It’s time for another Goulet Q&A, and Episode 15 is an Open Forum where I have a variety of questions about fountain pens, ink, and paper. Be sure to check out any past Q&A videos here if you like the format. Next week’s topic will be “Correspondence”, so please ask me whatever stationery, ink, and pen questions you have geared around writing letters to other people.

Here are this week’s questions:

1) Jay P.- email (1:04):
How do I open a stuck ink bottle? I have a large bottle of PR Tanzanite that I can’t unscrew. I imagine that ink around the rim has looked into the threads. How can I get this open without creating a disaster?

2) Theodore L.- email (3:07):
I work a pretty conservative desk job so I can’t get too wild with my daily ink choices.  I’ve got a full compliment of blues, blacks, and blue-black and was hoping you could recommend some Professional Purples, Business Browns, Respectable Reds or another color/ink to mix things up while still being office-appropriate.

3) Sharon K.- email (7:16):When I’m at work, my boss says that I have to write in black ink. I’d prefer to write with a bit more color, can you recommend an ink that is black enough that my boss won’t notice, but still has enough of a hint of another color (ideally green or red) to it that I can be a bit more individual and creative?

4) Kevin L.- Facebook (7:54):
Does the price of a bottle of ink no matter from which manufacturer reflect on its quality? What brand delivers the most bang for your buck? Is the common theory from pen companies that only their ink should be used in their pens? Thanks for considering my questions for your outstanding Q&A! Keep Writing On!!

5) @fmfisdead- Twitter (13:02):
Will handling matte finish fountain pens with lotion on your hands ruin the finish over time? Hand oils?

6) Bro Ken S.- Facebook (14:42):
I am in the Navy, so there are times when my nice white uniform and my fountain pens do not see eye to eye. I happened to be carrying a face wipe today when this conflict occurred and while it did not totally erase the memory of Noodler’s black, it did a decent job getting some of the stain out. For those unfortunate square offs between pen and pants, is there anything that you would recommend to take the ink out? Specifically, what can I do when I cannot just pull the uniform off and go into damage control mode? What is my best weapon in a time sensitive situation? Thanks for everything you do at Goulet Pens. You guys are an awesome team and I recommend you to pretty much anyone I see with a pen in their hand. Keep up the great work! Go Navy!!!

7) Jason S.- Facebook (17:18):
With the holidays coming, what’s the best way to travel with pads of paper without the corners getting bent and banged up? We’ve heard about traveling with pens, but how do I protect my precious paper?? I know it’s a simple idea, but I’m curious what other ideas people have…

8) John N.- email (19:24):
I’m having difficulty seeing the difference between an eyedropper pen and a piston filled pen in terms of potential leakage. Can you describe the chances of a piston filled pen leaking the same way an eyedropper filled pen might. Assuming that there should be some concern for leakage in a piston filled pen, can you share your thoughts on why such concerns aren’t commonly mentioned? Should one use a bit of grease on a piston filled pen? Example: Isn’t a Lamy 2000 essentially an open cavity like an eyedropper pen, just smaller in volume?

9) Leslie H.- Facebook (23:16):
I’m curious about feeds. You mentioned that some are plastic and others are ebonite. Are all the Noodlers’ feeds ebonite? What about other brands such as Pilot, Edison, Kaweco. And maybe you can you explain a little about how the different materials react with ink flow, and cleaning, etc.. thanks

Nathan Tardif’s ebonite vid:

10) John S.- Facebook (26:10):
My kids (12,7,6,3) are interested in my use of Fountain Pens. What are some good pens, paper, and inks for drawing and such for their ages?

11) whollyme- Reddit (29:01):
I recently bought some Pelikan blue black ink. I expected a really dark, almost black, blue colour. Instead it’s more of a washed out grey. Were my expectations wrong or is there something wrong with the ink?

12) Tina M.- Facebook (32:56):
I have a lot of different inks but only three pens. What’s the best way of playing with different samples without having to empty and refill my current set of pens? Two of them are filled with the same inks because I use them daily, but the third one is a Noodler’s Konrad which serves more as a “play” pen (sorry for the pun!); however, I get tired of having to clean out the pen each time I want to use a different ink. Would dip pens be a viable option here? I just like writing for fun and hope to spice up my hobby with various colors. Thanks for your help!

13) Tony S.- Facebook (36:48):
You guys ever plan on stocking any different sheaffer models like the preludes?

14) itscalledalance- Reddit (39:00):
I just purchased my first LAMY (an AL-star), and I love it. How long should I expect the ink it comes with to last, as an approximation? I’m a bit lost on the process of ordering more ink, deciding on what kind of ink I want, etc; I’m hoping to get a ballpark of how long I have to figure things out.

A special thanks to all of you who continue to ask intriguing questions for me to answer every week. I need more, so be sure to ask me your correspondence questions for next week in the comments below!

Write On,
Brian Goulet