Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.Happy February! Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, and our media team has whipped up some great content written from the heart. We’ve got a few new things cooking over here, from website bug fixes to a wrinkle with this very Q&A. So while I may be a bit under the weather, I’ve got lots of good news to carry me through the coughing and sniffling. Alright, it’s go time…
New Products: – (10:49)

1) Lori P.- Facebook – (11:09)

When will the Lamy Orange Al-star arrive?
  • early March! Same with Al-Star Black
  • (vid will be out on CopperOrange sometime soon)
  • check it out…

2) Sam S.- Facebook – (13:36)
Any information on when the TWSBI Mini-Vac will come to market? Even a year guess would be appreciated.
  • 2015! …probably

Pens/Writing: – (15:34)

3) Lori Arrowood-YouTube – (15:42)
Hey Brian, I am considering buying a Pilot Custom 74 from you, based on your love for it and my great experience with my Pilot Metropolitan. I have a Medium nib in my Metro, and love that size. When I looked at the Nib Nook and compared the steel M of the Metro to the gold M of the 74, I noticed the 74 is slightly thicker. I’m assuming that’s because it’s a gold nib and is softer; so would I be better off getting a Fine nib in the 74 to get the same line as a Medium on the Metro?
  • gold nib is softer and will write broader with a heavy hand
  • if writing light, a medium would be okay
  • if using even moderate pressure, go ahead and get the fine
  • I actually just picked up a fine Custom 74 for myself, so now I have both!

4) Donnie K.- Facebook – (20:49)
What italic nib is the best balance of usability for everyday writing and noticeable flair? I believe mine is a 1.8mm but sometimes I wonder if it’s not too big for daily use in note taking.

5) Martin L.- Facebook -(22:53)
What are your favourite letters to write in cursive? Also do you have any favourites while writing in block letters.
  • HATE uppercase Q’s
  • Love uppercase L’s, D’s, J’s
  • I don’t ever write in block (uppercase print), but write exclusively in print with ballpoint and rollerballs (weird)

6) Danielle F.- Facebook – (25:47)
Which pen would you recommend for a left handed 10 year old beginner?
Ink: – (28:09)

7) CorwynCelesil -YouTube – (28:19)
Is there any danger in having ink all over your fingers? As, for instance, licking peanut butter off of Diamine Grape-stained fingers, which has certainly never happened to me, no indeed. :P Are fountain pen inks toxic in any way?
  • I definitely don’t recommend that you do this, it’s not helping anything
  • can’t say that’s it’s for sure hurting anything, there are laws about what chemicals can/can’t be used in ink
  • they are not non-toxic, so you should probably try to avoid consuming them in any capacity!

8) DrewsheBag- YouTube – (30:30)
Any good suggestions for a quick drying permanent ink?

9) Flavio- Blog – (31:33)
Brian, I have a question about Noodlers Black (aka “bulletproof”) – I don’t know if you’ve already answered this earlier; if so, i’m sorry…
It’s a simple doubt: do you know how permanent it is, not on paper, but on fabric (say, on a cotton shirt)?
It seems the perfect ink for day-to-day use at work, but I tend to periodically stain my clothes (and hands, and whatever is around me!). Regular inks disappear when I wash them, even with regular detergent. I’m afraid a permanent ink will result in permanent stains.
Have you ever tested this? Have anyone?
  • Noodler’s is cellulose-reactive, will stain cotton, wood, anything natural (has cell fibers)
  • clothes may have chemical treatments to resist the stain so wash it out quickly and it might not set in

10) Sam F.- Facebook – (34:14)
Which Noodler’s blue black ink would you consider the best i.e. has the best mix of properties, flows the best, least feathering, etc?
Business: – (34:30)

11) random_task- YouTube – (35:28)
I’m glad to hear that your business has been growing. That seems to imply that even as technology advances on tablets and “phlablets” (large smart phones) and these devices are getting better at recognizing handwriting and acting as virtual notebooks, there is a strong movement to go back to pen and paper and sort of rediscover this medium. As much as I try some of the tablet apps that try to emulate pen/paper, I still keep going back. Any thoughts on the general trends that you are seeing on your end? Thanks.
  • some people look at writing with a fountain pen as a utility for writing things down, which is true
  • but that’s not the whole point
  • there’s another element to it, the tactile feel of the nib on paper, the flow of ink, shading, etc
  • colors displayed on a computer monitor literally can’t display all that your eyes are capable of seeing
  • seeing color in ‘real life’ is just different, and that’s the main draw for most fountain pen users

Troubleshooting: – (42:16)

12) Aaron R.- Facebook – (42:29)
In an earlier video you had teased us about you posting a video showing how to clean the ink from the grip section of a Pilot Custom 74. Well, we’re waiting, haha! Maybe you can shed some more light on the subject in this weeks video.
  • Dangit, you called me out on that
  • Was planning to do a big video on that, but hit a problem that kept me from being able to do it
  • Damaged a new Custom 74 in the process of prepping for the vid, now it’s a new personal pen!
  • Show quick demo with my old pen

13) Anita C.- Facebook – (46:29)
I have a Pilot Metropolitan (fine) that writes brilliant when freshly inked, but when I leave it for awhile, the ink will not flow. Sometimes it helps to prime it but it almost seems to have gone dry. I am using the converter it came with. Would I be better to use a con-50 or is this just a problem with the pen?
  • pens dry out more in the wintertime (lower relative humidity)
  • ink could be a factor, some dry out more than others
  • Metropolitan does dry out, it’s not as well-sealing as a Platinum Preppy or Custom 74/823 (it’s about middle-of-the-road)
  • could not be getting a full filling, make sure to squeeze several times, leave it in the ink for 5+ seconds after unsqueezing
  • keep your ink bottle handy, if pen dries up, try squeezing the converter so that it forces all the ink out into the bottle (to see if it’s dry)
  • could be ink hanging up in the back of the converter (tap hand on desk w/pen)

14) Mary B.- Facebook – (50:08)
How do I clean the insides of a translucent pen stained by ink?
  • definitely tougher with some inks than others
  • which specific inks will vary, as the specific pen in question will be a factor/type of plastic used
  • in general, reds/pinks/purples stain the most
  • cleaning with a Pen Flush can help
  • physically scrubbing it with a q-tip often helps, too
  • some inks (Baystate specifically) clean better with bleach (10% bleach to 90% water) better
  • bottom line: it’s work to keep a demo pen perfect, if you want to change inks a LOT, be ready to clean a LOT

15) Jonathan D.- Facebook – (51:42)
Do you notice the Lamy 2000 fine to be a bit drier? I only have used Lamy Black in my pen since I’ve gotten it. My only other black ink is Noodler’s x-feather. Will using the x-feather in my 2000 make cleaning a pain?
  • Lamy 2000 it’s necessarily a dry pen, try cleaning it out regularly
  • Lamy Black isn’t a gushing ink, it’s pretty middle-of-the-road for wetness
  • X-feather is a slightly thicker ink and is permanent, so you want to be diligent cleaning it
  • I haven’t had major issues or heard of major issues with it over other inks
  • cleaning the 2000 is slightly a pain just because it’s a piston-filler, with any ink

16) Mary B.- Facbeook – (53:06)
I have a shiny new Jinhao with a shiny new Noodler’s flex nib installed (my first pen tinkering!). I am having no success whatsoever with the flex writing, though, and wonder whether this is a problem for lefties such as myself in general, or is it just me (makes sad face). Thanks for your thoughts!
  • you have two things working against you here
  • lefties in general have a harder time with flex, not that it’s impossible, but a lot harder
  • the Jinhao feed isn’t designed to keep up with a flex nib, a Noodler’s pen has a much larger ink channel in the feed to keep up with the demand of a flex nib

17) Ty W.- Faceboook – (55:33)
What causes skips? My Sheaffer 100 writes great, but then suddenly nothing then it’s fine again. I cleaned out the pen, and freshly inked it up (Private Reserve purple Mojo) and it still occurs. Normally I’m writing on Rhodia Webbook.
  • Gosh, could be a lot of things!
  • Low on ink
  • over-rotation in the hand
  • improper nib grind (baby’s bottom)
  • gunk in the feed/tines (floss with brass)
  • ink dried up in pen (clean it/refill)
  • ink compatibility (some just don’t work as well is some pens as others, try switching inks)
QOTW: What if anything would you like to see me do to enhance Q&A? 


Write on,
Brian Goulet