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 week’s Q&A I talk about the necessity of tipping material on a nib, which pen was the biggest let down for me, and Valentine’s Day gift ideas for fountain pen fans. Enjoy!
This week: – (1:21)
Pens/Writing – (6:50)
1) David Crohn- YouTube – (6:52)
Brian- Could you explain tipping material? What is it and how does it affect your writing?
  • it’s a hard metal alloy (iridium, usually) welded to the tip
  • it’s to keep the nib from wearing down as you write
  • if affects the feel of your writing based on how smooth it is
  • it affects how broad your line is based on how fine it’s ground
  • it can be ground different shapes, like italic, oblique, etc
2) Isabelle H.- Facebook – (11:35)
I got a vp pilot in ef from you that I absolutely adore, so I ordered another one just different body color. However the second pen’s nib is really scratchy in comparison to the first one. My question is: is this a normal variance, or might this be a defect? I’m also hesitant to do anything like nib grinding, etc as I don’t want to void any warranty.
  • there can certainly be variation from one EF to another, especially one THIS fine!
  • check for alignment with a loupe as the first thing
  • follow up with us if it’s still doing it then
  • these are very feedback-y, too much so for me to use comfortably, honestly
  • may smooth itself just with normal use after a bit, given that it’s so fine
  • micromesh/mylar could certainly help, but yeah, it will void warranty so do at your own risk
3) Jodi M.- Facebook – (17:01)
Do you know why Pilot sells extra nib units for the Vanishing Point, but for none of their other pens? Is it because the unit could wear out in the VP?
  • we asked this when we visited Pilot USA in November
  • they really don’t like to carry parts, just as a rule
  • they really only carry the VP nib unit because they were convinced to do it years ago, and they’ve been so incredibly popular
  • it has nothing to do with the VP nib unit wearing out
4) @ianhowlett- Twitter – (20:45)
I saw you filling a cartridge converter and something you did to take air pressure out of it. What was that?
  • there are a couple of techniques
  • just flush and fill the pen a few times, it’ll get 90% full easily
  • to get that last bit, I fill it halfway, turn it upside down, let the air out, then fill it the rest of the way
Ink – (26:13)5) Garrett O.- Facebook  – (26:14)
My wife wants to get me something fountain pen-related for Valentine’s Day. I thought a bottle of ink might be a fun way to keep it themed (because of the colors and relatively low price). Any recommendations? (Or for something besides ink?)

Business – (30:52)6) Robert Dašek- YouTube – (30:53)
Is there any chance that I might be able to purchase a different model or color of Pelikan brand from the Goulet Pen Company in a foreseeable future? I’m especially curious because your nib nook contains writing samples of a few Pelikan models that you must have carried at some point in the past.

  • we do take special orders for most pens, if they’re available to us
  • we get asked a lot about different sizes of pens as they compare to the Pelikan Soüvrans
  • When we’ve special ordered the pens, we photographed them for the Pen Plaza and Nib Nook for reference/comparison
Personal – (33:40)7) Bruce Sinn-Brown- YouTube – (33:42)
What was a pen that you were super excited for, but were either let down, OR you found that you just didn’t like it as much as you’d think and now never use?

  • my first, the hardest…Pelikan m800 blue 1.5mm stub
  • I inked it with Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire, also a let down for me
  • it was a grail pen for me at the time, and I really reached to buy it and had perhaps unrealistic expectations

Troubleshooting – (39:03)

8) Bill T.- Email – ()
(synopsis) I noticed there was a lot of air left in my pen after cleaning and I used a can of compressed air to clean it out. Why don’t I hear about using compressed air in the fountain pen maintenance process?

  • it’s good to get the water out of the feed before filling it, but you don’t need it to be completely dry
  • touch a paper towel to the nib, that’ll do it
  • you can do this, but it’s easy to shoot it across the room!
  • you can also blow on the pen with your mouth, same concept
QOTW: What should I call the Goulet Q&A interviews, and who would you most want to see me interview? – (43:16)
Thanks so much for joining me this week! Stay warm all of you who are getting hit with the big snow storm! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.
Write On,
Brian Goulet