Here’s another Goulet Q&A, and it’s amazing to me that I’m on the 20th one already! I am absolutely loving doing these, and I’m getting so many great questions from you all. This week’s theme is Pen Maintenance, and I have a lot of great stuff to discuss. Here are the questions I tackled this week:

1) Junee L.- Facebook (1:38)
How often should I re-grease a piston filler?
  • LOTS of questions about silicone grease
  • It depends, not needed often
  • Eyedropper threads, every time
  • Piston seals, whenever it feels like there’s resistance (1-12 months)
    • May vary depending on cleaning regimen
  • Converters- 1-3 months (varies)
  • Shoot a silicone great vid?
  • Keep it away from the nib (Tom)
2) tanyees- YouTube (5:50)
Do you have any experience removing scratches on plastic/resin pens. How to go about doing it?
  • Jeweler’s cloth
  • acrylic polish
3) Wesley S.- Facebook (9:12)
What are some good troubleshooting tips for pen problems during the work day? Sometimes my pen will dry up or feed poorly into the nib while I’m working and it’s difficult to get it right again.
  • Keep several pens
  • Proper pen maintenance
  • Try different inks
  • Don’t use repeat offender pens
4) @supermassive- Twitter (11:56)
How many times can you syringe (re)fill a cartridge? How do you know it’s time to use a new one?
  • 5ish
  • until it fails
5) Luis M.- Facebook (12:45)
I purchased my (Goulet) Lamy Safari around 6 months ago, I use a converter, I write a lot in College and usually ink it up twice a week. I have noticed the flow has more resistance than when I first got it. I’ve never cleaned it or done anything to it. Should I clean it? How do I clean it? I didn’t know fps needed cleaning.
6) @drudesign- Twitter (14:38)
Any tips for keeping nibs free of extra ink? Every time I wipe it with a paper towel or tissue it just draws out ink.
  • nib creep
  • varies by pen/ink
  • embrace it!
7) Tristan N.- Facebook (16:00)
What is the easiest way to clean the treads on a pen? The treads that hold the cap on will over time accumulate dirt. Now I use a toothpick or a stiff piece of paper, but I can’t imagine this is the easiest way to do so.
8) g4bbR- Reddit (16:56)
What is the most maintenance free pen you sell or have ever tried?
9) mrmojorisingi- Reddit (19:35)
How about the most finicky?
10) lookatmycamels- Reddit (20:50)How often should I be cleaning my pens and doing sort of a “total cleaning” if I like to swap out my inks constantly? I feel like I’m emptying or filling a pen just about every day or every other day because I want a certain color with a certain nib. Right now I use water and just flush until clear and then dry with a paper towel and load my new color. But how often should I be cleaning with soap and/or ammonia and then taking everything apart and adding more silicon grease, etc?
  • Up to you
  • Water is usually fine
  • Pen Flush– crusted up ink
11) Chad T.- Facebook (22:43)
Best way to clean a piston filler? Assuming it doesn’t disassemble like a TWSBI.
  • LOTS of these types of questions
  • TWSBI, Lamy 2000, Pelikans, etc
  • No easy way, gotta do the work
  • If piston removes, use bulb syringe
12) Carla S.- Facebook (26:35)
So now I have bent my third nib. One on a Metropolitan by dropping it. One on a Safari by sending it through the laundry. And now another one on a CP1. I just replaced the ones on the Safari and the CP1, but I guess that is not an option on the Metropolitan. Any tips on straightening a nib? I would love to be able to save the Metropolitan and avoid $13 each time I kill a Lamy nib, which I am sure will happen.
  • Hold on to your pens!
  • No cheapie Metro nibs, Pilot Plumix ($9), Penmanship/78g
  • Pen with #6 nib and get a bunch of $2 Noodler’s nibs!
13) Nikesh J.- Facebook (29:41)
Have a Noodler’s Konrad and Ahab. Cleaned them out over night if you can believe it to get out the machine oils. Inked them up and worked fine.  Now,sometimes the ink flows and the pen writes, and then very quickly it stops after it was working so well in one sitting of only a few minutes. Are there still oils restricting the ink flow still? Also used soap.
  • Could be oils, doubt it (not enough info though)
  • Leftover soap- bad
  • Could be ink/pen combo issue
  • Feed may need adjusting/heat setting
14) Katie B.- Facebook (32:32)
Are buying used fountains pens a good way to go if you are looking for something specific, without the initial cost of a new pen? Or does that  lead to problems because you don’t have any guarantees from a company and the pen might need servicing?
  • It’s going to depend
  • Caveat Emptor- Let the buyer beware
  • Most FP folks are honest, but scammers exist everywhere
  • FPN, other forums are good because they will be banned if they scam
  • eBay is okay, check ratings
  • Use common sense- too good probably is
15) Jeffrey G.- Facebook (35:09)
The converter in my Lamy Safari is apparently not sealing nicely. Is there a way to disassemble the converter to get silicone grease on the piston?
  • Yes, not the easiest
  • Never done a vid on this
  • Metal sleeve on back of converter slides off, takes a LOT of force
  • Back pulls out
16) adamsw216- Reddit (36:11)
When you have a large collection of pens, how many do you keep inked up at once? I would imagine having them all inked up with something could lead to a couple getting neglected and drying out.
  • Judge for yourself
  • 3-5 pens at a time
Next week I’ll be back with a new theme, I’m putting the Open Forum format on hold for a bit. I want to try out doing some brand-centric themes, and I’ll be kicking it off on February 7th, 2014 with my first brand: Lamy. Ask me anything you want about Lamy pens and ink products, how to use them, etc. Just post your question in the comments below! If you’ve missed any previous Goulet Q&A’s, be sure to check them out here. Have a great week!Write On,
Brian Goulet