Posts Tagged ‘TWSBI 580’

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The Best On My Desk Winners For 2017

01/12/2018

Whether penned on the back of an envelope, a scrap of napkin or in a classic journal, a list is my favorite organizational tool. The end of the year is the perfect time to make such a list, one that summarizes and compares my ever-changing pen, ink, and other tool preferences.

Rather than new faves, the focus for my 2017 list was which tools were used the most, those that rarely if ever left my desk. Products that arrived late in the year didn’t qualify even if they were noteworthy. The handsome journal from Central Crafts and two inks from Noodler’s will have to wait for the 2018 list.

(Links are to retailers and in some cases Amazon from which I receive a tiny commission should you make a purchase. Every little bit helps keep Inkophile alive!)

Tools for 2017

Pens

Pelikan M400 Fine – This pen has been in my collection for a number of years. The flow was increased by Chartpak to accommodate hand issues and proved to be a brilliant pen for my worst days.

Platinum Century Nice Pur Medium – Using different grip widths relaxes my hand while a smooth nib makes short work of any written task. The Plat provided provided both and was a good alternative to the Pel. Besides, what’s not to like about a clear barrel that shows off colorful ink?

Platinum #3776 Music Nib – Sometimes a wide nib gives me a little extra support when my hand is tired and at those times a music nib fits my needs very well. It also adds a little flair to the written word without catching on paper as an italic might and that makes writing more enjoyable.

Pilot Metropolitan Medium – When out and about, I carry a pen that can easily be replaced, but still writes well and looks sharp. The turquoise Met meets all those requirements.

TWSBI Diamond 580 Stub – This pen won the slot for a nib with line variation. It also added a pen to my rotation with a slightly wider grip circumference than the other pens. You already know what I think of a clear barrel and this design makes colorful ink sparkle.

Lamy Studio Fine – It is on the list but last due to its unpleasantly sharp cap and barrel edge. However, the nib and flow make using it worth the risk so long as I remember to grasp it gently. Unfortunately, this one has disappeared and missed the photo shoot. Phooey.

Ink

Waterman Florida Blue is mated to the Pel M400. The flow is perfect for the nib and though I may experiment with other inks, WFB always wins out.

Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan makes a luscious line with the #3776 and the shading can be quite dynamic.

Diamine Violet has been the choice of the TWSBI Diamond 580 stub and with good reason. Eye candy to be sure.

Platinum Mixable Aqua Blue suits the turquoise Met perfectly. My samples are now depleted, so it’s time for a full bottle. In the interim, Rohrer & Klingner Blu Mare will do.

Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu was my dark green ink which was well suited to a silver Met. It isn’t Montblanc Racing Green, but it does have excellent flow as well as other charming properties.

Platinum Classic Lavender Black is a newcomer that made a splash in the Platinum Century Nice Pur. Color and performance made this an excellent choice for my everyday ink.

Paper

Clairefontaine, Stillman & Birn, Staples Arc and anything made with Tomoe River paper. Enough said.

Watercolor Paint

Artist quality: Sennelier, Daniel Smith, American Journey, and Da Vinci are mainstays along with a couple of Winsor & Newton colors on occasion.

Student grade: Sennelier La Petit Aquarelle and Daler-Rowney Aquafine are about as good as student quality gets. They are not as saturated or lightfast as artist grade paints, but fine in a journal and are packaged conveniently for outdoor sketching. When I empty a palette of student paint, it gets refilled with artist quality paint.

Watercolor Paper

Arches 140# for paintings and Canson Watercolor 140# for color swatches. The best paper is 100% cotton. It will yield the truest colors and survive the longest. Arches is cotton and readily available. It is pricey but worth it.

Watercolor Brushes

SAA Gold Round #10 This was my favorite brush last year and easily got the most use.

Silver Brush Black Velvet Round #8

Escoda Versatil Rigger #2

Daniel Smith Platinum Angle 1/2″ (sable and taklon)

Isabey Petit Gris 6234 Quill Mop #0

Other writing and drawing tools

Pentel Pocket brush pen

Autopoint mechanical pencil

Pentel Sign Touch Pen

New Stuff

Noodler’s Legal Blue and Polar Purple

Romano Handmade Recycled Leather Wrap Large Journal (Paper is not friendly with all fountain pen inks. Handsome leather cover.)

What’s on your list? Use the comments to post your faves as well as most used tools for 2017. Or submit a link if you’ve already shared such a list elsewhere.

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Sunday Reads: Pens, Hummingbirds, and Elephants

08/14/2017

Elephants and hummingbirds fascinate me so this past week offered some special treats. A watercolor demonstration has inspired me to try painting elephants. It’s way outside my skill level, but fun nevertheless…

Anyone else a sucker for demos?

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Sunday Reads: Dogs, Notebooks, And Kangaroos

07/09/2017

Who knew self-driving cars could be confused by kangaroos…

Wide Nibs on Midori Traveler’s Notebook Paper

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Fountain Pens That Would Make Good Gifts

12/10/2016

This week my list of Favorite Fountain Pens received its annual update. A number of the pens have been inked since they arrived. That is a very good measure of user satisfaction when they go into rotation and remain there for months if not years. Kudos to those manufacturers who have earned my loyalty.

Once the list was set, it struck me that any of them would make a good gift. To make it simple, here is the list with links to Amazon for models that are currently available. Prices fluctuate so do shop around. If you purchase from Amazon, Inkophile earns a tiny commission that will be used towards the purchase of new products to review.

Happy shopping!

 

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Big, Bad Nibs – One Year On

09/06/2016

Sometimes it is useful to compare what works now to what worked in the past. An image of my wide nibs from a year ago turned up quite by accident and I realized how few of these pens were currently inked. Does that mean the others have fallen out of favor or they just aren’t good enough to remain in use?

The truth is that I’m fickle. Plus I’ve come to appreciate the reduced maintenance that attends a smaller rotation.

Consequently, only the TWSBI 580 1.1 stub, the Platinum #3776 Music Nib, and the Platinum Nice Pur Broad remain active. It’s an interesting group because both the nibs and pen sizes are varied. All to the good for writing and comfort.

But do these pens have the same tastes in ink? The TWSBI has been filled with Diamine Violet all year. The Platinum music nib is more likely to switch partners, but is especially suited to Diamine Sepia. The Nice Pur takes all inks well, though Platinum Pigment Rose Red might top its list with Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses coming in a close second. Glad to see the pens getting along so well with some of my favorite inks.

Now that I look at it, my rotation has only two recently acquired pens, a Pilot Kakuno M with Diamine Mediterranean and a Pilot Metropolitan M with Pilot BBk. The lone older model is a 1970’s Pilot Elite Pocket Pen loaded with Noodler’s Black, the little black dress in my ink wardrobe.

A six pen rotation is all I need for personal use and it provides enough variety to make writing colorful and entertaining.

If something in my rotation appeals to you, check out the links below. The Platinum music nib at the link is the newer Century model since my smaller #3776 has become difficult to find.

The Pilot Elite ‘Isaac Newton’ can be found from time to time on eBay for roughly $100 to $150. One word of warning. Some of the Elites can have brittle plastic sections and crack easily just by inserting a converter. Otherwise, it’s a good model if you like the pocket pen form.

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Paper, Pens And Summer

06/13/2016

It only took a couple of 90 °F days to signal summer is on its way and it is time to reduce my writing tools to an uncomplicated few for the season. This is a simple feat I attempt every year with varying degrees of success. Annual modifications are often suggested by new products, but also by rediscovering good things from past summer kits. It is a mix of both this time.

This year it will be two Midori Traveler’s #013 Notebooks with Tomoe River paper, one as a journal and the other for ink and watercolor experiments. A grid pencil board will help with writing level and drawing squares for color swatches. I haven’t settled on a cover yet though a lightweight leather or a colorful fabric hold the most appeal. Last year I purchased a fabric cover from DesignsbyRamona107 on Etsy, but I’d like something different for the next few months.

For long term, keep forever notes, a journal from Paper for Fountain Pens will get pressed into service. The bound format is perfect for the purpose and it was a gift which makes it extra special.

My rotation will dwindle to five or so as the currently inked pens empty. However, testing new colors will fill several pens and no doubt the crew will return to a dozen by summer’s end. Incoming inks from Noodler’s will keep things lively and fresh along with several from last year that have yet to be reviewed.

The Platinum Century pens with the Slip & Seal caps endured the heat last year better than other pens and will see duty throughout the summer. A medium and a broad nib will provide variety. Though not in the same class, the TWSBI 580 and the Conklin Duragraph 1.1mm will represent the italic nib range along with the Platinum #3776 music nib just because it is my favorite.

Although they aren’t in the right pens yet, the inks most likely to be in the rotation are

  • J. Herbin Larmes de Cassis
  • Sailor Peach Pink
  • Stipula Calamo Sapphron
  • Diamine Meadow
  • Diamine Aqua Blue
  • J. Herbin Vert Reseda

All are evocative of summer’s sun bleached hues, but a deeper blue might be needed for business. Noodler’s General of the Armies, Diamine Mediterranean Blue or Pilot Blue-Black are likely candidates. Platinum Pigment Blue in the Platinum Century Chartres Blue or Waterman Florida Blue in the Pelikan M400 would be more conservative duos should the need arise.

To mix things up a bit, I’m going to order a set of Papermate Liquid Flair pens on Ed Jelley’s recommendation. Fountain pens may dry out in the summer heat, but these porous tip pens shouldn’t. Add to that an Autopoint mechanical pencil and a medium Sharpie Pen and my tool kit will be more than adequate for the months ahead.

Do you reorganize for summer? If so, how do you do it?

Resources mostly through my Amazon Affiliate link:

Macy interrupted the photo shoot to see what I was up to that did not include her.

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A TWSBI Diamond 580 And The Eco

05/22/2016

After almost a year of use, it’s time to tell my TWSBI tale. Of the two on hand, the 580 beats the Eco easily. However, both are good value for money though with caveats.

Both models are piston-fillers so they start out even on that score. A visual comparison reveals no difference between the two fillers, so ink capacity will be identical. The pistons move smoothly and draw ink from a bottle easily. Filling them reminded me how well a piston in a long barrel can pull ink from a tall bottle like Noodler’s. It won’t get you to the bottom, but it will get you closer than other fillers.

The 580 comes in a variety of colors while the Eco comes in black or white. I will say the white Eco looks very appealing with a fill of aqua or turquoise ink. The black is rather common (Who doesn’t have a black fountain pen?), but looks more exciting with a fill of red or orange ink. Diamine Soft Mint is particularly attractive in it.

The Diamond 580 is a clear demonstrator model with enough metal to be a little heavy though balanced when writing without the cap. Tuck the cap on the end and it becomes overbalanced in a small to average hand. It has a very solid feel to its construction though I haven’t played darts with it to see if it is durable. It has either been in a case, on my desk or in my hand which is an easy life for a fountain pen.

The JoWo 1.1mm steel nib is smooth with decent though not copious flow. The sweet spot is a little undersized for the angle at which I write resulting in an occasional missed start to a stroke. This might be an issue peculiar to me and not a problem with the nibs since other users have not mentioned it. The line is slightly less crisp than a Lamy 1.1, so I would rate it a cursive italic. From a practical perspective, the JoWo is better for general use in part because the line is more narrow. Some italics have sharp corners that catch. Not so with this nib, which adds to its ease of use.

For months the 580 has been filled with Diamine Violet which is a very good match for the nib as well as the clear barrel. I like to twirl it in my fingers just to see the colorful ink slosh around. Sometimes it’s the little things, you know?

TWSBI pens can be a bit delicate. Before engaging in any activity other than filling, take a few minutes to read the included instructions or watch a video or two. My 580 arrived with a barrel and nib that would spin with little provocation and would not tighten. It took a day at FPN, several posts and some help from friends to figure out how to stabilize it without risking damage. The pen should have arrived ready to rock and roll. It didn’t. Since another FPNer had the same problem, you might, too.

The Eco does not write quite as smoothly as the 580. In fact the one I have is a dry writer that needs a somewhat upright hold and slight rotation to produce a consistent line. I often rotate a pen so that isn’t a disqualification for me. However, the upright angle is not comfortable so the Eco loses marks for that bit. Unfortunately, it isn’t good enough to get regular use. Perhaps a different ink will make it a better fit for my writing style.

The 580 has no flow or nib issue and has a more substantial build. It is slightly heftier in the hand and I think more attractive. The turning knob on the Eco is functional, but a bit clunky in proportion and design. That could be said of the cap as well. The 580 has a more balanced and sophisticated design. Go for that one if $60 fits your budget. If you want an inexpensive carry pen or one as a first foray into italic nibs, the Eco at under $30 might do.

So that’s my TWSBI tale of two pens.

The company has an excellent reputation for customer service, but hopefully you will never need it.

Amazon offers a variety of TWSBI models and nib sizes.

More on the 580 from The Pen Addict and a review of the Eco from Dan Smith.

 

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