Archive for the ‘Japanese Pens’ Category

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Another Benefit To The Platinum Slip & Seal Cap

05/21/2016

After several attempts to get ink to dry in a Platinum Century Slip & Seal pen, I give up. It just won’t happen, but I did discover a welcome additional benefit while giving it a hard time. Because the ink doesn’t dry in the nib and feed, the pen rinses out in record time even after being left idle for ages.

My Century Nice Pur B had Diamine Wild Strawberry in it with no use for months. Months! There was a faint ring of ink at the edge of the piston and dregs in the section. In any other pen, rinsing and soaking for hours if not days would be expected for such neglect. Darned if the pen didn’t rinse clean in less than two minutes total. Filling the converter with tepid water eight to ten times and then giving the nib a rinse in a stream of water removed ink from every nook and cranny. Is that pen amazing or what!

Thank you Luxury Brands USA for sending the Platinum Century Nice Pur. Slip & Seal is a brilliant mechanism for a beautiful fountain pen. Kudos to Platinum for ingenuity as well as execution.

The Nice and Nice Pur are currently on special at Nibs.com. It is a limited edition release, so grab one while you can.

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Modern Pilot Fountain Pens

05/19/2016

That is my collection of Pilot/Namiki fountain pens. Nice variety to it, but they seldom get inked. In comparison to other pen makers, I’ve experienced more flow issues with their modern pens than any other brand. While the fine nibs can be temperamental, the wider nibs and flexy ones are the most frustrating.

With more than thirty Pilots having passed through here in the last few years, I am certain their feeds and nibs are not created equal. The nibs write well enough but the flow is not able to keep up. The pens are too often hard starting and skip mid-word even failing for a full word or occasionally even several. This has never happened with my Sailor and Platinum pens. It has been a rare issue with a vintage Western pen but that could be attributed to careless handling by a former owner. My Lamy, Waterman, and Levenger True Writers have had very rare flow issues though matching ink to pen has helped in a few cases.

Pilot Elite pocket pens from the 1970’s are not so quirky though some of the Script nibs write dry and especially narrow. The ink flow keeps up nicely maintaining an even line. The pretty, decorated ones have had a higher than acceptable rate of cracked barrels so that’s a different kind of warning. However, my Socrates, Isaac Newton, and Black Striped models have been especially good writers and aren’t at all picky about brands of ink. That sort of versatility puts them on my list of favorite fountain pens.

This doesn’t mean all of their pens have flow issues. However, this post can be considered a caveat to my previous pen recommendations from the Pilot Custom 742 to the Custom 74 to the lower end Prera and 78G and the bottom of the line Plumix. Even the Namiki Falcon Soft Broad (SB) nib unlike the Soft Fine (SF) has a flow that is inadequate for the amount of ink that should be laid down. A nib adjustment might help though I’ve experienced mixed results on that score.

A free-flowing ink can improve performance a notch. Pilot Iroshizuku ink is a good match though some Diamine and J. Herbin inks have proven up to the task as well. Waterman Blue-Black is my standard test ink and one that can bring out the best in a multitude of pens so that’s a good one to have on hand. Unfortunately, ink won’t fix a pen but it can improve one that is borderline.

This isn’t meant to dissuade you from buying a Pilot or Namiki fountain pen but it is a warning. Your sleek, new pen may need tweaking to be the best it can be. Or it may only take finding the right ink and paper combination to bring out its most charming qualities. Even better, you could get a pen that is perfect from the start. Shouldn’t they all arrive that way?

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Links And Chocolate Chips

05/15/2016

It’s National Chocolate Chip Day, so do find a way to celebrate. In the meantime, here are some links to keep you entertained…

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An Eagle Nib Gets Properly Used

05/10/2016

Hat tip to Penucopia for finding this amazing video done with a Sailor King Eagle nib and Sailor Orange ink. Follow ohyayeh on Instagram to see more of his calligraphy. He is also on Facebook, but there are more videos on Instagram.

 

 

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Pilot Kaküno Review

04/23/2016

Recently, a Pilot Kaküno found its way into a small Amazon order. For $10 and change, it was a steal of a deal. The soft blue and white are a refreshing combination for the summer ahead, but looks aren’t everything. So what else does it have going for it?

Key points:

  • clean, simple design
  • very light weight
  • no clip
  • octagonal shape keeps it from rolling on a flat surface but it has a tiny stop molded into the cap as well
  • medium-sized section is comfortable in hand
  • long enough to use without posting
  • slip cap posts securely without overbalancing
  • despite three holes in the cap and two in the barrel, ink does not dry out in the nib
  • smiley face on the nib is cheerful and a nice touch
  • comes in a variety of colors
  • workhorse nib is stainless steel and solid
  • can pop the cap off one-handed which is very convenient
  • comes with a single cartridge so purchasing a converter is essential

After a thorough search of the blue inks on hand, Diamine Mediterranean Blue emerged as the best choice to fit the summer-at-the-beach look of the pen. Some other inks that would be lovely with it are Iroshizuku syo-ro, Platinum Mixable Aqua Blue and Diamine Soft Mint. Contrarian? Diamine Peach Haze, Vermilion or Wild Strawberry would be unexpected colors for this model. Montblanc Pink Ink would be very eye-catching, too.

Unlike some entry level fountain pens, the Kaküno wrote perfectly from the get-go. It did get a water rinse before the first fill, but that’s just good practice with any new pen. The flow is perfect for the medium nib and produced some nice shading. No skipping or false starts. It isn’t butter smooth, but with a light touch it is neither scratchy nor squeaky. For an all-purpose carry anywhere pen, it writes quite well.

If you buy two, you can swap the caps for additional variety. I think a black cap on a white barrel would look very cool. But the pink and white model reminds me of cotton candy. There are many choices, but at the price point, it’s hard to go wrong.

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Platinum Nibs, Diamine And Leuchtturm1917

02/07/2016

Last night two Platinum Century pens shouted for attention following weeks of being on the back bench. How could I refuse?

The good news is that the nibs wrote beautifully from the first stroke despite a lack of recent exercise. The Century certainly can go a long time without attention. Both are smooth, but there is a slight difference between the medium and the soft medium. The latter has a cushioned feel to it which reduces feedback. The line width of the soft medium might be a tad more narrow, but that could be attributed to the ink. Both nibs are in the workhorse category. Use them for anything.

Next to Noodler’s and J. Herbin, Diamine is the brand of ink that got the most time in my pens last year. Wild Strawberry and Merlot were gifts from Beth Treadway and have proven good additions to my regular rotation. Merlot dries more slowly, but for the saturated color, I can be patient.

The Leuchtturm1917 remains one of my favorite journals though it could be better. If you look closely, the inks found threads to follow and produced more bleed-through than I would like. The previous night I used a Platinum #3776 music nib with J. Herbin Cafe des Iles that produced neither feathering nor bleeding. Pelikan Violet, Waterman Florida Blue, and Noodler’s Apache Sunset performed better on the paper than any ink except Noodler’s Black.

Does this mean Diamine inks have a problem or is the Leuchtturm paper inconsistent? Either way it’s a reminder that testing ink is valuable. The last page in a notebook is a convenient place to write the names of pens and inks for future reference. My sample page produced mixed results, but I now know which duos would be best to grab for a long day of note taking.

The Platinum Century M and SM are delightful to use and I love the soft Leuchtturm paper even with its imperfections so I want to pair the paper with inks that will not feather or bleed. Noodler’s Black and Lexington Gray might just do the trick. Not colorful, but oh so reliable. Sometimes that’s all you need.

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Brush Pen Writing Samples

12/20/2015

Brush pens are fantastic for swirls and doodles as well as lettering and sketching. My small collection earned a bit of exercise this week with the Midori providing the platform. The birds were intrigued, but kept their opinions to themselves.

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