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.In this episode of Goulet Q&A I’m back to answering your questions! I also tell you about all the new products we’re carrying, my recent trip to Pilot USA and what’s going on with the Omas brand. Enjoy episode 103!

Pens/Writing – (13:26)

1) Lucas M. – email – (13:27)
I am looking for a next level pen ($400 max) and was wondering what you would recommend. I already have a Pilot Vanishing Point and a Lamy 2000 but I recently came into some money and am looking to acquire a pen that is still suited for a daily writer but has full sized nib, unlike those previously mentioned. Any thoughts?

2) @JerryTanta13- Twitter – ()
Are there any other converters compatible with the Pilot VP? The ink capacity is killing me.

Ink – (19:21)

3) Grant G. – Facebook – (19:22)
I’m an illustrator and a waterproof black ink is a necessity in my FP so I can watercolor over the linework. Are the De Atramentis document inks waterproof? if so, how do they compare to the Platinum Carbon Black or Super5 (which has been my favorite).

  • DA document inks are quite waterproof, though they are pretty absorbent and tend to bleed
  • Platinum Carbon Black is pigmented, which is a different formulation
  • Super5 is really similar in performance to the DA Documents
4) Janet E –Facebook -(21:13)
I recently bought a Platinum Century 3776 (Chartres Blue) with a medium nib. I inked it up with Noodler’s Blue Eel but it seems to put down a lot of ink, i.e. it’s very wet! I know Noodlers Eel inks are lubricated and this could be the issue. Is there a “less wet” blue ink that you would recommend?

Paper – (23:02)

5) Winnie U. – Facebook – (23:08)
I love pretty stationery and wonder if Clairefontaine carries anything like that? I have both tablets and envelopes I get through you and love the feel of it but sometimes would like something fancier

  • Clairefontaine’s only stationery in the US is Triomphe (which is amazing paper)
  • They do have some fancier stuff (Pollen, perhaps other lines) but I’m not very familiar with them
  • G. Lalo is really cool, and is not made by CF but is in the same family of companies
6) Kelli M. – Facebook – (25:58)
What is the difference between the Clairefontaine 1951, classic, and basic notebooks?

  • the paper in them is all identical
  • 1951 is a retro designed cover, limited options
  • Classic has bolder, brighter colors and has the most extensive offering of sizes and rulings
  • Basic has simpler, more durable colors, lined only and limited in sizes
Personal- (29:14)

7) Winnie U. – Facebook – (29:19)
I notice on your bookshelves you have multiples of certain books. Do you share them with staff or something else?

  • mainly my staff, but others if I find they could use them (family, friends, business associates)
  • QBQ!, The Advantage, EntreLeadership, How To Win Friends and Influence People, and others
  • books are very impactful for me and I want to pass on the best ones to others I know
Business – (32:26)

8) Several people – (32:26)
What in the world is going on with Omas?

  • there have been rumors springing up regarding the future state of Omas
  • translations of Italian news articles are being circulated on FPN and elsewhere, rumors are running wild
  • official word from Kenro (Omas distributor in US) is that Omas is in the process of changing ownership and there are a couple of potential buyers
  • they are owned by a much larger Chinese company, and they’re looking to sell Omas soon
  • that’s all I know for sure about the situation
  • Kenro has assured me, everything at Omas is fully operational, pens are being made and shipped, repairs are still going in and out
  • basically, until there’s news to report, nothing has changed
Troubleshooting – (36:54)

9) Brian S. – Facebook – (36:55)
Which feed materials are sensitive to which reagents? e.g. plastics, ebonite feeds against bleach, ammonia, soap, warm water etc. Which cleaning agent would work best for pigmented inks?

  •  slightly warm water is okay, but don’t use hot water (especially on ebonite or vintage pens)
  • soap is fine
  • ammonia in diluted form is pretty harmless
  • bleach you want to be careful of, it doesn’t play nice with steel, so only diluted and in flushing (not soaking) situations
  • don’t use any other chemicals to clean unless you know what you’re doing, honestly
  • this goes for pigmented inks too, except if you have dried ink you may want to use an old toothbrush to assist in physical scrubbing
  • ultrasonic cleaner can also be used, in tandem with cleaning solution for extra oomph
10) Sandro C. -Facebook  – (43:36)
Can a fountain pen nib be too smooth? On Rhodia paper I have a couple of high-end pens that seem to skip because the nibs are ultra-smooth – in particular, a couple of Visconti’s I own.. They actually do better on cheaper paper? Any resolution to this issue?

  • yes, it can, it’s called “baby’s bottom”
  • regretfully I haven’t done my own video on this, but it can happen on lots of different pens (usually broader nibs)
  • Richard Binder has good info on this, so does Stephen Brown
  • essentially, the cheaper paper is more absorbent, which assists in the ink flow
  • resolution…honing down the nib, but you don’t likely want to do that with your Visconti
  • contact your retailer or the the company that handles the Visconti warranty (Coles of London in the US) to see about a repair/exchange
11) Lev N.  – Facebook – (47:36)
2 weeks ago I got myself a metropolitan fine. On day I tried flexing the nib. I applied the least pressure and resulted in flexing the nib too much. I of coarse fixed the alignment and it wrote again. Since then my pen has weird flow, skips, and writes we’re then supposed to. What do to fix the nib and flow on my metro?

  • I hate to say it, but it sounds like you haven’t quite fixed the alignment if it’s having flow issues!
  • repairing a sprung nib is tough
  • it’s easier if you take it out of the pen if it’s bent really badly
  • you can try rotating the tines back and forth over each other, then realign
  • likely, it’s that the tines are up too far away from the feed, they need to be bent back down again
  • you don’t really have a lot to lose at this point, give it heck and worst case, you’ll have to get a new pen (no nibs available separately)
12) Brittany S. – Facebook – (53:17)
I recently got a TWSBI eco and the pen will no longer post due to the piston mechanism not going in all the way. Is this a problem with the pen or did i do something wrong?

  • I’m more than willing to bet it’s just reassembled incorrectly
  • it can be tough to get it right
  • check out my TWSBI 580 disassembly video, the mechanism is identical


 QOTW: What are you thankful for?  – (57:24)
Thanks so much for joining me this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.
Write On,
Brian Goulet