This week is another Open Forum Q&A. I keep getting questions from you so I keep showing up 🙂 Enjoy!

 

1) Luke B.- Facebook (2:11):
Dear Mr. Goulet My name is Luke and I have been engaged to my fiance Penny for nearly four years now. she has been going through some very hard times lately and is feeling really low about graduating college and not yet getting the job she has always wanted (Art Historian) she is an avid collector of fountain pens and a religious watcher of your Q and A and I was wondering if you would give her a shout-out in your show?
  • Hi Penny, you are a very lucky lady because you have a man that cares for you enough to ask me to help you out
  • We all have our ups and downs sometimes, and you have a lifetime of opportunity ahead of you
  • when I graduated, I didn’t use my degree but washed houses with my dad, considered being an electrician, carpenter, and then started turning pens in a flopped business before discovering fountain pens
  • it’s okay you don’t have it all figured out yet
  • Luke here is going to marry you and be there in good times and bad, for richer or poorer, and he will be there to see you through
2) Peter C.- Facebook (4:44):
What are the functions of the comb-shaped thing behind the feed? Are they supposed to have ink drops in between those fins? That is what’s happened with my newly acquired Pelikan M215. I have never seen anything like that with other pens that I have. Ink drops can be seen from the side, but otherwise the pen works normally and writes like a dream. Is my pen leaking or is that actually a normal behaviour? Thanks.
  • different feeds have different designs
  • but yes, that ink is there on purpose, to help regulate the ink flow
3) Kathy B.- Facebook (7:11):

How should I store my bottles of ink? Right now they’re in individual zip lock bags, stored in the kitchen cupboard (too obsessive?). The bottles/colors are often so beautiful I’d love to store them on a window ledge and let the light shine through!

  • Out of direct sunlight!
  • you want to keep them away from air and sunlight
4) Valerie L.- Facebook (9:40):

Will Rachel Goulet ever make a video instead of Brian? Will Goulet make an extra extra fine version of their #6 nib?

  • Rachel is really tied up running the daily operations of the business
  • she has done one solo video, I won’t tell you which (Goulet loyalists can comment as to which it is)
  • we’ve done a lot of videos together
  • I am more the ‘face man’, she doesn’t like being on camera as much as me
  • no Goulet EEF, Jowo doesn’t make it and we’d have to custom grind it to make it happen, which would cost a small fortune
5) @dpawson- Twitter (12:26):

 

What have you learned about fountain pens writing very upright, vs nearly laid flat?

  • upright most pens write drier, scratchier
  • laid flat, they write wetter/broader
  • ideal angle is 45 degrees

 

 

6) @victstew- Twitter (14:10):

 

Exactly what is a “music” nib?

  • shoutout to George who I met in DC (shoutout to his sister Katherine who is apparently my biggest fan)
  • started sometime before the 1920’s, that’s when it started to be publicly advertised by Waterman
  • similar to a stub nib, but ground to be smooth-edged all around the nib, specifically to be written with in a steeply upright position
  • think of writing on a music stand, vertically
  • line variation like a stub
  • originally meant to be very wet flow, and springy/flexy tines to give line variation
  • only Music nibs I personally have experience with is Sailor and Platinum
    • Sailor isn’t really anything but a stub
    • Platinum is more like a true music nib, but isn’t really flexible much
    • Noodler’s Neponset is closer to what the older music nibs originally were, but I still haven’t seen one yet for myself

 

7) Jacob W.- Facebook (20:32):

I found that American Fountain pens are often overlooked when talking about “quality” pens. Most collectors only talk about European pens such as the Pelikan Souveran series or Asian pens such as the Pilot Custom series. I was wondering what American made pen you thought could compete with these higher end pens, and why these companies often go unnoticed/less discussed. Thanks!

  • there really aren’t a lot of American made fountain pens, that’s why you don’t hear them talked about
  • Edison (German nibs)
  • Bexley (German nibs)
  • Franklin Christoph (German nibs)
  • Gate City (Binder’s brand)
  • smaller independent makers
  • Noodler’s, American parts but much is made in India
8) Bianca N.- Facebook (23:49):

What is the recommended cleaning for pens that have had Iron Gall ink in them? I’ve heard vinegar…I have a lamy that I had document ink in and even thought I’ve flushed it the nib is now really fussy. The convertor has been dyed as well. Any advice would be awesome!

  • FPN helped me out here
  • vinegar solution is good to start, 1 part white vinegar to 10 parts water, flush with water after
  • go to an ammonia-based cleaner (like Goulet Pen Flush) if more aggressive cleaning is needed
  • most modern iron gall formulations don’t require much special care, like Rohrer and Klingner
  • Diamine Registrar’s is probably the strongest of what I know, needs more maintenance
9) Yan T.- Facebook (26:37):

After flushing the pen, is it ok to fill it up with ink immediately or do I have to wait for the nip and conventer to dry up first? And any good recommendation for ballpoint pen/ roller pen that can be refill using fountain pen ink?

10) Scott R.- Facebook (30:45):

 

Perhaps worthy of a Q&A comment: In this video of George W. Bush taking the ALS Challenge, we can plainly see the former president writing with a Pilot Varsity fountain pen in blue. I never voted for the guy, but I endorse his choice of writing instruments!
  • I just did ALS Ice Bucket challenge, it was fun
  • donated and did the ice bucket
  • saw GW’s challenge to Clinton, as of when I’m shooting this, hasn’t responded yet
  • it’s totally a bandwagon thing, and I’ve never been much for peer pressure
  • the cause is good (unlike a fad like Harlem Shake last year) and I thought it’d be motivational for my team/fans to see me get doused
  • pretty neat that GW is using a FP, but you’d think he’d have something fancier than a Varsity!
  • honestly though, I included it in my FP’s for newbies video for a reason, it’s a solid writing pen
  • maybe GW is a FP newbie! 😉
11) Flavio A.- Facebook (32:41):

Does the Rhodia Dotpad have the same kind of paper as other Rhodia pads, like the Premium (not considering the color and the dots, of course). I have both mentioned, and the Dotpad paper seems to be clearly inferior.

  • nope, should be the same
  • that’s interesting that you’re having a different experience
  • shoot me an email to follow up on that
12) Alan L.- Facebook (34:05):

Any word on this years limited Vanishing Point?

  • it’s usually end of summer that it comes out or is at least announced, we should expect to hear something sometime relatively soon
  • don’t think it’ll launch until later in the year
  • I do know what it will be, but can’t say what it is!
13) 林理谙– Facebook (35:25):

Common causes of inconsistent flow? Besides stuff between the tines.

  • the pen might need to be cleaned
  • tines too close together
  • scratches/damage in the nib slit
  • improperly aligned tines
  • paper fibers in the tines
  • ink has started to dry up in the pen
14) 林理谙– Facebook (39:36):

 

Is it possible to remove the nib of a Platinum Preppy from the feed?

  • theoretically, sure
  • I haven’t been able to do it
  • seems to be like a Lamy nib, but is really on there good
  • I don’t see much need to do it
Thanks to everyone who asked me questions this week! Next week will be a little different, I will be out of town so I am actually doubling-up on shooting Q&A this week. So I don’t need questions for next week, but if you’d like to post for the following week, knock yourself out! Be sure to check here for any old Q&A’s you might have missed. Have a great week!
Write On,
Brian Goulet