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Friday, October 7, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 141, 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 episode, I talk about using pens for technical drawing, storing ink in your bathroom, and my recommended strategy for pen collecting.

New/Upcoming Products: - (1:24)

Pens/Writing - (8:58)

1) bsecraw- YouTube - (9:02)
Whenever I order from you guys I get the "Surprise Me!" ink sample that you offer. I think it's a nifty way to try new inks. This last time I received Diamine Blue Lightning, and while I'm intrigued by the idea behind the shimmertastic inks, I had not planned on ordering any due to their reputed tendency to gunk up the feed in fountain pens. That and I'm not a shimmertastic kind of guy. So now that I have the sample I'm curious what relatively inexpensive pen has a feed that would be the easiest to get the gunk out of once I've tried the shimmertastic ink?
  • gotta love the surprise me samples
  • that's the #1 selling Goulet product ;) 
  • Shimmertastic is not your everyday ink, but it hasn't caused anything beyond clogging that I'm aware of
  • use and clean it regularly and it's pretty good 
  • you pretty much want a pen that's easy to clean/disassemble
  • Jinhao, Pilot Metro (M), Lamy Safari isn't too bad
  • might not be worth buying a whole pen just for one sample, but these pens are good all-around performers that are easy to clean

2) Jacob B.- Facebook - (13:30)
Brian, I'm on a college kid budget and looking to get one of each style of pen (Regular nib, italic, and flex). I have a Pilot Metropolitan (M) and a Jinhao x750 with a Goulet 1.1mm stub, I just need a flex pen. I've been looking at the Noodler's Ahab, but I've heard a lot of back and forth on if the Ahab is worth it if you can't afford to tinker with it. What is your opinion, and in the experiences you've heard, are the people having problems getting the pen to write a vocal minority, or is it really that common

  • in my experience, there really isn't such a thing as a cheap, no fuss flex pen
  • flex is inherently finicky, and takes a lot of practice and tinkering anyway
  • some people definitely aren't cut out for the messing around with the Ahab, and I get that
  • I think it is a vocal minority, but it's a pretty sizable minority
  • there is a huge matter of false expectations out there, and given the lower price point of the pen, the barrier to entry is very low so there are a lot of people that buy these pens without knowing fully what they might be in for
  • and there are some legitimate claims to the higher maintenance on these pens, but it's not to the degree that I see a lot of people talking about them online
  • what's your alternative? Pilot Falcon or vintage, really

3) cbr_vonrr- Instagram - (19:44)
Which fountain pen under 100 is the most well rounded for daily use for writing and pseudo calligraphy?

4) annetty1984- Instagram - (24:02)
Is there a less expensive cap less fountain pen than the Vanishing point?
  • Honestly, not that I'm aware! 
  • you can certainly get ones that are more expensive, but the VP is the least expensive retractable nib fountain pen I know of
  • Pilot has told me that Chinese companies have tried to rip off their design, and just haven't been able to do it

5) thisonedesigns- Instagram - (26:04)
I design for a living. Does using a fountain pen with a striaght edge or ruler effect tine alignment? or is there a correct way to use a fountain pen with a ruler to get straight architectural lines?
  • you're making direct and possibly forceful contact with the nib along a straightedge, that's a recipe for damage at least in the long term
  • I don't think traditionally fountain pens have been used for this purpose, though I'm no designer
  • Rapidograph pens (also called technical pens) have been used for this more traditionally
  • these use a different type of ink (more like india ink) that's thicker than FP ink
  • these might be more the way to go, b/c they're made for this purpose
  • FP's can surely be used in a similar manner though, and if you get a pen like a Lamy that has a replaceable nib, then it's probably not that big of a risk
  • Pilot Metro in fine would probably do well!

6) @Archimage- Twitter - (29:40)
What's more important? Having one good pen with multiple inks or multiple pens with one good ink ;) More philosophy.

  • both! jk
  • just starting out in the FP hobby, I'd say one good pen, multiple inks
  • changing inks can really give you a different writing experience, change your mood, and isn't a big investment
  • over time, as your appreciation for pens grows, it will probably flip
  • people using pens for a really long time often stick to a few favorite inks and change pens a lot more
  • there's really no wrong approach, and honestly I enjoy having many good pens with many good inks! 
  • these days I do find myself changing pens more than inks, though

Ink - (35:32)

7) Thomas S.- Facebook - (35:34)
I filled my Lamy Vista with some vintage Quink Washable Blue and vowed to use the pen exclusively until I'd written it dry. It's been almost 3 weeks and I realize I've not run a pen dry, nor had fewer than 5 inked at a time in rotation since the last presidential administration. It's driving me nuts. Plus its October and I have 3 shades of orange and brown just screaming out to me. Should I flush and switch, or stick to my guns? (The leaves are turning Noodler's Habanero colored as I write.)
  • what are you trying to prove? use the ink you want to use
  • really, there's not that much ink in a single fill, anyway
  • don't even think twice about it, flush it and use the ink you want for the moment
  • you can even dump the unused ink back into the bottle if it'll really make you feel better

8) Lisa V.- Facebook - (37:29)
Last week's question about ink storage got me thinking. I have typically stored my ink in the bathroom which is also where I clean and fill pens at home. I am very messy, thus the bathroom seems the safest bet. But, I got to thinking with the humidity and temperature fluctuations in the bathroom - maybe this isn't very bright. With bathrooms' tendencies towards mildew, etc. maybe even filling and cleaning pens there isn't the best idea. That said, as far as I can tell, I have never had an ink go funky on me. The Noodler's Borealis Black has a tang, but seems it always has had.
  • this is the kind of thing where I should probably say some blanket disclaimers
  • it's recommended you clean your pens with distilled water and keep the ink in a cool, dark, dry place
  • that said, you do whatever works for you
  • is there a slight increased risk of mildew in your bathroom? perhaps, so you are taking a slight chance there if you're actually inking up your pen in the bathroom
  • Most Noodler's inks have a bit of a smell, but if it's moldy then it'll smell very noticeable, like old musty socks

Business - (43:51)

9) Amy Woods- YouTube - (43:52)
Are you ever going to reduce the international shipping price to Australia? I'd love to support you guys more than I do, but the shipping is so expensive, on top of conversion, it gets almost impossible.
  • sadly, what we offer IS reduced shipping to Australia over what we used to have! 
  • prices have continued to rise, and we can't do much about it
  • it's impacted smaller weight orders more, the heavier packages haven't gone up as much
  • the best thing to do is save it all up and get larger orders less frequently, and it will help absorb that higher shipping price
  • we have both USPS and FedEx with several shipping options for each
  • FedEx is most reliable and fastest, and sometimes even cheaper!

Personal - (50:58)

10) a.g.s_23- Instagram - (51:02)
Do you recommend having a strategy to collecting fountain pens?
  • by its definition, if you're "collecting" fountain pens then you do have a strategy
  • the term for getting a lot of pens without a strategy is "acquiring", which has been my method
  • collectors might get collect pens by brand, model, color, material (urushi, raden, ebonite), country of origin, theme (artists, etc), or specific attribute (flex nibs, vacuum fillers, etc)
  • acquirers like me are much more fluid in their approach, getting pretty much whatever strikes their fancy
  • there really isn't a wrong approach, it really depends on your personality and what makes you happy
  • one argument for collecting with an intentional strategy around your acquisitions might be that you could have a higher value of your whole collection if it's complete
  • that's so speculative though, I wouldn't really recommend that approach
  • no one's getting rich from ROI on pen investments, these are hobby items that are to bring you joy and last you a lifetime and pass on to your future generations
  • do what makes you happy!

QOTW: What's your strategy (if any) for your pen collection? - (59:39)

Thanks so much for joining us this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

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