block with a bit of a pen assortment…

Assorted pens
TWSBI 580, a couple of Esterbrook SJs, Retro 51 fountain pen, a pair of Monteverde fountain pens, and a TWSBI 540

The TWSBIs have fairly large diameters so they have to be stored in the larger holes, just like the Lamy AL-Stars.


I love handmade goods. Especially handmade goods that store my pens. Mike’s handiwork solves a universal problem for all pen lovers. Where do I keep all of these pens?? Well, now you know.


9 thoughts on “The Solution: “The Block” by Mike Dudek

  1. Mine is in the mail… wish I’d known about the hole-size option… have two Lamy Al-Stars and a TWSBI 580 that probably won’t fit. Guess I’ll have to order a second Block at some point. Oh, dang! 😉

  2. Pingback: Link Love: Minding the Ps and Qs | The Well-Appointed Desk

  3. Thank You for the info, I just ordered one with 9 bigger holes in the 3 centre rows! Great discovery! I wish I had seen this before, would have save some money on pen storage, plus I also like handmade crafted quyality stuuf made with great materials such as these or One Star leather Sleeves for pens and other covers made of great thick leather (Best quality in the market IMHO)!

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