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In this episode, I talk about custom fitting paper into your Filofax, using an ultrasonic cleaner, and who could stand up to me in a fountain pen trivia battle!
This week:
  • Jenni will be out next week, will have a shorter Q&A
  • DC pen show
New/Upcoming Products – (4:25)
Pens/Writing – (7:44)
1) eclectidbits- Instagram – (7:50)  
What do you do when you have a penvelope filled with inked pens but you’re bored and want to try something else?
  • use up whatever’s low, then replace that ink
  • dump the ink back in the bottle (if you’re cool with that)
  • clean the pens
  • just use more pens, screw it! Ink them all!
  • get a new case! fill it more! jk
2) evanrog- Instagram – (10:20)
Hello! I am a college student and I often find myself using not so ideal paper. I find that finer nibs work better on this sort of paper but I am a sucker for super smooth nibs. What pens have you found to be a good balance between fine and smooth? Big fan by the way.
Ink – (15:40)
3) ilovechubbyunicorns- Instagram – (15:42)
I’ve just got a question about the J Herbin 1670 inks, I’ve got a bottle of the sparkling inks from Diamine but the sparkles are quite difficult to clean out of my pens, thus I only use them in my lamy vista/safari. Are the 1670 inks easier to clean out or more on par with the sparkling inks?
  • Drew was actually just commenting on this to me, that the Shimmertastic sparkles are a little tougher to clean than 1670
  • It’s usually ideal to keep unusual/troublesome inks more dedicated to pens, especially ones easier to clean
  • cartridge/converter pens are ideal, especially if the nib unit can be removed

Paper – (19:22)

4) @daveburrowsuk- Twitter – (19:25)

Could you use Rhodia No 16 A5 Dot pad and some how hole punch and put into the new Filofax A5 Notebooks you have?
  • Filofax makes A5 hole punches! You can totally do it
  • It doesn’t fit the personal size though, just A5
  • two grades of hole punch, the portable will be the way to go for most folks
  • Rhodia you’d have to tear out each sheet, it might be easier to use the wire bound
  • you can use whatever paper you like, though! (Tomoé anyone?)

5) darth_nibbous- Instagram – (25:19)

Are notebooks, Quo Vadis Habana for example, best stored vertically or horizontally, long-term?
  • Library of Congress has a whole page on how to properly store books (here)
  • They say to store upright on a bookshelf, straight and not leaning (like mine!), and there should be enough space to fit an envelope easily between each book
  • it’s also appropriate to store lying down, with the biggest (not thickest) books on the bottom, up to about 12″ high
  • if storing in a cardboard box, make sure it’s acid-free and lignin free and new condition
  • some plastic containers are okay (polyester, polypropylene, and polyethylene), better for protecting against pests like bookworms and silverfish
  • store in cool, dry place, 4″ off the floor and away from walls
Personal – (29:32)

6) Ewing N.- Facebook – (29:36)

What does Brian recommend as good things to wear for an epic pen show like the DC Pen Show – whether for fashion, practicality, or general nerdiness?
  • the fishing vest is the quintessential pen show-goer’s enthusiast attire
  • lots of pockets are the name of the game
  • don’t underestimate the practicality of the fanny pack!
  • there’s usually a good assortment of denim shirts there
  • trenchcoats aren’t unheard of, but not really common at DC in August
  • I will have my Goulet shirt on, some others may too, since we sell them now
  • other than that, it’ll be pretty normal attire, it’s not like a comic convention or anything!
7) matthewamoser- Instagram – (32:49)
Who would win in a fountain pen trivia duel between Brian, S.B.R.E. Brown, and Matt Armstrong (of the Pen Habit)?
  • that is a really tough question!
  • Matt would probably know deep details and technical specs of a lot of different pens
  • Dr Brown would probably school us both on Visconti and a lot of the more inexpensive pens available more overseas
  • It’s hard for me to say where my expertise would shine, but I could likely out talk the both of them! Though we all do pretty long videos…
  • long story short, I think it’d be a tough call, and I respect the heck out of both of them and wouldn’t want to go toe-to-toe with either of them!
Troubleshooting – (36:16)
8) dsmallc-Instagram – (36:20)
Could you give some tips for the use of an ultrasonic cleaner? I know to get things as clean as possible before going in there, but which parts do I give the ultrasonic treatment to and more importantly, which do NOT go in there?
  • I have one, don’t use it much at all
  • it really works best for pens that are really crusted up with old ink
  • it’s generally fairly safe for pens, I’m not aware of any big no-no’s
  • clear demonstrators sometimes are tough, because the ink can work it’s way up into places it normally wouldn’t go otherwise (like inside the grip of the Pilot Custom 74)
  • I might be weary about using it on vintage pens with complex mechanisms (like the Sheaffer Snorkel) or MB Boheme, maybe even the Vanishing Point body just because it would get water into everything

9) feedbetweenthetines- Instagram – (42:41)

I have a lamy studio palladium 14k pen, and everytime I ink it up, a few hours later there are a bunch of black spots and almost bumps on the grip. It looks like the ink has gathered on the grip from evaporation from the nib, and could possibly ruin the palladium if left inked for days in a row. I’m very disappointed with this from such an expensive pen. Is this normal?
  • This isn’t super uncommon, especially this time of year with the heat
  • is it really ruining your palladium? That’s a pretty corrosive resistant material and should be able to hold up
  • palladium is sometimes used for nib coatings or for the entire nib (Visconti) so it’ll hold up to ink
  • the matte finish on this pen is probably making it stain a little more, but it should clean up with some dish soap or pen flush
  • as for the ink splatter, trying to carry it nib-up as much as you can, keep it out of extreme heat, limit rapid movements with it if you can
QOTW: What was the first thing that you remember being a big hurdle you had to get over when just starting out with fountain pens? – (48:51)

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