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Thanks for joining me for Goulet Q&A Episode 81! This week I’m discussing my favorite rollerball, how you can find out what nib size your pen has, and the best MacGyver pen. Pull up a seat and listen to some pen talk!
New/Upcoming Products – (1:17)

  • Omas Arte Italiana
  • Pilot Bamboo Vanishing Point in Cherry and Black
  • Pilot G2 Rollerballs
  • Pilot Metropolitan Rollerballs
  • Cross- Coming Soon!

Pens/Writing – (3:36)

1. Malgorzata R. -Facebook- (3:42)

I’m getting ready to purchase my first Kaweco Sport fountain pen. I just watched your “Kaweco Nib Size Comparison” video and have pretty good idea what size I want. But I wanted to ask if there is any difference between silver and gold plated nibs, other than color? Do they give you different writing experience? I heard that gold plated nibs have better ink flow. What’s your experience???”

  • nope, just the color
  • ’silver’ is just polished stainless steel, gold is stainless steel plated with gold
  • I haven’t seen a correlation between flow and nib color, if anything it should be the reverse as the gold has the plating on it!
  • writing experience should be the same, if there’s a difference it’s likely coincidence
2. Brendle L. -Facebook – (6:29)

looking for a double broad nib what fountain pens have this nib?

  • Goodness, not many at all
  • often special orders like from Pelikan, Omas, etc but even they are getting away from them
  • over the last 6 years I’ve seen the rather unpopular BB go from barely available to pretty much not available at all
  • much more popular now are stubs, since that’s almost what a BB is anyway
  • I don’t have a single BB pen on my site, nor do I know who even makes them and offers them regularly
‏3. @SheafferKing -Twitter – (9:16)

How do you tell what size a nib is if it doesn’t have any markings?

  • two ways to answer this question, tip size or actual size of the nib?
  • I’m assuming the actual size of the whole nib, #6, #5, etc
  • pulling the nib out, measure the distance between the curved bottom of the nib, that’s your measurement (roughly)
  • that’s part of the equation, but there are nib makers that aren’t standardized and you really can’t mix/match them (Platinum, Pilot, etc)
4. Bijan A. – Facebook – (13:29)

I recently purchased my first Vanishing Point from The Goulet Pen Company and tried using it with a con-20 like I had read one would be able. However, when I tried it, I found none of my con-20s ended up fitting. The converter just wouldn’t snap in no matter how hard I tried (what an inky mess). Upon closer inspection and a little research, I found out that what I had was the Con-LAS, a con-20 type converter apparently made specifically for use in Japan (I think, I still don’t know many details) All of my con-LAS converters (which I THOUGHT were con-20s) came from Metropolitans or Pilot Parellels. I was wondering if you could expound on the this whole con-20 vs. con-LAS situation and if you had any information on which pens come with which converters or even information on why the two look so similar but are apparently sized differently? Thanks so much! Loving the Vanishing Point, by the way.

  • Tested it, and it fits okay
  • You might have to press it a little hard, but it will fit!
  • still recommend Con-50 or Con-20 for long-term use, but Con-LAS will work in a pinch
Ink – (17:08)
5. @keristars – Twitter – (17:13)

@GouletPens after a day or so in my pen, PR Shell Pink goes from, um, raw shellfish pink to cooked shellfish red (not b/c H2O) Any idea why?

  • how’s the overall bottle look?
  • could be chemical sedimentation, reaction of the dyes or over saturation of the ink
  • could be evaporation
  • same paper?
  • could be defective ink…long shot but possibility
‏6. @DerekJones14 – Twitter – (21:24)

@GouletPens what inks most resemble VT colors? #GouletQA

7. Toni H. -Facebook – (23:45)

A lot of attention goes to Noodler’s Baystate Blue. But there are two other colors in the Baystate line, Concord Grape and Cape Cod Cranberry. Can you tell us about these inks, in particular how & why they differ from the blue?

  • Properties are similar, they’re just as stainy and vibrant
  • there are several options for vibrant purples and pinks that are less hassle, so these are less standoutish than BSB
  • BSB is more unique among blues, and has become the fall guy for Noodler’s attacks
Paper – (26:24)
8. Amanvir G. -YouTube – (26:28)

Hi Brian! I have been the sneaky person who just lurks, and doesn’t really post or comment. But I do have a question. Can you PLEEEEASE do a video, on how to write on dot grid paper. I am confused. Graph paper, Séyès paper, Blank paper, I get. Dot grid totally alludes me. THANK YOU!!!”

  • maybe you can teach me Séyès, haha! thats the one that usually throws people
  • dot is really simple, you use it like graph, basically
  • the dots are 5mm apart, just like graph
  • take graph paper and put a dot where each line intersects with another, remove the lines, and there’s dot grid
  • you can indent, write landscape, heck even draw on it as the dots are much more subtle than lines or graph
Personal – (29:07)
9. @CalligraphyPete – Twitter – (29:11)

Brian, you recently had to MacGyver into your own office.  Which pen breaks down into the most MacGyver-ready parts?(new baby)

  • technically I said I “Mission Impossibled” into my office, same concept though
  • I locked myself out, didn’t have the key to my new(it) office, and had to come up and over the wall through my drop ceiling
  • Probably a TWSBI or Noodler’s Ahab, due to the fact they disassemble so far!
10. Steve K. -Facebook – (34:27)

Brian, which rollerball do you personally prefer, the Lamy or the Metro, and why?  To make it more challenging, don’t include price in the decision.

  • this is tough!
  • I’ve been using both, and I like both for different reasons
  • I’d have to go Metro, partly because I like the grip a little better
  • there are a lot more refill options for the Metro (G2 refills)
Business – (38:22)
11. Fernanda B. – Facebook – (38:27)

It seems to me that there is only a few countries with fountain pen making tradition, like Germany, Japan, Italy, USA, Taiwan and just other few from Europe or Asia. But I would love to know if that has changed and if there is good FPs brands (new ones or maybe older ones) in other countries, like, I don’t know, Portugal, Mexico, Australia or maybe Ireland. Do you know any cool brands from countries that are not normally known for their fountain pen making? If so, do you plan on carry any of them?”

  • India definitely makes some pens, especially ebonites (though nibs aren’t great), Noodler’s pen bodies are from India
  • China makes a ton of pens!
  • I don’t know of any pens from the countries you mentioned, or really anywhere else besides what we discussed already
Troubleshooting – (41:01)
12. Daniel B. -Facebook – (41:07)
When I ink up my Pelikan M400 (white tortoise version) with Noodler’s Hunter, the section gets stained a little in green and the nib gets a very difficult to remove green coat (which causes a green tint). Is there any way to eliminate this? I like to use only permanent inks but is that the problem?
  • this ink in particular is very ‘clingy’
  • this pen in particular shows stains worse with the white color
  • just not the best combo
  • permanent inks can in general cling a little more (not always the case)
  • some other green options here, Noodler’s General of the Armies, Green Marine, might work
QOTW: How long did you lurk on here before posting something, or are you still lurking (and by answering you will end that streak)? – (44:13)

Thanks so much for spending time with me this week, I really appreciate it! Be sure to check here if there are any old Q&A’s that you missed.Write On,
Brian Goulet