Goulet Q&A Episode 87, Open Forum

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Number 87 coming at you today! This week Brian compares a Lamy 2000 to the Pilot Custom Heritage 92, how to keep straight which ink is in which pen, and what it would take for him to give up his two favorite pens. 
Products recently launched at GouletPens.com: – (2:41)
Pens/Writing – (6:52)

1) Oscar R. –YouTube – (6:56)
Brian, for easy nib unit swapping pens, in my case the Vac-700, what is your advice in maintenance/cleaning or not, if you swap the nib units often? (paraphrase) Does switching the nib units out and leaving them inky since they are inked in the same color of pen they will be put back on shortly?

  • leaving the nib units sitting out for even an hour or so will see them dry up
  • you’ll need to clean them out if you’re swapping
  • if you want to leave the pen inked, use a bulb syringe
  • this goes for any swappable nibs/nib units like TWSBI, Lamy, Pilot VP, etc 
2) Gary Z. -Facebook – (10:14)
I know you love the pilot custom 74 but how does it compare to the Delta Serena?
  • Custom 74:
    • gold nib
    • writes wonderfully
    • demo pen, can see ink level
    • higher ink capacity
  • Serena:
    • really really wet stainless steel nib
    • cast resin (classy)
    • more universal standard international cartridge/converter
    • less expensive
  • personally, I prefer the Custom 74, but they’re really pretty different pens and it’ll boil down mostly to preference
3) Alec S. – Facebook – (13:02)
I’ve been trying to decide between purchasing a Lamy 2000 and a Pilot Custom Heritage 92, and I was wondering if you could compare/contrast them. Note that the cost is not an issue.

  •  Lamy 2000:
    • durable material
    • Bauhaus industrial design
    • hooded nib keeps nib wet longer
    • snap cap, super convenient
    • less expensive
    • pretty finicky sweet spot, takes some getting used to
  • Pilot Custom Heritage 92:
    • demonstrator
    • really clean look
    • nib is fantastic, same as Custom 74 (my fav)
  • in the end, it’ll be preference I think which determines which you like better
  • if money is no object, get both and you won’t regret it 🙂 
Ink – (17:49)

4) Hunter W. – Email – (17:54)
My favorite inks are the ones that when used in a wet pen are almost black, Diamine Oxblood and Private Reserve Avocado come to mind, almost like blue blacks, except obviously not exclusively blue. Could you recommend some other inks similar to this? I don’t actually own any blue blacks, so those also would be well appreciated.

5) Dave B. Facebook – (20:24)
What do you think is the best “poor man’s” substitute for Pilot’s Iroshisuku Kon-Peki.  Noodler’s  Bernanke Blue seems to be close in color to me.  But what about other properties?  What  is  your opinion?

  • I personally love Noodler’s Blue
  • it’s slightly more vibrant/saturated, little longer dry time but great alternative
  • PR DC Supershow Blue could work, but is a little darker (maybe water it down though) 

6) CorwynCelesil –YouTube – (22:34)
Since most fountain pen ink is water soluble, do you ever have problems with addressing letters (actual, real paper mail) with a fountain pen and then the address washing away or blotching if the letter gets caught in the rain?
  • I’ve personally never had it cause a real problem
  • certainly, using conventional non-waterproof ink could result in smearing in the rain
  • some alternatives:
    • use waterproof ink
    • rub a candle over your writing to protect it
    • there are specific products you can buy for this purpose (the name escapes me)
    • probably wouldn’t recommend covering with clear tape, could result in complications in sorting/reading machines at USPS
Personal – (26:17)

7) (Lin) 林理谙 –Facebook – (26:21)
If you had a choice between keeping your top two favorite pens or the rest of them, which would you choose?

  • that’s kind of a softball question for me
  • I’d definitely ditch my top two pens and keep the rest
  • I have a pretty sizable collection, so that’d be a lot of ‘other’ pens to give up
  • if I only had 10 pens, that’d be a lot tougher!
8) Tim D. -YouTube – (28:25)
I bet you have quite a few pens inked with various inks at all times, how do you keep what ink is in what pen straight? Do you have a spreadsheet or a list?

  • I don’t honestly keep that many pens actively inked up at a time
  • I do ink a lot (and clean a lot) of pens, but I don’t use them long
  • I go by memory, mainly, which sometimes fails me and I then have to set aside the pen for cleaning
  • I rarely ink pens with similarly colored inks
  • I will carry around a bunch of pens at once, but not often all of them inked
  • I have been known to keep an index card in my pen case with the ink used in which pen, that’s worked well
  • I’ve also tried  keeping notes on my phone
  • I would really love to hear how others manage it 
Troubleshooting – (30:52)

9) Shannon M. -Facebook – (30:58)
I just replaced the nib on my Ahab and now it writes extremely wet, too wet for my Rhodia paper. The tines also seem to be overlapping each other a bit… Is there any way to fix this without buying a completely new nib?
  • check out Goulet Loupe Tutorial vid (shows how to adjust tines)
  • adjusting a flex nib is tricky, you have to really overflex the tines to get them to stay in place where you want them
  • once the tines are in the right place, try heat setting like I do in the Heat Setting a Noodler’s Ebonite Feed video
  • try these, worst case you completely mess it up and get a replacement for $5

10) Erica C. – Facebook – (34:29)
When I use a certain pen, the ink starts off nice and strong. After about 10-20 minutes of writing, however, the ink comes out lighter.  The pen is clean, so why is this happening?

  • I’d love to know what the pen is, but that’s okay
  • could be several reasons:
    • ink could be clogging up in the pen for a variety of reasons, try it in some other pens and see if that’s a factor
    • really fibrous paper could get fibers caught in the nib/feed, normal cleaning may or may not get all that (brass sheet can help)
    • you could be running out of ink (forgive me if that sounds elementary)
    • could be due to hand fatigue, rotating the pen in your hand without realizing it
    • could just be bad pen/ink match, ink isn’t flowing wet enough to keep up (try a different ink, especially a wet one)
    • could be some kind of defect, but this would be consistent with many different inks
  • trying different pen/ink combos would be my first step to finding out what’s up, sometimes there are just combos that don’t play nicely! 

11) Rhiokai –YouTube – (40:38)
I have a Pilot Prera and I’ve noticed that the metal bit inside the section that extends to the nib has quite a bit of ink on it. When I flush and clean the pen however, I can’t seem to get all of it off. I’ve tried running it under the tap nib up but I can only get about half of the ink off. Is this normal for this pen or is it defective? Any ideas how I can get the ink off?

  • I think what you’re talking about is the nib, if I’m not mistaken
  • flushing with a bulb syringe should get it all
  • you can pull the nib out and clean it pretty easily, then it’ll just rinse off
  • ink here is normal for all pens, you just don’t usually see it unless the grip is clear like on the Prera!

QOTW: How do you remember which inks you keep in which of your pens? – (43:00)

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
2017-10-11T22:27:19+00:00 July 17th, 2015|Goulet Q&A|31 Comments
  • weasel

    To keep track of which of my pen has which ink in it I use my trusty ink journal – a nice, blue Clairefontaine 8541C (A5, side wirebound, grid) notebook in which I dedicate one page to each pen I own.

    When I ink up a pen, I note the date and ink on that pen's page. Usually I write the note with that pen – I don't with the Pilot Parallels. 🙂

  • Deborah Roggie

    I have a Clairefontaine notebook in which I keep a running log of what's inked:
    date / pen name / ink name
    It came in really handy when I had a pen malfunction and the manufacturer asked me what ink I'd used in it.

  • Tom Johnson

    QOTW: First time I have posted a comment before watching the video!! But I had to answer. I have Clairefontaine staplebound notebooks, 3-1/2 x 5-1/2, lined. In one each facing page is headed with the name of one of my pens. On that page I list the ink that is in that pen. When I change ink I line out the previous ink and add the new. In another notebook I have listed each of my fountain pens. Under each pen is the ink that is in it. When I change inks I add the new and line out the old. Can't depend on my memory, not with over 20 pens inked at a time. I have more of these notebooks. One simply lists each ink, date bought, $$, comments about the ink and writing with each pen the ink is used in. Another one lists every fountain pen I have, date bought, where from, $$, description, and writing samples with that pen. More excuses to write with fountain pens.

  • Kak_arctic

    I have the same problem as Erica with my TWSBI Diamond580. I've got a medium nib on my TWSBI and no matter what ink I put in it, and what paper I am using, the pen always becomes dry and the ink becomes lighter during a long writing session. I don't have the same problem with my Vac 700, which has an EF nib on it, so I am thinking it might be the feed on my TWSBI that's causing the problem. This is kind of frustrating, since I got my 580 for the piston filler, so I can write pages of pages of notes before running out ink, but it is not the end of world for me.

  • Timothy

    Will you consider carrying KWZ Ink?

  • Cody H

    I mostly use my memory to keep track of all of my pen/ink combos, but when I am bored I usually just write the name of the pen/ink over and over so I really never forget. I also found a cool download over at the Zeller Writing co (it doesn't look they have the link anymore) that is just a pen and ink log. When I ink a new pen, it goes in. When I clean it out, I just a little x beside it. It is more for seeing all of combinations in one spot to compare them, but also reminds me that, "hey, my Vac 700 has been inked since February, maybe it's time to switch it up"

    As for the comparable to Kon-Peki, my brief experience with it has given me almost identical results as Waterman's Inspired Blue. Both shade well, behaves well, and has that really nice Cerulean blue colour.

  • Tom Johnson

    #4, Hunter W. – I love Noodler's El Lawrence much more than I thought I would when I got the bottle. Wonderful behaving ink, rich and dark. I think it has a greenish tint with the brown, and it does look like used motor oil. Waterproof and it fluoresces under UV – a ghoulish pale green color. Not as bright as other UV fluorescent inks, and may be hard to see on white papers which fluoresce brightly, but its spooky fluorescence is easily seen on cream, beige, parchment, or any non-fluorescing paper. Dark enough to be used at work, looks nearly black unless you are in bright light, but so unique. I usually have one pen inked with El Lawrence.

  • Eva Yaa Asantewaa

    Re: a fixative for fountain pen ink: I don't know anything about this product, but I Googled the question, and this was recommended on the Fountain Pen Network: http://www.amazon.com/Judikins-GT026-Micro-Glaze-1-Ounce/dp/B004M5B3NM

  • Eva Yaa Asantewaa

    Brian, I have the wonderful Evernote app where, among many other things, I keep an inventory of pens, inks and supplies. For the ink samples, I also keep track of whether I would buy that ink again.

    Here's an example of an entry for one of my pens:

    Pilot Metropolitan [METRO] purchased from The Goulet Pen Company (summer 2014)

    medium nib

    refills with: Pilot cartridge. Bottled ink with Pilot aerometric (squeeze) converter or a syringe. Syringe-filled cartridge

    preferred: Pilot cartridge

    on hand: one Pilot cartridge (black); Pilot aerometric (squeeze) converter

    CURRENTLY INKED WITH: Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses

  • Waski the Squirrel

    I have no system for tracking which pen has what ink. There may be a vague color alignment between pen and ink. But, my real trick is to remember. At the moment, I have 11 pens inked up. Admittedly, 3 are JetPen's Chibis and look alike, so I would have to write to recognize the ink, but I could do it, and I know they're all inked with Goulet samples. I figure that if I can't keep track, I have too many pens inked up.

  • Starchix

    Since I only keep 6-8 pens inked at one time, and I usually color code them (i.e. red ink in red pen) I just write them down on a 3×5 index card that I keep in my pen/ink drawer. But after reading about all the neat pen journals people are using, I'm thinking I might try that too. Too much fun! As someone said, yet another excuse to write with fountain pens. 😉

  • Megan Nichol

    QOTW : I'm a sucker for ink samples, so save a bottle of Lexington Grey and one of BSAR, the ink is brand new every time I ink up. Every notebook I use, the very last page is saved for testing, and I'll write out the Pen/Nib/Ink combo + my immediate impression (omg love this BUY A BOTTLE! or meh, or try a different pen?) + the date so I can look back and see my TWSBI is inked up with 1670 Stormy Grey right now and I need to buy a bottle of it. 🙂

    Two quick questions
    1. Maybe I'm going crazy, but I could have sworn there was a blurb on the product pages for paper on the old site about a bulk ordering discount, is that something you still do? I go through paper pretty quickly and should really just stock up and save you guys some effort instead of ordering one or two notebooks at a time. I've placed two orders in this last week alone ^_^;

    2. If you or anyone on your team woke up tomorrow in a post apocalyptic world, and you were asked to be the one to chronicle current and future events/adventures in this new world, and you were limited to one pen/ink/paper combination because everything else is long gone, what would you choose? Keeping in mind that you're going to probably be exposing everything to some pretty harsh conditions. 🙂

  • Dorian Ferguson

    QOTW: I have few pens and I use few inks, so I usually remember what I have in what pen. I mainly use Zhivago, Lexington Grey, and 54th, so I can usually tell just by what is on the nib creep

  • I have a nib question. I'm ready to get a couple of replacement #6 nibs so I can switch around my Monteverde, Conklin, and Jinhao pens for some variety. What differences are there between Goulet, Monteverde, and Conklin #6 nibs?

  • haha, yeah, I use nib creep to help me out too 🙂

  • You're not going crazy, the bulk discount feature was something we lost when we went to our new site. We're trying to build it back in but it's taking time. We can adjust it after the fact (manually, leave a note in your order comments and we can work with you).

  • nice, the index card thing can definitely help

  • haha, so true. I have a similarly informal system…and sometimes my memory fails me and then I just clean the pen and start over!

  • oh smart! That's pretty cool

  • interesting, I haven't seen that before

  • yeah, that's a cool ink. Some don't like it, but most people I know really end up growing to love it. It's definitely unique!

  • Thanks Cody! I hadn't thought of Inspired Blue, that could work!

  • there's not really much to carry right now, it's really kind of a startup thing.

  • Sorry to hear that! I hear of this from time to time and TWSBI's pretty good about helping out with this kind of thing. Reach out to twsbiinc@gmail.com and see if they can help.

  • haha, just couldn't wait huh Tom! 😉 Thanks for sharing, your system sounds much more reliable than mine!

  • that's handy!

  • nice, then you have a record of it. That's smart. Boy, if only I'd kept up with an ink journal for myself over the years…

  • Thanks for sharing, Keri. It can be tough to nail down the exact cause with this kind of thing!

  • BryanNZ

    To really trial an ink in all situations I change my ink monthly and note them in my correspondence note book. It's only one Blue, one Red, one green, and one brown or purple across 4 to 6 pens. Quite often there is much excitement and anticipation about next month's choice going into the last week, and it helps me to learn the colours and attributes.

  • Ramalingaswamy

    I never bother to remember the ink pen combination except the one with sailor sky high (TWSBI 580). 6 always have Apache Sunset (3 noodler's, one sailor zoom, one faber castell basic and one lamy), 5 have kon peki (3 Pilots- 74, 92 & VP, sailor 1911 and one noodler's), one konrad has liberty's elysium, two have x-feather, two baystate blue. The others have 6 shades of diamine, 3 shades of private reserve, pilot blue, sheaffer violet, Sailor black, sailor ultramarine, sailor black. Diamine Mediterranean Blue is similar to kon-peki but it feathers a little more, so I can make out.

    I rather enjoy writing than trying to remember which ink is in which pen.

    Any new noodler's ink you would suggest Mr.Goulet. By the way I like the Pilot 74 with a soft medium nib the most. Sailor 1911 is the next best.

    All the best.

  • Arlene A Lennox

    As to how I keep track of the inks in my pens, i print out a label with our little label machine and stick it on. They peel off easily enough when I change inks. I also have my name and phone number on each pen. I have found that if you round the corners of the labels with scissors they are less likely to catch on things and stick up. For now I have 5 Preppies, 3 TWSBIs, and a Pilot Falcon. Three more Preppies on order, and I am waiting for the introduction of the TWSBI Vac Mini.