Goulet Q&A Episode 159: Titanium Nibs, Ethics of Waste, and Brian’s First Job

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In this episode, I talk about why titanium nibs matter, the ethics of waste pen manufacturing, and my first job!
New/Upcoming Products: – (1:56)

Pens/Writing – (13:57)


Earl M.- Facebook – (14:01)
Is it bad to fully dismantle piston fillers (eg, Lamy 2000, TWSBI 580) every change of ink? I’m worried about ink contamination, but some people warn about possible wear and tear on the screw threads. The reason I fully dismantle my pen is simply cos washing the parts is much faster than moving the piston repeatedly.
  • it depends on the pen
  • I definitely wouldn’t dismantle the Lamy 2000, ever
  • TWSBI‘s come with a wrench and grease, they want you to be able to take them apart!
  • TWSBI is kind of unique in that, though
  • Noodler’s pens also are okay to take apart a lot
  • Pretty much all other piston fillers (especially more expensive ones with gold nibs) are not designed to be user-serviceable
  • that’s what makes TWSBI/Noodler’s pens so appealing, they’re tinkerer’s pens!
  • Other piston fillers are really designed more to be used with the same ink over and over, which is why they have larger ink capacity
  • it’s your call what you do, but taking apart anything but these two brands is generally not recommended on a regular basis

2) Rickey A.- Facebook – (23:03)
What are the benefits of a titanium nib over steel? Gold nibs I get; the softer material provides more flex, and a potentially more buttery smooth writing experience. What good is using a nib *harder* than steel? Is it a corrosion-related thing? Or is it just the style and panache that people are after?
  • definitely check out the Karas Kustoms Titanium Nib video we just put out
  • other brands that have titanium are Stipula (Etruria Rainbow 88), Omas (RIP), and independent makers like Conid Carolina pens
  • it’s not about the hardness of the metal that’s appealing
  • it has a matte finish
  • the nib writes softer than steel and provides line variation
  • you have to be careful not to overdo it!
  • it’s between steel and gold in terms of price
  • corrosion doesn’t really have anything to do with it, unless iron gall inks are better? 
  • it’s mainly writing, style, and cool factor
Ink – (28:36)
3) kat_k03- Instagram – (28:39)
I can’t tell how much ink is left in the cartridge or if it is just staining the sides I have a midterm next week that has to be completely written out (over 8 pages) and I’m afraid of running out during the exam, but don’t want to put in a brand new cartridge as I finally want to use a converter! It would be a waste of good ink 
  • You’ll probably be just fine writing that much on one converter fill, unless it’s a really wet/broad pen and the paper is super absorbent!
  • the mental stress probably won’t be good for your test taking mindset, so you should have a backup plan
  • you have a few options here
    • fill the converter and hope for the best!
    • bring a backup pen (FP or otherwise)
    • bring spare cartridges in case your ink runs low (ideally same ink or at least same brand)
    • bring a pen with a higher ink capacity?
Troubleshooting – (34:09)
4) samthered-Instagram – (34:11)
I received an E95s as a Christmas gift and the nib is out of alignment. I have taken my Goulet Loupe and straightened them out but it seems like as soon as I write with it again it is back out of alignment. I do not write with a heavy hand and have no issues with alignment out of other pens I own. So my question is once a nib has alignment issues is it more likely to suffer from future alignment issues or is this possibility a problem that is unique to this pen? 
  • my guess is that you’re not bending the tine up far enough when you’re aligning it
  • the tine is probably hanging onto the other one and not actually aligned, and when you write with it it’s just not hanging onto the other one anymore
  • you likely need to bend up the other tine just a hair further so it’s more properly aligned
  • gold nibs are softer and you have to bend them beyond the point where it’s aligned for it to settle back where it belongs
  • do at your own risk, of course!
  • I really don’t think it’s unique to this pen

Business – (39:31)


5) becozimwurthit- Instagram – (39:33)

Does GPC consider the ethics of pens and manufacturers when you take on products? For example some pens come with a lot of packaging which can be wasteful or there can be pens made out of ivory. I buy fountain pens, all modern ones but hand on heart should we consider more the environmental impact of pen and ink manufacture? Most of the environmental impact seems to be in raw material manufacture rather than disposal so it might indicate fountain pens and inks are not particularly environmentally friendly. What does GPC manage in the way of recycling? Thoughts?
  • it’s a factor, but not the only factor
  • if there’s a glaring moral/ethical dilemma we’ll certainly discuss that (but it’s rare)
  • I haven’t seen a modern pen made of ivory, unless it’s a special LE/vintage material (ivory is banned just about everywhere)
  • environmental impact is tough, as most pen manufacturers are really small and don’t have detailed info on their manufacturing process let alone environmental impact studies
  • some companies proactively do this (Clairefontaine, Rhodia, J. Herbin)
  • We do make proactive efforts to recycle here at Goulet:
    • our boxes are recyclable (corrugated cardboard)
    • our bubblewrap is partially recycled material and is recyclable (and we inflate it in-house which saves a lot of gas in transport)
    • our ink sample vials are recyclable
    • we have a dumpster just for recycling cardboard, paper, plastic, etc that we use at our facility

Personal – (49:45)

6) Potato? Potato- YouTube – (49:46)

I know this isn’t about pens but I was wondering, what was Brian Goulet’s first job?
  • I was 5 years old stapling invoices to manilla envelopes for my parents’ business
  • my parents had a “bank of mom and dad” where I had my own checking account with little checks they designed up for me and my sister
  • we’d write them checks for toys we wanted to buy
  • once I was about 9 I did an overprinting operation, where I had to inventory fliers, print franchise information on them, and mail them to the correct businesses
  • I mowed lawns (for my neighbors and parents’ company)
  • I worked in a warehouse shipping facility for a family friend
  • I worked for my parents’ print shop doing a lot of random stuff
  • technically my first “job” not as a kid was actually working 3 jobs at 16, lifeguard for YMCA, Hallmark stockboy, and answering phones at Domino’s Pizza (and I rode my bike to all 3)
  • then I worked at Radio Shack Junior/Senior year
  • college I worked many jobs, cleaning restaurant hoods, sealing decks, landscaping, washing dishes and setting up placements for a catering company, grocery stocker, handyman stuff
  • graduated, worked with my dad cleaning carpets and power washing houses, started making pens on the side, sold them and then started GouletPens!
  • so I don’t know what of those you’d consider my “first job”, I guess I haven’t really had the typical career path
QOTW: What was your first job? – (57:16)


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
2017-10-11T14:03:28+00:00 March 10th, 2017|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments