This week’s episode is a little shorter, just a little! I am flying solo today but still have a bunch of fun questions in the Open Forum. Enjoy!1) Vivian S.- Ink Nouveau (1:28):
I’m not a physically strong person, so having to take apart a pen is really tough for me; I always feel like I might break the pen because I find myself applying as much force as I can. Any tips on how to loosen pen parts (such as nib and feed, piston filler) to make it easier on myself to assemble and dissemble the pen? Thanks.
  • it depends on the pen
  • some aren’t made to be taken apart and applying that much force could break them
  • do your research first, see if others have taken apart your particular pen before trying it yourself (YouTube’s great here)
  • some special tools may be available from pen repair people, you’ll have to hunt (check FPN)
  • rubber gloves, rubber bands, rubber strips help give a better grip
  • stuck nibs help to rock back and forth instead of just straight pulling out
2) Patrick D.- Facebook (7:12):

What pen brand would you like to carry that you don’t today?

  • Faber-Castell
  • Visconti/Mont-Blanc don’t want us
  • others we’ve considered:
    • Nemosine
    • Acme
    • Giuliano Matzzuoli
    • Diplomat
3) Nichole B.- Facebook (9:27):

I am trying to get my friend interested in fountain pens but she is used to gel pens and I’ve had a hard time finding the right one for her. Can you recommend a pen and ink combination that would “float” across the page but won’t break the bank?

4) mikhasan2- YouTube (13:29):
Hi, Brian. I was wondering why many fountain pen aficionados prefer resin over metal. I know one argument is that metal sections are a bit slippery or cold to the touch when compared to resin, but I think the durability and weight of metal pens are desirable traits to many that make up for these. Despite this, they seem much more popular with the corporate crowd than with hard-core fountain pen users. Of course, as is the case with most things, it has a lot to do with personal preference, but is there an alternative explanation you can offer? Thanks, and keep up the great work!

  • I’d say your assumptions are generally pretty accurate here
  • this is something I learned coming over from making rollerball pens for corporate gifts in my pen making days
  • for longer writing sessions, lighter pens are less tiring in the hand
    • metal grips feel slippery after a long writing session (10+ minutes straight)
  • metal just feels less personal, colder
  • metal can be more durable, but resin is pretty darn durable too
  • really, it’s all about preference


5) anonymous- Facebook (18:51):


I have the 4 Pilot Parallel pens that I play with and have had them for about a month but I don’t go through ink very fast. I want to flush them out but I still have half the cartridge left. Is there a way to save the cartridge for a flushing of the pen then reinsert the cartridge? Or should I toss the cartridge and insert a new one each flushing/cleaning? Or should I just finish the cartridge even if it postpones the flushing/cleaning another few weeks? 

  • you can definitely do that, if you’re putting the cartridge right back on
  • over a long time, the ink in the cartridge may dry out/become more saturated as water evaporates
    • can be reconstituted
  • you just won’t be able to save a partially used cartridge apart from the pen
  • bulb syringe works great to flush if sung cartridges (no converter), though Parallels come with a  ‘cleaning cartridge’

6) Steven B.- Facebook (23:17):


Two parter: 1) what is the single best selling item at Goulet? 2) since you all get to “play” hands-on with everything as it comes in, is there an item you carry which you feel SHOULD sell better – something under the radar maybe, that you think deserves more attention than it gets? (Not necessarily just about numbers: I’m sure you don’t move a ton of M1000s but that doesn’t mean they don’t already get plenty of attention!)


7) mike- Ink Nouveau (29:35):
Would you consider having some nibs like your Goulet nibs or Edison’s, TWSBI’s, etc. preground by nibmeisters and then keep them in stock? the way Franklin-christoff does with Mike Masuyama nibs? Or have an option where one can add “stub grind” or something to his cart and then take care of it for the customer, through a nibmeister, along with a warning that you are voluntarily giving up your warranty and that it may delay shipment by 2-3 weeks or whatever the wait time maybe. I think it would be a great service that many would love to take advantage of. I know that you have to keep good relationships with your distributors but binder, mottishaw, and pendleton, are all authorized retailers of pens like pilot, platinum, pelikan, etc. so I think at least some companies must be okay with it. 
  • this is complicated
  • warranty issues: if the pen is faulty, where do you send the pen? depends on the issue?
  • markup: for us to handle the logistics/post-sales support/warranty void of that pen, we have expenses to cover. We’d have to mark up the grinding substantially from what a nibmeister might charge
  • transit time: we’re not near any nibmeister
    • would have to ship to them, wait, have work done then shipped out
    • what about other items in the order?
    • what about international orders?
  • supply/demand: most nibmeisters are busy as heck as is, little bandwidth
    • nibmeisters are in short supply, don’t need our business to stay really stinking busy
  • it certainly is an appealing concept, but I feel the logistics would make it unfeasible
  • I’d be open to exploring, but would be ‘cautiously pessimistic’ it would work out
8) Tom S.- Ink Nouveau (35:57):

I have an odd question, I am already budgeting to get a Pilot Metal Falcon, I love my standard SF Falcon, but want a Con-70 sized Falcon. My question is does anyone know if the sections or nibs are swapable between the two models? As that will help me decide if I should get the SEF on the metal or stay with the nib that works… I am a left hander and nibs are often either very nice to me or the worst thing ever. I am constantly shocked by number of people that assume, the nibs I actually favor won’t work for me :)

  • swap away! You can share them, yes.
  • SEF is noticeably scratchier than SF though
  • I typically wouldn’t recommend it for a lefty, but you seem to know what you’re doing so caveat emptor
9) Christopher N.- Ink Nouveau (40:00):

Have you looked into carrying any products by Staedtler. They have a good selection of products, ranging from drafting tools to some nice fountain pens. 

  • no, not really
  • mainly pencils and ballpoints
  • some FP’s, but not enough to get me excited
  • pens seem like Sheaffer calligraphy set, Pelikan Pelikano, Lamy ABC, stuff we don’t do well with

Second, if you and your family were to dress up as fountain pens for Halloween, what pens would you guys dress as and why?

  • Noodler’s pen
    • Nib Creaper, Ahab, Konrad, lots of fun could be had with those

Thanks for the great videos and running an awesome business!

p.s. When will the TWSBI 580 USA arrive?

  • we’re currently being told end of August, we’ll see once that gets closer if the date is pushed back at all
10) William S.- Facebook (42:39):

Hehe…What paper is best if you are writing with an invisible ink?

  • Seems like you were intending to ask a silly question, but there’s a real answer!
  • the specific type doesn’t matter so much
  • off-white paper shows invisible (UV-reactive) ink so much better!
  • greater contrast
11) Chad V.- Facebook (43:52):

So what does make the Aztek an awesome car?

  • probably the wrong week to ask me that! ignition issues
  • lots of great things about it though
    • cheap to acquire, though they have gone up rather significantly in value in the last couple of years
    • Walter White’s car!
    • clearly designed ahead of its time
    • fantastic turning radius, easy to park
    • SUV, but drives like a car
    • comfortable for both me and Rachel, which is rare to find
    • sits high up
    • is small on the outside, big on the inside
    • AWD
    • fabric inside is great for kids nastiness
    • so utilitarian, seats fold down/come out so easy
    • hooks and stuff everywhere
    • always super-easy to spot in the parking lot!
Thanks for watching this week and thanks to everyone who asked awesome questions. Next week will be another Open Forum, so post any question you have in the comments below. Be sure to check out any Q&A’s you might have missed here. Have a great week!Write On,
Brian Goulet