Friday, September 27, 2013

Goulet Q&A Episode 6, Inks Part 2

This week is Part 2 of my Goulet Q&A topics of "Inks". Now, I realize of course that the word "inks" is improper grammar, that a liquid can't in fact be pluralized. But if you can get past that, you'll find I have a variety of great ink questions that I was able to answer this week. I got so many questions about ink from announcing the topic two weeks ago that I had to split it up, and even then I easily could have made a Part 3 (but I won't for right now).

Next week I'm going to take a little break from the Q&A theming thing, and go back to just an open format where you can ask me any question about ink, pens, paper, or whatever else that you want. Be sure to also check out last week's episode of Inks Part 1 here, and previous episodes of Goulet Q&A here.

Here are the questions on ink that I discussed in today's video:

1) Jude R.- Facebook (1:54):
If you fill your converter with a particular ink, use it some, then decide to switch colors/brand, should you dispose of the ink in the converter or put it back in the bottle it came from?

2) Arika C.- Facebook (3:54): 
The swatch of J. Herbin's Rouge Hematite puzzles me. Why does it look sort of brownish-green, when the ink is actually a bright red? I wouldn't have bought it based on that swatch, but it came with a past Ink Drop I was picking up, and I ended up loving it. It confuses me just because your swatches are usually so accurate!

3) Bronson S.- Facebook (5:50):
Are inks with red dyes harmful to fountain pens? I was visiting a local pen shop and the shop keeper did not recommend putting inks with red dyes in fountain pens. I enjoy writing with red inks, like Noodler's Red-Black, so I would hate to have to stop using them. Aloha from Hawai‘i!

4) Jim- Ink Nouveau (8:07):
Brian, you have in the past mentioned ink colors and at least alluded to brands you like, but what are some of the inks you don't like and that could be on account of color, nib creep, poor flow in your pens, brand, etc.

    • pinky reds- Platinum Red, Lamy Red, Omas Red, Diamine Brilliant Red
    • weak browns- Diamine Dark Brown, Noodler's Burma Road Brown
    • weak oranges- Diamine Peach Haze, Noodler's Summer Tanager
    • fast-dry inks, feather too much

5) Heath C.- Facebook (11:50):
What are the most popular basic ink/colors for everyday writing? A Top 5/10 would be great. i.e. 1.Noodlers Black 2. Sheaffer Skrip Red, etc.

  • Blacks- Noodler's Black/Heart of Darkness/Aurora Black
  • Blue- Noodler's Liberty's Elysium/Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao/Kon-Peki
  • Blue-Black- Noodler's 54th Massachusetts/Waterman Mysterious Blue
  • Red- Diamine Red Dragon/Oxblood/Matador
  • Brown- Diamine Chocolate Brown/Noodler's #41 Brown

6) Yianni P.- Facebook (13:31):
How does one get Noodler's inks (i.e. Noodler's Black & Liberty Elysium) off one's hands?

7) Leslie H.- Facebook (15:12):
Do you recommend shaking the bottle each time before use?

8) @Alrick33- Twitter (17:13):
History shows 100 year old letters survive; do modern inks stand a chance to last like they used to?

9) strangebirdsir- YouTube (19:26):
I purchased the Noodler's Bernanke Black as I needed an ink that would dry almost instantly. But I've never seen that mentioned before. Maybe I missed it, but what is your impression of this ink? I find that it writes very well in all my pens and drys almost as soon as I'm done writing a word.

10) @MobyProf- Twitter (21:20):
Which inks are especially good for drawing? I'd like an ink that washes well & also leaves a good line intact.

11) elh93- YouTube (23:28):
What is your favorite ink for a demonstrator? Also what inks do you think work better for demonstrators and what should be avoided?

12) Peter D.- Facebook (26:36):

What is the best use for a yellow ink? I have a couple of old Sheaffer Skrip cartridges, they are too light to be used to highlight or underline. Is there any way to mix them with a blue or purple to get something like Noodler's Avocado or Diamine Evergreen? Thanks

13) Robert M.- Facebook (28:03):
So why can't Noodlers inks be mixed with one another to achieve darker or lighter shades. Or Special Reserve ink mixing???? Curious as you sell ink mixing kits.

14) DaiReborn- YouTube (30:44):
I would really like to know the difference between the different Noodler's black inks, especially black, heart of darkness and borealis black. Bernanke and polar blacks are a bit more obvious.

15) Christina A.- Facebook (33:22):
Why do some inks and pens just do not get along? I have a few lovely pens that are shelf bound bc every ink I try (pen manufacturer included) leaks.

Thank you so much to all of you who asked me questions, I wouldn't be able to do this without you! I'm sorry if I didn't answer yours, but keep asking and I'll cover as much as I possibly can next week. Just post your question in the comments below. Thanks so much for watching and have a great week!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New Animal Print Pilot Metropolitan Designs Announced

Five new designs of the Pilot Metropolitan are coming this fall, each with an 'animal' pattern accent. The black/silver/gold plain models will remain in the regular line, while the black/silver/gold dot and zig-zag patterns will eventually be retired. The Metropolitan is one of my all-time favorite pens for many reasons, but especially because it's such a high quality pen at an incredibly reasonable price ($15). It could easily sell for double what it does, and I think most of you who have one would agree.

I have to admit, I'm not wild (pun!) about these new colors. Some are okay, but I'm not jumping up and down about the fact they're replacing the existing dot and zig-zag patterns. Such is life, these are still great pens, and I am glad to see some different colors come in. My personal favorites (at least from these stock photos) are the Leopard and White Tiger. If you're confused about the "MR" in the name, it's because that's what the pen is called outside the US. In the US, it's called the Metropolitan. Here are the five designs:


Pilot Metropolitan in Crocodile pattern


Pilot Metropolitan in Leopard pattern


Pilot Metropolitan in Lizard pattern

Pilot Metropolitan in Python pattern

White Tiger
Pilot Metropolitan in White Tiger pattern

These designs will be released sometime this fall, and I'll update with pics and a new video when I get them in my hands. They'll be available at my store (Gouletpens.com) for the same price as the existing colors at $15, with a box and converter. Part of the reason I wanted to blog about this is because I wanted to let you know about these new colors and the discontinuation of the dot and zig-zag, but really I just wanted to hear what you think of these new colors. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monteverde Jewelria Carbon Fiber is here!

Last week I introduced you to the two new Monteverde Jewelrias in Carbon Fiber with this blog post and video. That post has a full review. I have another video for you here, just a trailer/teaser that Tyler (our photographer/videographer/awesomeographer) helped us put together with some fun new video tools we got. It's really just something fun!

The Carbon Fiber Jewelrias are available starting today at Gouletpens.com for $56, and that's with a converter. They are the same price, size, weight, and everything else as the other Jewelrias. Please let me know what you think of the video!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday, September 20, 2013

Goulet Q&A Episode 5, Inks Part 1

I set this week's Goulet Q&A theme as "Inks", but clearly that was too broad of a topic! I ended up getting a slew of questions, so many that I had to split the video up into two parts, and even that won't answer all the questions I received. So, I'll give it my best shot. Part 1 here features broader, more general ink questions that touch on a host of different ink properties and recommendations. Part 2 will go a little deeper and answer some more specific questions. At least that's what I was shooting for, it ended up really just being kind of a mix! Anyway, if you want to learn more about ink, at least what I think about ink, these videos should help you. Enjoy!

1) GimmeCookiee- Ink Nouveau (1:57):
Are there inks that are suitable for writing on slightly 'glossy' paper like those commonly used for greeting cards? The paper doesn't seem to absorb water based inks and I would have to resort to gel inked ball points on them.

2) @fmfisdead- Twitter (3:45):
Why is water resistance not considered an important property for more ink companies besides Noodler’s?

3) GenWivern2- YouTube/Steven B- Facebook (5:29):
I thought it would be useful if you discussed iron gall inks a bit next week. Some people love them (that's me), others won't let them anywhere near their pens, so it would be interesting to hear your take.

4) Steven B- Facebook/Dave G.- Facebook (7:58):
Can hi-lighter ink be used in a fountain pen or is it only for use in a special hi-lighter pen?

5) etakemllac- YouTube (9:17):
I would LOVE to hear about inks that are not necessarily "workplace-friendly". There is a lot of talk about inks that are, but no everyone needs that. Let's hear about bright colors and especially anything that shades exceptionally well. It seems these inks are often overlooked for blue-blacks and such. 

6) Penny Simon- YouTube (11:38):
I've read reviews that refer to some inks, such as Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng, as "difficult". What qualities are they referring to when they say this? And can this tendency be compensated for with the right choice of pen? Also, when does a person require the use of a lubricated ink?

7) enado18- YouTube (15:04):
For the ink Q&A I'd like to hear about scented inks! Customer reviews seem to suggest most scented inks are bland generic flowery smells, but I'd like to find some more interesting ones like those Sanford Mr. Sketch markers I had as a kid!

8) mikehewHI- YouTube (17:15):
Are some inks more prone to clogging fountain pens than others? Is there a preference on the different kinds of ink such as Bulletproof, Eternal, Lubricated, etc to eliminate this? 

9) tanyees- YouTube (20:53):
How does diluting inks affects its properties, eg viscosity, flow, dry time, feathering etc? Is the reverse true if left in a pen for some period? Which inks are good for flexing, sbrebrown mentioned x feather? How to best bring out shading in a saturated ink, would diluting work??

10) Pascal D.- Facebook (24:59):
What's the best way to safely store bottled ink? I've bought JHerbin cartridges that were half empty, and still sealed, when I started.. Is there an expiration date on bottled ink?

11) John N.- Facebook (29:06):
With Ink prices ranging from $30 to $9 on your site, what is the difference between the inks? I understand the "bullet proofness" may be a factor. But are things like viscosity and other factors a factor in the range in pricing? Or is it just the manufactures price that they can get for it?

12) Stefan B.- Facebook (31:03):
What happened to CdA (Caran d'Ache)?

Since this is a two-part Q&A theme, I'll still be taking questions on "Inks" for next week's video. I'll be doing Part 2 next Friday, and then I'll change up the theme after that. I know in the video I said I'd rapid-fire Part 2 out mid-week, but it's looking like my schedule isn't going to accommodate that. So I'll plan to make Episode 6 on September 27th be "Inks Part 2". Be sure to check out previous Goulet Q&A videos here.

Have a great week, and thanks for asking great questions and for showing up to see me!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, September 19, 2013

30 by 30 by 30: my experience losing 30 pounds

You may have noticed I'm a little thinner than in my older videos, and that's because I've lost 30 pounds in the last 3 months. I haven't done anything extreme, just diet and exercise, but I hit a major personal milestone today and wanted to reflect on my experiences with you. I'd originally set out to lose 30 pounds by my 30th birthday on April 30th, and I hit that goal today, more than seven months early. It's been a lot of work and required a whole lifestyle change, but I am living proof that it can be done even with a business and family that requires so much of my time and energy.

I want to give an official public thanks to my darling wife, Rachel, for supporting me in this goal. She has helped many mornings to wake up our kids and get them ready with less help than I've normally given. She has also made diet changes right along side me, and we've been encouraging each other as we've both set out to get our family on a healthier track.

Hopefully my story can inspire you, I have been deeply impacted by experience over the last three months and just wanted to share it on this personally meaningful day.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Brian Goulet's Top 3 Daily Carry Fountain Pens

Though I have a rather extensive pen collection by most standards (100+ pens, I haven't counted recently), I have three that have pretty much become my standby pens that come with me everywhere I go. I'm sure I have different preferences than you might, but here's at least my reasons why my favorite pens to carry around are the Lamy 2000, Pilot Custom 74, and Pilot Metropolitan.

Lamy 2000

Lamy 2000
Lamy 2000, my favorite pen for quick notes and understated elegance.
This is an understated yet elegantly simple pen. It's large ink capacity and ease-of-use piston filler make it good for writing for slightly longer sessions, and the snap cap make it more convenient to use for quick notes than other pens that you need to twist to uncap. It's not cheap ($159), but it is a good value for the build quality, writing quality (14k gold nib), and balance of the pen. It's no wonder this pen has been a mainstay in Lamy's lineup for nearly 50 years.

I use mine with a medium nib because I like a little shading in my ink, but I also appreciate the finer nibs, especially when working on cheap paper. The pen has a reputation for having kind of a narrow 'sweet spot', and that's most noticeable on the fine and extra-fine nibs. Check out our video discussing this here. For that reason, a few people just don't like it, and that's okay. But for the ones that do get the hang of it, this pen easily becomes a staple in their pen lineup, just like it has in mine.

Pilot Custom 74

Pilot Custom 74, my top go-to pen for the last 2+ years.
At the time I started using this pen, it was the most expensive pen I'd ever owned ($160). I love blue, so that one was an obvious choice for me. But what really sold me on this pen really had nothing to do with the features, color, design…it was all about how it felt when I wrote with it. The 14k nib has just a bit of softness to it, which I often call 'spring', that acts kind of like a shock absorber when I write. It makes the already smooth nib just glide across the page and gives me a responsiveness in my writing that is hard for me to explain except by saying that this pen just 'feels right' to me.

It is cartridge/converter, but it uses Pilot's Con-70 which is the largest converter they have. It's a bit of a pain to clean when changing colors, so I tend to break my normal habit of changing inks every 10 words (or so it seems) and I seldom change what I keep in this pen. In fact, with rare exception I have only used Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki, Noodler's Blue, Noodler's Liberty's Elysium, and Noodler's 54th Massachusetts. Liberty's Elysium is my mainstay these days, especially because it so perfectly matches the pen! That's something I never used to care about, but has been more important to me in the last year or so.

Pilot Metropolitan

Pilot Metropolitan, my 'workhorse' pen that I keep with me for knockabout purposes.
So this one might throw you off a bit, as the other two pens are much more expensive and have gold nibs. Why the Metro? Well, it's just a workhorse. It's solid, writes well, holds a decent volume of ink for a cartridge/converter, and is just a great knockabout pen. I throw it in my bag, my pocket, whatever, I don't care. I just beat it up because it can take it, and at $15 who cares if I scratch it (haven't yet), drop it, or lose it. This is one of the first pens I recommend for new people getting into the fountain pen hobby, because it's an insanely good value and it is a great introduction into what fountain pens have to offer.

There are a couple of compromises with this pen. The nib only comes in fine and medium, and there's no ink window so I don't really know when I'm about to run out of ink. But despite all that, I love this pen and keep it inked with either Diamine Red Dragon or Diamine Ancient Copper.

My experience is my own, and though I've objectively used many, many pens for reviews and work purposes, these three pens have been the ones that for me have stood the test of time and continue to have a dedicated place in my laptop case. But it's not only limited to these three, I often carry at least four or five, rotating out the newest pen I just got in, or something particularly special to me. But my Lamy and Pilots are the ones that are always there, inked up and ready to go.

What about you? What are the pens that are always with you?

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sneak Peek: Vanishing Point LE 2013

We have the official word from Pilot: this year's limited edition Vanishing Point is coming this November 2013. This year is extra special since it's the 50th anniversary of the Capless in Japan, so this pen is extra special too.

The body is made of maple wood, with gold hardware. It comes beautifully packaged in a matching wooden box.

This year the quantities are even more limited than in the past - only 900 will be available worldwide, with 300 allocated to the US market. We'll definitely be getting some, so don't worry about that!

The price is a bit higher than in the past, coming in at $550 list price (we'll be selling it at a 20% discount for $440).

While it traditionally comes standard with a medium nib, we can swap it out for a fine or broad in the matching gold trim, or EF-B in the rhodium trim (or even the black nib, coming out soon!).

What do you think of this year's pen? A must-have for your collection?

Write On,
Rachel Goulet

Goulet Q&A Episode 4

This week marks the 4th Goulet Q&A, and to mix things up a bit I decided to focus on the topic "Getting into the fountain pen hobby". I've done a number of Fountain Pen 101 videos intended for the beginners in our fountain pen world, and my motivation for them was to make it easier to get a start than what I experienced when I was trying to figure it all out myself years ago. This Q&A is intended to 'fill the gaps' of anything I might have missed in those videos, and answer any questions you have that I didn't think to include.

Here are this week's questions:

1) VallivueLaxPlayer- YouTube (2:45):
What are some of the best ways to convince people that fountain pens are worth it?
  • Judge your audience
  • Romatic appeal
  • Passionate/unique community
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Color/fun ink selection
  • Personality
  • Environmental consciousness
  • Status

2) DjentleDjiant- YouTube (6:24):
What would be some decent inks (blue, black, etc) for people who are getting into fountain pens to check out?
  • Brian's sampler set: 
  • Noodler's Black
  • Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses
  • Diamine Ancient Copper
  • Diamine Majestic Blue
  • Diamine Red Dragon
  • Noodler's 54th Massachusetts
  • Noodler's Liberty's Elysium
  • Rohrer and Klingner Scabiosa
  • Noodler's Apache Sunset
  • Noodler's Blue Ghost

3) The Pen Pixie- YouTube (8:12):
I just got a gift of $500. What fountain(s) pen do you suggest? For reference, I like the Pilot Metropolitan for an everyday writer. I also like a bit of an italic nib and prefer a smooth writing experience. I like a smaller grip section and find the Lamy Safari grip fatiguing. What fountain pen(s) do you suggest?

4) Foxclass- YouTube (10:57):
I'm new to fountain pens, and just grabbed a medium nib Pilot Prera (absolutely love it). For next week's video how about some suggestions for a good follow up purchase to expand my stationery collection? What would be a good way to continue the hobby - a notebook? Some ink? Things like that!
5) Brian Fourroux- Facebook (14:09):I'm just getting started in the hobby and one of the things I love is the diversity and variation that exists in the FP world. What 5 relatively inexpensive (<$75) pens would you recommend a newbie work towards to get a good, overarching experience of all the fun things fountain pens can do? Maybe talk about different nibs and inks to go with those pens if you have time.
6) Dionne C- YouTube (17:14): 
I am so new to this hobby that I just bought my first pens, a Pilot varsity, Platinum preppy and a Lamy Safari. I was wondering can you store ink in the converter and then just change that out when you want a new color? Looking forward to playing with my pens when they get here.

7) @fmfisdead- Twitter (19:19):
Is it bad to use up an ink completely in a pen? Overheard at DC you shouldn’t let it run completely to the end.

8) PapaKuma- Ink Nouveau (20:48):
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)

9) Matt Lasley- email (24:33):
What are the Permanent &/or semi-permanent inks in stock? Noodlers' line is clear. What are others that are permanent. Most of the other inks I like are just not permanent, and maybe I'll get over permanence as a criteria. Knowing, say for Diamine, what inks are permanent would be good. Even if it's only partially permanent, I've noticed there's rock-solid permanent, then there's the ones that will smear but still leave a permanent line (gets ugly when wet, but does not lose the writing) and then there's the non permanent that washes away and does lose what was written. I can see myself compromising to accept a mid-permanent ink for one that I really like.
  • Gouletpens.com- water resistant inks here

10) Hans Packer-Facebook (28:40):
Have you ever commented on how someone might decide on a nib size? I have always bought medium, but I am considering a Delta Fusion 82, and I am feeling like being daring and getting a broad nib. I just was wondering your thoughts on pros and cons for different nib sizes.

For next week's video on Friday, Sept. 20th I'll go with the theme "Ink". You can ask me anything you want to know about fountain pen ink, ink brands, properties, how to choose the right ink, anything along those lines. You can ask the question in the comments on this video. You can also check out previous episodes of Goulet Q&A here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Monteverde Jewelria Overview

In this Monteverde Jewelria video, I've included some time markers so you can jump right to the parts you want to see:
  • Unboxing (0:54)
  • Closer look/details of the pen (2:49)
  • Key features (4:22)
  • Comparison to other pens (7:30)
  • Inking up and writing with it (8:30)

The Monteverde Jewelria is a pen that was released in the summer of 2013, and was overshadowed a little bit by the subsequent release of the more popular Monteverde Intima. Well, it's time I gave the Jewelria the attention it deserves, and what better way to do that than to introduce you to two new finishes for the pen in carbon fiber!


The original three colors of the pen are black, brown, and green, which are turned cast acrylic acetate resin which are typically only seen in more expensive pens. Monteverde has brought these deep and attractive materials to a more affordable price range in several of their models now. The Prima, Intima, and Jewelria all have bright, pearlescent materials in $50ish pens that you typically only see in $100+ pens. But what's more impressive is that they've taken two new carbon fiber materials, a black and silver, and put them on the Jewelria and kept the price the same.

It should be noted that the silver CF pen isn't technically carbon fiber...true carbon fiber is made of carbon...which is black. This is some kind of silver/fiberglass material that is woven to look identical to a CF weave, but in silver. For marketing's sake they're calling it silver carbon fiber, and for the aesthetic function of this pen that's exactly what it is. The weight/strength benefit of real carbon fiber isn't utilized at all in this pen, it's purely aesthetic, so I just wanted to clarify the silver color to those of you who are hardcore CF fans. If you're hardcore into CF, then get the black one, that's the real deal.

Previously, carbon fiber pens were only available from Monteverde in the $100 list price ($80 retail) Invincias, but the Jewelria is a $70 list price ($56 retail) pen that has the same wrapped carbon fiber with a gloss finish. I am a retailer who sells these pens so please take my enthusiasm and excitement for these pens with that in mind, just know that I as a pen enthusiast genuinely get excited to see such innovations in a pen like this that I consider to be a great value.

Key Features

Some of the key features of the Monteverde Jewelria include:
  • Cast acrylic acetate resin or carbon fiber finish, great value in a pen in this price range
  • Stainless steel #6 nibs are large and write well, available in fine, medium, broad, and 1.1mm stub in both silver and black finish 
  • Nibs are easy to remove for cleaning/maintenance and swapping with other nib sizes
  • Nibs are sold separately from the pen, increasing the utility of a single pen
  • Very light, only 23g total weight and 12g in the pen body
  • Grip/body is thinner than most other MV pens, more comfortable in smaller hands
  • Cartridge/converter filling is easy to clean, and is standard international so you have lots of ink options
  • Converter is included with the pen, and is threaded which helps keep the grip on the converter when filling
  • Converter is easy to maintain and is inexpensive to replace if needed
  • Pen has sufficient 'bling' to it, without being gaudy. It's not understated, not overstated. Just stated.
  • The box/packaging is attractive and sturdy, and included a couple of ink cartridges to get you going

Not to view this pen through rose-colored glasses, I will also point out some things I see as potential drawbacks for the Jewelria:
  • The box is a bit big, and if you have several MV pens you'll have to store these somewhere
  • The pen is actually so light that some will perceive it to be 'cheap', it's about the weight of a Lamy Al-Star
  • Because the pen is fairly long, and much of the weight is in the cap (at the finial), the pen is back-weighted when posted, which some people don't like
  • The clip is a bit short, though it does get the job done
  • The pen isn't eyedropper convertible, so you'll be limited in your ink capacity to what a standard international cartridge/converter holds

My overall impression of this pen is that while it's not going to be my first go-to pen, I do greatly appreciate that it will be that for some of you. I actually didn't add one to my own personal collection when the original three colors came out, but I have set aside one of each of the carbon fiber versions for myself. This is a pen I can see carrying on me when I dress up a little bit, when I want to show someone a reason why a fountain pen should cost more than a ballpoint ;) This is a pen that looks more expensive than it really is.

Where to Buy

These pens are all available at Gouletpens.com, and in fact the carbon fiber ones are launching as an exclusive to our store. What can I say, we love carbon fiber ;) The pens have a list price of $70, and will be selling at our store for $56 in fine, medium, broad, and 1.1mm stub in black or silver color finish. The non-CF pens are available at any Monteverde retail that chooses to stock them.

I'd love to hear what you think of the Jewelria, if you have one or if you're just seeing it for the first time. Please share what you think in the comments!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, September 9, 2013

September Ink Drop Reveal: Cool Down

We wanted to dramatically contrast the bright colors of August's Ink Drop with some cooler colors for September. Fall means going back to school, cooler weather, and maybe even an opportunity to buy some new clothes. These colors remind us of just that! This month's colors are:
What do you think of this month's Ink Drop palette?

Friday, September 6, 2013

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

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Removing a Lamy 2000 Nib

I love the Lamy 2000, but the one thing that's kind of confusing about it is checking the nib size. The hooded nib covers up the stamping of the nib size, so you have to disassemble the pen to check it. I've been asked how to do this, so I thought I'd break it out into a very focused video specifically on the topic.

The grip of the pen unscrews slightly above where the stainless steel stops, where the notches sit for the cap. Unscrew it all the way, and using your fingers only (no tools), try to push on the feed on the nib end of the grip to push the nib/feed unit out of the grip housing. It'll take a little finagling to make this happen the first time, but it should be easier after that.

Once it's removed, you can see the nib size and clean the pen more thoroughly. But, make sure you put it back in the right way, it has to be in the same orientation you pulled it out. Also, make sure you don't lose the ring that has the tabs on it, otherwise you won't be able to cap your pen!

This all sounds a lot more elaborate than it is, and once you do it a couple of times you'll be a pro. Just make sure you're careful and don't lose any parts or damage anything, there are no Lamy 2000 parts available through retailers, you'll have to go through Lamy USA to get new parts (and probably have to pay for them). And if you have a stainless steel L2k, the process is the same!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

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