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Welcome to Goulet Q&A Episode 85! I’m answering questions on filling mechanisms, my favorite Noodler’s inks, and the story behind the Goulet logo. We’re enjoying the 4th of July holiday here at Goulet and hope you have a fantastic celebration as well!

New/Upcoming Products – (1:04)

  • Inksamplepalooza!
  • Jinhao buy one, get one free!
  • Inky Splatter Acceptance video.
  • Quick Draw pens- video coming soon!

Pens/Writing – (6:20)

1) Po L. – Facebook – (6:25)
Can you compare the special features of different kinds of converters/filling mechanisms? By special features I mean things other than ink capacity. For example, a twisted converter has the ability to manually force ink to the feed when the pen write dry. A push converter is easy for cleaning but you cannot see the ink level, etc. Any additional thoughts about this?

  • 4 types of converters that come on pens we sell
  • main one is piston (standard international, Lamy Z24, Pilot Con-50, etc)
  • next is aerometric/bladder (con-20, Metropolitan)
  • slide are few and far between, like the Parker or Monteverde Mini
  • last is the Pilot Con-70 which is kind of its own thing
  • bottom line is that you don’t often get a choice of which type you can use, pens only take what they take
    • exception being Pilot’s, Parker, and  the Monteverde Mini (which I don’t know why you’d ever use it, if you had a choice)

2) Ryan M. – Facebook – (13:51)
I am looking at two of your pens, the TWSBI 580, and the TWSBI VAC 700. I really want a piston filling pen which you can see the ink. What is the difference between these two pens?

  •  technically, the 580 is the only piston filling pen and the Vac-700 is a vacuum pen (hence the name)
  • Aside from overall size (Vac is slightly bigger and heavier), the main difference is how it fills
  • also the nib on the vac-700 is larger, which may or may not make a difference for you

3) Jill G.- YouTube – (17:30)
I am very allergic to bleach, but I really love the two Baystate inks I have tried so far. I was wondering if you have advise on what I should use to clean pens that have these inks.

  • bleach definitely is the most effective thing, which clearly is not something you should use!
  • the way I see it you have just a couple of options:
    • 1) stop using Baystate inks and find alternatives
    • 2) dedicate a pen to each of your Baystate inks and just never clean them with bleach (which will be okay, they’ll just permanently be stained that color)
  • there really isn’t an alternative to bleach that I know cleans up these inks well

Ink – (21:19) 

4) Emily H. -Facebook – (21:39)
Apart from the obvious ink colours (Libertys Elysium, Apache sunset ) which is your favourite bright coloured ink from Noodlers?

5) Jeff W. -Facebook – (23:00)
What are the best bottle inks to use in the Preppy Highlighter that match each pen color?

6) Rob B. -Facebook – (25:08)
I enjoy crossword and sudoku puzzles. Which have 2 issues for fountain pens; mostly newsprint paper and, if the puzzles are difficult, the pen is uncapped and not being used for, sometimes, minutes between letters. I think I’ve done well for the cheap paper by using f or ef nibs but can you suggest an ink that will stay wet even if the pen is uncapped for a while? Thanks!

  • this is one area where I think we start to push the limits on what’s practical for fountain pen use
  • a really fine nib with an ink like heart of darkness would help for sure
  • an easily capped/retractable nib (like the Pilot VP) would make all the difference
  • if you’re super-determined, I think a Pilot VP with an EF nib and Noodler’s Heart of Darkness would do the trick, maybe X-feather
  • that’s a lot to spend on a pen just for that purpose, so use your judgment

7) Edrie T. A. -Facebook – (29:09)
My Private Reserve Invincible Black bubbled after decanting onto an inkwell. Is this a bad thing? Also there was something gelatinous at the bottom of the original container that flowed out like mucus. Is that bad?

  • the bubbling doesn’t concern me as much, some inks are more bubbly than others
  • the gelatinous blog is much more of a concern
  • it could be sedimentation/settling at the bottom, or it could be yeast/mold
  • does it smell funny? if not, then it’s really up to you if you still want to use it, I vote probably not

8) Sebastian V. -Facebook – (31:05)
I am a fan of noodlers inks! However, I find that when I write with Noodler’s bulletproof black, and erase with a regular eraser (after it has dried of course) the shade of the ink turns very light (almost grayish).

  • this can happen with some papers, Noodler’s inks are cellulose-reactive and need to bond deep in the paper
  • it can sometimes take days on ink like watercolor paper to bond permanently
  • given the fact you’re erasing overtop of ink, I’m assuming you’re sketching and thus probably using some watercolor-like paper
  • try waiting longer before erasing if you can, otherwise you may want to move towards Platinum Carbon Black, which artists love

Business – (35:31)

9) @Henryw25- Twitter – (35:35)
What’s the story behind the Goulet logo? If you used real ink, which ink did you choose? #GouletQA

  • We wanted an ink splatter, it was on somewhat of a whim
  • Rachel’s younger sister helped us do it
  • the original splatter was much messier, we cleaned it up and liked the general shape
  • we used Diamine Presidential Blue for it, we liked the variation of light/dark it gave, and we just didn’t have many inks back in 2010!
  • we doctored up the final color though, and it really is more like Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium now

Personal – (41:08) 

10) Eric O. -Facebook – (41:11)
Brian, do you or Rachel still write out the occasional personal note?

  • sure, sometimes
  • we just finished a Marriage Encounters weekend, and we both wrote a LOT to each other there!

11) Will E. – Facebook – (44:05)
What is your favorite ink that nobody has heard of?

  • ooo….interesting question, not sure I have an interesting answer to match though
  • there are a lot of good inks that aren’t really secret, they just get overlooked
  • I don’t have any secret inks, except maybe Noodler’s Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham (Canadian exclusive)
  • intense blue, crazy shading, flows like tar

Troubleshooting – (46:00) 

12) Tim D. – Facebook – (46:03)
I just purchased a Noodler’s Ebonite Konrad and I keep getting slight leaking between the section and the feed/nib assembly.  I’ve flushed and rinsed the pen and tried to reseat the nib and feed with only minor improvement.  Would you have any further ideas?

  • my first guess would be to heat set the nib (check out Heat Setting a Noodler’s Ebonite Feed)
  • if that doesn’t work, it could be the piston seal, try unscrewing it out of the pen and putting it back in, silicone grease it if you have any handy
  • if THAT doesn’t work, exchange the pen

13) JonesyMcDanes – YouTube – (49:40)
What would you do to stop a nib from making a line with rough sides. Its not spreading it just doesn’t have straight edges on the lines.

  • this is almost always caused by the paper
  • ink can have an impact as well
  • not a whole lot you can do about it without changing the ink or paper!

QOTW: Do you have any plans for 4th of July? – (52:42)

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