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.This week, I’m making up for a missed last week. My whole family was sick with pneumonia, but we’re all back and doing better. In Q&A I’m talking about stealth pens, tipping nibs, nibs being like women’s dress sizes, and my dream frankenpen!

New Products – (3:42)

Pens/Writing – (8:58)

1) @beer4bill – Twitter – (9:01)
@GouletPens Do all Pilot stainless steel nib pens start and write the same?

  • Not ALL of them, but a lot of them
  • Metropolitan and Prera use the same nibs, share with Plumix, 78g, Knight, and Penmanship
  • Varsity is different
  • Parallel is really different
  • Kakuno is a little different, too
  • nibs themselves are slightly different on these different models, but in general Pilot’s nibs are stiff but flow well, are smooth and are fairly fine
3) Carissa S. – Facebook – (15:48)
I noticed while playing around with Emerald of Chivor (gorgeous gorgeous ink) that writing pressure seems to affect the colour that is put down on the page, less pressure brings out the lighter green side of the ink while more pressure brings out the red sheen for more. Is this usual? Would writing pressure affect the shading on all inks?

  • yes, this is definitely the case!
  • writing pressure can make a big difference in ink flow, the more pressure, the wetter the ink
  • sheening inks show more variation the wetter it’s put down
  • other than the inks that almost never shade, pretty much everything will be affected by your writing pressure, and sometimes angle and speed, too!
  • these variations are part of the reason why you see so many varying opinions about inks!
4) Kristen E. – Facebook – (22:10)
I have mostly extra fine or fine tip pens and I’m interested in trying out an italic tip. What would you recommend as a starter to try out the broader tip?

  • Lamy’s always a good bet, the nibs are swappable, start with a 1.1mm
  • Anything that takes a #6 nib (Jinhao, Noodler’s Ahab) for a Goulet 1.1mm
  • Pilot Parallel
  • Pilot Plumix, but I’m not crazy about how it writes
5) Vasco D. – Facebook- (25:50)
I’m currently looking forward to buy a pen with a very crisp italic nib. Can you give me some suggestions from your store?

  • Aurora Ipsilon italic is really the only nib I have that I’d call ‘crisp’
  • pretty much everything else is more rounded and stub-like
6) Janet D. – Facebook – (27:49)
Hi Brian! Love your videos and your store! Great store. I’ve bought several fountain pens, inks, converters, etc. I’m just getting into fountain pens and have about 8 so far. I asked in a previous post about the difference in the nibs for the Platinum Plaisir and Platinum Balance. I then saw your video on the Platinum Cool and its ability to flex somewhat. How does the Cool nib compare to the other 2? I like the looks of the Balance (in green), but also like the demonstrators. Thanks.

7) Macrov – YouTube – (31:55)
What do you feel about the smoothness of the writing experience? For me I like a glassy/silky smooth writing experience. I don’t enjoy feedback in the slightest. I know that a lot of times people like feedback so they can “feel where they are writing”. Am I strange to not enjoy even the smallest amount of feedback? I enjoy my Broad TWSBI Eco because of how smooth mine is.

  • you’re not strange at all! Lots of people want nothing but smooth smooth smooth
  • there are definitely some pens known for being really super smooth
  • most people who really love smooth nibs end up learning to smooth them themselves
  • lots of pen companies will err on the side of “smooth with a hint of feedback”, as a middle ground for mass appeal
  • micromesh and mylar paper come in handy for smoothing your own nibs (at your own risk!)
8) Karan Desai – YouTube – (38:08)
I would like to ask: why do pen companies label their nib sizes as fine medium or broad, and have varying nib sizes different for each manufacture?

  • it’s like women’s dress sizes, there are some loose standards but it often varies by manufacturer
  • there’s no worldwide standard in place, there are decades of history going back and for a long time, it wouldn’t really matter if sizes weren’t the same
  • before the internet, who cares about the size because you’re going to write with it in the store before you buy it anyway!
  • now that you can buy just about anything you want, standardization seems more important
  • tip size is a factor, but it’s more than that, as flow and feed design, softness of the nib material, and even the shape of the tipping and the angle it’s held can influence the line width! so does ink
9) John F. – Facebook – (44:29)
How much should you be twisting the cap on twist cap pens? Especially TWSBI’s

  • it’s going to vary from pen-to-pen, but I would say “only as tight as it needs to be”
  • if you overnighten, you put a lot of pressure on the cap and can split it, this is why you see centerbands!
  • you could also strip threads on the cap or body
  • tighten enough so the cap is firmly in place, but no more
10) Joshua T. – Facebook – (47:10)
What is the situation with tipping on stub/italic pens? I notice that the Lamy and the Goulet italic nibs have no tipping. Is there a standard practice, or is it just some have tipping and some don’t?

  • you will almost never see tipping on steel stub/italic nibs for cost reasons, and because steel is hard enough where it won’t wear very quickly
  • you will see tipping on most gold stub/italics, as the metal is softer than steel and could wear down over time
Ink – (50:48)
11) Mattia M. – Facebook – (50:52)
Can we speak about inkwells? Is there any disadvantage or any big no-no in transferring ink from the proprietary bottles to a crystal/glass inkwell? How to handle inks with pigments or particles such as J Herbin 1670 series? Anyone using inkwells?
  • you want to make sure your new inkwell seals completely, if it’s not airtight, the water will evaporate out of the ink
  • make sure the new inkwell is clean
  • makes sure you really shake up these particle inks like 1670 so that all the ‘good stuff’ goes to the new inkwell
  • some people use inkwells, that’s part of why we sell empty ink bottles
12) Janet L. – Facebook – (56:52)
I’ve seen you recommend everything from red to black to blue inks but could you give some turquoise/teal/blue-green hues? I’m looking for something that’s not too dark and maybe shades nicely with finer nibs.

Personal – (58:38)
13) 林理谙 – Facebook – (58:41)
If you HAD to pick one song that you would have to listen to on repeat for an hour a day for every day for the rest of your life, what song would it be and when would you listen to it?

  • it would be something classical, because it’s long, interesting, and has a lot going on with it
  • no matter what it is, listening to it over and over I would get sick of it and eventually hate it
  • Beethoven’s 9th symphony would work, it’s over an hour long as is
  • Vivaldi Four Seasons is also good
  • timing? I’m going to say 3am, because I’d almost always be asleep and therefore wouldn’t hear it thus wouldn’t get sick of it!
14) Caitlyn P. – Facebook – (1:01:09)
A fun/personal question…With all of the newer additions to Goulet’s offerings, what would be your Frankenpen? If you could mix and match bits from all of the pens available, what would you make?? I assume Visconti volcano pen material, perhaps an Aurora nib, and the Divina bling??

  • great question! What fun, just know I didn’t really put a ton of serious thought into it
  • I do love the volcano! but I also really love the feel of celluloid
  • let’s go with a Homo Sapiens volcano body with a Delta Dolce Vita Blue celluloid worked in there somehow, trim in the Divina sterling silver, with either a Pilot Custom 74 medium nib or the 23kt Palladium Visconti nib, the countered grip of the Edison Nouveau Premiere, an ink window from the Lamy 2000, the slip-n-seal cap of the Platinum 3776, double-reservoir power filler of the Visconti Opera Master but that disassembles as easily as the TWSBI Vac-700
QOTW: If you could frankenpen all of the favorite parts of your different pens together into one pen, what would it be?  – (1:06:13)

Be sure to leave me any comments or questions below, and check out any of the previous 96 episodes of Goulet Q&A here.


Write On,

Brian Goulet