Posts Tagged ‘fountain pen’

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More Of Those Eclectic Links

06/01/2014

It was a very weird week, but I did find some good stuff to share…

Flashmob Extraordinaire!

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Links From Films To Vinyls To Typewriters

04/27/2014

This batch is heavy on saluting the past with a couple of nods to the present…

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Top Ten Most Watched Videos

01/27/2014

Over the past year, these videos received the most views via Inkophile links. Which one is your favorite?

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Really Good Fountain Pens

01/02/2014

Comments and email queries often suggest subjects worthy of further exploration. Such was the case when a recent email cast my collection in the light of pens that hold up well and are worthy of recommendation. After restricting choices to pens that can be purchased online and whose nibs have not been modified, here are the models that made my list of

Really Good Fountain Pens

  • Platinum #3776 and #3776 Century – These pens rank at the top of my list. The build is slightly lighter than the Sailor pens I own, but that is good for my hand. No flow issues and the nibs are excellent. Someday I hope to get a medium for a real workhorse. It may not replace the #3776 music nib as my most used pen, but I would love to give it a shot at the top slot.
  • Lamy Safari and AL-Star – An entry-level pen that is one of my most durable and reliable writers. The extra-fine has been a staple here for years. I haven’t tried a fine or medium, but the broad might be a tad too wide and free-flowing for most people. The 1.1 mm can have an erratic flow, but the nibs are usually smooth. The nibs run a bit wider than most and they are quite stiff, but they are also easy to swap. Nibs come in stainless steel and black. The latter looks particularly sharp on a model with a black clip. Put one on a charcoal Safari to make a stealth model. Two of my Lamys have been so modified. The build is very good at the price which won’t matter if the oddly shaped section doesn’t fit your grip. My daughter and I found it to be comfortable after the initial sessions. The control afforded by the section shape is excellent and prevents slipping. That is a decided plus for me.
  • Pelikan M400 and M215 – These are very different pens, but equally well built. Both wrote well from the beginning. The M215 feels more sturdy, but it is a metal pen. I am extra careful with piston-fillers and run Noodler’s Eel ink through them from time to time to lubricate the plungers. The M400 was adjusted for extra flow several years ago and is now a terrific pen for long sessions.
  • Pilot Namiki Falcon – I have three of the resin model and that says a lot. The build is good and the section very comfortable for me. The nibs can be a tad scratchy, but a little use fixed that in one of mine. The other two were smooth from first use. The design is understated and puts the focus on what the nib can do. No flow issues with the supplied converter so the nib and feed are well matched.
  • Sailor 1911 and Sapporo – These pens have outstanding build quality. No flow issues and the converters are very well-suited to the nibs and feeds. My Sapporo is a fine nib and a nail. The 1911 is an extra-fine that is a bit soft. They are very different nibs, but both are very smooth.
  • Baoer Eight Horses – Not everyone has had the good luck I have had with a Baoer. However, I do have two that write remarkably well. This is a heavy pen, but well balanced. The build quality is excellent for the price. The converter even has a plastic ball to keep the ink flowing. I am not as thrilled with the Jinhao 750 which is made by the same company, but one of these days I’ll purchase a silver Eight Horses with a B nib if I can find one. That will make a full set.
  • Pilot Custom 742 – This one is a bit harder to recommend given my 742FA can be flow challenged. However, the build is excellent and the size perfect for me. I think it would be a terrific pen sporting a different nib. The FA is very smooth and does flex, but no ink so far has conquered the feed. There are five on my desk ready to take up the challenge so more testing is ahead. When I advance ink into the feed, it writes well enough with virtually no pressure. The slit is always inky, but this pen arrived used if not abused. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, I think it has an imperfect nib on an otherwise very nice pen.

The price range for these pens purchased new is $6 to over $300. Message boards are the best place to buy used, but eBay can be good for inexpensive pens like Lamy and Baoer depending on your risk tolerance level. If you want perfection, buy from a seller who tests the nib and who has a good reputation for standing by his wares. As careful as I am, one in four pens arrives in need of assistance. That really isn’t surprising considering how a tiny mistake in the nib can make a pen write poorly. Basically, don’t get your knickers in a twist if you get a stinker. It happens to all of us. Get help from the seller immediately. Most will make it right one way or another.

So that’s my list. Is there a pen you would recommend without reservation?

Really Good Fountain Pens

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A Moleskine, A Pelikan, And Waterman Ink

11/03/2013

Did the Moleskine, the Pelikan, and Waterman ink play well together?

Moleskine, Pelikan M400, and Waterman Florida Blue ink

Not bad at all.

To be accurate, that is a Moleskine reporter notebook, a Pelikan M400 (not a 600) sporting a fine nib adjusted to increase the flow, and Waterman Florida Blue ink. There is a very mild amount of feathering, but only noticeable on close inspection. Ink flowed along some of the fibers, but that is typical of Moleskine’s performance with fountain pen ink.

Writing sample of Waterman Florida Blue ink on Moleskine

Back in my small notebook, on-the-road, Moleskine days, Noodler’s Black and Quink Blue-Black were my standard inks. Both performed admirably so I had no clue there were feathering issues with the paper. WFB would have been a good choice to round out my color rotation. These days Waterman Blue-Black would replace Quink, and added to NB and WBBk, would make a good trio for the persnickety paper.

The surprise was that the free-flowing Pelikan nib worked so well. I expected the flow would make a mess of my writing, but not so. It’s quite legible. My handwriting is somewhat large, but the fine nib is better suited to the paper’s narrow line width than my usual writing from broad and stub nibs. Now I’m having second thoughts about exchanging the nib for a wider one.

The pen is on the small size for me at 125mm capped, but I adjusted quickly thanks in part to the light weight. Writing was stress-free which would make long sessions very manageable. In part that’s attributable to the ink, to give credit where it is due. Another ink that could be perfect with the pen is Iroshizuku asa-gao, but that will have to wait for the next fill.

Did the Pelikan with WFB tame the Moleskine? Enough that I would take them on the road. Now where did my keys go…

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Best Use Of Scrap Paper

07/22/2013

Little goes to waste around here. Even a scrap of junk mail gets put to good use, especially when the paper plays so nicely with fountain pen ink.

Waterman Carene, Iroshizuku asa-gao, and scrap paper

Waterman Deluxe Carene stub and Iroshizuku asa-gao on scrap paper.

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Mixed Results With A Mead Comp Book

05/12/2013

The test scan tells the tale of the fountain pen ink and the Mead Composition Book. The smooth paper ought to behave better but the performance is about what you would expect from a low-end product.

Mead Composition Book

At 100 sheets/200 pages, the show-through and bleed-through limit use to one side so it isn’t exactly a bargain. Still the low amount of feathering with some inks means this comp book has its uses.

Mead Composition Book with Fountain Pen Ink

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The designs for the cardboard covers are simple if youthful and the college ruling will work well for most writers. The dimensions are 9.75 x 7.5 inches and will lay flat after a little use. The notebook comes with a stitched binding concealed by a cloth strip which is typical for any composition book.

My comp book was made in Vietnam in 2012 so another run might have different properties. For $1.50 at Target stores, you just might find a slot for it in your paper arsenal.

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