Goulet Q&A Episode 183: Noodler’s Safety Pen, Orange Inks, and Maturing As A Pen Collector


In this episode, I talk about Noodler’s “Boston Safety Pens”, my favorite orange inks, and how my pen buying patterns have matured over the years.
This week:

  • First day of fall!
  • health update
  • giant nib!
  • VP Crimson Sunrise came and went in 11 hours, don’t think we’ll get more
  • TWSBI Classics in white and turquoise
  • MV 3-ink set for fall
  • Robert Oster Sublime, Lake of Fire
  • Just put a bunch of stuff on sale right now, clearing out some old inventory
  • We adjust our stock every couple of months, so we want to only keep stuff on the shelf that you want
  • We’re being very intentional about our inventory right now, having just paid for all the move and stocking up for the holidays
  • We have a few reasons we will put things on sale: discontinued products, overstock are two of them, so you will want to check our newsletters and sale page often over the next month or so as we clear out and stock up for holidays
  • Coming: Noodler’s Polar Purple and Legal Blue
  • Lamy Aion
  • Monteverde Noir inks
  • other new things will be coming along, don’t have dates to mention yet

1) kaiputsonahat- Instagram (12:58)

What are your thoughts on sub1.1mm stub nibs, like the Singularity stubs? Are there any stock/aftermarket nibs at <1.1mm that offer great line variation?
  • Not a lot of them, that’s part of why we like the Nemosine stubs, they’re unique
  • The thing about finer stubs is they aren’t going to have a lot of line variation, period
  • You’re dealing with a smaller amount of metal on the tip, so there’s less room for variation
  • combine that with the fact that most stubs are pretty rounded as is, and that makes it not very crisp
  • if you have a sub 1.0mm stub and it’s sharply ground, it’s going to feel pretty scratchy without a lot of sweet spot, so it won’t be a very pleasurable writing experience
  • there really aren’t a lot of other stock sub 1.1mm stub nibs, quite honestly
  • you can get them custom ground through nibmeisters
2) Helmut C.- Facebook (15:31)
Is it likely the Goulet Pens will have the new Noodler’s “Boston Safety Pen” in stock?
  • not very likely
  • Here’s Nathan’s video, and another here
  • It’s a pretty cool design, much like a vintage safety pen
  • his videos are nearly 1.5 hours in total, so I’ll summarize
  • it’s a pen design that’s made to be leak-proof and always wet at the ready
  • the nib unscrews down into the ink, and the cap plugs the end of the pen
  • however, it uses India Ink, not fountain pen ink, so it’s not a conventional fountain pen
  • Nathan took these to the Boston Pen Show for 2017
  • I haven’t yet heard how they were received, but we’ve been getting asked about them a lot!
  • Nathan currently doesn’t have a means of mass-producing them, so it’s no guarantee they will be available to us
  • we will have to wait and see
3) Mark C.- Facebook (19:46)
With a cartridge fountain pen that has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, how long should it take on average for the ink from a new cartridge to feed through to the nib? If it takes hours, what is typically the cause – blockage in the feed, in the intake air channel? Is there anything else to look for?
  • it should only take about 30-60 seconds to feed down and be ready to write
  • your pen might need to be cleaned! maybe even soaked overnight in water (with a little dish soap)
  • bulb syringes help a lot, but might not get all the dried ink out of a feed channel without soaking
  • you can squeeze the cartridge to flood the feed when you use it, to speed up the process
  • you can also “shake it down”
  • if your pen writes just fine and you don’t feel like cleaning it, try one of these techniques and be on your merry way

4) Francisco D.- Facebook (26:20)

I really like orange! One of my favorite pens is my hi-tec-c in orange. Do oh have any recommendations for orange inks? What about recommendations for orange inks in cartridges?


5) Anne P.- Facebook (29:55)

I’ve noticed that my Pelikan M400 sings but only when I write against the desk in one of my classrooms (it’s a plastic table). How does writing surface affect pen performance? Or am I just pressing too hard? Still.
  • if it’s a single piece of paper on the writing surface, it’ll pick up more of that texture behind it
  • in general, it’s best to have at least a single sheet of paper under the paper you’re writing on
  • you’re feeling the texture from the writing surface which is causing your nib tines to vibrate, and “sing”
  • I bet if you put another sheet under it, it’d stop

6) wlocklear- Instagram (32:15)

How bad is it that I don’t rinse with water after using Goulet Pen Flush? I forget every time.
  • it’s not good…
  • pen flush is a cleaning agent, and if you aren’t flushing out the pen after you use it, you’re putting that cleaning agent into the ink that you’re putting back into the pen…and it might have long-term negative effects on the ink
  • I don’t think it’ll cause any problems to your pen, but I don’t know, quite honestly
  • I suspect it’ll just dilute and cause your ink to degrade quicker
  • try to remember to flush the flush!


7) thelexlutz- Instagram (34:31)

I know your kids are still young but do they show any interest in fountain pens? Do you think you will try to get them into the hobby in the future?
  • they do have some interest, yes
  • I’ve spent a little time with them
  • my kids are 5 and 7, and my 7 yo son I’ve spent some time with him
  • my daughter’s a little less interested but I will surely spend more time with both of them
  • Now that I’m thinking about it more, I will make more time to spend with both of them on using fountain pens!
  • They both have expressed interest in working here, specifically they both want to be “leaders of the Goulet Pen Company”

8) Marcos G.- Facebook (37:44)

I noticed that as my fountain pen journey goes on. I’m much more deliberate when buying fountain pens. How has your buying pattern change ? If any at all.
  • I think it’s very nature to slow down in your pen purchasing as you gain more experience in the fountain pen world
  • exceptions could be if you get into collecting, you might go on binges when you find good deals
  • Most folk start getting their focus narrowed to specific models, colors, materials, brands, etc, and show more of a focused interest
  • me personally, I haven’t really slowed down, if anything I’ve sped up!
  • I’m an odd case though, I do this for a living
  • knowing, using, and collecting pens is part of my job, so that very much enables my hobby
  • also, as the success of Goulet Pens has grown, my ability to purchase pens has increased!
  • I do definitely have pens I’ll pass on these days though, though I’m still kind of a pen junkie
  • I haven’t really changed all that much

QOTW: What pen do you have sitting around that you haven’t used in a while? (45:14)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

2017-10-11T14:03:24+00:00 September 22nd, 2017|Goulet Q&A|31 Comments
  • Scott Rogers

    Pen I haven’t used in forever: The second FP I ever bought, the Wedgwood Jasperware blue in medium nib. (https://i.pinimg.com/236x/52/cd/28/52cd28c6458168a30aad0f4fb4170877.jpg) Beautiful pen, but a mediocre performer, and kind of a killer combination of small and heavy.

    • Tom Johnson

      I had a lovely maple burl pen I bought some 20+ years ago. It was a mediocre writer and had a glossy metal grip I did not like. I ended up selling it on Amazon. Pens are personal writing instruments, and being eye candy adds almost no value me.

      • Kathy

        I like eye candy that performs, but a mediocre pen brings me no joy at all!!!

  • ec

    Love the giant nibs!

    Still hoping for an answer to my previous questions about whether (or how much) heat is harmful to inks. Every time I get an order I worry a bit that its time in my metal mailbox in the hot Georgia sun might have done something unwanted. I can’t say that I’ve detected any problems, though, but would love to hear Brian’s comments. Cold (and polar inks) are sometimes discussed, but not heat as it affects inks. Thanks.

    I’ve slowed down on purchasing pens, but seem unable to resist buying more inks. I’d have to live to be 150 to use them all!

    QOTW: I have a couple dozen pens, so I rotate their use. I usually keep three or four inked at a time, but I don’t completely fill the converters as I don’t do a lot of writing. The only two that usually don’t get rotated as often are two that are somewhat problematic–my (fluke) dry Safari and a Noodler’s Charlie that likes to drop a blob of ink at unexpected times. All the others get used from time to time although it takes a while.

  • Tom Johnson

    Brian, this is another great Q&A, lots of good things discussed and shown. Great questions keep coming in. QOTW – I have more pens inked than I should. Several pens used for some years at work on a daily basis have not been used since I retired, because they dry out quickly due to caps that do not seal well. Three are Kaweco Sport pens, the nibs and feeds on these pens dry out after a week, so I have relegated them to a drawer. Good pens when used daily at work, and when I did not have many pens. The other is a Monteverde Charisma pen. Beautiful pen that looks great and feels/writes nice, but it also dries out to quickly. Those have gone unused for over four years now.

    Q #3: Why do people feel that their pen has to be totally dry after it has been flushed out and rinsed well? As you say in a couple of older videos, there is an insignificant amount water left in the feed and nib after rinsing (the piston chamber too), especially if you dry the nib on a paper towel for a minute or two. The tiny amount of water left in the grip, feed, and nib will not make any difference in the ink once the ink has started a good flow. In fact, a wet feed and nib will promote quicker startup.

    • Tom Johnson

      I forgot to add, I just love both of your giant nibs! How fitting for your new office.

  • jane pilecki

    I lover it when my pen sings! Usually it’s one of my Pelikan M800’s with a broad or medium nibs. They are such smooth writers, it is as though they were singing to me how happy they are to be used. I know, I’m a little crazy. QOTW: I don’t use my Pilot Falcon anymore and haven’t for several years. I don’t use it because it is too fine, even with the semi-flexxiness of it. And now that I am legally blind, I don’t use anything but my broad and wide italic nibs, with an occasional medium, if it is a really wet writer. Pelikan M800’s with a broad nib are my favorites. They are smooth and wet and just a pleasure with which to write. Plus, I can actually see the ink it leaves on the page, even if I can no longer read it.

    • Tom Johnson

      I have a couple of pens with singing nibs, and it depends on the paper and the surface under the paper when I write. To me it means my pen is happy, and, like you, I love to hear this.

      • Kathy

        This is so funny to me. I have two Faber Castell pens, and both sign. Drives me crazy, like nails on a blackboard. I don’t use them at all. To each his or her own! Glad you all enjoy the sound, though!

      • Lydia At Goulet Pens

        Aww I like that idea, a happy, singing pen. Nice way to put a positive spin on it, Tom.

  • QOTW: The first fountain pen I owned was a Stypen, an inexpensive French pen that a picked up in 2002 on a study abroad trip, not knowing a thing about fountain pens. Being more of a pencil person for most of my life, I didn’t end up using it much, particularly after I received a significantly nicer Waterman Hémisphère as a gift a few years later. But, just this week, in fact, I dug that Stypen out from its banishment in the back of a desk drawer because I had a new ink sample I wanted to try and my other pens were occupied. I had to give it a thorough cleaning, inside and out—the pen’s finish had some kind of coating that had peeled and gunked all over the barrel from years of summer heat and neglect. But, I was able to scrub it into decent shape and test out the new ink. Probably won’t end up using it regularly, though, because the nib is wider than I prefer, but at least I can put it in a less ignominious storage space now.

  • Kathy

    Need to ink my Platinum Balances which I love. But I’ve bought a couple of 3776s this year, so haven’t used the Balances much. They are great pens for the price, and really nice writers. So I know what I’m doing after your video is over!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      The Balance was the first pen I ever used for a Monday Matchup. I haven’t gotten myself one yet but I did very much enjoy using the one I had for MM.

  • David L.

    The number of great questions that keep rolling in never ceases to amaze me. Great Q&A!

    QOTW: I have a Zenzoi that I cannot stand. Most pens dry out in a matter of days or weeks, but this one drys out in a matter of hours. That’s right, hours. I won’t even sell it on Ebay because I don’t want to cheat someone out of their money. DO NOT BUY A ZENZOI!!!!!

    You were wise to not mention the name of the maker of that nib. I need to go do some research to see who can make me one now. 🙂

    I cant wait to get my hands on the TWSBI Classic! I don’t know why It’s not as popular.

    I’d give up beef and chicken for venison any day. You can make anything with venison that you can with beef. Hamburgers, steak sandwiches, tacos, and so much more.

  • Thudthwacker

    QOTW: It’s been awhile since I’ve used my Copper-Orange Lamy AL-star, which makes me kinda sad. I really like Lamy’s pens in terms of design, and I particularly love the copper orange finish of this one. The way I grip my pen, though, has become moderately idiosyncratic, and it doesn’t work exceptionally well with the AL-star/Safari section shape. I think I might take it out for the Fall, though — I really do love the pen, and it’s not all that uncomfortable to write with. Now, if the Aion were to come out in some kind of vermillion finish — I think I’d buy one of those before I even fully realized I’d taken my wallet out.

  • Love the video as always. I just wish you’d change the color of the wall behind you. Maybe add a touch of green? A less saturated blue would play better with the surroundings.

    • Tom Johnson

      Liz, you must be very new to this blog. Brian explains in previous video, made in his first blue office several years ago, that he chose the blue paint to match Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium ink. He and Nathan Tardiff had collaborated on this ink together, and this blue is his favorite shade of blue, and a very sentimental color for Brian.

      • Tom, I’ve been reading the blog since . . . forever and know about the blue. My point is that the new office wall makes a terrible backdrop for videos. If you go back to a pre-move Q&A you’ll see what I mean. This wall hurts my eyes . . . but that’s just my 2 cents as a designer. Obviously it doesn’t bother others.

        • MP

          Liz, I liked the more sea foam green wall color in his last office better too.

  • Angel

    I really enjoyed this week’s Q&A! I discovered fountain pens through your website just a few months ago, so I only have a few pens, and I use most of them daily – 3 Metropolitans (F, M, & stub) and an Al-Star with a few different nibs. I thought I would use my stub for a daily writer, but it’s not as smooth of a writer so it’s the one I use the least. But I like it for writing in cards or practicing calligraphy. 🙂

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      So glad you found us, Angel! Great pen choices.

      • Angel

        Thanks, Lydia! So glad I found you guys, too. Brian’s videos are the reason I gave fountain pens a try!

  • Jeff Ellis

    There are a number of sub 1.1mm stubs around and some go under the radar. For example the 1.1 stub on a TWSBI Eco is actually much finer then 1.1mm. My eco puts down a 0.6mm line on paper. Where the larger nib on the TWSBI 700r 1.1 stub actually is close to 1.1. Mine measured at 1.0mm in width and maybe in some inks would be 1.1. I have a number of Franklin-Christoph pens with M stubs and a M CI nib that write wonderfully and do have line width changes that are noticeable. Not saying wider stubs don’t have more width changes, but M’s can be good as well. The problem comes with fine nibs. They are so narrow to start with they don’t take well to be made into stubs or italics.

    The Eco 1.1 and my M stubs and CI are very smooth writers, not as smooth as round nibs but not scratchy. I do expect a F stub would be scratchy if you could find one.

  • peter hofmann

    QOTW: Some of my pens which have a metal sections, my fingers just slide down and it becomes hard to write. Also have a few Caran’dAches (from way back) which are on the slim side.

    And of course while watching the video was over in the sale section and purchased some ink! Must stop this, must resist…….

  • Zoo13

    When will the fall Edison Premiere come out?

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      In the next few weeks. We typically announce it around the first week of October.

      • Zoo13

        Thanks! I am really looking forward to it

  • Roger Wujek

    When I buy from Goulet pens, I’m buying from friends. Thanks for the videos and keep them coming.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      thanks, Roger!

  • AnneP

    Just got to watch this today, so thanks for taking my question. I don’t actually mind my pen singing; in fact, it makes me even more aware that I am using my fountain pen at work which I find uplifting, but I was curious why it happened, and today I realized it happens when students hand we something to check/comment on. When I’m using my Rhodia pad, it doesn’t happen, but when a student hands me something, I sent it right on the table and LA-LA-LA.

  • MP

    Finally caught up with this one. Too much of a fountain pen newbie to have enough pens that they are sitting around. However, I do have a Jinhao that doesn’t get much use now that I have a TWSBI and a Vanishing Point.