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In this episode, I talk about practicing handwriting, ultrasonic cleaners, and good & bad pen habits!

This week:

  • anniversary of our miscarriage
  • Preschool graduation
  • kids finishing school

New/Upcoming Products: – (6:13)
Pens/Writing – (8:21)

1) Evan C.- Facebook – (8:23)

I just got started in writing with fountain pens. What is a good habit to have and what is a bad habit to have?
  • welcome! 
  • Good habit: regular pen cleaning/maintenance
  • Bad habit: leaving your pen uncapped for long periods
2) Bryce G.- YouTube/mel.the.maker Instagram – (10:56)
i was wondering if there was a sort of case i could purchase to store ink bottles on the go, as every pen case i seem to find doesn’t have the room for ink, if not any tips for storing ink would be helpful. What about cleaning supplies?

3) thev1k1ng- Instagram – (18:39)

What are your thoughts on the use of ultrasonic cleaners for fountain pens? Especially, can they have any negative side effects on fountain pen materials? Do they affect piston or vacuum mechanisms? Destroy finish? Remove nib platings? Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!
  • they are really helpful when you are trying to revive a pen
  • especially when ink has dried up inside it and made it unusable
  • generally speaking, I haven’t heard of them causing any negative side effects
  • It can sometimes cause ink to get behind the piston seal if you soak the entire thing, but that doesn’t really cause a lot of harm
  • you really don’t need to be concerned about it hurting anything, they clean fine jewelry in them so you’re going to be okay
  • just follow general common sense rules about soaking pens (like not soaking casein in water for long times, or not soaking aluminum in ammonia, etc)
4) the_bowtieguy- Instagram – (23:40)
When You, Rachel, and the rest of the team first got into fountain pens, did any of you find yourselves practicing your hand writing? Both my best friend (who got me into fountain pens) and I occasionally find ourselves just practicing the alphabet to get specific letters to look just right. I was wondering if we were alone on this or not. Love what You and the crew do, please keep up the phenomenal work.
  • most definitely! That’s very normal
  • I personally had to look up how to even write in cursive again, because I’d forgotten certain letters
  • many people will find inspiration writing with a fountain pen and want to improve their handwriting better than it’s ever been
  • some even go on to learn specific fonts like Spencerian or Copperplate
Ink – (26:45)
5) niewiadomski13- Instagram – (26:47)
Favorite ink feature and why? Sheen? Shimmer? Shading?
  • shading! That’s always been my big draw to ink
  • I do appreciate sheen and shimmer, sure, but I’d give all those up for a good shader any day of the week
  • water resistance can be really appealing to a lot of times, so I want to give an honorable mention there
6) rmiskovsky- Instagram – (28:16)
Best ink for writing letters to a deployed spouse?? Specifically, I’m hoping for something that’s a little unusual, but still very readable. Archival would be nice too.
  • My personal favorite story was hearing of a couple that wrote to each other in Blue Ghost to keep their letters private
  • Aside from that, I think that you could really go with anything, though I’d encourage something permanent/water resistant so it holds up under any conditions
  • Noodler’s has a lot of these, and even some that are military-themed like Noodler’s Lexington Gray, Air Corp Blue Black, and 54th Massachusetts

Troubleshooting – (31:05)

7) Chris F.- Email – (31:08)

With my general clumsiness and lack of fine motor skills, I always seem to drop my beloved fountain pens. They plummet to the earth nib-down every time. What recourse do I have for damaging nibs in this way? Do you recommend different strategies (e.g. repair versus replacement) for different nib types (e.g. steel versus gold)? How does one repair nibs?
  • ouch, this is always tough to hear about
  • definitely consider pens with swappable nibs, like Lamy
  • Steel vs gold can make a difference, steel nibs are tougher and might survive a fall better
  • steel nib are cheaper though, and may not be worth the investment in repairing if there’s severe damage
  • both steel and gold can be repaired by a pro, their prices will vary with the severity of the damage
  • Expect to pay somewhere around $50 with shipping and whatnot for a repair
  • How exactly it’s done is with a lot of experience, it’s not super easy work to do

Business – (35:56)

8) logan_teague- Instagram – (35:59) 

What do you do with the empty bottles left over from taking ink samples? Do you recycle or do something else?
  • We try to repurpose as many of them as possible!
  • we sell them as empty ink bottles whenever we can, demand doesn’t always equal supply though
  • we have given some to our team for personal use, even as wedding centerpieces!
  • if we can’t reuse them, we recycle them

QOTW: Where is the most interesting place you have ever taken a fountain pen?- (39:18)

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