This week’s Q&A is just a little different, because I’m actually on a business trip and therefore was unable to shoot it on Thursday morning the day before it posts, like usual. However, I received so many good questions last week that I was able to double-up and shoot two in one week, allowing me to post this one today even though I’m not around! So forgive me if I’m a little behind on replying to comments, but know that I’ll be back soon. Until then, enjoy this week’s episode!

1) Jacob W.- Facebook (2:40):

I know you can increase flow of an ink by widening the channel on the feed, but is there a way to reduce ink flow in a feed?

  • there is, sometimes
  • it’s a little tricky
  • bending the tines closer together does it
  • can use a drier ink (Pelikan 4001)
2) Derick S.- Facebook (5:04):
Hello Brian! I have a Noodler’s Konrad pen in acrylic Mariana’s blue. For some reason I dont feel the nib as flexy as some say it is. Do Noodler’s make normal nail nibs or are they all semi flex? Also, do you know if the new music flex nib of the Naponset will be available to purchase separetely? Thank you for all the hard work and the videos!
  • All the Noodler’s Ahab and Konrad flex nibs are identical
  • they do make a non-flex nib, but they are only sold off the pens
  • highly highly doubt the music nib will be available separately!


3) Scott R.- Facebook (8:03):

Can you recommend a good “starter” vintage fountain pen to look for? Any tips for vintage newbies? Also, is there a vintage pen you’d bring back into production if you could?

  • Oh gosh, really not my wheelhouse
  • Esterbrooks are probably best, that or Parker 51/21
  • Would bring back some of the flex nibs from early 1900’s, or Parker 51
  • love the Sheaffer snorkel, but wouldn’t want to repair them!
4) Allen V.- Facebook (11:08):

Did you see anything at the DC Pen Show that you don’t carry and hadn’t really thought about before that made you think “That would really be cool for us to carry?” I’ll be at SF Pen Show this weekend but will carve out some time to watch Q&A. Thanks.

  • huge vintage showing at DC
  • not a lot of new products there we don’t carry
  • inkwells, pen cases, maybe

5) Stephen K.- Facebook (13:55):

What do you think about carrying Conklin fountain pens? I bought a herringbone model with a 1.1 nib at the D C Show and it has become one of my favorite pens. The feel, balance and appearance are all top notch. And it writes beautifully too.

  • can order Conklin
  • Herringbone is nice, esp. new design
  • just haven’t had a lot of people asking us about it
6) Peter M.- Facebook (15:31):

Do you guys sketch / doodle with fountain pens? Or do you use other types of pens.

  • We have a couple of artists on our team
  • I personally don’t doodle much
  • Doodlers here love flex nib pens, Ahab, Konrad, Falcon
7) Gabriel F.- Facebook (17:01):

I have carried my Noodler’s Ahab daily now for over a year. How can I clean and polish the outside so that it looks new.? It isn’t treated rough by any means, but rides around in a pen case with others and like I said, is a daily carry. Thanks.

  • this resin is somewhat soft
  • tradeoff between glossy look and durability/crack resistance
  • can buff/polish with polishing compound, micro mesh, jeweler’s cloth
  • will scuff again, quickly
8) PJ S.- Facebook (19:51):

Is there any way to prevent nib creep with Noodler’s ink on a Lamy nib? I’ve had two different pens with two different inks and both be creeping’.

  • you can dilute the ink, the water will cut down the lube which is likely a culprit
  • otherwise, no, not really
  • embrace it :)
9) Pavel V.- Facebook (22:41):

Hi Brian, Is it possible to fit a longer cartidge into J.Herbin rollerball? Or do you have some other tips to put some more ink in there?I mean more than small cartridge. 

  • too short to fit an SSL cartridge
  • won’t even fit a converter, except Monteverde Mini which has less ink capacity than the cartridge
  • Possibly eyedropper?
10) Elaine M.- Facebook (25:13):

Which pen would you recommend for a newbie? I like thin lines.

11) Mate F.- Facebook (26:00):

I love your Triomphe paper, but how do I get it into a notebook?

  • you can’t at least with anything I know!
  • closest thing would be regular Clairefontaine paper
12) George A.- Facebook (27:09):
How does one take the nib off of a Jinhao 250? I know you dont carry them but I would like to replace the nib with a Goulet nib but have so far been unable to take it off.
  • no personal experience with the Jinhao 250, but appears to be a different nib than the Goulet nib
  • I can’t say if the nib does come out (I’m inclined to say it should), or what nib it takes, but appears to be something kind of unique unlike the x450/750/159 I carry

13) Sharjeel T.- Facebook (28:06):
What is Brians and Rachel’s holy grail pens?
  • rachel’s is Nakaya, loves Raden/abalone
  • me, my grail pen is always the next one I’m looking to acquire :)
  • I don’t have one holy grail pen, it’s more of an ongoing pursuit to learn and use just the next one I’m getting
14) Kathy B.- Facebook (30:40):

What I do – sketch in pencil, then add ink lines, erase pencil lines, add watercolor.

1. A nib that will give varied line widths.
2. Ink that dries fast, won’t smear later when painting over it, is lightfast, comes in a black-black and perhaps a sepia and dark blue.
3. Paper thick enough for no bleed through from any media, handles erasing without damage to the paper, handles ink well (minimal feathering, ink dries fast), and of course – works well with puddles of water for minimal buckling. THANK YOU – love love your website, blog and fabulous videos!

15) Kathy B.- Facebook (35:03):
An art class requires “india ink” – what could I buy a Goulet Pens that would meet that requirement?
  • true India ink isn’t suitable for use in fountain pens
  • Platinum Carbon Black is a dynamite alternative
Thank you once again to everyone who asked me questions this week. Be sure to check here for any old Q&A’s you might have missed. Have a great week!Write On,
Brian Goulet