Goulet Q&A Episode 166: Skinny Pens, Why Tipping Matters, and Pen Leaks That Defy Gravity!

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 skinny pens, why tipping matters, and pen leaks that defy gravity!

This week:
  • Well, I’ve been in Disneyworld! But I shot this ahead of time so you’d still have a Q&A to watch. Enjoy!

Pens/Writing – (1:29)

1) missmcpanda- Instagram – (1:31)
I recently got a Lamy Logo and I love it! Can you recommend any other pens that are similar in thickness (I have quite small hands) and that aren’t too heavy? Thanks for everything you and your team do!

2) @HotCupofLoving- Twitter – (5:58)
Does a pen really need tipping material? Stub nibs work fine w/o it so what’s the deal? Also some custom grinds grind it down.

  • to function? no
  • to last longer? yes
  • stubs last longer bc of their greater surface area, but finer nibs really do need tipping to last more than a couple of years, especially gold nibs
  • yes, custom grinds do grind down tipping material, and depending on the grind it can theoretically shorten the life of that tipping

Paper – (10:54)

3) juliavdw- Instagram – (10:56)
When you trot out the travelers notebook in videos, I wonder if you use them yourself or are keeping them as collection pieces. They are so versatile! I assume you like the blue one best and if anything, would be using that one.

  • I do both, I use my Passport more, the regular size not so much
  • I have been keeping pretty much one of each version they’ve come out with since I started carrying them for posterity
  • oddly enough, I haven’t used the blue one! I totes should tho
  • I honestly have been using other notebooks recently to get a more varied experience, but I have definitely clocked some time in the TN
Ink – (16:38)
4) sparklyjavos- Instagram – (16:41)
What is the best scented ink smell for letter writing? Or best scented ink brand overall?

  • the only brands I know that even do them are De Atramentis and J. Herbin
  • DA has a LOT more options
  • they’re kind of cool, but I’m honestly not that hot on them
  • something flowery I guess is nice? many of them like coffee is kind of like “okay, it kind of resembles coffee but it’s not like I just brewed a cup”, whiskey was actually pretty spot on
  • the smell doesn’t last, so your recipient won’t smell the smell
  • for that, scented sealing wax does a lot better!
  • Atelier Gargoyle has the lock on scented wax with essential oils

Troubleshooting – (22:21)

5) @sheann828- Twitter – (22:21)
I store all my pens nib up so they won’t leak. they still collect drops of ink in the cap that get all over the pen when posted. Any tips?

  • I’m no scientist, so please give me insights if I’m off on any of my theories here
  • I think a couple of things could be going on here
  • Heat: when you write with the pen, the heat from your hand heats up the ink/pen barrel/air inside the pen. when you put it nib up, there is a temperature variance inside the pen vs inside the cap that wants to equalize, and the air wants to escape through the feed, pushing some ink out as it goes
  • Environment: perhaps there’s something in the environment (humidity/temperature) that’s causing ink to evaporate out of the feed and into that cap, and collect on the walls of the cap (this theory is weak)
  • Gremlins, especially if they get wet
QOTW: What is the most magical place on earth to you? – (29:19)

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
2017-10-11T14:08:17+00:00 April 28th, 2017|Goulet Q&A|47 Comments
  • Seth Kazarians

    Yosemite. Specifically, camping in the valley in mid/early Spring, waking up early to the crisp air, and taking in everything around you.

    • Tom Johnson

      Seth, sounds fantastic. I love waking up on a cool morning in the wilderness, the sun just showing up, quiet, magical.

  • Michael Lane

    Magical places…
    Pen wise I used my blue safari to write postcards to family in Wyoming during my honeymoon. The mountains and woods up Wyoming way were stunning. Yellowstone especially.

    Since I’m a Texan, I’d say the Hill Country of Texas is one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve been in. Enchanted Rock, Las Maples, Fredricksburg, and more are amazing.

    Lastly, Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, TX. Gorgeous architecture and craftsmanship throughout and beautiful liturgy.

  • David L.

    QOTW: I would have to say somewhere around Dillwyn, Virginia. Went there on vacation last year in early November, and it was beautiful. The mountains at dusk were breathtaking. The trees still had their leaves, causing a majestic blend of red, orange, brown, and gold. When the sun touched the tree tops, the mountains came to life. This added to the birds and their songs made it worth the trip. My home state isn’t bad either. Tough call between the two. Question two: I’ve heard that the Platinum Carbon has no tipping material. Is this true? It’s the only reason I don’t have one yet. Thanks for thinking of us, Brian!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Sounds gorgeous! In response to your question, I believe the Carbon desk pen actually does have tipping material. I looked at one in the package to double check and it definitely looks like it does.

      • David L.

        Ok. Thanks for telling me!

    • Tom Johnson

      David, back in the early 80’s I took a rock climbing course. We used a side of Willis Mountain outside Dillwyn to do our climbing and rappelling! Over the years I dealt with the kyanite mining company who mined the mineral on the other side of Willis Mountain, and toured their mining and processing facility.
      I looked at my two Platinum Carbon Pens with magnification, both the EF and the M have generous tipping material on the nib. One of the best pens for the $$ there is IMHO.

      • David L.

        Tom, that sounds like an interesting thing to do. I’ll need to look into mountain climbing sometime. I’ll also need to look into one of those desk pens! πŸ™‚

  • VickNish

    QOTW: Hawaii. The land. The people. The food. The culture. We love it all. It’s the only place my husband and I can truly relax and enjoy life. (We live in SoCal so Disneyland, while still magical, is a part of our everyday lives.)

    • Uniotter

      I live here, and it really is paradise. πŸ™‚ Aloha no!

      • VickNish

        you are blessed!

  • David L.

    This is probably wrong of me, so if it is, please forgive me. Your pronunciation of Kaweco is off. Since it’s German, the “w” is pronounced as a “v.” Ergo, it is pronounced as Kuh-veh-ko. Please forgive if this is not my place. I’m no German expert, but I know someone who is, and he informed me. I had been mispronouncing it myself. That’s the only reason I know. Thanks for the informative videos!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thanks for the tip, David. I think it’s a bit force of habit for Brian at this point since he’s been saying it that way for so long but I will definitely let him know.

    • Tom Johnson

      Vee haf vays of making you say KaVAYco. Vright on!

  • Michelle Morin

    This was fun, thanks for posting this and hope everyone is enjoying the vacation. Does Rachel know Brian revealed the bits about the perfume- and deodorant-scented correspondence? πŸ˜‚

  • Kathy

    Thanks for the Q&A, Brian. Another good one. My gremlins write with my inked pens at night, so I don’t have much ink left the next day. I’ll take your advice about leaving the lights on πŸ™‚

    My magical place is the Oregon coast. Even though I love warm water and warmer weather, the Oregon coast is simply the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Unlike much of my new home state of Florida, the Oregon coast is not as developed. The mountains crash into the sea with long sandy beaches between. But for the cost of living, I’d be there in a heartbeat. I feel closer to God there than any other place I’ve been.

  • David L.

    I don’t know why I leave so many comments on Q&A Friday. I have a pen VERY similar to your Daiso pens. Same nib (but two-tone!) and section, but with a wood cap and barrel. It was my first pen, and even came with a converter which broke since I had no knowledge of Goulet Pens or the ability to put silicone grease on the plunger πŸ™ The section is a little small in my 8-inch long hands, but a nice all-around pen. I’ve sentenced it to cartridges, as I can’t find a converter for it. Gremlins have to be the answer. I actually don’t have too much gremlin activity around here. I’m rather surprised. I have lost a few pen cleaning items before. That must be the local gremlin group coming to visit.

  • David L.

    Future Q&A question(?). What blue inks sheen the most? And is Rhodia good enough to get them to sheen? Thanks!

  • Walt Everly

    QOTW: So many magical places to choose from, but the ultimate has to be Santorini. Once there you will never want to leave.

  • Carrie Hodapp

    A university library is the most magical place for me. Shelves of my favorite obscure authors and my best fountain pen and notebook to take notes.

    • David L.

      That sounds perfect.

  • Waski the Squirrel

    Another option to point out for skinny pens is to look at vintage pens. I love the slim vintage pens of the 1960s and 1970s. I recognize that Goulet Pens does not sell vintage pens, but they are a great option with a different aesthetic than modern pens.

    QOTW: For me, it’s the Badlands of North Dakota. I love to disappear into the countryside and get lost with no people around. My mind is free to roam, and it’s almost a shock to return to civilization.

  • Kit Lockwood

    Magical Places for me: either northern US coast (i.e. coastal Maine or coastal Washington, Oregon or Northern California). Especially out west, you get more of a feeling of being able to see farther. The blues are bluer, the greens are greener along the coast outside of the cities. So unlike the southeast coast (closer to where I grew up). Even in Maine, though, with the trees growing right up to the rocky shore, the very air is more alive and fresh. I feel more grounded and immediately more reflective. The watch comes off and all that matters are the sun and the tides.

    • Kathy

      I agree completely!

  • _s_s_miles

    QOTW: It seems that I must include two Magical Places on my list of THE #1 most magical place in the world.
    1) For its shocking visual beauty, the amazingly diverse palette of colors that arise from it depending on time of year as well as time of day, the immenseness of the valley, its soulful solitude, and the fact that my wife and I stumbled upon it on our honeymoon: the glacially fed Peyto Lake, along the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park, Canada. Seriously, do an image search of this body of water, or just check out http://banffandbeyond.com/is-peyto-lake-really-that-blue for some stunning imagery.
    2) Since my world is music, there is a specific seat, in what I (and many, many others) believe to be the most acoustically perfect venue in all the world, located on the most awesome/important street in all of western classical music history, in the center of the most beautifully important city in said history: The Großer Musikvereinssaal (Great Music Concert Hall), on the fabulous Ringstraße (Ring Road) in Vienna, Austria. [It’s row 14, seat 7, center Orchestra level, in case anyone is interested.] The acoustic perfection – the sonorous balance achieved between the simultaneity of each individual tone and the combinatoriality created as each note takes its place in a soaring spire of harmonic bliss – that emanates from that stage, be it an orchestra, string quartet, chorale, solo pianist, or what have you, creates what I can only describe as the most intimately perfect approximation to what sound must have felt like inside the mind of Ludwig von Beethoven.

    My question for Brian: What do you use as the single pen case for your EDC Visconti HomoSapiens? And what other smallish quantity (let’s say 1-5 pens) do you suggest?

  • bfg

    Big Sur.

    • Yes Big Sur.

    • Kathy

      Oh my goodness, yes. Big Sur. I hope the bridges are open soon so I can drive there!!!

  • Big Sur. Yosemite. Actually, West versus East Coast in general. Pacific Ocean is a deeper blue.
    BTW, Disneyland is more magical than Disney World, though DW us bigger in acreage.. When they built Disney World they did something very dumb — they built it full size, Disneyland is 7/8 scale, thus the feeling of magical is much better there. (Architect here….)

    • Kathy

      Yes, the west coast is just more….deeper blues and greens, higher mountains, wider beaches, higher waves for surfing….

  • Tom Johnson

    Brian, great Q&A. For Q#1, the Pilot E95S is a fantastic pen, and it fits my medium hands perfectly. Beautiful pen, magnificent writer, the cap seals tightly, posts securely, perfect nib. There is an E95S in EF on the Goulet Bottom Shelf right now. Q#5: I have over 30 pens inked up. When not in my shirt pocket they lay flat in cases and rolls. I never see ink in the caps or on the grips at all. I never toss a pen in my pants pocket or loose in a bag or pack. Only when they get knocked in their rare falls does this happen. But, I have had ink “burp” or flood out of the feed when first writing due to temperature swings that was not expected (probably warm hand/cool pen/low ink).

    QOTW – depends on a lot of things. In a winter snow it is at home, snuggled with mutts, reading and sipping tea. Environmentally it is in woods, preferably mountains, with all kinds of wildlife (minus the crawling and flying blood suckers). Could be a sub tropical island. One of the magical places all along the Appalachian Trail.

    • Tom Johnson

      One place I would love to check out to see how magical it is – the Portmeirion resort in North Wales. It looks like it could offer beautiful scenery and solitude as well as a unique small village life.

      • Lydia At Goulet Pens

        That looks like a neat place, Tom! Just read a lovely article about it after you mentioned it.

  • Kelly Cozens

    Hi Brian. Thanks for the ‘Vacation’ Q&A! It was great of you to think of us before you left and I see from Instagram that you, Rachel and the kiddlings are having a wonderful, well-deserved time. A question for you: Is there a trick to writing with a glass dip pen? I’ve tried on Rhodia paper but I always seem to scratch my way across the page. Is it the angle I’m holding the pen at? Or maybe not enough ink on it? (I do tend to be stingy when using ink from my Goulet sample vials.) Thanks in advance.

    • Tom Johnson

      Kelly, great question, I want to know too. I used micromesh to smooth my glass pen’s tip,that helped a lot. But Brian may have other tips.

      • Kelly Cozens

        Thanks Tom. I happen to have some micromesh courtesy of Goulet Pens that I can try. I’ll let you know how I make out after I look for a video on
        Goulet on how to properly use the stuff!

        • Lydia At Goulet Pens

          Here is a micro mesh tutorial, Kelly, if you haven’t found it already https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r35cV_pe0-Q I’ve never heard of using it on a glass dip pen but if Tom has had success, then it sounds like it’s a good option.

          • Kelly Cozens

            Thanks Lydia, I did find it but I think I might wait & see what Brian has to say if he takes the question. He didn’t mention glass dip pens, so I’m a little hesitant. πŸ˜‰

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      That is a great question, Kelly. I will pass it on to Brian! πŸ™‚

  • FrRev1789

    The most magical place on earth to me is the historical library of Paris. Leather topped wooden tables… best place to ready and study.
    Question for next week: Is there a way to search the website for pens that use a #6 nib? I love my Pilot Metro, but for my next pen, I want one where it’ll be easier to change the nib. Thanks!
    I hope you and your family had a marvelous time at Disney World!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      That sounds delightful!

      I will definitely share your question πŸ™‚ As of right now, we do not have that feature but it would be interesting to consider.

  • MP

    Choosing just one magical place is pretty tough. I have friends with a ranch in Wyoming, and it’s pretty magical out in the country completely alone. My seat at the opera yesterday to see and hear an amazing Tosca was pretty magical too. Everyone’s suggestions below sound equally amazing too!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Oh my word! Both of those options sound heavenly!

  • Christine Slocum

    Thanks for doubling up – I enjoy listening to these!

  • Gut


    A little town called Wangi, on the shores of Lake Macquarie in N.S.W. Australia.

  • Mark Bruskin

    QOTW…. only one place? Hard to pin that down as there have been so many… generally they are all outdoors tho…. there is something uniquely magical about being in nature…. in the woods or on the water.. life just changes when I am there. πŸ™‚