This week’s Open Forum Goulet Q&A kicks off with a surprisingly personal intro, I didn’t quite expect to nearly tear up! Talking about my kids and their growing up and heading to preschool, that’s what did me in. I also have an update for some new stuff that just came in to GouletPens.com, like the Rhodia ICE notebooks, Noodler’s Acrylic Konrads, and a couple of new (to us) Sheaffer pens, the Sagaris and 300.
Here are this week’s questions:
1) Mike M.- Email (11:23):
What is a good lint-free cloth to use for wiping the nib and feed of my pens? I like to take a look at the nib and feed with a loupe after a writing session in order to remove any fibers, etc., that tend to collect there. I've been using a piece of an old, clean 100% cotton T-shirt, but it seems to put down more junk than it removes. Any suggestions?
- microfiber cloth
2) David J.- Facebook (13:17):I noticed that Platinum cartridges have a little steel ball in them. Pilot has a similar piece in the VP converter. What is the purpose? Should I take one of the steel balls from a Platinum cartridge and put it in the Platinum converter?
- it’s an agitator, just to keep the ink mixed up
- similar to the small ball that rattles around inside an aerosol can
- not entirely necessary b/c dye-based inks aren’t as likely to separate out as something like pigmented paint (aerosol)
3) Benjamin S.- Facebook (15:04):
In a recent Q&A, you suggested not to put ink remaining in a pen back in the bottle to avoid contamination. What about refilling with the same color? If you work your converter a few times to get a better fill, you could contaminate the bottle just as if you were changing colors. So when refilling the same color, is it best to dump whatever ink remains in the pen into the sink before refilling?
- definitely clean between ink color changes
- decide how paranoid you want to be
- technically, the ink is being contaminated as soon as you unscrew the cap!
- you could get all OCD about ink contamination, but it’s likely not worth the trouble
- just clean your pen once a month if using the same color and you’ll be fine
4) @Will_C_W- Twitter (17:47):Will you be getting the
- TWSBI is keeping all of the stock from their initial batch for their site, so likely no
- we’re told the next batch will be late June/early July, so I’d be shocked if we had it in time before July 4
5) @Chrustak- Twitter (19:05):
Any type of nib size/ink that'd work best with carbon copies?
- fine works well, not too fine to scratch/tear paper, not too broad to bleed
6) @andsplat- Twitter (20:11):
Should I protect my Pilot VP matte black from scratches or let it wear? Are there damage risks besides aesthetics?
- totally personal preference
- Pen slip helps tremendously
- black finish will scratch, so don’t freak out if it does
- never heard of functional damage, just aesthetics
7) Joshua T.- Facebook (21:32):
So many questions. Answer what you can. Love your site and your service. 1) How come you don't carry Sailor? Awesome pens; 2) I know you just started carrying Pelikan. Are you familiar with the M205 highlighter? If so, can you compare the green ink to the yellow, particularly in terms of actually writing in addition to highlighting? 3) Would love your take on Visconti, and the possibility of carrying. Keep up the wonderful work of such a great family business.
- Sailor dropped us, check out blog post from July 17, 2013: GouletPens being dropped by Sailor
- nib quality wasn’t up to our expectations
- Fairly conventional highlighter ink, like Noodler’s Firefly and PR Chartreuse
- Using in a regular pen is kind of tough to read, but works
- Visconti has told us they aren’t selling through online-only stores, only B&M
- they don’t know what they’re missing with us!
- Similar push-back from Lamy and Pilot initially, but they came around
- uphill battle with Visconti though, same with MB
8) Myke N.- Facebook (28:35):
Do you have any plans to carry the TWSBI Notebooks?
- Not anytime soon
- economics, just not there for us
9) Linda T.- Facebook (29:48):
Do you find that warm or cold water makes a difference in ease of flushing a pen?
- lukewarm, slightly above room temp
- don’t want hot or cold
- use whatever water you use is better than not cleaning it!
10) Stephen K.- Facebook (31:04):
The Goulet nibs are excellent, but they only come in #6 size. Any plans to carry some in #5 size. I am a pen maker and it would be nice to be able to upgrade my nibs. Thanks.
- It’s a possibility
- fewer pens we offer that have #5 nibs
- huge quantities required to purchase
- Edison nibs are good substitute
11) Joseph Q.- Facebook (33:57):
Can you discuss the different models of the Pelikan Souveran i.e. What is the difference between the m200/m205 through the m1000/m1005? Aside from price point, that is.
- All piston fill
- m2xx, steel nib
- m4xx and up gold nibs
- as pens go up in number, they increase in size of body and size of nib
- m800/m1000 internal metal components so they’re heavier
- m1000 really soft nib, HUGE (#10)?
12) Jessica O.- Facebook (36:47):
Hey Brian- Love the videos. When will De Atramentis Sherlock Holmes ink back in stock? Also, any plans for collaborating with Noodler again for another ink?
- on order: (update since the video recorded, it’s back in stock!)
- possibly, but Nathan’s busy as is just keeping regular ink/pens made
13) Shane H.- Facebook (39:11):
Recently someone asked about returning ink to the bottle and if it would cause contamination issues. The answer was yes, but I assume it was implied that the ink was being returned from the whole converter, feed, nib unit. If you pull off the converter and only return the ink that was in the converter, is there still a contamination problem?
- would be less of an issue
- do what you’re comfortable doing
14) Brian R.- Facebook (40:53):
How long can a bottle of Noodler's Black stay viable stored inside its box stored in a cool, dry place?
- years, no exact expiration
- how often the ink is used matters, pen maintenance, etc
- Noodler’s is 10+ years old, and ink is lasting that long so far
15) Emma V.- Facebook (42:12):
What are some good $20 or less pens that come in a fine point or smaller?
16) Bill M.- Facebook (43:02):
Is there a reason you don't stock the TWSBI Micarta? I love the brand and would like, over time, to complete the set. Thanks for everything you and your team do for the community.
- it’s discontinued, get one while you can where you can
17) Wei-Tsung L.- Facebook (43:47):
Any news from TWSBI? Vac-mini and Eco?
- Vac-mini: we’re told within two month, final testing. Mid-summer
- Eco: a little more final testing, late-summer/fall
- subject to change, as always!
18) MK B.- Facebook (44:32):
More of a suggestion rather than a question: Could you include business cards with or instead of bookmarks in your packages? I do a lot of sketching with a group, sometimes as many as 30 people. I always use fountain pen(s) and ink I got from you and talk up Goulet Pens if anyone asks about what I use to draw. So do some of my friends in the group. Having a business card to hand out would be good. On the other hand, I've recently realized I can just hand out the book marks. I certainly don't need so many and they have the info needed.
- Could certainly do that, I’ll think about it?
- What does everyone else think?
19) Rob B.- Facebook (45:59):
Would you folks consider offering "custom filled" cartridges? By that I mean, the option to get some of the inks only available in bottles put into standard international cartridges?
- No, not practical or economical
- Not sure of that process
- If I did figure out a good way to do it, I’d rather share/teach you to do it on your own
20) Louis I.- Facebook (48:28):
So I just bought a Metallic VP and I love it! But trying to put the Con-20 converter into it has proven difficult. It fits in loosely, even after applying a bit of pressure. Any tips? Otherwise everything about the Vanishing Point is spectacular. Thanks so much!
- it’ll fit, I promise
- you have to really push it on
21) Tirstan N.- Facebook (49:30):
Last week there were a lot of questions about Tomoe River and you were hinting about news to come. Sooooooo, any news?
- nothing yet, we’re working on it
Thanks to everyone for such great questions, I really appreciate it! Sorry for anyone who asked a question that I wasn’t able to answer. If you missed any previous Q&A’s, make sure to check them out here. Next week’s theme will be Tips and Tricks, so be sure to ask me whatever questions you have about the pain points you have around your fountain pen usage, and I’ll see if I can give you any little hints to make your experience better! Have a great week.