This week is another Open Forum Q&A, so just random questions about pens, ink, and paper. Enjoy!

1) Jenee L.- Facebook (5:36):

 

How does rose gold nib compare to a gold and a steel nib? Or is there no difference and it’s all purely for aesthetics?
 
2) Mary B.- Facebook (6:48):

 

Head to head comparison between Platinum “Nice” and rose-gold TWSBI, same ink, same paper, same nib size…? Please?

  • I know you’ve been dying to see this!
  • unfortunately I won’t be able to ink both up for this video
  • TWSBI rose gold is nearly 1/4 of the price, that can’t be ignored
  • TWSBI has greater ink capacity, weighs a LOT more
  • Nibs feel somewhat similar, Platinum grinds their nibs finer, but they’re stiff and a bit toothy
  • texture of the pens are very different
  • both are very attractive pens
  • Platinum will seal better over the long haul, less pen maintenance

3) Ravena J.- Facebook (12:28):

Just wondering if after the DC Fountain Pen show if GouletPens is any closer to carrying Write Notepads & Co.?

  • didn’t see them in DC
  • we’ve reached out to them, they told us their paper isn’t ideal for fountain pens, but they might be changing that
  • others have told us the paper is actually okay
  • we may reach back out to them
  • we’ll see
4) Jeff A.- Facebook (13:48):

Brian, do you know of any way to prevent the Noodler’s Nib Creaper Rollerball from burping ink on the page randomly?

  • make sure to dab the ink away after filling, it ‘hangs out’ in the filler hole
  • Keep the ink level high
  • expel extra air out of the ink chamber
  • air is heating up in your hand, causing it to expand and push the ink out
5) Sean K.- Facebook (17:09):

What do you think of the very high-priced fountain pens? Are they worth the money, or are you really just paying for the name? What’s the best way to approach significant purchases like that, and what should we look for, or avoid?

  • it depends!
  • law of diminishing returns
  • often it’s the name, but certain features like gold nibs and the use of certain materials justifiably increase price immediately
  • avoid marketing fluff, stick to the actual features of the pen
  • look for comparable pens in similar price ranges
  • read reviews of them, from blogs and on retailers’ sites where people talk about owning them
6) Edgar H.- Facebook (23:21):

Can you suggest some nice fountain pens between $50-$100 with stub nib option?

7) Carlos Q.- Facebook (26:12):

Hello Brian!! Do you have a top three mini/portable pens? I have the Pilot Prera, the TWSBI Mini and the Kaweco Sport (eyedropper) I love them all… So I was wondering if you (or somebody in your workshop) have a top 3 mini/portable fountain pens.

8) Flavio A.- Facebook (27:56):

Can you recommend nice looking clear demonstrators that can be converted to eyedropper filling? I don’t understand why manufacturers make beautiful demonstrators (such as the Monteverde Artista Crystal and the Platinum Cool, both of which have even translucid feeds) that are not meant to be converted.

9) Rick B.- Facebook (29:48):

What’s the darkest, as in monolithic, non reflective, light canceling black ink you’ve seen? I like Noodler’s X-Feather but was wondering if you’ve discovered anything even better.

10) Richard B.- Facebook (30:44):

Does the reformulated J. Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite really have the gold flakes removed? Speaking of which, do you have an idea of when you’ll get the new 1670 stormy grey?

  • no, the reformulation actually has more gold in it
  • there have been 3 formulations (that I know) so far
    • first was REALLY gold
    • second was much weaker, little gold at all
    • latest (current) has more gold, but is different than the first two so it should still work well, but sheen
  • paper really changes the properties a lot

11) Angus D- email (34:42):
Why don’t Goulet Pens and the other U.S.-based retailers from whom I’ve purchased pens fill out the warranty card that some manufacturers (Pilot, Platinum etc) include with the pen?  Obviously you are an authorized retailer and I understand that the pen doesn’t have any less of a warranty simply because the card is empty, I was just wondering why they even include the cards if it isn’t required for after-sales service.  Contrast this with my experience shopping at a pen shop in Seoul, Korea over the summer where they diligently filled out the card for each pen I bought.  Are the cards used in other markets but not the U.S. for some reason?  And would it be too time-consuming for the cards to be filled out?

  • more an issue for B&M than online retailers
  • online there is a record of every purchase already
  • B&M you could walk up off the street, pay cash, and be anonymous
  • we’ve never been instructed by any of our manufacturers on strict guidelines for filling out any sort of warranty cards
  • many manufacturers don’t even have warranty cards
  • could be a cultural thing, too, different distributors in different parts of the world may have their own rules
12) Chad C.- Facebook (39:20):
I recently purchased a new nib from Goulet for my TWSBI 580. I noticed that it was writing very scratchy and upon inspecting the tines, discovered that tines were misaligned. Instead of contacting Team Goulet or TWSBI about the issue like I should have, I grabbed a pair of needle nose pliers and “very very gently” was able to realign the tines and now the nib works like a dream. Even though my repair issue was minor, I found that I enjoyed tweaking my own nibs (not like it sounds.) Can you recommend or know where I might be able to find basic, but proper tools for adjusting nibs. Thank You.
  • no pliers!!!!
  • all you need is your fingernails
  • Drew and I actually attended Binder’s nib smoothing workshop at the DC pen show
  • some different approaches than what Drew and I have done, but nothing fundamentally changed
  • tine alignment you just use fingernails
  • smoothing is different, then you need micro mesh/mylar
  • Check out Goulet Loupe Tutorial video for tine alignment
  • Check out Goulet Micromesh video
  • Check out Goulet Mylar video
 
13) Jennifer B.- Facebook (41:42):

I’m thinking of buying my son a pelikano jr for his 8th birthday. Is he younger than the target age? He’s a lefty, so I’d also love to know about quick-drying inks that are ideal for southpaws.

  • Not too young, he’s right around the right age
  • I wouldn’t worry too much about the ink at first, that’s a honing/toning thing
  • stick with slightly more absorbent paper at first, use whatever ink you have
  • Noodler’s Bernanke inks, PR Fast-Dry
  • Try just conventional non-permanent ink first before buying something special
14) Andre A.- Facebook (43:48):

I caught a (tiny) glimpse of your pen collection in the video about pen storage. Any chance you can show us your full blown collection? I’ll send you a cheeseburger. I promise.

  • there’s a lot!
  • prepare to have your mind blown
Next week’s Q&A will be another Open Forum, so ask whatever you want down in the comments below. Be sure to check out any old Q&A’s you’ve missed here, and have a wonderful rest of the week!
Write On,
Brian Goulet