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In this episode, I talk about wax seals for gift wrapping, if flex nibs work when writing in print, and my top 5 piston filling pens!

This week:
  • into the holidays! Busiest time of year for us
  • lots of illness/family drama lately, through the worst of it

New/Upcoming Products – (5:50)

Pens/Writing – (11:17)

1) Erika R.- Facebook – (11:19)

Is it a waste to buy a flexible nibbed pen if you don’t write in cursive? I print. I can’t really picture whether the variation in line thickness will look nice or just messy.
  • when it comes to fountain pens you definitely don’t HAVE to write in cursive, you can print
  • cursive is most effective because it’s a continuous flow of ink
  • when it comes to flex nibs, it’s a little different story
  • if you’re writing with light/normal pressure, it shouldn’t matter at all
  • if you’re trying to actually flex the nib, it will be more challenging to use in print than cursive
  • you can do it, but it will take a lot of extra time
2) Ramananda R.- Facebook – (16:03)
I don’t want to get into Fp Collection. Your channel has pretty much rekindled my love for FP’s. I only used old school Hero fountain pen in my high school, How do I choose one pen that I can always use and carry? Given the variety of fountain pens and companies manufacturing them, how do I zero on that one pen that I can always use?
  • just one pen? I’m not sure you’re asking the right guy here ;)
  • the beauty and curse of fountain pens is that they’re all so different, and they write/feel differently for everyone
  • it’s a very personal choice
  • it will be pretty challenging to research/find the “one” perfect pen on the first try
  • research helps, reading reviews, blogs, watching videos
  • nothing will tell you like using it for yourself
  • you will either need to borrow one, or buy it for yourself and resell the ones that don’t work and keep “the one”

3) Mary P.- Facebook – (22:16)

How smooth is it possible for extra fine nibs to get? I love a super smooth writing experience, and my Goulet stub nibs and my Jinhao mediums all deliver. But for work (grading essays, etc.) a medium is just too big of a nib. My Pilot Metropolitan fine is fairly smooth, my Goulet extra fine a bit toothier. Is it possible to get these tiny nibs glassy smooth with mylar/micromesh? Or will an extra fine nib always be a bit toothy? I’m relatively new to fountain pens and don’t have a ton of time for adjusting and working on nibs right now. Is it worth trying to smooth them out some or should I just figure that this is life with an extra fine nib? Thanks for your help and for all you do.
  • yes you can definitely smooth out an extra fine nib
  • there is less surface area to it, so it will always have a little more feedback than broader nibs
  • finer nibs require a lighter touch, in the smoothing process and in writing them

4) dreiminator- Instagram – (30:36)

What are the top 5 best piston filling pens out there?
  • this is purely my personal preference here
  • Lamy 2000– great performer, good ink capacity, ink window, quick uncapping
  • TWSBI Eco– inexpensive, easy to maintain, clear, big ink capacity
  • Pelikan m800- beautiful, timeless, high quality, writes well, though expensive
  • Montblanc 149- timeless, reliable, good ink capacity, though expensive
  • ??????????????

Ink – (39:23)

5) allentheyoung- Instagram – (39:25)

When I had mostly cartridge/converter pens, I used a lot of vibrant inks, and I didn’t care about how hard they were to clean. Now that I’ve got piston fillers and vacumatic, I’m loving more easy to clean inks. I’ve found some vibrant inks that clean easily like Eclat De Saphir and Waterman Inspired Blue. What other vibrant easy to clean inks would you suggest?

Sealing Wax – (45:17)

6) thisisbs808- Instagram – (45:20)

Any advice or warning when using wax seals for gift wrapping? How to make a good looking seal over ribbon or string? Any caution needed with gift wrap that is shiny or light weight? That kind of thing
  • no real warning, other than don’t screw it up or you’ll have to rewrap!
  • definitely use supple wax
  • if using it on twine/ribbon, make sure to use a generous amount of wax
  • shiny stuff should be okay, wax should stick to it

Troubleshooting – (53:45)

7) Phil M.- Facebook  – (53:48)

My 14k nibs write well but under magnification I notice the tines are always slightly misaligned vertically. Is this just a thing that normally happens or am I totally doing something wrong? Nibs are a Omas stub and a Pilot FA
  • if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
  • checking tine alignment is something you want to do if the nib isn’t writing properly
  • sometimes, nibs aren’t aligned and they still write well! Go with it

8) prairiesquid2600- Instagram – (58:10)

Oh Gouletpens, I love love love my Sunburst Orange Conklin All American, I got one of the Hoio misprints. I adore the pen, but the nib is wonky. One of the tines is a leeetle higher than the other which is causing difficulty writing with it. I have the 1.1mm stub. Is there anything I can do on my own to try and fix it or should I send it to a nib fixer?
  • yes, you should be able to fix it! you can bend the tines
  • only need to use your fingers, and you can realign them
  • if you can’t do it on your own, then you can send it to someone
Business – (1:02:50)
9) Clairity_DX- YouTube – ()
Do you think the fountain pen hobby is growing or shrinking recently? I know there was a lot of buzz about the Kakuno being a fantastic starter pen (and just from holding mine, I definitely agree), and the Pilot Metropolitan before it, but are there really that many newcomers buying these pens? What might this say about the possible future of the fountain pen industry?
  • Globally it is growing, yes, especially in Asia
  • hard to say in the US
  • GouletPens has definitely been growing, I think online sales have been growing, I’m not sure about B&M’s
  • the Metro and Kakuno are definitely attracting newbies, same with TWSBI and Noodler’s
  • the fountain pen industry is certainly evolving, and a lot of companies are starting to recognize that getting quality entry-level pens are important for long-term growth
  • those that aren’t introducing new entry-level products are going to have a tougher time staying relevant, and will rely more on their brand name than anything
  • exceptions would be luxury brands, but even they are looking to introduce (relatively) entry-level pens (Visconti, Montegrappa, Aurora, etc)
  • I personally am very optimistic, because I think there will be a resurgence of analog writing in response to an increasingly technical world
  • the companies that recognize this and move in this direction will have the most advantage
QOTW: If you could have only one fountain pen for the rest of your life, what would it be? – (1:11:33)
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