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Number 87 coming at you today! This week Brian compares a Lamy 2000 to the Pilot Custom Heritage 92, how to keep straight which ink is in which pen, and what it would take for him to give up his two favorite pens.
Products recently launched at GouletPens.com: – (2:41)
Pens/Writing – (6:52)

1) Oscar R. –YouTube – (6:56)

Brian, for easy nib unit swapping pens, in my case the Vac-700, what is your advice in maintenance/cleaning or not, if you swap the nib units often? (paraphrase) Does switching the nib units out and leaving them inky since they are inked in the same color of pen they will be put back on shortly?

  • leaving the nib units sitting out for even an hour or so will see them dry up
  • you’ll need to clean them out if you’re swapping
  • if you want to leave the pen inked, use a bulb syringe
  • this goes for any swappable nibs/nib units like TWSBI, Lamy, Pilot VP, etc
2) Gary Z. -Facebook – (10:14)
I know you love the pilot custom 74 but how does it compare to the Delta Serena?
  • Custom 74:
    • gold nib
    • writes wonderfully
    • demo pen, can see ink level
    • higher ink capacity
  • Serena:
    • really really wet stainless steel nib
    • cast resin (classy)
    • more universal standard international cartridge/converter
    • less expensive
  • personally, I prefer the Custom 74, but they’re really pretty different pens and it’ll boil down mostly to preference
3) Alec S. – Facebook – (13:02)

I’ve been trying to decide between purchasing a Lamy 2000 and a Pilot Custom Heritage 92, and I was wondering if you could compare/contrast them. Note that the cost is not an issue.

  •  Lamy 2000:
    • durable material
    • Bauhaus industrial design
    • hooded nib keeps nib wet longer
    • snap cap, super convenient
    • less expensive
    • pretty finicky sweet spot, takes some getting used to
  • Pilot Custom Heritage 92:
    • demonstrator
    • really clean look
    • nib is fantastic, same as Custom 74 (my fav)
  • in the end, it’ll be preference I think which determines which you like better
  • if money is no object, get both and you won’t regret it :)
Ink – (17:49)

4) Hunter W. – Email – (17:54)

My favorite inks are the ones that when used in a wet pen are almost black, Diamine Oxblood and Private Reserve Avocado come to mind, almost like blue blacks, except obviously not exclusively blue. Could you recommend some other inks similar to this? I don’t actually own any blue blacks, so those also would be well appreciated.

5) Dave B. Facebook – (20:24)

What do you think is the best “poor man’s” substitute for Pilot’s Iroshisuku Kon-Peki.  Noodler’s  Bernanke Blue seems to be close in color to me.  But what about other properties?  What  is  your opinion?

  • I personally love Noodler’s Blue
  • it’s slightly more vibrant/saturated, little longer dry time but great alternative
  • PR DC Supershow Blue could work, but is a little darker (maybe water it down though)
6) CorwynCelesil –YouTube – (22:34)
Since most fountain pen ink is water soluble, do you ever have problems with addressing letters (actual, real paper mail) with a fountain pen and then the address washing away or blotching if the letter gets caught in the rain?
  • I’ve personally never had it cause a real problem
  • certainly, using conventional non-waterproof ink could result in smearing in the rain
  • some alternatives:
    • use waterproof ink
    • rub a candle over your writing to protect it
    • there are specific products you can buy for this purpose (the name escapes me)
    • probably wouldn’t recommend covering with clear tape, could result in complications in sorting/reading machines at USPS
Personal – (26:17)

7) (Lin) 林理谙 –Facebook – (26:21)

If you had a choice between keeping your top two favorite pens or the rest of them, which would you choose?

  • that’s kind of a softball question for me
  • I’d definitely ditch my top two pens and keep the rest
  • I have a pretty sizable collection, so that’d be a lot of ‘other’ pens to give up
  • if I only had 10 pens, that’d be a lot tougher!
8) Tim D. -YouTube – (28:25)

I bet you have quite a few pens inked with various inks at all times, how do you keep what ink is in what pen straight? Do you have a spreadsheet or a list?

  • I don’t honestly keep that many pens actively inked up at a time
  • I do ink a lot (and clean a lot) of pens, but I don’t use them long
  • I go by memory, mainly, which sometimes fails me and I then have to set aside the pen for cleaning
  • I rarely ink pens with similarly colored inks
  • I will carry around a bunch of pens at once, but not often all of them inked
  • I have been known to keep an index card in my pen case with the ink used in which pen, that’s worked well
  • I’ve also tried  keeping notes on my phone
  • I would really love to hear how others manage it
Troubleshooting – (30:52)

9) Shannon M. -Facebook – (30:58)
I just replaced the nib on my Ahab and now it writes extremely wet, too wet for my Rhodia paper. The tines also seem to be overlapping each other a bit… Is there any way to fix this without buying a completely new nib?
  • check out Goulet Loupe Tutorial vid (shows how to adjust tines)
  • adjusting a flex nib is tricky, you have to really overflex the tines to get them to stay in place where you want them
  • once the tines are in the right place, try heat setting like I do in the Heat Setting a Noodler’s Ebonite Feed video
  • try these, worst case you completely mess it up and get a replacement for $5

10) Erica C. – Facebook – (34:29)

When I use a certain pen, the ink starts off nice and strong. After about 10-20 minutes of writing, however, the ink comes out lighter.  The pen is clean, so why is this happening?

  • I’d love to know what the pen is, but that’s okay
  • could be several reasons:
    • ink could be clogging up in the pen for a variety of reasons, try it in some other pens and see if that’s a factor
    • really fibrous paper could get fibers caught in the nib/feed, normal cleaning may or may not get all that (brass sheet can help)
    • you could be running out of ink (forgive me if that sounds elementary)
    • could be due to hand fatigue, rotating the pen in your hand without realizing it
    • could just be bad pen/ink match, ink isn’t flowing wet enough to keep up (try a different ink, especially a wet one)
    • could be some kind of defect, but this would be consistent with many different inks
  • trying different pen/ink combos would be my first step to finding out what’s up, sometimes there are just combos that don’t play nicely!

11) Rhiokai –YouTube – (40:38)

I have a Pilot Prera and I’ve noticed that the metal bit inside the section that extends to the nib has quite a bit of ink on it. When I flush and clean the pen however, I can’t seem to get all of it off. I’ve tried running it under the tap nib up but I can only get about half of the ink off. Is this normal for this pen or is it defective? Any ideas how I can get the ink off?

  • I think what you’re talking about is the nib, if I’m not mistaken
  • flushing with a bulb syringe should get it all
  • you can pull the nib out and clean it pretty easily, then it’ll just rinse off
  • ink here is normal for all pens, you just don’t usually see it unless the grip is clear like on the Prera!

QOTW: How do you remember which inks you keep in which of your pens? – (43:00)

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