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Friday, May 29, 2015

Goulet Q&A Episode 80, 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.

Welcome to Goulet Q&A Episode 80! I'm back this week discussing our new video techniques and platforms. I'm answering questions on my favorite ink, what pen I loan out, and who would play Rachel and I in a movie. Pull up a seat and enjoy the show...

New and Upcoming Products - (:41)
Faber-Castell Ambition
Pilot Metropolitan Rollerballs


Pens/Writing - (6:17)

1) Chris W. -Facebook - (6:32)
Who wins in a shoot-out, the Pilot Vanishing Point or the Lamy Dialog 3?
  • hands down, VP!! 
  • half the price
  • can retract 1-handed
2) Po T. -Facebook - (9:10)
Hello Brian! Currently, I have a Pilot VP with Fine nib and I want to switch to EF. Give me some suggestions about whether I should buy an EF nib unit separately or buy a VP pen with an EF nib. The former option will make the Fine nib unit useless as I only have one pen body and the latter option is more expensive. What do you think?
  • Nib unit: $61
  • VP whole pen: $140
  • $79 price difference, worth it? tough call
  • for me, yes 
3) Angel A. -Facebook - (13:48)
Hello Brian! Are the nibs between the Faber-Castell Basic, Loom, and E-Motion interchangeable? Wanting to buy them with a different nib each.
  • yes, but they’re not really easy to pull out
  • they are all the same size though 
4) (Lin) 林理谙 -Facebook - (17:21)
Perfect copperplate or perfect flex pen than never railroads, has perfect flow, easy to clean, high ink capacity, never dries out, and so on? Given no effort for the first, and no cost for the second.
  • buy a pen, any pen
  • close your eyes until you fall asleep
  • then your pen will write exactly as you dream :)
  • there are always tradeoffs, and it just takes practice to understand how to flex well
  • there is no perfect pen, flex pens are just finicky and require finesse 


Ink - (20:57)

5) Brandon D. -Facebook - (21:00)
What one ink would you recommend for each color category on gouletpens.com? I want to have a variety of colors to choose from but i want to limit myself so i do not have more ink than i can possibly use
Paper - (24:11)

6) Chrome Y. - Facebook - (24:16)
As an art student I often write on sketch paper and watercolour paper. Both of them are thick and have textures especially the watercolour paper. (they are quite soft as well) I don't think there will be bits of paper stuck on the nib as long as I don't use EF nibs. Do I have to worry about material taken from the nib too much or is it kind of ok?
  • watercolor paper is usually sized with a coating that resists water (ink) which means it will not be incredibly prone to fibers in the nib tines
  • it’s not impossible though, so if it happens, use brass sheets to floss

Personal - (27:56)

7) @Henryw25 – Twitter - (28:02)
When someone not personally close to you asks to borrow a pen, out of the pens that you carry, which do you hand over?
  • Pilot Metropolitan
  • it’s inexpensive enough to loan out (and not sweat it)
  • it’s a snap cap, because people ALWAYS try to pull off the cap instead of unscrew it
  • it’s a good writing experience 
8) Eric O. -Facebook - (31:25)
Who plays Brian in the film "Write On: The Brian Goulet Story"? Who plays Rachel?
  • Rachel: Tina Fey, Jennifer Garner, Rachel Leigh Cook, (Julia Roberts like in Erin Brockovich)
  • Brian: Dominic Purcell
9) Ty W. -Facebook - (34:00)
I heard you mention a couple times about values alignment with other companies/vendors you use. When did the importance of that hit you? (This made a recent choice much easier!)
  • It wasn’t a particular instance that happened, but it was pretty early on
  • probably in the first year, we started to notice a correlation between brands we successfully carried and their values 


Business - (41:58)

10) Brandon M. -Facebook - (42:00)
I have been hearing rumors that Pilot will be bringing new colors of the metro to the US (essentially what they are selling as the cocoon series in Japan right now). Is that true, or is it just a rumor at this point?
  • the Cocoon is the Metropolitan in Japan, true
  • but the new Cocoon colors are not the coming Metropolitan colors, they’re different
  • expect new Metro colors in Nov/Dec 
11) Bijan A.- Facebook - (43:21)
Monday Matchup is a really creative way to not only put the spotlight on different pens and inks, but also to get your insta-followers promoting your company/page by the endless amounts of re-grams people end up posting to try and win them. I'd love to know how the idea was spawned, how tough it was to implement, and then also, who gets to have the final say on which ink and pens you choose to highlight?
  • we’re about to hit 1-year of Monday Matchup!
  • idea spawned from our team! 
  • it took us a while to figure out a rhythm, especially with who would do the artwork
  • we way over engineered it at first, trying to push the envelope
  • we didn’t even start out using the ink in the actual pen!
  • we didn’t start out with a contest, that came almost out of necessity
  • what pen/ink combo is initially chosen by team members, then Rachel and I check out inventory (just to make sure we’ll have it!)


Troubleshooting - (50:26)

12) Ana B. - Facebook - (50:35)
For Q&A: Do you also find that the cellulose-derivative Noodler's pens dry out REALLY FAST even when capped and stored? I've filled my Ahab, neglected it in my desk drawer for a few days (oops), and come back to a nearly bone-dry pen (as in, a dry piston chamber, not just a dry nib and feed).Same thing happens with my Creaper, but not my acrylic Konrad.
  • this is not unusual for these pens, they do tend to dry out
  • a lot of it is the wide-open feed, evaporation just happens more quickly
  • not sure if the material itself is a factor, though I have less of an issue with the acrylic pens
  • environment is a factor
  • filling more regularly will just be necessary
 13) Brandon P. - Facebook - (53:38)
For Q&A: I am just beginning to get into fountain pens, and I've converted my Platinum Preppy into the eyedropper pen. When I put in some ink in (De Atramentis Indigo Blue), it started writing very light and unsaturated as if the ink had been diluted or washed out. Is this normal for the pen, ink, or paper (medium quality copy paper) that I'm using? Thanks!
  • sounds like it was just getting primed
  • eyedropper conversion doesn’t saturate the feed like when you’re filling directly from the bottle 


QOTW: Who would you pick to play Brian (and Rachel) in the Goulet Pens movie? - (56:30)



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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Faber-Castell Ambition: Quick Look



Faber-Castell's line-up of Ambition fountain pens exhibits both unique body finishes and an elegance that help it stand out on your desk or wherever, really.

These "fashion pens" show off tremendous craftsmanship. Complementing their eclectic body materials are a solid metal cap, which can weigh down the pen a little bit, as well as a classic "Faber-Castell" engraving. The only thing to watch out for is a relatively short grip, which may cause you to hold the pen farther back around the body. The Ambition accepts standard international short or long cartridges. Some models come with a converter; check each pen's specs to confirm, but if not you can easily add one for just $5.

Ranging in price from $100 to $170, all of the Faber-Castell Ambition models that we carry are available on GouletPens.com: Coconut, Metal, Pearwood, and the Blue Ocean Op Art. We have them available in a handful of nib sizes.


The Black Resin, Black Rhombus and Aqua Op Art are no longer available at Goulet Pens.
Faber-Castell Ambition Blue Ocean Op Art

What questions do you have about the Faber-Castell Ambition?

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Monday, May 25, 2015

Monday Matchup #49: Parker IM Premium Fountain Pen Pink Pearl Medium with De Atramentis Violets


Some folks prefer predictability. It's why casual dining chains, khaki pants and Honda Civics abound in the 'burbs and beyond. But other times, you need to shake it up. That's why Casual Friday, Polaroid pictures and Monday Matchup exist.

For this week's Monday Matchup, we're featuring a verse from poet Bob Hicok that embraces this fresh thinking. A collegiate poetry professor of Madigan from our Media Team -- the one who penned this luscious Monday Matchup -- Hicok clearly imagines a world turned sideways. In a world gone mad -- where Boise trades its famous spuds for sweeping, soft emerald lawns -- anything is possible.

Madigan creates a fitting spring arrangement with her Parker IM Premium Fountain Pen Pink Pearl Medium and De Atramentis Violets ink, framing up a verse that puts creativity in full bloom. Just one question: how can you make the classic Bronx soundbite "fugetaboutit" pass the smell test?

Parker IM Premium Fountain Pen Pink Pearl Medium is available at GouletPens.com for $51.20, while De Atramentis Violets is available in a 35ml bottle for $12.95 or as a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.











Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Friday, May 22, 2015

Goulet Q&A Episode 79, 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.

I'm back this week after being across the country, and I have some solid questions to answer for you. I'm here talking about customs confiscating your pens, testing for archival ink properties, coarse paper damaging nibs, and the most expensive pens I've ever broken.

QOTW: How would you like us to publish Goulet Q&A slices? Vote here!

Pens/Writing - (4:26)

1) Karissa D. -Facebook - (4:29)
How do you safely store your glass pens?
  • pen cabinet
  • the box it came in! 
  • bubblewrap works well 

2) Gary W. -Facebook - (6:07)
I'm going to be traveling to England and Europe next month and I was wondering if I should be brave enough to bring my Pilot Custom 74, Lamy 2000, and Pelikan M800. Do you think there's a possibility they could still be confiscated at any security gate? I really love bringing my favorite pens but I'm very apprehensive about customs and security. 

  •  I’ve honestly never traveled internationally so I haven’t been through customs
  • I would probably be less concerned with customs taking them and more concerned with them being lost, stolen or damaged on the trip
  • it’s totally your call


Ink - (8:33)

3) Daniel B. -Facebook - (8:37)
What are the best ways to test an inks characteristics as far as how permanent the ink is against various things like water, chemicals, and light? What makes an "archival" ink "archival"? (If the purpose of the archival characteristic is not covered under the first question, what way can one test an ink to determine the strength, or even presence, of this characteristic?)
  • I’m no scientist, there are folks on FPN who’ve played around more with this stuff
  • water: drip test, soaking, running under the tap
  • bleach is most common chemical, maybe oven cleaner: usually soaking
  • light…no real consistent way to do it
  • ran experiment with Jamie Grossman of HudsonValleySketches and she put them in her window for 6 months
  • archival isn’t a standardized term across the industry
  • generally it means permanent (lightfast)
  • I don’t know of any real way to test this strength other than tons of time 
4) Eric O. - Facebook - (15:30)
There are times I notice what appears to be water on the walls of my ink sample vials. It happens when I leave them laying on their sides. I also notice this on my demonstrators (TWSBI 580/platinum cool). A gentle swish seems to fix it. Is something to be concerned about?
  • that’s just condensation
  • ink is mostly water, it’s evaporating, collecting on the vial/pen, and reconstituting once you shake it up 
  • don’t even sweat it 


5) Edith N. -Facebook - (17:03)
I notice that one of Brian's favorite inks (included in one of the sample packages) is Scabiosa, an iron gall ink. I would be curious to know what pen he pairs with that ink and why.
  • It’s a low-maintenance permanent dusty purple, well-behaved and very water resistant
  • I don’t have it loyal to a single pen, and in fact it’s not necessarily a mainstay in my regular rotation these days
  • I’ve often just paired it up in my Lamy Al-Star medium, maybe other various pens from time to time 

Paper - (19:57)

6) jimmyystardust – YouTube - (20:04)
Brian, Can coarser paper from books (or any type of book paper) damage the nib on a fountain pen?
  • potentially, over a LOOOOONG time
  • paper is very, very, very slowly wearing down your nib as you write with it, and coarser paper will speed up that process
  • you might be talking about a nib that lasts 30 years only lasting 20 or something, who’s to really know
  • the one paper that’ll definitely speed up the process would be stone paper 
7) Ronnie K. - Facebook - (22:12)
So you are in a store and there are notebooks - pads - or even buying on your site and obviously you cannot try the pads out with your fountain pens - 
A. What qualities in a paper would you look for to think it is fountain pen friendly paper and would work well ?
B. When feeling a paper what do you look for ?
C. When reading about a pad, book or paper on your site what are the key buzz words ? 

  • paper thickness is not a guarantee but it’s usually an indicator (80g+)
  • any type of language that says ink resistant, no bleed, etc
  • it’s essentially a crapshoot if it’s a brand you know nothing about and there’s no indication on it
  • some notebooks don’t even source consistent paper, so they could vary from one to another depending on how they source out their paper
  • this matters more with fountain pen ink than rollerballs and ballpoints which are much more popular in general
  • smoothness is often a good sign, though not a guarantee
  • really brand name is the biggest thing, and the reason I personally believe in online is because you can see real-time reviews and have way more information at your fingertips than in a store
  • fountain pen people tend to be pretty loyal to their brands when it comes to paper

8) Steve K. -Facebook - (30:49)
Any possibility to do a quick visual comparison of the Midori Traveler's Passport notebook and the Filofax Personal notebook? Or, at least could you talk about the size / paper comparison between 
the two?

  • they’re fairly similar in size
  • you’ll get more pages in the Filofax 
  • the Midori is more durable and rugged
  • there’s clearly a price difference
  • both good notebooks, I love and use both

Personal - (33:31)

9) GRA DON - YouTube
Request: pls recommend 2 to 3 reference books on fountain one can add to personal library.
  • I couldn’t tell you one
  • everything I’ve learned has been online or in person
  • FPN has some resources but I haven’t found any “you have to read this book to start out” things
  • any recommendations?
10) Ana B. - YouTube - (35:59)
If you were elected President of the United States which fountain pen would you use to sign your name on your Swearing-In ceremony and why?
  • Edison Nouveau Premiere- made in America! 

11) Vlad Y. - YouTube - (37:58)
Brian, what were the most expensive pens you ever a) bought, b) got as a gift, c) sold, d) presented, e) lost, f) broke?
  • a) Stipula DaVinci (700ish)
  • b) Mont-Blanc 149 BB
  • c) Platinum 3776 Karakusa (1200)
  • d) huh?
  • e) I don’t currently have any ‘known’ lost pens, never anything significant
  • f) nothing more than a Preppy, I have just never busted my pens

12) 林理谙 -Facebook - (42:30)
Personal question to Brian or any member of the the team: If you could right now decide how long you will live (anywhere from 1 hour to all eternity), how long would you live and why?
  • what a mindfreak question! 
  • I don’t want to know when I will die, that would seriously wig me out
  • gun to my head though…I’d say around 80, that seems about right to me

Business - (46:54)

13) @thepenpenchant - Twitter - (47:02)
Why does @PilotPenUSA not carry all of the color and nib options that Pilot Japan offers? I'd like to get a Custom 92 in grey.
  • no doubt it has to do with import costs and logistics of stocking and promoting so many different SKU’s
  • they clearly have some kind of method to their madness, I would love nothing more than to have access to everything!!
  • sometimes t could be stock issues, maybe some pens are exclusive to Japan or not made in quantities to ship outside the country
  • I wish I had definitive answers, I’m left to speculation

Troubleshooting - (54:36)

14) Charles D. -Facebook - (54:42)
I  just filled my Nib Creaper from a mostly-full bottle of Apache Sunset; got a color that was very off, and -- on inspection -- discovered that I had apparently failed to adequately clean the pen on last use and had fungal issues in the tank. Using a dip pen to test the bottle, it appears to be fine at this point -- but do I need to worry about having infected the rest of my supply of this ink (and keep other pens away from this bottle)? Is there any preventative care available at this point, or do I need to hope that the antifungals in the bottle are strong enough to prevent a larger issue?
  • mold is weird, and it really freaks people out
  • if you had it in your pen, you most certainly exposed your Apache to it
  • hardcore enthusiasts will tell you to throw it out, I would normally be inclined to agree but it’s really your call
  • Noodler’s does use some pretty legit biocides, it’s RARE I ever hear of a mold issue in a Noodler’s ink
  • chances are what contamination you had won’t survive in the Apache, but you’re definitely taking that risk so be aware 
  • if you use cheap pens it’s probably okay and worth the risk, but expensive pens…it’s safer just to toss the ink and get a new one
15) Jean-Michaël B. -Facebook - (1:00:00)
I recently bought a Noodler's Ahab Flex Pen, along with some of your ink samples. I wanted to try them out with my Ahab converted to an eyedropper, but I noticed that it had quite a bit of blotting and flooding, though it was more periodic than constant. Considering the fact that an ink sample only has about 2 milliliters, and that the eyedropper contains up to 6 milliliters, do you think that this ~4 milliliters of air pushing down on the ink in the feed could cause my blotting and flooding? I switched to the piston coming with it and the problem went away, but I want to know if this blotting I experienced was normal, that is if I am completely unable to use my Ahab in eyedropper mode.
  • I’m glad you mentioned that you put the piston on and it worked just fine
  • I greatly suspect the blotting you experienced was because of the relatively low volume of ink in a very large ink chamber 
  • when eyedroppers get low, the possibility of blotting goes way up, due to the heat of your hand increasing the pressure in the pen
  • doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the eyedropper? Yeah kinda, but you’ll only get about 1.7ml or so in the piston, you can get 6ml in the eyedropper
  • even if you only use the eyedropper to half-full, it’s still almost twice the ink capacity of the piston

QOTW:  We have a TON of Q&A slices ready to publish, should we do them in huge batches at once or trickle them out like one a day? - (1:06:00)


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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Travel Pens: Work Edition



I’ve been traveling more lately, and thought it’d be handy to show my favorite setup for attending work conferences or business trips. As I sat down to record this video I was literally preparing to go to a conference on the other side of the country and thought, what the hey, I'll take you through my thought process about what fountain pens, paper, and ink I take and why.

Things that are important to me when I travel:
  • Portability
  • Ability to carry-on (when flying)
  • Durability
  • Function and reliability
Keeping these core tenants in mind for me when I travel, here are my product preferences:

Pens:

Pilot Metropolitan F
  • reliable writer
  • inexpensive enough to lose and not worry about it
  • very fine nib works great on cheap paper
  • snap cap is very convenient
  • takes cartridges or converter
  • $15


Lamy 2000 EF
  • great writer
  • piston fill, nice ink capacity
  • snap cap is convenient
  • ink window is nice
  • understated, design is impressive without being flashy
  • $159.20


TWSBI Vac-700 EF
  • high ink capacity
  • ink chamber locks for flying
  • visible ink level
  • “cool” factor
  • $65


Pilot Vanishing Point EF
  • extremely convenient “click” mechanism
  • EF nib is very fine, great for cheap paper
  • Great writer
  • Takes cartridges or converter
  • $140


Lamy Rollerball
  • fallback plan, great for a backup pen
  • works well on terrible paper
  • a few color options for you
  • snap cap
  • won’t dry out like a fountain pen if left uncapped
  • most reliable on other peoples’ business cards
  • easy for other people to use (maybe that’s not good!)
  • $25.60


Notebooks:

Filofax Notebook, A5 size
  • dividers and removable pages are great for attending different seminars
  • jot notes down quickly, organize later
  • color options will stand out from other notebooks
  • $18.95


Leuchtturm A5
  • color options let it stand out
  • page numbers and table of contents are great
  • dot grid is great for all different kinds of writing
  • $18.95


Midori Traveler’s Notebook, Passport size
  • small, rugged
  • notebooks are swappable
  • very portable, great for quick meet ups
  • $50.20


Ink:

Overfilled samples
  • 7ml, plenty of ink!
  • Can reuse vials from samples or buy them in 10-packs
  • Small enough to carry on 

Diamine 30ml
  • plastic bottles, 1oz in size so okay to carry on
  • fit nicely in a ziplock snack bag
  • lots of popular colors available

Cartridges
  • a necessary evil sometimes
  • some standard international pens can fit a spare cartridge in the pen which is very convenient


My ink colors of choice:

Noodler’s Heart of Darkness
  • Solid performing, deep black ink
  • Great black for cheap paper
  • $19 for 4.5oz bottle

Diamine Red Dragon
  • nice red, vibrant but not too vibrant
  • stands out from the black ink on handouts
  • great for writing down ideas for emphasis
  • $7.50 for 30ml bottle

Diamine Majestic Blue
  • deep blue, just a personal favorite
  • stands out against black, but very subtly
  • $7.50 for 30ml bottle


Accessories:
  • Aston Case-10- plenty of room for all your pens, plus ink samples and even syringes if you want
  • Aston Slip- protects individual pens
  • Ziploc bag- always handy to stop leaks from ruining your clothes

I should mention that I have a video in my Fountain Pen 101 series called Flying with Fountain Pens that goes into detail about this specific way of traveling with pens. That said, if you can keep your pens oriented so that the nibs are pointed up when you takeoff, you'll pretty much never have an issue.

These are the things I have enjoyed taking with me to my work conferences, how about you? Let me know in the comments below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Brian's Top 7 Shading Inks




You'll definitely get a chuckle with the intro of this video, for my top 7 shady....err....shading inks. What is shading? It's a common (and often desired) aspect of fountain pen ink where there is 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. Shading inks are something commonly sought out by fountain pen enthusiasts because it's a characteristic that can't be achieved with ballpoint or rollerball pens.

I'm often asked which shading inks are my favorite, and to be quite honest, it's really difficult to narrow down even to a top 7 list. I could just as easily have made it a top 40. I chose to focus on trying to get a somewhat varied color range, especially as I've found that certain color shades tend to be better shaders than others. Oranges and turquoises tend to all have incredible shading, whereas reds and blacks seldom have any.

One distinction to make here is that I omitted inks with "sheen", as that's not really what I'd consider shading by how I've defined it here. You'll likely see some incredible inks I've left out here that you would have wanted to see, it's very likely it's a sheening ink instead of a shader.

Without further ado, here are my top 7 shading inks (in no particular order):

Noodler’s Apache Sunset (4:18)
$12.50 for a 3oz bottle



Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses (5:24)
$12.50 for a 3oz bottle



Diamine Marine (6:34)
$14.95 for an 80ml bottle



Noodler’s Navajo Turquoise (7:27)
$12.50 for a 3oz bottle



Noodler’s Golden Brown (8:03)
$12.50 for a 3oz bottle



De Atramentis Mint Turquoise (9:03)
$12.95 for a 35ml bottle



Noodler’s Lexington Gray (9:37)
$12.50 for a 3oz bottle, or $18 for a 4.5oz bottle

Photo of 8 shading inks with examples of they shade


I hope you enjoyed the video and my selections. I'd love to hear your favorite shading inks in the comments below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Matchup #48: Pilot Metropolitan Gold Plain Fine with Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin (Bamboo Forest)


In a world of squealing Top 40 ringtones, crying babies and barking dogs, quiet is often tough to find. We're talking about real quiet -- not the calming buzz of a Sharper Image white noise machine.

Sarah from our Media Team draws up a rare quiet wooded nook for a doe and fawn to spend some quality mother-daughter time. And she creates this vivid picture with her Pilot Metropolitan Gold Plain in Fine  and Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin (Bamboo Forest) ink. The Metropolitan is a popular fountain pen packing equal parts value and versatility. Meanwhile, Chiku-Rin allows Sarah to create foliage that seems alive, almost glowing with energy. 

The tranquil scene is enough to convince you to spend Monday afternoon curled up in a shady spot under your cubicle or beside the break room's plastic plants. Just be sure to clock out, first.

The Pilot Metropolitan Gold Plain in Fine is available at GouletPens.com for $15. Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin (Bamboo Forest) is available in a 50ml bottle for $28 and as a 2ml ink sample for $2.50.













Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team










Friday, May 15, 2015

Goulet Q&A Episode 78, 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.



I'm out of the office this week at the EntreLeadership summit but I've still got a great Q&A for you! I'm answering questions on how to protect your pens from heat, what to do if your ink lid cracks, and our "Special Orders" department. No product updates but I'm happy to be spending some time with you!


Pens/Writing - (1:52):


1) William S. - Facebook - (1:56))
Alright since my Noodler's Nib Creaper Rollerball Pen has already failed.  What is a good replacement?
  • Not much, sadly
  • refillable rollerballs have been an interesting prospect, but just haven’t lived up in my opinion
  • only other options I know are J. Herbin (cheap) rollerball and Monteverde Engage or Inkwell (much higher price)
  • refillable rollerballs = jack of all trades, master of none

2) Matthew M. -Facebook - (4:50)
I inherited a Parker 45 desk pen with a marble stand from my grandfather. However, the pen is always dried up after a week or so in the stand. Any suggestions on how to prevent a desk pen from drying out?
  •  cut a small piece of sponge, wet it, and put it in the ‘cap’ to use as a tiny humidor
  • no other tricks really, just us the pen often or clean/refill it every week
  • may want to try a lubricated ink (Monteverde), might make a difference

3) Deborah P. -Facebook - (8:13)
Do you advise any special care for pens during extremely hot weather?
  • try to keep them out of the heat :)
  • they will dry out, so keeping them sealed up well and out of direct sunlight will be key
  • be diligent with your pen cleaning so ink won’t dry out
  • keep them in some kind of sleeve/case

4) @cuchlann -Twitter - (10:27)
I'm looking for a cursive style to learn with an Ahab. It seems a lot of popular cursive styles need an offset nib. Any ideas?
  • “real” calligraphy with dip pens often uses offset nibs, there is no offset fountain pen nib
  • if going with a fountain pen, using a pen like the Ahab with a flex nib will very much be a suitable substitute
  • Check out thepostmansknock.com “Kaitlin style” here 

5) @SebMorissette - Twitter - (12:58)
Brian, from your experience, what is the best $125-ish fountain pen money can buy? + available nibs for that pen.


Ink - (15:29):


6) David T. - Facebook - (15:32)
Is it my imagination, or do the De Atramentis Document inks have the most spread on paper? Can you talk a little about inks that spread or don't spread and can you do anything to minimize it?
  • yeah, they definitely are absorbed quickly into the paper
  • this isn’t all bad, it means they dry a lot quicker
  • getting less absorbent paper or using a finer nib helps
  • fast-drying inks often spread more, many permanent or lubricated ones do, too

7) @goharosen - Twitter - (17:28)
I purchased bottle of ink with a cracked lid. Should I pour it to some other container? Does the container need to be airtight?
  • yeah, definitely get that thing in another container
  • it’s gotta be airtight, or else the water will evaporate and will ultimately leave the ink unusable 


Business - (19:39):


8) Donna M. - Facebook - (19:43)
Can you please tell your customers about your very fine "Special Order Department." They bent over backwards to get a beautiful Sagaris for me that was not listed on your site. I am so thrilled with it and grateful!
  • yes, we definitely do this
  • All the brands you see on our site are what we can special order
  • some exceptions include items that are exclusive to certain countries/regions
  • we don’t charge any premium to special order, email info@gouletpens.com if you are interested in anything in particular


Personal - (22:18):


9) Sam F. - Facebook - (22:21)
I've watched every Q&A, but I have a terribly memory Brian:  What's your favorite pen out of your collection that Goulet Pens doesn't carry?
  • Visually, Namiki Blue Impressions
  • Writability, Waterman Carene 


Troubleshooting - (25:38):


10) Vasilis M. Facebook - (25:48)
I've watched the video showing how the Pilot Con-50 disassembles. However, I've tried doing it myself with rubber gloves on and the thing won't move a bit. What's up with that? Is this a case like the Metropolitan nib removal, which has recently become more difficult to perform (i.e. to remove the nib) than what it was some time ago? Have they changed the glue used to keep the different parts together? I am waiting for a couple of goulet grips, hoping that they'll give me better leverage.
  • yes, it still works, you just have to “hulk out” and it’ll give!

11) Sarah C. - Facebook - (28:05)
My Lamy Safari keeps leaking in its cap. Could my converter be dying? It's a few years old.
  • That could certainly be the case
  • there could be a lot of other causes of the leak though
  • if you have a cartridge handy, try that and see if it still does it
  • inspect the converter, see if you see cracks or anything
  • does it seat well on the pen? 
  • It’s a $4.95 converter, it’s probably safe just to replace it if the leak is bad 

12) Emily B. - Facebook - (31:40)
I use a Lamy Safari, but the grip is weird and I can't hold it correctly. I tried to use the grip but then my writing was scratchy. How can I hold the pen and write without scratchiness?
  • This pen is made to be held in a very specific way (one might say the ‘proper’ way)
  • try changing positions/grips in your hand, see if it still feels scratchy
  • it could be the nib is just scratchy and has nothing to do with your grip
  • some folks just don’t like the grip and go with a different pen altogether, you might be there 

13) Simdhuja M. -Facebook - (34:29)
Hello Brian! I have been watching videos about Platinum Cool lately and just thought of a hack. If we could somehow cover the metal joint between nib section and barrel from inside with the cut part of the cartridge converter, then probably we could make it an eyedropper. Please confirm how practical it is to cut out the converter to layer the metal part?
  • that is quite literally a hack! 
  • if you wanted to do this, I’d try it with a cartridge instead of the converter
  • you’d need to put a lot of silicone grease on the threads of the grip where the body sits on
  • there’s still exposed metal to cover, but it could definitely be worth a try 


QOTW: When you travel, what are your favorite pens to take with you (and why)? - (39:21)


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


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