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Friday, July 10, 2015

Goulet Q&A Episode 86, 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.

In this week's Q&A, I'm talking about mailing pens, Omas vs. Pilot flex nibs, and why pens have hard starts. Come hang out with me!


Pens/Writing - (1:27)

1) Tom B. -Facebook - (2:07)
I want to send my sister a fountain pen through the mail. Is it safe to send if it's inked or should I clean out the ink?
  • I see this a lot, as you can imagine people are sending us pens all the time for returns, exchanges, etc
  • it’s always best to clean/empty before mailing
  • half the time, ink’s getting all over everything when it’s shipped inked up
  • sometimes it’s perfectly okay though, it’s a roll of the dice
  • just clean it, it’s the nice thing to do :)  
2) SUNisMAD. John - YouTube - (3:58)
Can you recommend some workhorse pens with great grips for comfortable long writing sessions between a 40-100$ range?
  • this is going to vary a LOT from one person to another, to the point of my recommendations being almost meaningless
  • generally, larger-gripped pens are more comfortable to hold
  • however, heavier pens are less comfortable, so look at pens with big grips and light weight relative to their size
  • you’re looking at big resin pens, not metal
  • this is part of why people like brands like Edison, Bexley, Omas, MB 149, Pelikan m800/1000, Delta Dolce Vita
  • Conklin All-American, Noodler’s Ahab also fits here
  • these pens range widely in price, but generally you pay more for these larger lighter pens
  • softer/springier nibs usually help too, which means gold nibs (higher price)
3) @simonraulandrei - Twitter - (10:56)
How does your Custom 74 look after so many years? Could you please zoom in so that I can admire it?
  • pretty darn good!
  • I do take pretty good care of my pens, but I don’t baby them
  • I keep my Custom 74 in a sleeve or case whenever I’m not writing with it
  • you can see macro shots of it in the Pilot Custom 74 Quick Look video I made last week
  • the blue and black ones are the ones I carry around, the blue I’ve had for over 4 years
  • see my Pilot Custom 74 First Impression video (with the same pen!) 
4) VickNish - Blog - (12:58)
After listening to your comments about the OMAS Arte Italiana Vision EF, I was curious how the super-soft Pilot Custom Heritage 912 FA nib compares with the OMAS extra-flessible nib (not that I have an extra five Benjamins to drop right now, but just wondering for future reference).
  •  great question, as both are REALLY soft
  • similar springiness, but very different writing responses
  • FA nib on Pilot spreads less, it’s quite to flex but doesn’t go out as far
  • FA ink will break up quickly, it’s made to be help more upright and done in shorter strokes, more for Japanese writing than American or European longhand
  • Omas nib flexes “deeper”, will flow ink broader (to the point where you can spring it if you aren’t careful)
  • Omas nib is overall larger, so it has more leverage, too
  • for me, the Omas is easier to write with, but you have to write with a lighter hand
5) Kevin L. - Facebook - (18:49)
In general, what makes 1 pen a hard starter and 1 an always reliable starter and does brand or price factor into it at all, or perhaps ink as well?
  • I hesitated to take this question because it’s so broad, could be a variety of reasons for this
  • generally, it’s the nib and how it’s tuned
  • yes, certain nibs/brands/models are known for being more or less reliable than others
  • hard starting could be several things, pinched tines (dry writing), splayed tines (wet writing), baby’s bottom (smooth but skippy)
  • always good to clean a new pen
  • ink can influence it, different inks react differently with each pen
  • price can be a factor, as you’d expect you generally see fewer issues with more expensive pens, but it depends
6) Cara E. - Facebook - (30:27)
I am excited about the release of the Pilot Vanishing Point stub nib and J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor ink. Do you think they would play well together?
  • I think so, I have it inked in my Custom 912 stub nib (similar to the VP)
  • no doubt the maintenance will be a little higher with this ink
  • it seems to flow well so far, I’d expect the same for the VP
  • the VP stub will release before Emerald of Chivor, so it’ll be August before you’ll be able to find out 
7) Shubhranshu D. -Facebook - (32:59)
What is the write way to use a stub nib? Angled to the paper , like this “ / " or like this " - ". I prefer the former as I get more line variation with a 1.1 mm Stub... But is there a right way?
  •  the “best” is really whatever looks good to you
  • the most important thing with a stub is that you have it at the proper rotation within your hand
  • the angle of the ground tip in relation to the paper doesn’t matter as much, and will depend on your hand angle

Ink - (34:34)

8) Jason L. - Facebook - (34:36)
Which popular inks are easy to clean? Recently I just noticed how easy it is to clean a pen with Noodler's purple martin. One rinse and it was gone. Comparing that to some other inks I have, I was amazed! Can you give a list of comparison based on your experience? Thanks!
  • many conventional (non-permanent inks) are going to be considered easy to clean
  • some of the easiest I’ve used are J. Herbin (non-1670), Pilot Iroshizuku, Rohrer and Klingner, and various others from lesser saturated brands like Lamy, Sheaffer, Waterman, etc
  • conventional Noodler’s definitely fit into that
  • regrettably this isn’t of the parameters on the Goulet product reviews, though we do have water resistance, dry time, flow, saturation, and shading as individual ratings on our inks 
9) Gordon H. -Facebook - (38:41)
I'm a big fan of Waterman ink, I like how it's so well-behaved and never seems to have any issues no matter what pen I put it in. That said, the colour selection is somewhat limited. Can you recommend equally well-behaved inks in other colours (specifically orange, pink and grey)?

Paper - (40:40)

10) ShrykeWindgrace - YouTube - (40:45)
Is there a way to know (other than trial and error) whether a given sort of paper would affect the color of my inks?
  • fortunately/unfortunately no, trial and error will pretty much be needed
  • part of the beauty of this hobby is that there are so many varying factors that can allow you to fine tune your writing experience
  • it allows for constantly new discovery of new facets of inks, pens, and paper!
  • that said, it can be frustrated if you are looking for consistency
  • the up side is that there might be some inks you aren’t as crazy about that you discover on some papers look awesome
  • other factors at play besides JUST pen, ink, and paper include: writing angle, writing pressure, writing speed, nib size, and more

Troubleshooting - (45:45)

11) DrDeb - Facebook - (45:50)
What methods do you suggest for "hard starting" pens? And what exactly is "baby's bottom"? Can anything be done about it?
  •  could be a variety of factors, it’s always good to clean the pen first just to make sure it’s working right
  • inspection of the tines is always a good next step, see Goulet Loupe video for reference
  • baby’s bottom is when a nib is ground with the edges of the slit too rounded, which prohibits capillary action from drawing the ink down far enough to reach the paper
  • pen will write really smooth, but hard start and skip a lot
  • it can be smoothed out, a hit on micro mesh will pretty much take care of it, see my Micromesh video for my method


QOTW: Where do you use your fountain pens more, at work or at home? - (53:45)

 
Thanks so much for spending time with me this week, I really appreciate it! Be sure to check here if there are any old Q&A's that you missed.
 


Write On,
Brian Goulet

35 comments:

  1. Question of the week: At school, I use them all the time. I've gotten into fountain pens this summer, so I've only taken one course since my first fountain pen. It's about 50/50 school/home. Once the fall comes, and I'm back full time again, I can imagine school being the main place I use them.

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  2. QotW: Everywhere! Though I most often use them FOR work/school (just maybe not AT work). Ah, the joys of academia...

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  3. That's great, Henry! I wish I'd discovered fountain pens earlier. It would have made note taking so much more enjoyable! :)

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  4. Question 2: My current favorite work horse pen is the Lamy Al Star. It's light. I live the grip. It's reliable. The color choices are cool. Variety of nibs. All for around $40. My second favorite is the Faber-Castell Loom. Kicky colors and finishes. Light for marathon writing sessions - we still use paper charting. Choice of nibs.

    QOTW: I do most of my writing at working. We are required to use black ink (boring. Due to admin not understanding ink technology. *sigh*). I bought several different "colors" of black ink and use them in my favorite pens. My favorite place to write is at home or café with coffee and croissants, decent paper, cheerful ink and a fountain pen.

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  5. QOTW: I'm retired, so I guess the answer is "home" ;-)

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  6. I use my fountain pens mostly at home because of paper quality. And in my planner which I take every where and I control the paper quality in my planner. And now I have a couple of your pilot roller balls for when I am not home.

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  7. They say that you need to practice for 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. Brian: are you an expert? Try taking a test. Blindfold yourself and see if you can identify some pens by touch alone. Points will be taken away if you can't identify a pencil.

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  8. Question 2: My current favorite work horse pen is the Lamy Al Star. It's light. I live the grip. It's reliable. The color choices are cool. Variety of nibs. All for around $40. My second favorite is the Faber-Castell Loom. Kicky colors and finishes. Light for marathon writing sessions - we still use paper charting. Choice of nibs.

    QOTW: I do most of my writing at working. We are required to use black ink (boring. Due to admin not understanding ink technology. *sigh*). I bought several different "colors" of black ink and use them in my favorite pens. My favorite place to write is at home or café with coffee and croissants, decent paper, cheerful ink and a fountain pen.

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  9. Question 2: My current favorite work horse pen is the Lamy Al Star. It's light. I live the grip. It's reliable. The color choices are cool. Variety of nibs. All for around $40. My second favorite is the Faber-Castell Loom. Kicky colors and finishes. Light for marathon writing sessions - we still use paper charting. Choice of nibs.

    QOTW: I do most of my writing at working. We are required to use black ink (boring. Due to admin not understanding ink technology. *sigh*). I bought several different "colors" of black ink and use them in my favorite pens. My favorite place to write is at home or café with coffee and croissants, decent paper, cheerful ink and a fountain pen.

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  10. QOTW: I used fountain pens at work a lot more than home from 1996 until I retired in early 2013. I did use them at home to write in a journal for a few years before I retired, but that was sporadic. However, I did not catch Brian & Rachel's intense passion until after I retired. Now I write much more, use good paper, find excuses for writing at home. Had I discovered Brian, Rachel and Goulet Pens while I was working, I believe that my use of fountain pens at home would have grown a lot before I retired (giving the limited time at home when one is working). I had no problem using fountain pens at work, just used ball point and gel pens on a cheap spiral notebook, fountain pens on most everything else.

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  11. At home and school (I'm a teacher -> whip out that Noodlers Antietam red!)

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  12. Question for the next Q & A: The topic about tines on fountain pens was interesting and led me to the other videos about micro mesh and mylar. I have a question about adjusting music nibs, primarily the nib on a Neoponset. I notice the center tine on the music nib has a larger "ball" (It's not really a ball shaped because it is really a flat disc) at the end and is flanked on either side by smaller "balls" on those tines. Is that larger center "ball" supposed to hang lower than the two on either side, touching the paper first, or are all three nibs supposed to have contact with the paper at the same time? I understand this is a flex nib and am wondering if the offset center tine and nib are supposed to be part of the flexing system of this pen. Love these Q&A videos and appreciate the time you take on them. Thank you.

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  13. I am home from work for a few weeks studying for the bar exam so I am exclusively using them at home. I am currently blowing through three cartridge fillings a day with my broad nibbed Collier.

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  14. Answer to Question of the week - at home & work; I carry a range of nib sizes and ink colour for work and have become known as "That Fountain Pen guy". I hand write a lot of notes on reports and even hand write some parts of reports if I really want to articulate my thoughts better. At home I write in my journal every night and write letters to Pen Pals.

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  15. Question for Brian's next Q&A - I recently bought some Monteverde mini converters for my three Kaweco Ice Sports. I find the converter doesn't fit very tightly and can easily shake loose in the pen. Understanding while they are different manufacturers, they are standard International and should all be the same right? My own hack to fix this was to cut a small strip of blotting paper and slip it between the outside of the cartridge and the section body to make a tighter fit. Have you any other suggestions?

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  16. I've been using my Metro at my new job all week and it has preformed wonderfully. So probably more at work, depending on how much writing I have that day.
    For next week: I'm planning on placing an order for my first gold-nib pen next week, do you have any suggestions for good everyday use gold pens? I'm looking at the Lamy 2000 and the Pilot Vanishing Point right now, but are there other options I'm missing? I'm looking for one to use every day at work. Thanks!

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  17. Completely agree. It has become my favorite journal pen. I use J Herbin Lierre Sauvage in a Quo Vadis Journal http://www.shopwritersbloc.com/quo-vadis-artist-collections--matisse-journal-icarus.html
    I got this pen on Amazon (Sorry, Goulet!)

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  18. Hey Brian! Love love love your Q&As and all the other blog posts and videos you put up for us all! :)

    Question
    for you, our company just did a huge promotion/raise for all of its
    staff as part of a switch over to a new owner, and as a celebration, I'm
    looking at getting a new pen (insert happy dance here). I'm really
    thinking about a gold nib pen, I've never owned one before, the most
    expensive pen I've ever bought is the Monteverde Invincia Nighthawk,
    which I love from a design standpoint but is just a little heavy for
    extended writing sessions for me :\ and my absolute favorite go to pen
    is my TWSBI 580. What kind of pen would you recommend (gold nib or not)
    that's good for long periods of writing (especially around NaNoWriMo),
    that works well with shading inks? Something with maybe a little flex/line variation?
    The TWSBI is the perfect size in my hand FWIW and I love demonstrators.


    QotW : until November rolls around and NaNoWriMo kicks off, it's a pretty even split. I carry Safaris/Al-Stars at work, and I'm a courier, so there's a lot of signage and the like. I even carry a few Metros with me in case a nurse falls in love with a fp and tries to steal my pen :D And I write a lot out home as well. When NaNo starts up though, it's a 50k+ word sprint to the finish line, all done by hand, so home will win hands down. Or would coffee shop be it's own separate section? :)

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  19. Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Jared! :)

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  20. Sounds like a great set up, Linda! What planner are you using?

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  21. Haha! This could a be a pretty fun game, Henry. Maybe something for Periscope... thanks for the idea! :)

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  22. Hi Tom! It's such a fun hobby to get into!! It's great to hear that you find so many ways to write at home. :)

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  23. Fantastic!! Is Noodler's Antietam your favorite grading ink then? We're thinking about putting a blog together for teachers for that specific purpose. :)

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  24. I've passed your question along to Brian! :)

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  25. Wow!! That is a lot of ink. Are you switching colors or sticking to a favorite? :)

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  26. Hi Neville! It sounds like you get a ton of use out of your pens. That is fantastic! :)

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  27. I've let Brian know about your question. Thanks Neville!

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  28. I am currently staying with Diamine Sargasso Sea but I am almost out of my 30ml bottle. It is about time to place another order with Goulet.

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  29. Hi Adam! It's so great to hear that you are enjoying your Metro. I'll pass your question along to Brian for the next Q&A. :)

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  30. Gorgeous color! :)

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  31. Hi Megan! Wow!! I knew that some people hand wrote their NaNoWriMo entries but I didn't know it was 50k+ words. That is intense! Do you find it easier to write it all out and then go back and do your edits on a computer? Everyone has their own writing process which I find fascinating.

    I'm glad you get to use your pens at work as well. :)

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  32. I also use Noodler's Red Rattler eel because I like the name! Noodler's Habenero, Army Green, and Polar Green have all been used as well. Believe it or not, the Pilot Preppy converted to an eyedropper is my go to grading pen because it starts so reliably and will take a beating. I can also give it away when I have a student who becomes interested in fountain pens or if students want to try or borrow a fountain oen to see what it is like. When I was a middle school English teacher I graded 16 hours a week and used a lot of ink then!

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  33. Quick edit? Q. 6 ...I'd expect (not except) the same for the VP. [No offense, I hope. No need to post this.]

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  34. Thanks Michael! I fixed it. :)

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  35. Hi Megan! Thanks for sharing all these awesome details. How many novels have you written at this point? It's so incredible to think about handwriting 50,000 words. Is there a certain type of paper you prefer? Do you switch pens or do you have a favorite that you write the whole thing with?

    I'm reading more on the website now. :)

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