Goulet Q&A Episode 3

This is the third episode of Goulet Q&A, where I answer your fountain pen, ink, and paper questions. Every week I take your questions on YouTubeTwitterFacebook, and InkNouveau.com, and answer them in this video. This was was an open-forum just like Episode 1 and Episode 2, and I’ve posted the questions below with time stamps for easy reference. 

Next week I’ll be mixing things up a little bit, with a theme of “Getting into the hobby”. I’ve done several Fountain Pen 101 videos to cover the basics of getting into fountain pens, but I know I didn’t cover everything there. If you have any questions about starting out with fountain pens, regarding pens, ink, paper, or anything else  you wonder about, just ask in the comments.

Here are the questions for this week:

1) Patrick H.- Facebook (1:30):

What approach would you recommend for trying to improve one’s handwriting? For instance, would you use formal drills like in the classic Palmer method? Any books or other materials you’d recommend? I’m an active member of Fountain Pen Network and would certainly recommend browsing a site like that. I’m also happily using EC Mills’ “Modern Business Penmanship” (from 1903!). I’m curious to hear your ideas.

2) Stuart- email (4:51):
Do you own a shirt with a collar?  I don’t think I have ever seen you in any of your videos wear anything but a t-shirt of some form or another.

3) enado18- YouTube (6:16):
What’s the difference between bulletproof and eternal inks? Can the difference be demonstrated?

4) Myke Niemira- email (8:26):
How does the ‘flex’ of the new Platiunum Cool compare to the Noodler’s Ahab nibs? Does it take more or less pressure to get the line variation?

5) Philip C.- email (10:29):
Which non-black inks fade less over time when used in journals? I like blue such as Asa GAO or red inks such as Diamine oxblood. I also like diamine ancient copper. Any recommendations for which may resist fading the best?

6) PapaKuma- Ink Nouveau (14:42):
You always include a piece of candy with your shipments. What is your favorite and how often do you sneak a piece out of the stockpile?

7) Ted- Ink Nouveau (16:09):
I know that you have been complimented for the quality of your packaging, but I wonder if you have ever discussed trying to use less plastic (less packaging generally) for environmental considerations. Americans are often criticized for overvaluing packaging beyond what is actually necessary (and thus become wasteful).

8) RGH- Ink Nouveau (19:24):
I like to keep a pen and notebook in the car for jotting down ideas (and to-do’s). Unfortunately I live in the swamp of North Florida, and FPs really don’t like being left in the car in 95+ heat. I don’t care about ‘destroying’ the looks, I just want it to work when I take the cap off. Likewise I like to go for walks when I’m working through a problem (even when it’s hot), and again I take a pen with me – generally stuck in a shorts pocket (too hot to wear a shirt with a pocket). FPs on the whole don’t like being joggled around so there is often ink on the section and in the cap ..not cool! So, any suggestions about which pens might solve these problems? At the moment I keep a mechanical pencil on hand for both of these uses.

9) liban- Ink Nouveau (22:30):
What do you do to the pens that you’ve used in video reviews and the nib nook? Do they get placed in the Bottom Shelf or does the warehouse have a copy of every pen/nib you sell?

10) Derick B.-email (23:32):
The Noodler’s Ahab pens with Goulet Nibs have become my daily carry pens – perfect size, great ink volume and the are SO adjustable. What are Nathan’s plans for the Ahab? Will your out-of-stock Ahabs be back and will there be any new colors in the future? When will you sell Goulet Pen Company or Ink Nouveau shirts and hats? I’ve got to have them!

11) Kevin Landon- Facebook (25:44):
Since I began using fountain pens the big question has been converter or bottle fill only pens. I started with converters and went to piston fill until they stopped working and had to be repaired. Went back to Lamy and Waterman converter models until I felt brave enough to buy a Pelikan m200 recently. Where do you stand on the whole converter versus piston fill systems on fountain pens?

12) SuperAe1995- YouTube (28:25):
I am a student in high school and I tend to go through paper like water during the school year. Is there any type of cheap paper that works better than others?  

Thanks so much for all of your great questions, keep them coming! Have a great week, everyone.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

2017-10-11T14:04:54+00:00 September 6th, 2013|Goulet Q&A|22 Comments
  • Butch

    What's the link for the ink fading experiment? I don't see it.

  • PapaKuma

    Getting Started: What would you recommend to someone who would like to use a fountain pen but is left handed? What makes a left handed nib a left handed nib and do they provide a dramatic change in usability for lefties? (p.s. any chance of getting the lamy LH nibs back in stock, they have been unavailable for a long time now)

  • Michael Graziano

    For RGH – My favorite "pocket pen" is the Kaweco AlSport ( http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/120657-kaweco-al-sport/ ) – They screw closed in your pocket, and the "cap" posts to give you a well balanced full-sized pen.

    I have a "raw aluminum" one which I've wrapped Teflon tape at the threads (partly to cushion my fingers, partly to make it airtight) – it's literally been through the washing machine which emptied the entire cartridge into the cap, but none escaped into the washer.

    I know Brian used to carry Kaweco – not sure if they can still special order them, but they're great pens. The big drawback is that they're cartridge-only, so plan to pick up a syringe kit if you like bottled inks.

  • Chuck Roemer

    Goulet shirts / hats….GREAT idea Derick B!

  • Dennis

    Currently listening to your video.. You can remove the piston in an M800 (or M1000) but not with an M600..

  • Anna

    For question 12, you mentioned finding a great printer paper, but the downside is that it doesn't have lines. However, I have discovered 3 great websites (http://www.printablepaper.net/ , http://konigi.com/tools/graph-paper and http://generatedpaper.com/en) that offer downloadable templates that can be used to print lines on that paper! It's a bit more effort, of course, but definitely a great option!

  • Brian Leair

    The ink fadding blog post was really interesting (and there are several posts actually) – http://hudsonvalleysketches.blogspot.com/2012/12/lightfastness-test-results-on-noodlers.html
    It's a great blog!

    The TLDR version of the light fastness test is that after 5 months of the writing being exposed to sunlight many inks had faded a great deal, some almost disappeared. Several noodler's, the Platinum nano particle inks, and Diamine Gray held up well.

  • Brian Leair

    For improving handwriting, I found this subreddit about spencerian and I got great value from it.

    Question for the group – does anyone know of videos or instructions for scripts that one can learn to write well with a flexible-nib pen?

  • Venera

    I started using cigar barrel fountain pens because they are a little heavier. The extra weight helps combat essential tremor in my hands. Is there any way you can put the weight of the pens in their description?

    I bought a Noodlers pen. Apparently I don't press hard enough for the tip to flex. Also, I end up with nearly as much ink on my finger as I do on the paper.. I think that I need more grip space.

  • Woodnut

    A suggestion for a theme: What thoughts do you–or viewers–have about readily available paper stock to use as stationery for letter writing with a fountain pen? Almost everyone suggests Clairefontaine and Rhodia. But in my experience shopping around, I can only find lined paper. I haven't used lined paper to write a letter since I was in elementary school. Moreover, even if I could find unlined Clairefontaine/Rhodia paper, I'm not sure how adaptable it is for adding a logo and/or return/reply address information. I know that when I tried printing "home brew" letterhead on my laser printer using Clairefontaine paper, the toner simply slid off the paper, and made a mess. Do you or any Goulet Pen followers have experience and suggestions to share about readily-available unlined paper stock that can be purchased by the ream, and printed by a printer (or with a laser printer", and doesn't cost the equivalent of a semester in college or next month's mortgage payment?

  • Good questions, I could probably do a whole Q&A just on lefties with fountain pens (maybe I will, actually, in the future). This is definitely worth mentioning. As for the nibs…yeah, we got them a while ago, sold out, and now we're waiting for more šŸ˜› Should be hopefully later this month. It's something we have to special order directly from Lamy in Germany, so it takes a while.

  • I really liked the Kaweco pens, but we had a devil of a time stocking them. And actually, the US distributor who used to carry them just stopped, so I don't believe there's currently any US distributor for Kaweco. That said, we couldn't get them anymore if we wanted to. If a good distributor picks them up though, we'd be open to it.

  • We've done shirts…I don't think we've done any hats before. We've also done mugs, mousepads, postcards…Zazzle has a lot of stuff we can set up.

  • I'm sure there's a way on the 600 somehow, but I don't own one to know how to do it. I do have an m800 and that piston assembly unscrews out of the back exactly like a TWSBI.

  • Yeah, and the thing to keep in mind is that these are dye-based inks (with the exception of the Platinum), which are absolutely not made to endure UV exposure. Frankly, and inks that will hold up more than a week in direct sunlight are doing pretty well, let alone months. Bottom line, FP inks aren't made for direct sunlight, and should be kept stored in a closed journal for long-term storage.

  • Spencerian looks so cool….

    I don't personally know of any specific tutorials on flex nib usage, I've seen a couple of them where people are just writing/drawing with them that are pretty cool:

  • We have the weights of all the pens on the product pages on Gouletpens.com, on the whole pen, body only, and cap only. It's in a big table if you scroll down on any pen's page.

    Which Noodler's pen are you using? The Nib Creaper is very thin, it would probably work much for you to try the substantially larger Noodler's Ahab: http://www.gouletpens.com/Noodlers_Ahab_Flex_Nib_Pens_s/1098.htm

  • There's plenty of CF and Rhodia paper without lines: http://www.gouletpens.com/Shop_All_Stationery_s/1148.htm?searching=Y&sort=7&cat=1148&show=30&page=1&f-Blank%20Paper=73 and http://www.gouletpens.com/Shop_All_Notebooks_s/890.htm?searching=Y&sort=7&cat=890&f-Blank%20Paper=73&show=30&page=1&brand=Rhodia

    But these will all be pretty slick, probably not ideal for laser printers. You should check out a high quality laser printer paper, like HP 32lb Premium, that's some good stuff.

  • Venera

    I double checked what I ordered, it was a Noodler,s Ahab Flex pen in Morgan Silver.

    Ah, now that I actually see where to look for weight. It appears I need to look for pens that weigh 39.7 grams or more. I have a couple X450 Kurve pens that are that weight and a couple more pens that are about that weight.

    Wood the Noodler's flex tip fit one of those pens?

    Also, I love your Goulet brand pen nibs, but how do I know what a size 6 will fit into?

  • Leigh Haggar

    Hi Brian, here's a suggestion for a theme … which fountain pen manufacturers offer the widest choice of nibs or best options for calligraphy? I know that traditionally, a dipping pen and Indian ink or Gouache is the usual route, but there must be many calligraphers out there who use fountain pens.

  • Brian Cole