Friday, February 27, 2015

Goulet Q&A Episode 68, Open Forum

Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

Thanks to a little bit of snow, this week's Q&A features an unplanned new location and some special guest performers. I'll dish on flex pen writing basics, my favorite notebook for journaling, and how well I'd perform as a mime. Next week we'll be back live at Goulet HQ -- with another nice Q&A surprise. OK, here we go...

Pens/Writing: - (6:52)

Glenn L.- Facebook - (6:58)
What are your recommended fountain pens for lazy people like myself? I like pens that are easy to use, easy to fill, and most importantly, super easy to clean? Effort, schmeffort. Your top picks for lazypens, please!

Lori Arrowood- YouTube - (10:04)
Hey Brian, I was browsing the web the other day for fountain pen stuff and came across a link for a Pilot Cocoon fountain pen. Maybe I'm crazy but it looks to me to be the exact same thing as a Pilot Metropolitan, yet it lists on JetPens for $45. The site also says the nib is "metal" (assuming that means non-gold) - am I missing something? What is the difference?
  • basically nothing
  • Pilot Metropolitan in US, Cocoon in Japan, MR in Europe (with SI cartridge!)
  • no difference, I’m not joking when I say the Metro is an incredible pen for the money!

Paper: - (11:59)

Ty W.- Facebook - (12:03)
I love my rhodia webbook. However, for daily note jotter it seems overkill. What is a better replacement, preferably with dots and/or ivory paper? I loath bleed through/shadowing- hence ending my decade long love with Moleskine thanks to the elegance that is the fountain pen. 
  • Leuchtturm1917 is the ticket
  • dots, awesome colors, more pages, pretty darn good paper (not quite Rhodia though)

Travis W.- Facebook - (14:51)
If you could only use one brand/type of paper for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • Rhodia, great all-around paper

Chad C.- Facebook - (16:25)
Dear Brian, I'm a lover of Rhodia paper for writing, but not in love with the 8mm wide ruling found on most of Rhodias large writing pads. I tend to write small, with short quick strokes and a smaller ruling would be great. Do you know if a smaller ruled, lined large Rhodia writing pad exists or perhaps in development. Thanks. P.S. the friday Q&A has become date night for my wife and I. 
  • Need clarification on this one, the only Rhodias with 8mm is larger wire bound notebooks
  • Most everything Rhodia does is 7mm, except small Webnotebooks (6mm)
  • You could go with large Rhodia dot pads, they’re 5mm

LiAnn7396- YouTube - (19:28)
What's your favorite diary. And paper. And please leave out rhodia dotted one. The one you use for pen testing :)
  • Toss up between Rhodia Webnotebook and Leuchtturm
  • I use and enjoy both, for different reasons
  • Webnotebook is 7mm and I like it for more journaling
  • Leuchtturm dot is 5mm and I like it for note taking

Business: - (22:36)

Chuck B.- Facebook - (22:51)
Have you thought of offering nib tuning on purchases?
  • definitely thought about it!
  • don’t have anyone here or nearby with the skills to do it
  • those with the skills elsewhere don’t need the work
  • only option is to train up in-house, and that’s a huge undertaking
  • the door is closed, but not locked

Personal: - (26:15)

Jackie M.-Facebook - (26:16)
Inquiring minds want to know. If someone were to grab Brian's hands while he's talking, does he become functionally mute? (Just kidding.) Goulet Q&A is one of the high points of my week. 

  • if you grabbed my hands, the rest of my body would surely gyrate
  • nothing will really shut me up though ;) 

GimmeeCookiee- Blog - (29:12)
Congratulations on (almost) reaching 20000 subscribers! Which youtube channels do you personally enjoy watching (Pen related or otherwise)?

Troubleshooting: - (34:01)

Mayra R.-Facebook - (34:05)
My pilot metropolitan used to write very well but lately when I'm writing, no ink will come out. I've had to force ink into the nib and sometimes not even that works. What can I do to solve this problem?
  • make sure it’s inked up, it’s hard to tell sometimes with the included converter
  • clean the pen (remove nib/feed)
  • try a different ink
  • ‘pound down’ the ink

Chris W.-Facebook - (39:20)
I've recently considered converting my Edison Collier to an eyedropper pen. However, I am concerned about the inside of the barrel getting stained and affecting the appearance of the pen (even though it is on the inside there is a slight amount of transparency.) Any thoughts?
  • very natural concern
  • acrylic acetate (what Edisons are made of) is a pretty stain-resistant material
  • celluloids stain much worse, don’t eyedropper convert those (with permanent inks anyway)
  • shouldn’t have grave concerns, the pen’s easy to disassemble if thorough cleaning is needed, I basically never hear of Edison staining issues

Mirjam L.-Facebook - (43:26)
I have bought a couple of noodlers flexpens in the past, I like how they write, but I can't get the hang of writing with flex. Is there a special technique to it? Normal writing works fine.
  • only flex on the downstroke (top left to bottom right), 45 degree pen angle, go slow, practice practice practice! 

Chase Harris- YouTube - (47:02)
I recently purchased a Platinum Preppy Highlighter and converted it to an eyedropper with Noodler's Firefly ink. The problem I am having is the pen writes (or rather highlights) extremely wet. Is there a way to adjust the flow on a Preppy Highlighter? I thought about using a cartridge to see if that slows things down a bit but I am not optimistic. Are there dryer alternatives for a refillable highlighter? I also have a M205 Duo but the line width is too small for my liking. I should also probably mention that most of the highlighting I am doing is in code books with thinner paper.  It's not quite Bible paper but it is very close. 

Jacob W.- email - (51:21)
This may be a dumb question but: I recently purchased my first piston filled pen. I am a bit disappointed by how dry it writes. I decided to open the piston a half turn to fill the feed with ink and the pen started to write much more wet. I was wondering if I should always open the piston when I write or if the nib needs to be altered.
  • you aren’t really opening the piston, you’re just forcing ink down the feed (which makes it wetter)
  • this helps in a pinch, but isn’t something that should be required ongoing
  • something else is going on
  • clean the pen thoroughly (FP101 Pen Cleaning and Maintenance)
  • try another ink, see if it helps
  • dilute the ink 10% or so
  • if all that doesn’t help, it’s the nib

QOTW: I’d love to introduce our Media Team to you. Mike is our Manager, Jenni is our videographer, Sarah is our photographer, and Margaret and Madigan are Community Coordinators (social media). What questions do you have for them?

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Reloaded and refreshed: Leuchtturm1917 notebooks

Leuchtturm1917 has emerged as a popular notebook choice for fountain pen users who are seeking paper that's durable enough to handle fountain pen ink without breaking the bank.

Their products -- including Hard Cover Notebooks, Soft Cover Notebooks, and Jottbooks -- are not new to GouletPens.com or our customers. In fact, they've become so popular that we're taking the opportunity to reload our collection with some fresh new colors, including Berry, Emerald, Lemon, Navy, Purple and Azure.

In addition to featuring a wide range of colors, sizes and paper types -- including blank, dot grid, graph and ruled -- Leuchtturm1917 also packs a number of special touches and features that you don't see from every notebook manufacturer. These include an expandable pocket, a ribbon page marker, elastic band fastener, and more, depending on the particular style. They also open flat.

With those same great features and some attractive new colors, we think think that the Leuchtturm1917 collection can be a friend to any fountain pen fanatic.

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Conklin Duragraph Fountain Pen Overview

Video Time Markers:
  • Conklin History - (0:14) 
  • Price - (0:53) 
  • Unboxing - (1:25) 
  • Color Options - (2:43) 
  • Features - (3:58) 
  • Comparable Pens - (6:12) 
  • Nib Information - (8:47) 
  • Filling Mechanisms – (13:18) 
  • Inking it Up - (15:45) 
  • How it Writes - (17:18) 

I'd like to introduce to you the Conklin Duragraph, a recent edition to the Conklin line of pens and GouletPens.com.

The Conklin Pen Company was established in 1898 and is still regarded as one of the most significant and innovative manufacturers from what is today known as the Golden Era of fountain pens. The Duragraph was originally released by Conklin in 1923,  This pen pays homage to the classic designs of the vintage Conklin era.

Conklin Duragraph in Forest Green

The new Duragraph collection draws its inspiration from the rich heritage of the Conklin brand, which was purchased and revived by Yafa in 2009. The rebooted model is manufactured overseas, assembled and distributed from Canoga Park, California, and pays tribute to its roots with a TOLEDO, USA engraving on its nib (the company was founded in Toledo, Ohio). 

Inlaid engraving on Amber Duragraph

The Duragraph comes available in four European resins: Amber, Cracked Ice, Forest Green, and Ice Blue. They're turned from solid cast-resins that give the material a beautiful depth and pearlescence that you typically only see on pens much more expensive than these. At $52 (list price of $65), this is a great "step up" pen for many newer fountain pens users who know a little more what they like, and want a professional and stately pen.

Conklin Duragraph in Ice Blue
Conklin Duragraph in Ice Blue

At 26g the pen is a pretty average weight, with a bit of back-weight when posted due to the long length. For larger-handed individuals, the pen is quite comfortable both posted and unposed. Those with smaller hands who hold their pens closer to the nib will likely want to unpost.
Conklin Duragraph in Cracked Ice

There are some nice embellishments on the pen, including an inlaid Conklin logo engraving on the finial of the cap, a centerband with a  subtle crescent engraving around the Duragraph name, and black accents on the grip and finials to really give the pen a vintage look. The clip is a little tight, so you will only want to clip this on relatively this pockets like on dress shirts. The threads on the grip of the pen are very subtle, comfortable even if you hold your fingers directly on the pen. There is a very small and subtle step from the threads to the pen body that are hardly noticeable even if you hold your pen way back on the grip.

The Duragraph is available in a Conklin fine, medium, or 1.1mm stub nib. The nibs are smooth with a bit of feedback to them. I find the medium to actually be the toothiest nib and even has a slight stub grinding to it. The fine is pleasantly smooth, as is the 1.1mm stub. The stub is the wettest of the nibs, while the fine and medium are fairly average flow (perhaps leaning a bit wet). The nibs are all #6 size, which is great for expanding into other brands’ nibs for sizes that Conklin doesn’t offer. You can get GouletMonteverdeEdisonNoodler’s #6 size nibs and swap them into this pen, keeping in mind that Conklin isn’t going to warranty the function of your pen with any other brands’ nibs, as you might expect. 
All of the Duragraphs come with stainless steel two-tone nibs.

Conklin two-tone stainless steel nib
The Duragraph is a standard international cartridge/converter pen and includes a pair of cartridges and a threaded converter. This is a great pen for changing out your inks a lot for you serial ink samplers out there, especially if you have a bulb syringe and you know this sweet pen cleaning trick! Unfortunately, the pen won’t fit standard international long cartridges, and can’t be converted to an eyedropper fill either, given that the threads on the back of the grip are exposed metal and will corrode with prolonged ink exposure. This part isn’t made of stainless steel like the nib.

Threaded standard international converter on Cracked Ice Duragraph

So that’s a roundup of the Conklin Duragraph! You can get more details and specs at GouletPens.com, and pick one up for yourself for $52. If you have any other questions about it, feel free to ask in the comments.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, February 23, 2015

February Ink Drop Reveal: Love is in the Words

February is the shortest month of the year. But this month's Ink Drop Reveal, Love is in the Words,  can help it be the most memorable.

Sure, Valentine's Day may be over. But that vase full of flowers is still sitting pretty -- just as long as you remember to change the water. There are still a few mystery chocolates left in that Whitman's Sampler. And if you join join the Ink Drop club by the end of the month, you'll get these colors to help the most romantic of holidays linger over to March.

Here are the inks for Love is in the Words:

Ink Drop member and Twitter user @MShades01 was kind enough to share some fine writing that showed off February's inks. If you like to dabble with your Ink Drop samples when they arrive, be sure to tag us on social media or email us at social@gouletpens.com with your work. Thanks, again, @MShades01!

Remember: members get 10% off the bottles of all of these colors, plus other deals, on the Ink Drop Members Page. If you're logged in as a current member, you can place these items in your cart and see the discounted prices as you proceed through checkout.

If you have any questions about Ink Drop, please post in the comments below or email us at info@gouletpens.com and we'd be happy to help!

Monday Matchup #36: Delta Unica Blue in Fine with Noodler's Lexington Gray

This week's Monday Matchup mascot will take on all comers in a staring contest.

Caitlin from Customer Care conjured up the Snowy Owl after staring out the window at the white, fluffy stuff for the better part of a week during a rare southern snowstorm that hit Goulet HQ.

Inspired by that snow, plus a little J.K. Rowling and Mr. Owl from the throwback Tootsie Pop commercials -- we include one in every shipped order -- the owl was conceived. The Delta Unica Blue in Fine fountain pen and Noodler's Lexington Gray ink even supplied the perfect shades of blue and gray for our little nocturnal creature.

But he looked a little too serious for us -- so, poof -- we accessorized, mixed, and matched until we had a friendly old owl with a penchant for lollipop-licking arithmetic. It just so happens that the Delta Unica in Blue is a wise choice for professionals seeking a practical pen fit for note taking and paperwork. And Noodler's Lexington Gray allowed Caitlin to add great detail and depth to the Snowy Owl. One word of warning: this is a permanent ("bulletproof") ink. Once the nib hits the page, there is no going back, so plot out your quarterly reports, musings, and doodles carefully.

Please go ahead and stare if you'd like. We'll take it as a compliment :)

The Delta Unica Blue in Fine is available for $76 at Gouletpens.com, while Noodler's Lexington Gray is available in a 3oz bottle for  $12.50 or as an ink sample for $1.25.

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company

Friday, February 20, 2015

Goulet Q&A Episode 67, Open Forum

Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

This week we faced a mail holiday, a rare southern snow day, and an email glitch. But the roads and gremlins are now clear. And we're excited to answer your questions and tease some cool new pens and notebooks in the latest installment of "Goulet Q&A." 

Pens/Writing: - (5:57)

1) Samantha W.- Facebook - (6:00)
I'm looking to branch out into a clear demonstrator under $55. It seems like that generally means the Ahab, the Konrad, the TWSBI Diamond 580, or the Lamy Vista. Which would you pick and why? And what did I leave out? (And how can I search for demonstrators on the GPC website?!)

2) Hector Laureano- Blog - (13:47)
I'm currently living in Boston and we've had quite the winter, seven feet of snow and wind chills hitting -25. I usually like to carry a pen on my person but these cold temps have had me second guessing doing so. I walk one mile to and from work and am curious if a pen and its ink exposed to these temps for this length of time could be bad for the pen. 
  • that’s pushing it!
  • keep the pen close to your chest, body heat will keep it okay
  • use Noodler’s Polar inks

3) Michael P.- email - (17:06)
As a college student I managed to break my pilot metropolitan, Jinhao x450 and one safari. To be fair I only broke the clip on the metropolitan and it still writes. The Safari is inoperable and the I broke the Jinhao's cap so it doesn't really stay capped. Is there any other durable pens I can try?
  • these are some of the more affordable and durable pens
  • spending more doesn’t really mean more durable, you’ll have to figure out a way to take better care of them, or just keep buying these lower cost ones and replace them as needed

4) Jonathan D.-Facebook - (19:15)
I read on FPN among other places that a true stub nib has tipping material left, as opposed to an italic that has none. Are there any brands you're aware of that offer a stub nib WITH tipping material, not just the stainless the rest of the nib is made of?
  • stub/italic doesn’t have anything to do with whether there’s tipping material or not
  • it’s more about the way it’s ground
  • stub-rounded corners, (cursive) italic- slightly sharper corners, (crisp) italic- very sharp corners
  • Check out FP101 Nib Sizes and Grinds

5) Winnie U.-Facebook - (24:41)
My husband and I will be attending the Long Island Pen Show in March. Any tips for novice pen show people?
  • check out who will be there ahead of time, get there early if you want any nib grinding done (they book up quick!)
  • check out FPN for any previous years’ walkthroughs and discussions about who else will be at the show, meet ups
  • go with a plan, and a budget in mind
  • plan to ‘do a lap’ first, spending no more than a minute at any table, make note of where you want to come back
  • early in the event = more product options, later in the event = better deals 
  • take pictures!

6) Stephanie P.-Facebook - (30:59)
Where would you point a collector looking for discontinued pens? Are you guys able to track them down for special order?
  • eBay/FPN
  • We can’t get any old stuff any more than you can

7) Daniel D.-Facebook - (32:49)
Can Brian give some tips on pen hold/nib positioning for optimal line variation when using a stub or italic nib?
  • 45 degrees from paper, 45 degrees from writing line, watch for over-rotation
  • experiment a bit with angles, different nibs are ground differently, some experimentation will be in order

Paper: - (37:13)

8) Jane B.-Facebook - (37:16)
I am DYING to hear more about the filofax notebooks soon to be offered...more details PLEASE!!!
  • removable pages
  • pretty okay paper, not the best but satisfactory
  • dividers, ruler
  • multiple colors, two sizes
  • lined, graph, blank

Ink: - (43:32)

9) Aaron D.-Facebook - (42:36)
What is the difference between the noodlers black inks?

10) Kathie M.-Facebook - (54:04\6)
For those interested in playing around with ink mixing, are there any huge no no's to be aware of?
  • mix in small batches
  • mix separately and let sit for several hours before putting in a pen
  • don’t mix Baystates with non-Baystates
  • check FPN for recipes and tips

QOTW: If you could go back and visit your past self on the first day you discovered fountain pens, what would tell yourself knowing what you know now?

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Matchup #35: Faber-Castell Basic - Black Carbon in Fine with Montegrappa Black

He was known as "The Genius." He wrote and performed music that transcended genres and brought together people at a time when unity was desperately needed. Ray Charles innovated in music and in life.

We're not just honoring the late Ray Charles because February is Black History Month, or because he's one of the greatest influences on music. Ever. But there is something about his style that lends itself to Monday Matchup. Take the groundbreaking song "What'd I Say." It starts with some Latin influences, gospel, blues, jazz, and controversial vocals -- then mixes it all together -- and spits out what was to emerge as rock and roll. The best part was that it was born in total spontaneity at the end of a live show. And it's the way we feel about mixing pens and inks. Small experiments can lead to big things.

Adam, our Fulfillment Team manager, put pen to paper for this imaginative ink portrait of Ray. The Faber-Castell Basic - Black Carbon fountain pen features a carbon fiber body, ergonomic rubber grip, and a stainless steel nib. Shown here in Fine, the pen is also available in Broad, Extra-Fine, and Medium. The Basic accepts standard international cartridges and comes with one included. The pen does not come with a converter, and while it accepts standard international cartridges, the full-size standard international converter is too long to fit inside this pen due to a redesign that occurred around April 2015. The converter that will fit it is the slightly shorter Monteverde Clear Ink converter that's available for $3.50. Taken together with Montegrappa Black ink, Adam is able to draw out Ray's passion while rattling off the hits.

The Faber-Castell Basic - Black Carbon in Fine is available on GouletPens.com for $45. Montegrappa Black ink is $20 for a 42ml bottle or $1.75 for a 2ml ink sample.

Have you missed us one Monday? Check out our new Monday Matchup Library.

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Friday, February 13, 2015

Goulet Q&A Episode 66, Open Forum

Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

It's Friday the 13th, but this week you have good luck because I'm feeling a lot better and am really on a roll for Q&A 66. This week I talk about the Lamy CopperOrange, Lamy nibs, steel vs. gold nibs, my exercise regimen, and ink ending up in places where it shouldn't be!

Pens/Writing: (6:33)

1) Marcus P.- Facebook - (6:36)
In a previous Q&A you recommended a number of pens that are the next step up from a beginner pen. One of the pens you recommended was the Lamy Studio, which can swap nibs with the Safari/Al-Star etc. Given that they use the same nibs, is there any noticeable difference in the writing experience, and if so, what would contribute to that? A different feed, or...? 
  • same nib/feed, it’s going to write identically
  • only difference is pen bodies/aesthetics!
  • goes for ALL Lamy pens, except Lamy 2000
  • two Studios have 14k gold nibs which will write a little different (wetter)

2) William S.- Facebook - (9:35)
Since I can't use a fountain pen on multi-part forms, what are some good Goulet alternative writing instruments that would suit a casual business environment, but not look like the pen at the dollar store.

3) Derek M.- Facebook - (12:22)
I'm a crossword puzzle addict, so I often find myself writing on newsprint. Is there a preferred nib/ink combination that you recommend for this?
4) Martin S.- Facebook - (13:14)
I'm wondering if you can achieve the same experience from that of a gold nib in a steel nib.
  • smoothness, absolutely
  • softness, not really
  • great article called “In Praise of Steel Nibs” by Brian Gray of Edison Pens

5) Jesper B.- Facebook - (16:50)
What pen in your Collection is your favorite to write with, and what pen in your Collection is maybe not the best writer, but very nice to look at? 

Paper: - (22:04)

6) Mark Grago- YouTube - (22:08)
What is a better choice of(stationary) paper to compose letters on, Clairefontaine or G Lalo? I'm having a difficult time deciding.(For only letter writing, I use either a Twisbi Diamond 580 or a Monteverde Invincia. Broad nib for both.)
  • love them both for different reasons
  • Lalo: HATE the feeling of it while writing, looks amazing and feels great in the hand though
  • Triomphe: fantastic writing experience, very bright and sometimes harsh on the eyes with the wrong (bright) ink
  • both will perform really well with your pens and any ink
  • Lalo: better for the recipient, Triomphe: better for the writer!

Ink: - (25:47)
7) Samantha M.- Facebook - (25:55)
As a huge J. Herbin 1670 series ink fan, I was excited to see a post and video on fountain pen network about the ocean blue now having the same gold sparkles as the stormy grey and rouge hematite. When will you be carrying the sparkly version of this?
  • the cat’s out of the bag here
  • yup, it’s coming, not sure when, still waiting on the word
  • shouldn’t be too too long, hopefully less than a month but no firm ETA yet

8) Steve K.- Facebook - (28:07)
How much could I depend upon the Noodler's Eel series of inks to help with railroading and skipping? I know they are lubricated inks, and I have a few pens that are "stubborn" (in particular, a Pilot Custom 912 with a MUSIC nib when I try to flex it). Or are there any other inks you would recommend to take care of these kinds of issues as well. 
  • Custom 912 music isn't a flex nib, not like the Noodler's Neponset is
  • Music nibs are generally not flexible, Noodler's kind of broke the mold there
  • In general though, yes lubricated inks like the Noodler's Eel inks can help increase the flow with drier pens. To what degree will vary based on the pen, though

9) Di M.- Facebook - (30:37)
Is there anything that can be used to "set" non-waterproof inks-- like how hairspray can keep pastels/chalk from smearing? I get a little nervous using some inks to address envelopes, fearing what may happen in the dear old USPS.
  • candlesticks
  • there are products made specifically for this purpose, what it’s called I can’t remember

10) Sabina T.- Facebook - (32:05)
Glad you're better, Brian! What's a good dry-ish ink (blue or blue-black) to use in a real gusher of a pen, for a more moderate flow? Is the "lubricated" filter selection on your website set up to answer this type of question, or does that have to do with another ink property? Thanks!
  • GouletPens.com doesn’t really have a way to look up ‘dry’ inks yet, though the new reviews will give that as a rating so the more reviews come in, the better we’ll be able to tell that
  • lubricated inks are made mostly for lubricating piston pens, but they do also increase ink flow
  • stay away from lubricated inks in your wet pens!
  • Pelikan 4001 is the driest ink I know 
Sealing Wax: - (35:15)
11) @StephaniePyne87- Twitter - (35:22)
Thinking about trying our some sealing wax samples soon.  Approximately how many seals would 1 sample stick make?
  • I actually tested this years ago in this video from April 2010!
  • oh, the camera work! yikes!
  • J. Herbin advertises 7 seals per stick, but I got 25 or so out of one
  • 10-20 is probably most reasonable, it will depend on your seal and how much you put on!

12) Marcus P.- Facebook - (37:08)
Do you know where you can get a custom seal (i.e. have your own design on the seal) for use with sealing wax? 
  • Atelier Gargoyle (no affiliation) has lost-wax casting, others I’m not sure
  • two ways to do it: lost wax (deep seals, high cost) and laser engraved (shallow seals, low cost) 
Business: - (38:24)

13) Swivel888- YouTube - (38:28)
Were you and Rachel married already when you started the company or it just blossomed along the way. (Sorry what a corny question.)
  • yes, we were married in 2006 and started our business in the first form in 2007
  • GouletPens.com as you know it today started in 2009
  • we’re 8 years married now, 13 years together, spend every day together
Personal: - (39:24)

14) Gary W.- Facebook - (39:27)
I don't know if this is going to be an inappropriate question, or too personal in nature. If so then you don't have to answer. I was really curious as to what your exercise regimen was and lifestyle changes that brought you to lose so much weight. Perhaps you could share at least what exercises you did and how often. 
  • I’d tried lots of stuff before, mainly weight lifting and running
  • never had diet under control, would bulk up, eat more, get bigger, etc
  • used MyFitnessPal app
  • cardio was my answer, and cycling is my love
  • rode bike 20+ miles every day, combined with diet for 1.5 years
  • kept that up until our new site launched in Nov. and that put a wrench in things
  • now I’m doing a whole lot less, but sleeping more
  • weight has crept up a tad, but I’m getting that back down
  • exercise now 2-3 days a week

Troubleshooting: - (41:48)
15) Justin Viger- YouTube - (41:53)
Does the Pilot Custom 823 have the same problem with the ink in the grip as the Custom 74?
  • if it does, you’d never know it b/c it’s opaque!
  • Custom 74 “problem” is purely aesthetic

16) Andy P.- Facebook - (43:08)

I have a TWSBI 580 and see in the cap that condensation forms. I thought maybe it's because I had it in my shirt pocket and the body heat caused it, however. When in my bag I see there's still beads of condensation in the cap. What should I do, if anything?
  • don’t sweat it unless it starts to become a problem (getting on the grip of your pen)
  • could be due to being shaken around in your bag, keep it nib-up if possible
  • could be caused by changing temperatures, especially in winter
17) Lisa S.- Facebook - (44:27)
I have a Platinum cool pen crystal clear fountain (I use a converter with it) While I absolutely love the pen, it feels like I'm always opening it up using the converter to send more ink down into the feed instead of it doing so on its own. Otherwise, my writing/ ink flow misfires like I'm out of ink. (Am I doing something wrong?) I have not had to do this with my Lamy or Pilots, which is why I'm curious. 
  • Give it a good cleaning (maybe disassemble it, like in this vid)
  • try a different ink, see if it still does it
  • not something I’ve heard happening a lot with the Cool
  • could be a blockage in the nib/feed (cleaning and tine flossing could help)

QOTW: What are your Valentine’s Day plans?  - (46:16)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, February 12, 2015

2015 Special Edition Lamy Al-Star Reveal: CopperOrange

We hope you've reserved a spot in your favorite pen case for this year's Lamy Special Edition Al-Star: CopperOrange. Boasting an aluminum body and vibrant color, this striking pen is a nice edition to the special edition line-up.

A great workhorse pen that's both highly collectible (gotta catch 'em all!) and a solid daily carry fountain pen, the Lamy Al-Star CopperOrange will be arriving to us for the first time in early March.

There is a lot to like about the Lamy Al-Star CopperOrange. In addition to looking and feeling great in your hand, the pen features a translucent, triangle grip and a snap cap that you push to post.

Nib options include Extra Fine, Fine and Medium, but the pen is also swappable with other Lamy nibs, including Broad and Stub Italic in 1.1mm, 1.5mm, and 1.9mm.

The downside to any Al-Star is that the Lamy proprietary converter is sold separately for $5, for us ink bottle lovers out there (which is most of us, let's be honest). But there will eventually be a matching CopperOrange bottle of ink and cartridges which Lamy hasn't done much before. You can also have some fun matching inks on your own. A few you may consider checking out include:

Now because this is a single-run pen, we don't know how long it will be available. Based on the striking color we anticipate that the demand will be high. Lamy usually makes these special edition pens in one batch and when they're gone, they're gone. It's not like they'll sell out overnight, it'll certainly take months to truly run out. But if you really like the way this pen looks, you should move it up to the top of your 'next to buy' list. You can pick one up at GouletPens.com in early March for $37.60.

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Conklin All American Fountain Pen Review

Video Time Markers:
  • Conklin History - (0:14)
  • Price - (1:48)
  • Unboxing - (2:31)
  • Color Options - (4:06)
  • Features - (6:00)
  • Comparable Pens - (8:02)
  • Nib Information - (10:16)
  • Filling Mechanisms – (11:40)
  • Engraving – (12:35)
  • Inking it up - (14:11)
  • How it writes - (15:39)
Conklin is a pen brand that's been around for a long time, though it's a relatively recent addition to our store. We stated carrying the Duragraph back in December, and they've just released a new pen called the Conklin All American that we wanted to showcase for you here today.

Left to right: Sunburst Orange, Tortoiseshell, Yellowstone
The Conklin Pen Company was established in 1898 and is still regarded as one of the most significant and innovative manufacturers from what is today known as the Golden Era of fountain pens. During the 1930s, at the dawn of the depression, Conklin launched a collection that was priced more affordably to the general public. The “All American” collection was offered in a variety of sizes, filling mechanisms and finishes with the aim of satisfying a growing market demand for good quality, but affordably priced writing instruments. This pen pays homage to the classic designs of the vintage Conklin era.

The new All American collection draws its inspiration from the rich heritage of the Conklin brand, which was purchased and revived by Yafa in 2009. The rebooted All American is manufactured overseas, assembled and distributed from Canoga Park, California, and pays tribute to its roots with a “Toledo, Ohio” engraving on its nib and barrel.

The All American comes in three different resins: Sunburst Orange, Tortoiseshell, and Yellowstone. They're turned from solid cast-resins that give the material a beautiful depth and pearlescence.

Conklin All American (left to right: Tortoiseshell, Yellowstone, Sunburst Orange)
Available in fine, medium, and 1.1mm stub nibs, the stainless steel nibs are smooth with some light feedback, and write fairly wet (especially the stub). The fine and medium are two-tone with a crescent-shaped breather hole, the stub is all polished-steel with a round breather hole. We're really not sure why they're different, that's just how they're coming! If you're familiar with the Conklin Duragraph, they have the exact same nib and feed here, so it'll be an identical writing experience.

The pen is a pretty good weight at 31g, and large overall. It's going to be a comfortable pen for large-handed folks, similar in size to an Edison Collier. It is a screw-cap that pushed on to post the cap on the back of the pen, though because it's such a large pen the posting will back-weight the pen pretty well. It's likely that you'll want to write with it unposted.

The pen is a standard international cartridge/converter pen. It is large enough to accept both short and long cartridges, and comes with a threaded converter (which is nice because it'll stay tightly latched onto the pen when filling from a bottle). Unfortunately the pen can't be converted to an eyedropper-fill because of the metal threads on the back of the grip, though.

There is a handy 'rocker' clip that you can push on to make it easier to clip onto a pocket or pen case, it's quite handy. The embellishments on the pen are pretty minimal, so the material of the pen really stands out.

There is an engraving on the barrel that shows how “Toledo, Ohio” will read as, “Toledo, Hoio” on a large percentage of the fountain pens. This cosmetic irregularity occurred in the initial production run, adding to the story and potentially the collectability of the All American. We expect to have these for the first two or three months of the pen’s release, then Conklin will correct it with the next shipment.

The All American is a good "large" pen for only $76 at GouletPens.com. Pens made of cast resin like this are often much more expensive, so it's definitely worth a look if you want to get a "next step up" from a starter pen. Once you're pretty well sold on the fountain pen idea, the Conklins are definitely worth a look.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

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