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In this episode, I talk about double-ended fountain pens, how long tipping material should last, and how I do work/life balance.

New/Upcoming Products: – (1:21)
Pens/Writing – (6:35)

1) Tritan N.- Facebook 

Do you know other brands than Edison who carry double ended fountain pens? – (6:37)
  • here is a link to the Edison double-ended pens
  • there is a good FPN discussion on it with Brian Gray here
  • I’ve never heard of one before this
  • Doing some research, I found double-ended pens that included a FP and BP
  • Wing-Sung 728 and 350 pen on eBay
  • Waterman had a fountain pen/pencil combo
  • I haven’t seen a truly double-ended fountain pen before Edison (though it could be out there)

2) Hayden M/- Facebook – (9:55)

Often when I buy vintage fountain pens I notice the tipping material can be quite worn down from years of use. How long would you say tipping material should last on modern fountain pens that are used continuously?
  • it’s going to vary from pen to pen, and based on the nib size
  • the tipping materials used in pens differs across brands
  • some brands with the same nib size will use more tipping than others, it all depends
  • vintage material used a lot more iridium, today it’s more of an alloy with little actual iridium in it
  • even at its peak use it was less than 4% iridium in the alloys (thanks Wikipedia!)
  • iridium is some tough stuff, among the densest material in the world
  • most corrosion resistant metal
  • one of the rarest metals on earth’s crust, most of it is way down beneath
  • today I don’t know exactly what it is, that’s pretty guarded by each pen company, but is probably tungsten or ruthenium
  • with HEAVY use, 5-10 years
  • normal use, 20-50 years
  • nibs can be retipped, though that’s a specialty these days and you’ll pay a fair amount for it
3) aysun_the_mermaid- Instagram – (19:21)
I have found that when I ink up all my pens at the same time, my Ahabs and Creapers will completely dry out while my vintage Sheaffer no-nonsense pens (used as eyedroppers) stay perfectly good to go for much longer? In fact, I have not had one dry out on me yet. I would chalk it up to Noodler’s pens being demonstrators, but not all of them are. Do you have any insight on this matter?
  • the No-Nonsense pens were great for just that reason, they just worked
  • Noodler’s pens are a different bird, not just because of the brand and age difference, but the purpose and design
  • these pens are flex pens, with wide open feeds
  • I find the Noodler’s pens in general dry out quicker than most pens, because the open feeds that are intended to supply a generous ink flow also tend to dry out when the pen isn’t in use
  • storing in a sealed container helps (ziplock bag)
  • cutting a small piece of sponge and putting it in the cap, wetting it, can act like a small humidor to help it out
  • it really doesn’t have anything to do with the fact it’s a demonstrator, it’s the water evaporating from the ink through the cap
Ink – (23:44)
4) judeman_art- Instagram – (23:45)
My Parker Quink black ink bottle is mostly empty, and I have already used some of my new Lamy black. Can I simply pour the ink from the Quink into the new Lamy bottle? Or will mixing them have more dire consequences than expected?
  • I don’t think you want to mix these particular ones, no
  • Quink is drier, and even permanent (to a degree), Lamy is a little more conventional
  • you can clean out the Lamy ink and use the bottle, for sure
  • when mixing inks across brands, you always want to be careful because they have different properties that just aren’t disclosed
  • worst case, you can get a reaction that foams up or gels, and clogs the pen beyond repair
  • whenever mixing ink, always do it in small batches in a controlled manner, to see if there are interactions
  • in your case here, just finish up what you can of the ink, and start new
  • clean your pen when switching, too
Troubleshooting – (28:27)
5) halfapx- Instagram – (28:35)
The TWSBI pistons are driving me crazy, I’ve seen the disassembly video you posted but it took me almost 30 minutes to put it back together. My Eco is lovely but I am dreading the ink changes. Also since I put my piston back together it has a slight gap at the top between knob and pen body, even though I am certain I cannot screw it in there any further, the sounds it makes whenever I try make me feel like I am about to crack it.
  • I hear this more than I’d like! It definitely takes some practice
  • you don’t HAVE to take the pen apart, you can just clean it by flushing/filling it
  • there will be a small gap there, that’s normal
  • if you’re trying that hard to tighten the gap at the piston seal, it’s either in wrong, or you’re twisting too hard
  • Look at our product pages for the Eco, you can see a full thread on the piston rod in that gap, it’s normal
Business – (35:16)

6) Sam F.- Facebook – (35:19)

Kind of a dumb question, but I’ve noticed that my last couple of orders haven’t been wrapped in the signature blue shrink-wrap. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the packing, don’t get me wrong. Everything was as snug and secure as it always is, and everything arrived in perfect condition. It just made me idly curious. Are you guys ditching the blue shrink wrap? Say it ain’t so! :)
  • No, we’re not ditching the blue wrap
  • we are experimenting with some different packing materials, especially new bubbles
  • looking for more eco-friendly options, and testing out our packing methods to see if everything stays protected while streamlining our materials usage
  • some bubbles we’re testing now are 15% recycled material and fully recyclable
  • we do still use the blue wrap and will continue to do so

Personal – (40:46)

7) drstrout- Instagram – (41:19)
How do you balance your personal life and work life when they seem so intertwined?
  • balance is an interesting concept, and it looks different for everyone
  • Rachel and I are naturally very driven, very hard workers and our sense of balance is different than many others (more towards the work side)
  • we work a lot, together, so our personal life isn’t so much a balance as it is an integration
  • this doesn’t always work for a lot of couples, you have to really communicate well together
  • our kids are the toughest balance for us, because they require a lot at their age (4 and 6), and we obviously make them a priority in our lives
  • I like Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life
  • Family
  • Career
  • Financial
  • Health
  • Intellectual
  • Spiritual
  • Social
QOTW: What’s the fountain pen you’ve actually used more than any other? – (49:43)
Thanks so much for joining us this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.Write On,

Brian Goulet