Friday, January 31, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 20, Pen Maintenance

Here's another Goulet Q&A, and it's amazing to me that I'm on the 20th one already! I am absolutely loving doing these, and I'm getting so many great questions from you all. This week's theme is Pen Maintenance, and I have a lot of great stuff to discuss. Here are the questions I tackled this week:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Introducing: Edison Nouveau Premiere Seasonal Special Edition Fountain Pens

Several years ago we launched the Edison Nouveau Premiere, the first collaborative pen with Brian Gray of the Edison Pen Co. We've offered it in four acrylic colors, and done three ebonite limited editions, to date. Through this process, we've thought about many, many potential colors and materials to use. We always end up going a little conservative because we know the pen has to have at least an element of mass appeal. There have been many materials that we want so badly to use, but often chicken out just because it seems to wild, too risky, or too unpopular to offer for years (potentially).

After going through this process for our 2013 Premiere LE, Rachel had the fantastic idea of doing seasonal Special Editions. The idea was that we would pick one color for each season of the year, to be used only for that season and then retired. This would allow us to constantly freshen up the line, get to choose at least 4 new pen colors each year, and have the freedom to choose some less conventional colors since they aren't going to be around for long anyway! Brian Gray was totally on board, and we immediately got to work.

For our first ever seasonal Special Edition, we let Brian Gray have the honor of choosing a color he'd been wanting to use. It's called Black Ice, and it's really cool (pun totally intended). The color is a silvery-white that is semi-translucent, with gray/black swirls and just a few streaks of cobalt blue mixed in. It's perfect for our Winter 2014 Premiere, and we're excited to kick off this new offering with this material.

How the Seasonal Special Editions Will Work

We'll be releasing 4 pens a year, one around each of the change of the seasons. We're a tad late with the Winter 2014 pen, but ongoing we'll have each pen available for around 3 months. Our next one will be late March, then late June, late September... and that leaves us just before Christmas for the Winter one, so we'll probably end up releasing that one either in early December or just wait until early January, we haven't quite decided that one yet.

We're very open to ideas about future colors, nothing is locked in. We'd actually love to know what you'd want to see us use! Brian Gray has an album of material samples here that you can browse, and we'd love for you to post which materials you think would look good in a seasonal Premiere in the comments below.

The Winter 2014 Premiere is available here for purchase immediately, in extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1mm, and 1.5mm stub stainless steel nibs. They are standard international cartridge/converter pens, and can be converted to eyedropper fill. They will be available for the same price as regularly offered Premieres at $149, from now until the end of March. After that, no more Black Ice pens will be made and what we have in stock at that time is all that will be left. We aren't numbering these pens or limiting how many will be produced during their season, but once the end date rolls around, no more.

We're really excited to be offering these seasonal Premieres, it's something we see as a great way to offer you a wide variety of materials and keep things really fun and interesting. What do you think?

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

TWSBI Classic Disassembly and Reassembly Demonstration

One of the great things about TWSBI pens is that they're so easy to disassemble and maintain. This is true with all their pens, especially the TWSBI Classic that was recently released. I have already done a full review here, you can see how it compares to the TWSBI 580 and TWSBI Mini here, as well as my video showing how to fill it here, and a writing sample of it here. To add to the TWSBI Classic video archive, I wanted to show you how to take it apart and put it back together.

In this video, I cover:

  • Disassembly overview (0:51)
  • Removing cap insert (1:39)
  • Disassembling the cap (2:55)
  • Removing the nib/grip (4:37)
  • Disassembling the body (8:10)
  • Toothpick trick (9:07)
  • Explanation of piston (11:16)
  • Re-assemble piston (12:38) 
  • Threading the piston mechanism (16:45)
  • Final steps (18:12) 

This is exactly the kind of video I fully expect to generate some questions, so feel free to ask away in the comments below.

TWSBI Classic Fountain Pen

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday, January 24, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 19: Open Forum

This week's Goulet Q&A is an Open Forum, where I answer 16 questions of various topics. I got questions about buying a second pen, greasing pistons, my biggest pen disappointment, and managing using 30+ pens at once. I really enjoyed today's questions, and if you watch you'll get to see me in a baller suit (I had a business lunch to go to right after I shot the vid!). 

Here are this week's questions:

1) Luis M.- Facebook (3:03):
Which fountain pen would be ideal after my first fountain pen? I've used a (Goulet) Lamy Safari with a Fine nib for the past 6 months or so, loved it. What would be the next tier?? (any brand/nib goes) What are your thoughts on this?
2) Sherah Epic- Facebook (5:09):
How do I grease the piston of piston pens that cannot be disassembled (eg. the Pelikan M200)? [PS. My name is pronounced as share-rah, but you can call me Epic ]
  • Video coming soon!
  • remove nib, silicone grease on q-tip, swab inside of barrel 
3) Tristan N.- Facebook (6:36):
What is your biggest pen disappointment?
  • Pelikan m800 1.5mm italic
4) Hal H.- Facebook (11:23):
1. Please tell me those Goulet Pens t-shirts will be for sale in the future. 2. For any ink drops, have you done your kids' favorite colors? That seems like it'd be a cool drop!
5) @dbwoo61- Twitter (12:58):
With 30+ pens I find it hard not to ink up more than I can reasonably use. Anyone else have same problem & suggestions?

6) @TNPnation- Twitter (14:26):
Hey Brian, could you tell us about the cool looking papers that line the walls of your desk area in a vid?

7) Steve B.- Facebook (16:29):
Is there a converter that can be used for the Monteverde Poquito?
8) Donovan O.- Facebook (17:35):
Is the Lamy Safari better than the Pilot Metropolitan?
  • Yes and No
  • Lamy pros: 
    • interchangeable nibs
    • awesome colors
    • durable as heck
    • light weight
  • Lamy cons:
    • more expensive
    • converter not included
  • Pilot pros:
    • awesome value
    • converter included
    • durable
    • great writer
  • Pilot cons:
    • limited color options
    • medium nib only
    • converter isn't clear

9) Sabina T.- Facebook (20:11):
I put Diamine Ancient Copper in my Ahab, used it, then left it nib up in my pen holder for a week or so. When I came back to it, it had bubbled up and crusted over, out of the nib, feed and around the edges of the nib section, onto the nib. It looks like solidified lava after an eruption. The ink inside the pen had turned to sludge. Is this normal? Will this damage the pen? Is it because the Ahab is meant to be letting out a lot of ink, and is now letting the Ancient Copper evaporate from the pen? Is this the dreaded ink mold? I will clean the pen, and hopefully it will be okay. Is this something I should expect from this ink, in general, and only use it in small doses and clean it right away, or is it a particular problem?
  • extremes of pen and ink
  • relative humidity
10) Bec M.- Facebook (23:06):
I'm looking to pick up an italic nib for the TWSBI Diamond 580. Would you recommend the 1.1 mm or 1.5 mm for my first italic nib?
  • 1.1mm usually best, esp. with 7mm ruling or smaller
  • goes for all pens, not just TWSBI
11) Kevin L.- Facebook (26:19):
My spies have just reported that Platinum has changed their ink bottles to allow all the ink to be used more easily with the addition of a small plastic well of some sort. It harkens back to what Parker did with their Penman bottles, if memory serves.
  • Platinum regular line from 30ml to 60ml with bottle insert
  • will take time to come available, old 30ml will need to sell out first
12) Matthew C.- Facebook (29:06):
Are there any distinct advantages to using a converter/inkpot over cartridges? I think I prefer the ease of cartridges and how much cleaner the whole process is than filling from a pot. 
  • cartridges
    • convenience
    • transportability
    • flow?
  • bottled ink
    • more economical per ml
    • vast color/property selection
    • store longer
13) Nancy U.- Facebook (33:08):
Hi guys, I would like to know if the caps of the Jinhao X750 are interchangeable.
  • yup! between 750 colors
14)@jtdavis- Twitter (34:02):
What’s the difference b/t a Pelikan M600 & M605; M800 & M805, etc.?
  • X00- gold trim
  • X05- silver trim
  • 600, smaller than 800
15) Joe S.- Facebook (36:46):
Just curious, how big is the Goulet Crew into vintage pens? Being in retail, your constantly around brand new pens, so I can see how vintage pens can take a back seat. Regardless, are there any favorites among the staff? Any pens do you wish were still in production?

16) Todd L.- Facebook (40:05):
Recently, it has come to my attention that I am using my Flex pens 95% of the time when writing letters or practicing my penmanship. Right now I use a Noodler's Ahab and Konrad. I really love Noodler's pens and inks but I'm wondering if I should be looking elsewhere for a different writing experience. I don't have a lot to spend on pens currently. Usually my budget is $50 and under. What would you suggest I acquire for my next flex pen? Some day I'd like to own a soft nib Namiki Falcon, but right now they're out of my price range. Any help is appreciated. I love the Q&A keep up the good work.

Next week will be January 31, 2014, and I'll be answering questions about Pen Maintenance. Go ahead and ask me whatever questions you have about cleaning, storing, using, or maintaining your fountain pens and I'll answer them next week. If you missed any previous Q&A's, be sure to catch up on them here. That's all for now, have a great week!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, January 23, 2014

12 Reasons Why You Should Write with a Fountain Pen

Today is National Handwriting Day — a day that celebrates putting pen to paper and recognizes that even in this digital age, there is still a place for the written word. 

To celebrate, we put together this fun image that explains just a few of the reasons why writing with a fountain pen is so amazing. We asked you for your reasons, through Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, and this image is based on the hundreds of responses we received.  

So tell us, how will you be celebrating National Handwriting Day? Do you have more reasons to share? Let's keep the conversation going in the comments! 

P.S. If you're having a hard time reading this image, head on over to Facebook. We created an album of each of these reasons as its own image. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Noodler's Non-Flex #6 Nibs

Noodler's is well-known for their flex-nib pens, and they just released a new size #6 non-flex nib in fine/medium size. The best part? It's $2. Yeah. $2.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Writing with the TWSBI Classic Fountain Pen

The TWSBI Classic is the newest model to the TWSBI line to date, January 2014. If you're not familiar with the pen, check out my full review here, see how it compares to the TWSBI 580 and TWSBI Mini here, as well as my video showing how to fill it here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 18, The Trifecta: Fountain Pen, Ink, and Paper

This week I'm back to a themed topic, The Trifecta: Pen, Ink, and Paper. I specifically wanted to discuss how the three interact and influence each other as a part of the overall writing experience. I got a slew of great questions, and was glad to answer as many of them as I could. This is a really rich topic, and I made sure to give it justice by taking as much time to explain my thoughts as I felt I needed. So sit back and get ready for a long one here!

The original video had a processing error about 40 minutes in, so I chopped it up and split it into two separate videos. I embedded a playlist here with both videos so you can watch them back-to-back, just realize the time markers will be for two separate videos.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Filling the TWSBI Classic Fountain Pen from a Bottle

In case you were wondering how you fill a TWSBI Classic fountain pen...here you go. This is basically the same procedure for the TWSBI Mini and TWSBI 580, as well as basically every other piston-filling fountain pen. It's a good one to watch just in case you were curious how to fill a piston pen.

Some highlights in the video:
  • Explaining how the pen works (0:23)
  • Filling the pen (1:49)
  • Getting the most ink in there (2:29)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Edison Nouveau Premiere LE 2013 Update

For those of you who ordered our 2013 Edison Nouveau Premiere limited edition in Macassar Ebonite a few weeks ago, we wanted to give you a quick update on the status of your pen. All 67 numbered pens are now completely made, engraved and boxed up, and are currently in transit from the Edison Pen Company in Ohio to the Goulet Pen Company here in Virginia. We should have them ready to ship to you by the beginning of next week!

Here are a few progress pictures provided by the Edison Pen Co:
Pen caps, grip sections, and barrels ready to be assembled
All 68 pens (the numbered 67 plus one AP for Brian Goulet) lined up with nibs and converters, ready for assembly!
Working on the final assembly
So many pens!
Rhodium trim pens with engraving
Gold trim pens with engraving

Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek look at these beautiful pens. If you ordered one, you'll be getting your tracking number from us likely early next week. We hope you enjoy your new pen!

Monday, January 13, 2014

TWSBI Classic, 580, Mini Fountain Pen Comparison

With the release of the TWSBI Classic, I've had a lot of people asking me what makes it different from the TWSBI 580 and TWSBI Mini. I compare all three pens here, in a conversational style. Here are some time markers so you can jump right to key points:

  • Box comparison: (0:35)
  • Un-boxing the Classic: (1:09)
  • Three Classic Colors: (4:56)
  • Comparing the Classic/580/Mini: (7:08)
  • How do they write: (9:09)
  • Aesthetic differences: (9:35)
  • Removing the Nib Units: (10:21)
What are your thoughts on these pens? Ask me any other questions you have in the comments.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday, January 10, 2014

Goulet Q&A Episode 17, Open Forum

It's been three weeks since the last Goulet Q&A, thanks for being so patient! Because of the way the holidays worked out, I had a lot of demands on my time and knew I wouldn't be able to give Q&A the attention it needed until this week. I'm glad I did that, because it ended up being pretty crazy with Christmas, my daughter's second birthday, my mother's radiation treatments for her breast cancer, New Years, our year-end physical inventory at GouletPens, and other drama that crept up. But I'm back now, and ready to roll again.

This week is an Open Forum, so I just took random questions. Here is what's been on your minds the last week:

1) Donald R.- Facebook (2:21):
The sub-freezing temperatures seem to be on everyone's mind right now. So, with that in mind: How does the cold effect fountain pens and ink? Do rapid changes in temperature affect the flow you can expect (ie. having your pen in your bag while walking outside for some time and then entering a heated building)? Is it possible for ink to freeze in a pen (thus damaging it), and, if so, what are the best ways to protect against this?
  • Freezing solid in a pen is bad
    • haven't heard of this really being an issue before, but the potential is there
    • Noodler's Polar inks
    • Keep in a pocket close to your body when outside in the cold
  • Rapid temperature changes does affect flow, really cold ink will not flow as well
  • Lower temps = lower relative humidity 
    • more potential to dry out
    • cut up sponge, store inside plastic bag

2) Tom J.- email (6:23):
In the next Q&A video, can you tell us who designed your wonderful Goulet Pens Co. logo?  Did someone write the company name by hand with a fountain pen?  Who came up with the ink splash?

3) @k8seren- Twitter (8:45):
When trying new ink samples, is it possible to just dip a Pilot Metropolitan?”
  • yes, but might not get you real far
  • dipping works better with pens that have feeds with fins
    • metro does not have fins
  • leave in the ink for a second when you dip

4) Randy T.- Facebook (9:48):
When converting any pen to an eye dropper, how often should you reapply the silicone grease to the threads, every time you refill the pen, or is once enough?
  • Every time you open the pen (refill)
  • Won't last forever
  • Use o-ring

5) Michael H.- Facebook (10:50):
Is there any way to help the feed of the Pilot Falcon keep up with the Flex? I purchased the new rhodium trim one (from Goulet of course) and LOVE it 95% of the time. That 5% of the time when I try to add a little bit of additional flair though and flex it harder, it railroads. Thanks!
  • go slow
  • try a wetter ink
  • flow modification is for the pros 
6) @DevinLThompson- Twitter (12:46):
Whats the best way to store pens on my desk? Is it ok to keep them vertical, nib up, or horizontal?

7) Scott R.- Facebook (13:41):
Can you demonstrate how to fill cartridge-converter pens from ink sample bottles, such as those used to send Ink Drop samples?

I have a pen that is consistently a dry starter, even a few minutes after writing with it, and also that has a propensity for the nib to dry out completely if not used for a couple of days. The cap and seal seem fine, so I assume it's a nib or feed issue. What should I do to diagnose and fix the problem?
  • Q1: Fountain Pen 101, Ink Sampling part 2
  • Q2: Some pens are like this 
  • usually worse in winter, relative humidity
  • store in plastic bag
  • if storing nib up, try horizontal or nib-down
  • try changing inks
  • cut up sponge wet in cap
8) Rebecca S.- email (16:01):
I have a Lamy Safari that has an extra fine nib, it seems to creep really bad with some inks such as Noodler's XFeather. I got a stub nib and it creeps probably worse, I also got a 1.9mm but what I was wondering is if Lamy Safari is prone to this or is there something off with mine? What are your experiences?
  • partly the pen, mostly the ink
  • X-feather is known to do that, as are a lot of the more saturated noodler's colors
  • nib creep is mainly cosmetic
9) Sara V.- Facebook (17:42):
Another question regarding the polar vortex that has descended over half the country... My bottle of De Atramentis Mint Turquoise came in the mail yesterday but had to chill out (literally!) on the front porch for a few hours before I was able to bring it in. It froze, but the bottle didn't crack or anything like that. I let it thaw and it seems to be just fine now, but is it still safe to use in my pen?

  • Should be okay, never heard of an issue after thawing
  • let it thaw

10) YJune C.- Facebook (19:23):
I am really curious if the ebonite feed performs better than the plastic one. Although many fountain pen fans tend to prefer ebonite feed, it is hard to find a pen with that feed these days.
  • Better is subjective
  • Ebonite assists capillary action
  • Ebonite is malleable when heated
  • Ebonite can but cut to increase flow
  • It's more expensive

11) Jason S.- Facebook (21:17):
I received a Monteverde Nighthawk with a 1.1 nib. Any suggestions on keeping it flowing? Writes wonderful for about half a page, then goes dry. Only way to get ink to flow again is to screw converter a little, forcing ink to feed. Any suggestions?
  • any pen with flow issues, always thoroughly clean it first
  • check the ink, try another if you have it handy
  • contact retailer
  • to increase flow, you can press down on the tines to intentionally flex (spread)
    • do at your own risk 
12) Todd N.- Facebook (24:38):
Just got Blurple Ink Drop- just wish I could buy the Nathan Tardif Platinum Preppy Dropper converted pen. So enjoyed buying a bottle of Noodler's with free pens included... Any idea if they'll be offered for sale? I'd buy a dozen!
  • They're just fine black Preppies
  • No label, heard of people using denatured alcohol to remove them (at own risk)
  • Nathan does modify the feed post
13) Bryan M.- email (27:06):
I have heard talk of "springing nibs" when it comes to flex pens.  With a Noodler's flex pen, how does the writer know if he /she is about to push the nib too far?  In other words, how do you know when you have achieved maximum flex and had better stop?
  • springing is more of an issue with gold nibs
  • I haven't sprung a Noodler's nib yet
  • go to town

Next week will be Episode 18 on January 17th, 2014: The Trifecta: Pen, Paper, and Ink and how they all affect your writing experience. I'd love to hear what questions you have about using these three things to influence or enhance your overall writing experience. If you've missed any older Q&A's, be sure to check them out here. Thanks for watching, have a great week!

Write On,
Brian Goulet 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Intro to the TWSBI Classic Fountain Pen

The TWSBI Classic is an opaque-resin piston-fill fountain pen that was released in January of 2014. Known for the 580, Mini, and Vac-700 pens, TWSBI has generated a lot of questions around this new model. I made this video for you to give you the run-down of what this pen is all about and what distinguishes it in the TWSBI line.

Notable features include a piston-filling mechanism with an ink capacity around 1.2ml. It's available in a #4 size stainless steel nib available in extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, and 1.1mm stub. It's thinner than the Mini and 580, and weighs about half-way between the two pens (24g). It's a pretty good value at $50, especially considering non-TWSBI pens of the same build typically cost over $100. It's available in black, red, and blue.

Two downsides to the pen are that the cap doesn't post (not the end of the world, but important to know), and there are no separate nib units available for the model at this time. The nibs are really stuck in the pen, too, so even though I initially thought they were swappable with the Mini, I wouldn't recommend trying as you'll likely damage your feed or nib trying to remove it.

I have several more TWSBI Classic videos in the works that I'll be publishing soon, everything from how to fill it, how to completely disassemble and reassemble it, filling it from a Diamond-50 or 50P inkwell, and writing with it and comparing it to other pens. I'll be covering a lot, but surely not everything, so if you have any questions just leave me a comment below!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Pelikan Edelstein Ink of the Year 2015: You Decide!

This post was written by Rachel Goulet, our co-leader and serial ink samplist. Seriously, she never puts the same ink in the same pen twice.

Have you ever wanted to design your own ink color? Now you can!

As you may know, Pelikan has a premium line of inks called Edelstein, which are all in beautiful bottles and named after gemstones. The Edelstein collection first launched in 2011 (our garage days!), and starting in 2012 released an "Ink of the Year". The first year was Turmaline, which is one of my absolute favorite inks, followed by Amber last year. This year's color hasn't been officially confirmed yet, but it appears from some unofficial sources that it will be Garnet, a dark red color.

Now Pelikan is planning out the color for next year, 2015. That's where you come in.

Pelikan wants YOU to design the new color. They have this awesome color mixing tool on their website, you submit your mix, and the public then votes on their favorite. The top contenders with the most/highest votes are then submitted to a judging panel, and from there they will pick the new ink. If you are a finalist you can win some prizes too.

Here's the official link to Pelikan's site for this Edelstein contest.

I created a purple color which I named Amethyst, keeping with the gemstone theme. For me, I thought purple would be a great idea since there really isn't one in their current line, and it would be very complementary. You can vote for mine, if you want, but the real point of this post is to encourage you to make your own, or at least vote for the ones that you like.

We'd love to see your creations! If you do create a color, please post a link to it in the comments below. Or even if you don't create your own color, tell us – what would be your ideal Edelstein ink color for 2015?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands and Silver Fountain Pens

Hello fountain pen friends! I already shared a full review of the Jinhao X750 which you can check out here, but at the time I didn't have the Shimmering Sands and Silver colors in stock. They are pretty sweet for sub-$10 pens, and I wanted to be sure to show you what they look like. 

The Jinhao X750 is a great beginner fountain pen, especially with the introductory price. The X750 comes with a standard international converter, and a #6 medium nib. If you want to switch it up, you can swap out your medium nib for a Goulet #6 nib in extra-fine through 1.5mm stub.

Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands Fountain Pen
Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands

Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands Fountain Pen
Jinhao X750 Shimmering Sands
Jinhao X750 Silver Fountain Pen
Jinhao X750 Silver

Jinhao X750 Silver Fountain Pen
Jinhao X750 Silver

Have you ever used a Jinhao X750 fountain pen? If you have any questions about either of these pens, be sure to leave a comment below. 

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Filling a Pilot (Namiki) Falcon Fountain Pen with Bottled Ink

This video shows you how to fill your Pilot (Namiki) Falcon fountain pen using an ink cartridge or Pilot Con-50 cartridge converter from an ink bottle. It's a very straightforward method, and is applicable to just about all cartridge/converter fountain pens, especially other Pilot pens like the Prera, Justus 95, Stargazer, and Parallel. This one's short and sweet! Enjoy, and leave me a comment below if you have any questions at all.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, January 6, 2014

January Ink Drop Reveal: Blurple

This month's Ink Drop featured blues, purples, and everything in between - hence the theme name "Blurple".

We chose:

There's still time if you'd like to sign up to receive this month's Ink Drop - just sign up anytime before the 14th to receive this month's theme. Members get 10% off the full bottles of these colors, plus other great deals. We also offer prepaid subscriptions, which make great gifts!
So tell us... what are your favorite colors from this month's Ink Drop? Or what are your favorite blues or purples otherwise?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Accomplish Your Goals with BLISS

I've recently accomplished a major personal goal of mine in the last six months, to lose more than 45 pounds. I set this goal privately on June 15th, 2013, and achieved it on December 16th, 2013. Many of you have noticed my transformation in my videos, and I've been getting a lot of questions about how I went about doing this. The timing worked out really nicely where I achieved my goal just two weeks before the start of the New Year. I've been taking the last couple of weeks to reflect on my experience and clarify the principles that helped me to actually accomplish this. I put this together into a video to help to motivate and inspire you for any goal you may have set for yourself, especially in this time of New Year's resolutions.

I have put my goal-oriented principles into what I call BLISS:
  • Benefits- things that motivate you when your end goal doesn't
  • Lifestyle- setting your life on a new trajectory
  • Incentives- rewarding yourself for achievements that work towards your end goal
  • Support- people, education, and tools to motivate and inspire you
  • Sacrifice- achieving any significant goal requires compromise and dedication

I explain each of these and how they helped me to accomplish my goal, as well as give you some inspiring words to show that you can accomplish what you set out to do as long as you are realistic with yourself about what it will take to achieve it. 

My wife and I work together in our own company with 18 people on our team, and we have two kids (a two-year old and 3-year old), and we do not have the luxury of free time. I know you probably feel as overwhelmed as I do sometimes. The whole reason I want to share my experience with you is to inspire you to do the hard work you need to do, because now being on the other side, it is worthwhile!

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear some of your goals for 2014 and offer you some words of encouragement in the comments below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Cartridge/Converter Compatibility Guide

This table serves as a general guidelines for which brands of cartridge/converter pens accept proprietary cartridges/converters, and which can use the standard international size (cartridge generally implies short). Please refer to the specific pen model for any exceptions to the below guidelines:

Pen Brand Converter Cartridges
Aurora Proprietary - Aurora Proprietary - Aurora
Caran d'Ache Standard International Standard International
Conklin Standard International Standard International
Cross Proprietary Proprietary
Delta Standard International Standard International
Edison Standard International Standard International
Faber-Castell Proprietary Standard International
Jinhao Standard International Standard International
Kaweco None Standard International
Lamy Proprietary - Lamy Z24 or Lamy Z26 Proprietary - Lamy
Montegrappa Standard International Standard International
Monteverde Standard International or Mini Converter Standard International
Omas Standard International Standard International
Parker Proprietary - Parker Proprietary
Pelikan Standard International Standard International
Pilot/Namiki Proprietary - Pilot CON-20 or Pilot CON-50 Proprietary - Pilot/Namiki
Platinum Proprietary - Platinum Proprietary - Platinum
Sheaffer Proprietary - Sheaffer (except VFM) Proprietary - Sheaffer (except VFM)
Stipula Standard International Standard International
Super5 Standard International Standard International
Visconti Standard International Standard International
Waterman Proprietary - Waterman Proprietary - Waterman

Which Cartridges are considered "Standard International"?

Common Online Abbreviations

There are a lot of fountain pen terms thrown around on various forums and blogs. To save time, many times these popular terms are abbreviated, so here's a guide to help you out!

A4 8.25" x 11.75" Paper size
A5 5.75" x 8.25" Paper size
Aero Aerometric filler
B Broad
BB Double broad, or Blue Black
BBB Triple broad
BBK Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher
BP Ballpoint pen
BSB Noodler's Baystate Blue
C Course
C/C Cartridge/Converter
Cart Cartridge
CdA Caran d'Ache
ED Eyedropper
EF/XF Extra Fine
Estie Esterbrook
G/GSM Grams per Square Meter (paper weight)
F Fine
FM/MF Fine Medium
FP Fountain Pen
FPN Fountain Pen Network
FS For Sale
ID Ink Drop
IMHO In My Humble Opinion
IPG Iridium Point Germany
L2K Lamy 2000
LE Limited Edition
M Medium
MB Mont-Blanc
MP Mechanical Pencil
MS Music
Newbie/Noob Fountain pen novice
NIB New In Box
NM Nevermind
NOS New Old Stock
OB Oblique Broad
OBB Oblique Double Broad
OM Oblique Medium
OP Original Poster
P51 Parker 51
Pel Pelikan
PO Posting
PR Private Reserve
R&K/RnK Rohrer and Klingner
RB/RP Rollerball Pen
ROTFL Rolling On The Floor Laughing
SF Soft Fine
SITB Stuff/slime/sludge In The Bottle
SM Soft Medium
SU Signature (stub)
Vac Vacumatic filler
VP Pilot Vanishing Point
WM Waterman
WTB Want To Buy
WTS Want To Sell
WTT Want To Trade
XXF Super Extra Fine
XXXF Needlepoint
YMMV Your Mileage May Vary
YOL Yard-O-Led
Z Zoom (multi-angled) nib

Glossary of Fountain Pen Terminology

Acrylic (aka Resin) - A common material used for making fountain pens due to durability, light weight, and ink/water resistance and resistance of staining. It's basically plastic.

Aerometric - A type of filling mechanism that uses a bladder (or sac) inside a metal cartridge; you fill by squeezing the sac. More common in vintage pens.

Air Channels - The slits cut in the feed that allow air to help draw ink through the feed.

Baby's Bottom - When the tip of a nib is too rounded where the two tines meet, not allowing proper capillary action for the ink to draw down to the paper. Though very smooth writing, nibs with this symptom will typically have skipping problems.

Balance - Refers to how evenly distributed the weight of the pen feels from the front and back in the hand, and it varies based on the person holding it. It can either feel evenly balanced, front (nib) heavy, or back (top) heavy.

Ballpoint - What you're probably used to, a pen with a grease or paste ink that is used by rolling the tip (with a ball point) across the paper, which rotates the ball and pulls ink from the pen. These came about around the 1950's and were the disruptive technology to the fountain pen that started their decline. Though a necessary tool, they provide a less-than-ideal writing experience due to their limited ink color options, erratic flow, and high amount of pressure required to write (relative to a fountain pen).

Band (Centerband) - The metal decorative ring that is usually placed near the bottom of the pen cap for decorative purposes, or perhaps to provide reinforcement to the cap threads.

Barrel - The long part of the main body of the pen which houses the ink reservoir.

Biocide - Chemicals used in fountain pen ink to prevent mold and other biological growths from, well, growing.

Bladder (Sac) - The rubbery sac that houses ink in various pen filling mechanisms, such as the aerometric.

Bleeding or Bleedthrough - A symptom of ink soaking through the paper so much that it crosses over to the other side of the page. This can vary based on the ink or the paper, but is usually a symptom of paper that is too absorbent. It is more extreme than show-through or ghosting.

Blind Cap - A removable cap that covers a pen's filling mechanism.

Blotter - Usually made of wood or metal, this holds blotting paper that is used to soak up excess ink on a page to decrease drying time.

Blotting Paper - Special super-absorbent paper (like J. Herbin's) that is used to soak up extra ink on the page without smearing it, to decrease dry time when needed.

Body - The main part of the pen (the part without the cap), usually also called the barrel.

Blue-Black - A common designation for a dark blue ink, though there really isn't any strict way to declare a blue-black apart from an ink that is just dark blue, navy, or midnight. The original term comes from iron gall or similar inks where the ink begins as a blue color, and over time fades into a dull black color.

Brassing - When a plating wears off, exposing the underlying metal (usually brass).

Breather Hole - A hole in the nib, at the end of the nib slit, that allows air to assist in the ink flow, also called a vent hole.

Breather Tube - A small tube that is used to assist in filling certain types of pens, such as the Noodler's Ahab Flex Pen.

Bulb Filler - A simple type of filling mechanism that uses a small rubber sac at the end of a large reservoir, and fills by squeezing the sac.

Bulb Syringe - Handy tool used to either suction boogies from your baby's nose, or to help flush out cartridge/converter fountain pens while cleaning

Bulletproof - A Noodler's term used to describe ink that is particularly fraud resistant and can withstand water, UV rays, bleach, oven cleaners, etc.

Burping - A symptom (particularly with eyedropper filled pens) where ink comes out in a large drip or blob out of the grip section of the pen. This is usually caused by a variance in pressure between the inside of the pen and the surrounding environment, such as on an airplane with changing pressure or with a pen that has a large reservoir that is low on ink (mostly air) where the heat from your hand while writing can increase the pressure in the pen.

Button Filler - A filling mechanism that works by pushing a button, more common in vintage pens.

CA (cyanoacryliate) - Superglue, basically.

Calligraphy - Fancy writing, often done with dip pens but can be emulated with italic nibs.

Calligraphy Pens - A term almost always used to describe italic nib fountain pens, usually in the lower price range and sold in sets to lure writers in who want to make their handwriting appear like calligraphy. True calligraphy pens are typically dip pens, which do not use a feed like fountain pens.

Cap - The part of a pen that covers the nib and attaches to the pen body.

Capillary Action - The ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces without the external forces like gravity. This is the basis for how a fountain pen works.

Cartridge - A small, sealed plastic reservoir that holds fountain pen ink. Many pen brands use their own proprietary style, but there is one common style called Standard International, where many pen makers use the same type of cartridge. The benefit of cartridges is convenience, however they are not nearly as economical as bottled pen ink and the color range is usually incredibly limited.

Cartridge/Converter (C/C) - A small filling mechanism (usually a screw-piston type) that fits onto a pen that also accepts a cartridge. This allows you to use any brand's bottled ink instead of relying on limited proprietary ink cartidges.

Clip - The metal doohickey usually attached to the cap that holds your pen in your shirt pocket and also keeps it from rolling off your desk and landing nib first on the ground (why does it ALWAYS fall nib down??)

Conversion - When you are altering a pen in some way to provide an alternate filling method. The most common practice is using a 'cartridge converter' to use bottled ink in a pen in place of ink cartridges, or in filling the whole body of a pen with ink (this is the eyedropper method).

Converter - A cartridge-shaped reservoir that allows you to use bottled pen ink when a cartridge would otherwise be your only option. Pens that have this option are usually referred to as cartridge/converter or C/C.

Corrosion - When the metal parts of your pen either rust or chemically disintegrate due to chemical exposure or oxidation.

Crack - When your pen material (usually plastic) splits apart. This is usually caused by stress in some way, either due to extreme force (like dropping your pen on a hard surface) or over-tightening of certain parts.

Crisp (Italic) - A nib ground so that the tip is flat, with very sharp edges to give a very distinct line variation from cross-stroke to downstroke. These nibs require you to write slowly and hold the pen at a very specific angle, otherwise the sharp edges of the nib will tear the paper.

Cursive (Italic) - A nib ground so that the tip is flat, but with slightly more rounded edges. This sacrifices a bit of line variation, for the benefit of a smoother and more forgiving writing experience than a crisp italic. This nib is sometimes called a 'stub', though a stub is typically even more rounded than the cursive italic.

Demonstrator - Transparent pens, originally developed for salesmen to show to distributors and retailers to display the inner workings of the pens' parts. Now, it is a common aesthetic design adopted across many brands. The appeal is that you can see the ink level clearly in your pen without having to take it apart.

Dip Pen - A writing instrument that doesn't have an internal ink reservoir, it instead must have its nib immersed in ink every few words to keep it writing. Dip pens typically use ink that is thicker (usually shellac-based) than fountain pen ink.

Dip Test - When you want to get an idea of how a particular color of ink will look in your fountain pen, but you don't want to draw ink all the way up into it (thus meaning you have to do a full cleaning), you instead just immerse the nib into the ink and write with it without ever drawing ink into the pen.

Drawing Ink (India Ink) - Ink that is composed of a fine soot that is combined with water and a binding agent such as shellac. This ink is more durable and permanent than fountain pen ink, but should only be reserved for use with dip pens.

Dry - When ink does not flow very freely or heavily out of a pen. This can be either a characteristic of a pen or an ink, but both are referring to the same end result of a limited amount of ink coming out of the pen.

Ebonite - A hard rubber material commonly used in vintage (and some modern) pens.

Eternal - A term coined by Noodler's Ink to describe the properties of a fountain pen ink that is resistant to UV exposure and fading over a long period of time.

Eyedropper - Not specific to any brand, a type of filling method where the entire body of the pen is used as a reservoir for the ink.

Eyedropper Conversion - The process of adapting a fountain pen that has an existing filling mechanism (such as cartridge/converter, piston, or aerometric) so that the entire body of the pen can be used as an ink reservoir.

Feathering - A term used to describe when fountain pen ink soaks in to absorbent paper, resulting in a veiny pattern that branches out from the line drawn. It can also be referred to as 'spread'.

Feed - The piece of plastic or ebonite (usually black) that hugs the back of the nib and acts as a vehicle for ink delivery from the reservoir to the nib

Feedback - The amount of 'bite' or resistance perceived during a writing experience. This is a consequence of the relationship between the smoothness of a fountain pen nib and the smoothness of the paper being used. Also commonly referred to as 'tooth'.

Feed Channel - A very thin slit in the feed that hugs against the back of the nib and provides a route for the ink to travel through the feed. This is what helps to provide the necessary capillary action required for ink flow.

Ferrogallic (Iron Gall) Ink - Ink made from iron salts and tannic acids. Though quite permanent and waterproof, these inks are typically known for causing chemical corrosion to metal pen parts (especially the nib) and should be used sparingly or with less-valuable pens. Modern iron gall formulations are not as harmful as the inks of the past, but extra precaution such as not leaving the ink in a pen for more than a week is strongly recommended.

Filigree - a decorative (usually precious) metal overlay with openings that show the material of the pen under it.

Flex - The ability of the tines of a fountain pen nib to spread under varying writing pressure, resulting in variation of the width of the line drawn. It's super cool.

Flooding - Forcing ink down through the feed by intentionally pushing it out of the reservoir

Flow - The movement of ink through the pen. Often described as 'wet' or 'dry', depending on how freely the ink is willing to come out of the pen.

Fluorescing - When ink glows under blacklight.

French-Ruled Paper (Séyès) - Standard 'school' paper in France, it is an 8mm x 8mm grid that is separated by 2mm horizontal lines to give guidance and structure to cursive writing.

Ghosting - When you can see what's written on the other side of a sheet of paper without the ink coming through the page. This isn't to be confused with bleed through, where the ink actually soaks through to the other side. This is also known as show-through or echo.

Gel Pen - A disposable cartridge-type pen that has a gel-based ink inside it (such as Pilot G2)

Glass Pen - A writing instrument that must be dipped in ink and provides ink delivery the paper through a series of twisted flutes on the tip....and it's glass, duh.

Gold - You know what this is. Typically used for nibs on more expensive pens or as plating for decoration on fountain pen hardware.

GSM - (aka 'g' or gm^2) grams per square meter, a measurement of a paper's weight. Though this designation is commonly used to refer to a paper's thickness, not all papers with the same GSM may be the same thickness, because there are other factors involved such as the material of the paper and the sizing used that influence how heavy it is. Generally speaking though, it is best to use papers that are 80g weight or higher for good performance with fountain pens (though there are of course always exceptions).

Grip section - The part of the pen you hold where the nib fits in, sometimes called just a 'section'.

Halo - An ink property where there is intentional separation of dye components to give a highlighting effect.

Hardware - The metal ornamentation on a pen, usually referring to the clip, finial, and center band. Also called 'trim'.

Hood(ed) Nib - A covering that goes over the top of a nib to make it less likely that you will touch it and get ink on your fingers. Made famous by the Parker 51.

India Ink - Ink that is composed of a fine soot that is combined with water and a binding agent such as shellac. This ink is more durable and permanent than fountain pen ink, but should only be reserved for use with dip pens.

Ink - The liquid substance that you put in a fountain pen to be able to use it for more than a paperweight or a piece of jewelry.

Ink Syringe - A hypodermic needle (ideally blunt-tip) that is used to refill ink cartridges or decant the last bit of ink from a bottle.

Ink Window - a translucent section of a pen that allows you to see when your ink level is getting low.

Inkwell - A storage container used for housing liquid ink, usually made of glass.

Insert - A cone-shaped reservoir that seats inside a bottle of ink to help you fill a fountain pen when the ink level gets low.

Iridium - A very hard-wearing metal (usually some kind of alloy) used for tipping material on fountain pen nibs.

Iridium Point Germany (IPG) - A designation displayed on some manufacturer's nibs. Iridium refers to the hard-wearing metal used to create the ball on the tip of the nib, and the German aspect could mean a variety of things. It doesn't necessarily mean the nib was made in Germany, but just that (at least) the tipping material used for the point comes from Germany. This is quite confusing and does create some mystery about where some nibs actually come from. Brian Gray of the Edison Pen Company has a great article on the 'IPG' designation: http://edisonpen.com/page.cfm/IPGnibs2

Iron Gall - Ink made from iron salts and tannic acids. Though quite permanent and waterproof, these inks are typically known for causing chemical corrosion to metal pen parts (especially the nib) and should be used sparingly or with less-valuable pens. Modern iron gall formulations are not as harmful as the inks of the past, but extra precaution such as not leaving the ink in a pen for more than a week is strongly recommended.

Italic (Nib) - A type of grind where the tip of the nib is flattened so that there is a distinct line variation while you write when you change from the cross-stroke to the down-stroke.

Lacquer - Clear or colored varnish that's used to provide protection and durability to a pen's surface

Limited Edition (LE) - Pens that are designed to be made in only limited numbers. They are often engraved with a designation with which number pen it is.

Lubricated - Ink that has special additives to make it flow better in your pen, and keep the internal components operating smoothly. Noodler's American Eel series of inks are most known for this property.

Maki-e - Japanese lacquer sprinkled with precious metal powder as a decoration. There are several different methods of this technique, but all of them are extremely cool, very hard to do, and take forever to do, which makes pens with maki-e very expensive.

Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) - Also known as butanon, this is used as a chemical welding agent to affix pen parts together.

Mold - Spore growth in ink, commonly called SITB (Stuff In The Bottle). Mold is a 'four-letter-word' in the fountain pen ink world, and generally very frowned upon. It can either come up as white fuzzy stuff on the surface of the ink where you can see it as soon as you open a bottle, or as sludge down inside the ink that is much harder to find until you suck it up into your pen. Though mold is quite scary, it seldom actually causes any long-term damage to a pen. Most ink companies put biocides in their inks to prevent the growth of mold, so it is rare that it occurs.

Music Nib - A type of stub/italic nib that is designed for increased ink flow. Platinum and Sailor both have nibs they call Music Nibs, and they are really little more than regular stub nibs. Traditionally these nibs have three tines (two slits).

Nail - Nibs that have no flexibility at all, that write as stiff as a....nail.

Newbie (Noob) - Someone brand new to the world of fountain pens.

Nib - The metal tip of a fountain pen that actually touches the paper.

Nib Creep - When ink comes up through the nib tines and covers part of the top of the nib. It can be a symptom of the ink or pen, but is purely aesthetic and doesn't typically have any effect on the function of a pen.

Oblique - A nib grind that is like an italic, but slanted to one side (either left or right). This grind is quite rare these days and is hard to find unless you have it custom ground.

O-Ring - A rubber ring that helps to seal internal components of a pen from leaking ink.

Overwriter - Someone who writes with their hand on the page so that it sits above where the nib is writing. This term is most commonly used to describe left-handed writers, as it creates a special problem due to the fact that the hand would be rubbing directly over what's being written.

Palladium - A durable silvery-white precious metal in the platinum family used by some pen manufacturers in their pens.

Piston - A type of mechanism that uses a retracting plunger inside a sealed tube in fountain pens and converters to draw ink into a pen. They can either be screw or push operated, though screw pistons are the most common.

Piston Filler - A fountain pen that has a piston filling mechanism built into the body of it, so that the body of the pen acts as the ink reservoir.

Plating - When a coating of one metal goes overtop of another, usually to provide added wear protection and aesthetic appeal.

Plunger - The rod inside a piston that moves up and down to draw ink in and out of a pen (or converter).

Posting - When you put the cap of a pen onto the back end of the body (the part you hold).

Precious Resin - A marketing term, most famously used by Mont Blanc, that essentially means plastic.

Prime - When you soak a pen feed with ink to get it started. This happens as a consequence of filling a pen through its nib when filling from a bottle of ink, but you can also prime a pen by forcing ink down through the feed by reversing the filling mechanism from the way you filled it.

Railroading - When the flow of ink is broken and the result is that the tines of the nib draw two separate, parallel lines on the page. This is most common using flexible nib pens.

Reservoir - A cavity inside a pen that holds ink.

Resin - Plastic.

Retractable Nib - A pen that is designed without a cap, so that the nib itself draws into the pen body when closed. The most popular pens that do this are the Pilot Vanishing Point and Lamy Dialog 3. This is a common feature of ballpoint (click) pens, but not common in fountain pens.

Rhodium - An extremely durable (and expensive) silver-colored metal most often used for plating over stainless steel to provide added durability to pen hardware and nibs.

Rocking Blotter - A tool (usually wood) that hold sheets of specially absorbent blotting paper that is used to soak up excess ink left on paper.

Rollerball - A pen that contains a gel ink that is housed inside a replaceable cartridge.

Sac - a rubbery reservoir that houses ink. Common in many vintage pens, they're used much less often today.

Saturation - An ink term used to describe the perceived intensity of a specific color. Ink users often refer to the level of saturation of an ink by how much dye is perceived to be present in the ink. Generally speaking, the higher saturated inks have bolder colors but extended drying times on paper.

Scratchy - When a nib provides resistance when being moved across the paper, often caused by misaligned nib tines.

Screw Cap - A pen cap that is removed/replaced by interlocking threads on the cap and pen body that mate together with a twisting motion.

Section - The part of the pen you hold where the nib fits in, often called a 'grip section'.

Semi-Flex - When a nib bends slightly under pressure to give a soft feel when writing, not to the extreme of flex nibs where the nib tines actually separate to provide line variation.

Séyès (French-Ruled) Paper - Standard 'school' paper in France, it is an 8mm x 8mm grid that is separated by 2mm horizontal lines to give guidance and structure to cursive writing.

Shading - A common (and often desired) result of a fountain pen ink pooling in certain parts of a letter when writing, so that the color and saturation of the ink appears different within a single letter or word. This characteristic cannot be achieved with ballpoint or rollerball pens, and is a very appealing aspect of fountain pen use for those particularly drawn to all the pretty ink colors.

Show-Through - When you can see what's written on the other side of a sheet of paper without the ink coming through the page. This isn't to be confused with bleed through, where the ink actually soaks through to the other side. This is also known as ghosting or echo.

Silicone Grease - A clear, inert grease that is used to lubricate moving parts of fountain pens, as well as seal up threads for eyedropper conversions. The appeal of this grease is that it doesn't harden over time, it is water/ink-resistant, and it will not react with fountain pen inks.

SITB - "Stuff In The Bottle", a term used to describe mold, sludge, chemical sedimentation, or some other 'strange' foreign substance present in a bottle of pen ink.

Sizing- A coating for paper that affects its ability to absorb liquids (like ink). Heavily sized papers are typically more ideal for fountain pens because they are smoother and more ink repellant.

Skipping - When ink doesn't flow consistently from a pen, causing the ink to start and stop flowing as you write. This could be caused by the pen, paper, ink, or any combination of the three.

Slit - The very thin cut running from the tip of the nib up to the breather hole that carries the ink from the feed to the tip of the nib.

Snap Cap - A pen cap that is removed/replaced by pulling/pushing onto the pen body, usually resulting in a clicking sound.

Soft - A term used to describe a nib that is springy and somewhat flexible.

Special Edition (SE) - Similar to a limited edition, but typically without individual serial numbers. A product produced for a limited period of time.

Stainless Steel - A very common alloy used in the making of fountain pen parts, particularly nibs.

Standard International - The most commonly accepted size of fountain pen ink cartridges and converters that many manufacturers use. Many pen companies use all proprietary parts for their pens, but the only real 'common' standard for ink cartridge and converters that crosses into multiple brands is the Standard International. There are both short cartridges (most common) and long cartridges that are considered Standard International size.

Stub - A nib that is ground so that the tip is slightly wider than it is tall, resulting in a variation in line width when switching between writing on the cross-stroke and down-stroke. This is similar to an italic nib, but with more rounded edges to make writing smoother and more enjoyable for everyday use.

Syringe - A tool used to refill ink cartridges, get last bits of ink out of a bottle, clean pen parts, and fill certain pens such as eyedropper pens.

Taper - When the diameter of a pen part gradually gets smaller.

Threads - Thin grooves cut into a pen to hold parts together, especially pen caps to the pen body.

Tip - The small ball part on the end of a fountain pen nib that actually touches the paper when writing.

Tipping Material - A small bit of hard-wearing metal (usually some sort of iridium alloy) that is welded to the end of a nib and ground to a specific intended size.

Tooth - The amount of 'bite' or resistance perceived during a writing experience. This is a consequence of the relationship between the smoothness of a fountain pen nib and the smoothness of the paper being used. Also commonly referred to as 'feedback'.

Translucent - When a pen material is not entirely opaque, and you can see light coming through it. This comes in handy with fountain pens when you want to be able to see your ink level at a glance.

Trim - The metal ornamentation on a pen, usually referring to the clip, finial, and center band. Also called 'hardware'.

Two-Tone - When two different metals are used next to each other, often on a fountain pen nib. Often it is yellow gold and rhodium.

Urushi - An extremely durable and beautiful Japanese lacquer derived from Urushi trees. The urushi lacquer process is very skill and time intensive, and quite hazardous when wet since it contains usushiol, the active ingredient in poison ivy. When cured, it creates an incredibly hard and durable finish for pens, and can be polished to a very high sheen.

UV - Ultra-violet, radiation that affects ink colors in particular to cause fading.

Vacuum-Fill - A design of pen that uses a combination of pressure and vacuum to create suction to fill a fountain pen with ink.

Vegetal - A type of resin that's used for making fountain pens, most notably Noodler's brand. It has a very distinct smell when manufactured, though it does weaken over time. It is also fully biodegradable when buried underground.

Vent Hole - A hole in the nib, at the end of the nib slit, that allows air to assist in the ink flow, also called a breather hole.

Wet - When ink flows very freely and heavily out of a pen. This can be either a characteristic of a pen or an ink, but both are referring to the same end result of a generous amount of ink coming out of the pen.

Wet Noodle - A flexible nib pen that is incredibly flexible with even the slightest of pressure. These pens were more common around the turn of the 20th century, and are now coveted in the vintage pen market and sold at an absolute premium.

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