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In this episode, I give a rundown of notebook bindings, 3D printers, and all the Noodler’s series names and their properties.
This week:
1) Vince Bentfield – YouTube – (9:51)
Will Goulet ever make a Goulet flex nib or make a gold Goulet nibs (not gold plated)?
  • ever? probably…soon? probably not
  • Jowo is our nib maker for stainless steel, they do 14k and 18k gold
  • our cost would end up around $125 each if we did it, like Edison gold nibs are
  • there may be some demand, but I’m not sure there’s enough at that price for us to commit to the quantities that we’d need to commit to
  • flex nibs are more complicated
  • there’s not a Jowo flex right now so we’d have to do it ourselves
  • it requires nib grinding expertise that we don’t have
  • we’d need a nibmeister to grind it, and only 14k nibs can handle that grind
  • you’d be looking at least $40 + the $125 for the nib, so in the $165-200 range roughly when all is said and done (just for the nib!)
  • maybe we’ll get there, but I just don’t think we’re there right now

Ink – (15:13)

2) Robert- YouTube – (15:16)

What is the difference between Diamine Steel Blue and Diamine Marine? I’ve looked at your swab shop, and they look almost identical. Why would a manufacturer make two inks that are so similar?
  • yup, they’re really close!
  • throw Eau de Nil in there too, that’s real close
  • Steel Blue to me is just a tiny bit less green, its’ subtle and doesn’t show up so much on the computer monitor
  • greens and blues in this shade are hard to distinguish digitally, there is a slight difference in person
  • that said, it’s not much of a difference
  • chances are, if someone swapped your bottle on you with the other, you may not even notice
  • Diamine doesn’t really discontinue their colors, at least in the 6+ years I’ve carried the brand
  • it’s not super uncommon for a brand with this many (over 100) colors to have some that are really close
  • often there’s theming/naming that’s different (not in this case), or there are property differences between the two (dry time, water proofness, flow, etc)

3) bulletjournalingintheboot- Instagram – (22:34)

What is the difference and special properties of the Noodler’s lines (Australian Roses, Bad, Baystate, Eel, etc)?
4) Samael238- YouTube – (37:10)
I’d like to draw something with a fountain pen and give it as a gift to someone; is there something that i can use on the drawing to protect it from UV exposure? I fear that if it gets framed and put on a desk inside a room with a couple of windows, it may fade overtime and disappear. Is there a spray or a transparent sheet of something that will absorb or reflect the UV rays? Or is there something else I can do?
  • you can do things to help, but ink will never be the best medium for displaying artwork for archival purposes
  • pigmented inks will be best (Platinum Carbon Black, Pigmented Blue, etc)
  • Noodler’s Eternal inks (see above) would be next choice
  • you can display it in a frame with UV-filtering glass too

Paper – (41:05)

5) Kevin G.- Facebook – (41:09)
A question on paper (since paper is more exciting to me than ink or pen): What are your thoughts on different notebook bindings and their pros and cons?
  • I’ve used a lot of different ones (not all though) and can share some of my personal preferences
  • Staplebound (top and side)-
    • Pros: economical, versatile, flexible
    • Cons: less durable, hard to use back (top only), can’t be very thick
  • Wirebound (top and side)
    • Pros: economical, sheets easily removed, easy to use both sides, lays flat
    • Cons: binding is thicker than the notebook, binding can be bent/damaged, somewhat less durable
  • Glued
    • Pros: usually for stationery tablets to be easily and cleanly torn off, works well for that, lays very flat
    • Cons: far less durable
  • Stitched
    • Pros: added durability, groups signatures together to make thicker books
    • Cons: may or may not lay as flat, higher cost
  • Clothbound
    • Pros: fairly durable, flexible, somewhat economical
    • Cons: not widely available, can only be used on thicker notebooks
  • Hardbound
    • Pros: usually stitched (and maybe glued), can be thick, very durable
    • Cons: higher cost, may or may not lay flat
  • Loose sheets– honorable mention

Troubleshooting – (54:15)

6) Laura D.- Facebook – (54:16)

I just got my first flex pen- Noodler’s Ahab (and I love it SO much- thank you guys!) I inked it up with Noodler’s Q’Ternity. I tested it out on my Leuchtturm1917 hardback dot grid and on my Rhodia pad.. both 80g. When I flexed the nib, it looked great but then started to feather on both paper types… is this an ink problem, a paper problem, or am I maybe doing this flex thing wrong? Thanks!
  • this is mostly an ink issue, Q’ternity is a bleeder
  • change the ink and you’ll see a difference for sure
  • Leuchtturm and Rhodia both make great paper, but flex pens push the limits with their ability to repel ink
  • more highly coated inks will withstand it even better (Tomoe River, Clairefontaine Triomphe, watercolor paper)
  • I don’t think it’s the way you’re using the pen, though the Ahab is an absolute gusher

Business – (58:21)

7) chintan_pandya- Instagram – (58:25)

A hypothetical business question. With the 3D printer technology catching up do you think Goulet Pens can look into manufacturing pen accessories in the future such as pen stands, hard pen cases and other cool stuff in-house at a lower cost? The printers with the cartridges as far as I know are relatively inexpensive and can make just about anything as long as it isn’t too complex. I understand you are a retailer but these will be just accessories and thus not too much of a hassle?
  • theoretically yes, I could 3D print and sell accessories
  • the technology is there, but it’s still finding its place in manufacturing
  • I don’t know the technology or equipment that well, so there’s a learning curve for me
  • I could print stuff, but it doesn’t mean you’d want to buy it
  • there are supply/demand consideration (almost no one asks me for pen stands or hard cases ever)
  • manufacturing is a whole different ballgame than retailing, I know from doing some very light manufacturing already
  • Right this moment it’s too much of a hassle, but it’s certainly on the table down the road as the technology improves

8) eleanor.justice- Instagram – (01:04:54)

You’ve spoken in the past about collaborating with Noodler’s on special ink colors and have done some fun things in conjunction with Boho Berry ~ I’d love to hear more about your collaboration process/how you select projects to collaborate on, and that general subject area.
  • there’s no exact science here, because it’s all relationship-building stuff!
  • Noodler’s, Edison, Conklin, Monteverde, and other manufacturers are natural because we already represent their brands
  • we just need ideas, economics that make sense, and execution
  • Boho Berry and other blogger/reviewers are a little different, they’re “influencers” and so are we (apart from just being a retailer)
  • the lines between our brands are a little softer, and the collaboration usually is centered around shared goals, increasing exposure to each others’ audiences, or just building goodwill
  • with any of these, it all begins with a combination of opportunity and practicality, and it sometimes takes a while to have both of those line up
  • it can sometimes be years in the making, for many different reasons
  • strong trust, honesty, integrity, and gratitude go a long way with any collaboration

9) molindela- Instagram – (01:13:09)

I love your store but since I live in Europe I’ll buy stuff “locally” too. Do you have any thoughts on leaving product reviews if it’s stuff you carry but bought elsewhere?
  • thanks for the support here! And good for you still supporting your local store (that’s less and less an option in the US)
  • we have a product review management system that’s moderated (BazaarVoice)
  • they and most moderators will give less consideration to a review that’s clearly been purchased elsewhere, especially if there’s little detail and it’s negative (“I didn’t buy it here but it sucks!”)
  • more detail is helpful, and I personally appreciate a review of a product wherever you bought it, as long as it’s very clear that’s what’s going on
    • “I didn’t buy this pen from your store specifically but it’s identical and I wanted to share my thoughts because I appreciate your site and want others to have this info…”
  • if it’s very negative, it may get flagged as spam because believe it or not, trolls exist on the internet and will bash products on retailers’ sites they haven’t bought from
  • these trolls ruin it for all the well-meaning individuals who aim to leave an honest review on a site they didn’t buy, so just be prepared for that
  • use your judgment, and just don’t be incredibly shocked if your review isn’t posted long-term on the site (our or otherwise) if you didn’t buy it there

QOTW: Who would you want to see me (Brian) or GouletPens collaborate with, whether for a product design or influencer/promotion? – (01:22:11)

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