This week, I’m talking about Using Your Fountain Pens. I ended up getting so many questions, SO many questions, that I am splitting them up into next week’s Q&A. I received a lot of questions about troubleshooting pens, so next week’s theme will be Troubleshooting Your Fountain Pens. Be sure to check out any previous Goulet Q&A’s here.

I start off the video talking about Fountain Pen Day, Kaweco pens coming back to Goulet Pens, the TWSBI 580 Rose Gold, the launch of our Thanksgiveaway contest, and the start of NaNoWriMo. After I talk about all this for a couple of minutes, I dive right into the questions, and really cover a lot in a short period of time. This is a packed vid!

1) William Todd- YouTube (3:44):
Do people usually buy expensive fountain pens to use, or mainly to put in a collection?

2) ksugunslinger- Reddit (4:40):
This may be a strange question but I am finding it difficult to come up with ways to actually use my fountain pens on a regular basis. I am not a student so I do not take notes during the day, I attempted to keep a journal but found that I just couldn’t come up with things to write about. I am just a normal guy with a normal job who loves fountain pens. I do keep a ink journal and a pen journal but those only get used when I load up a new ink or buy a new pen. If possible can you give me any tips on ways to actually put my pens in use such as alternative types of journals, etc. I love what you are doing with Goulet Pens and Ink Nouveau..keep up the great work.

  • drawing
  • ink journal
  • transcribing- Scripture, inspiring quotes, famous letters or historic documents (US Constitution)
  • correspondence
  • pen reviews- sbrebrown
  • handwriting practice
    • Spencerian
    • Pitman shorthand
    • gothic
    • chancery
  • NaNoWriMo
  • poetry
  • daily to-do list
  • mindmapping– David Allen’s book Getting Things Done

3) @WeThePPIL- Twitter (9:54): 
Other than pure preference are there other concerns or reasons to post or not post?

  • cap may come off, get damaged
  • cap may mar finish on pen body
  • security! less likely to have the pen stolen

4) schawncplus- Reddit (11:54):
How do you usually carry your pens with you? Just bouncing around in your pocket? Clipped to your jacket? In a messenger bag/briefcase?

  • laptop case
  • multi-pen case
  • leather slip
  • bare

5) Jeff- email (13:14):
I was wondering if fountain pen nibs go through a “break in” period. ¬†More specifically, will a nib that is a bit scratchy out of the box begin to write more smoothly after a period of time? (check out the Goulet Loupe vid here)

6) tianxia- Reddit (14:38):
What kind of nib is best when writing Chinese characters?

  • FINE nibs
  • brush pens
  • flex nibs, maybe

7) Abarth15- Reddit (15:08):
Would you be able to recommend a fountain pen plan of study so to speak? I see a lot of advice towards people buying their first pen but not as much for their second or third pen. I think it would be nice to have an idea of where to go after a users first or second pen to get the best or most varied writing experience. (Stephen Brown’s video Choosing A Second Fountain Pen)

  • sbrebrown- Choosing a second fountain pen
  • start cheap
  • learn what you do and don’t like
  • try to get variety
  • ask!

8) GirlGeekLovesStampin- YouTube (16:55):
I have a question regarding the glass pen. I am thinking of getting it just because it’s beautiful. But what is it truly designed for? Any suggestions on usage options? Thank you for everything!

  • ink testing
  • different experience

9) RyanMC12- Reddit (18:18):
In general, what is the longest amount of time that ink should be left in a pen between writing sessions?

  • depends on the pen
  • few days to a month or more

10) William S.- Facebook (19:24):
How long should I leave ink in my fountain pen while it is stored before I empty it and clean it? Like, if I’m gone for a week would it be safe to leave the pen inked up or should I empty and clean it?

  • depends on the pen
  • one month, my rule

11) jeffisntworking- Reddit/ Carlos Q.- Facebook (20:41):
If I have a workhorse pen that always uses the same ink, at what frequency should I be giving it the cleaning treatment?

  • once a month

12) @Never2MuchaThis- Twitter (22:16):
Can I use my pen for self-defense?

  • Schrade Tactical Pen

13) Brooke00000- Reddit (22:49):
How to hold them! As a newbie I hear many people refer to “learning how to write with a fountain pen” and would love some elaboration on what that means.

  • nib up
  • pen at 45 degree angle from the paper
  • 45 degree angle from the line
  • write with your whole arm, pivoting from the shoulder, not wrist
  • little writing pressure

14) @KwentinBusam- Twitter (25:45):
Can you make the regular Noodlers Konrad Fountain Pen into the Brush version or the ballpoint version?

15) CC- Ink Nouveau (26:00):
I love fountain pens and travel. I’ve heard that the TWSBI Vac 700 is “flight/plane safe.” Is it true? How does that work? It’d be great to be able to take a pen with such high ink capacity on a long trip.

  • FP101- Flying with Fountain Pens

16) Sarah S.- Facebook (27:41):
How can I spread my love of fountain pens to lefties? (John Mottishaw’s article Left-Handed Writers and Fountain Pens)

  • Left Handed Writers and Fountain Pens
  • shows how to hold the pens

17) josh_legs- Reddit (29:13):
How do I know if i can change out the nib on my pen for a different nib (ie by some other manufacturer, etc). Or, I guess, how do I know if a nib is compatible with my feed or whatever?

18) @HerrTepper- Twitter (31:10):
Did You ever try to use printer ink for your fountain pens? Should i try this? There are some les expensive inks with pigments too.

19) Steve B.- Facebook (32:19):
How often should I be putting silicone on my piston pens?

20) Luis M.- Facebook (33:05):
Which method is better about ink filling: to remove the converter to fill it up or to dip the pen inside the bottle? Why?

21) Henry- Ink Nouveau (35:09):
What suggestions would you make to a celebrity who uses fountain pens, specifically a Platinum Preppy Marker as an eyedropper pen, so that when they sign autographs the ink dries fast, maybe dries on plastic coated paper (really every type of paper), is an eternal ink and has some security features for verification of the autograph years from now?

22) TehWildMan- Reddit (36:47):
This is more of an “ink” question, but how do you decide which to use? I currently have 7 sample vials and a full bottle and am spending a good amount of time deciding which ink to use next. I can only imagine it gets worse as one “collects” more inks.

Thank you so much to everyone who asked questions, it’s so great to have a ton of questions to answer! If you have any for next week, just ask in the comments below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet