In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about his favorite “meeting” pens, interesting nibs, and textured paper.

This week:

Pens/Writing

1) @JerryGeiger- Twitter (13:33)
What are your top picks for fountain pens to use during meetings? Unless I’m diligent about repeatedly putting the cap back on the pen, I find it dries out, causing hard starts. Is it unreasonable to leave a fountain pen uncapped for 10 minutes and expect it to flow properly?

2) muallaemine- Instagram (18:51)
I seem to be on my ‘interesting nib’ phase lately. I know you guys don’t sell Sailor, but is there any other company that sell that many different nibs, that have outstanding performance right out of the box, and are widely commercially available without waiting lists?

  • Pilot has some in the Custom 912, soft, Waverly, FA (Falcon)
  • we’re looking to expand our Lamy 14k gold and Lamy 2000 nib offerings into obliques and double broads, it’s taking a while for them to come in though
  • Pineider is going to have soft/flex nibs, including a soft 1.3mm stub
  • Jowo flex (Edison, FC)
  • Not really too much else outside of Sailor or custom grinds, honestly

3) @thewincast- Twitter (22:36)
When writing with a steel nib is it normal to feel it conform to the way you write? I don’t use pressure to force the nib at all but the ink flow and feel of writing have changed since i got my pen new, in a way that is more comfortable to me. Was wondering if this always happens

  • There’s some debate about how much a nib actually conforms to an individual, I personally think not much
  • maybe over years, it can be influenced by wearing down in a particular spot over time
  • steel is tough, and the tipping is even tougher, it just doesn’t change that much with normal use very quickly
  • what can change relatively quick is if there’s some kind of slight burr on the tipping that was missed cleaning up the cut from the slit, that can wear away as you use it
  • most likely, you’ve just gotten used to the pen, or the feed has started flowing more consistently now that it’s not dry/brand new anymore

4) laura_53_- Instagram (27:20)
Why do nibs have to be so long? Clearly, a long nib slit is needed to deliver adequate ink to the paper, but why does there need to be so much material above the nib slit? Is it an aesthetic thing or does it serve a purpose?

  • they definitely don’t have to be! Nibs can vary in all sort of shapes and sizes
  • it’s partly aesthetic, to show cool nib designs
  • longer nibs allow you to have a grip that’s larger in diameter and not hit the paper
  • Parker 51, Pilot VP, Lamy 2000, all tiny nibs

Paper

5) maemakesthings- Instagram (33:23)
Is there a such thing as a fountain pen-friendly paper with some texture to it? I’ve tried Mnemosyne and Rhodia but these seem a bit too smooth for my liking.

  • oh sure! G. Lalo Vergé de France is the best example of that
  • cotton paper like Original Crown Mill not particularly smooth
  • FP friendly papers tend to be a little smoother
  • most everything we have is relatively slick, though

Personal

6) highdefhunty- Instagram (39:02)
Over time, has your collection started focusing on one preferred nib size or do you try to branch out and collect pens of different nib sizes? I want to try broad and stub and italic nibs but 99% of the time I end up using a fine nib for work. What do you do with broader nibs?

  • pretty much from the beginning, I’ve gone for diversity of nib selection as my top priority
  • I do carry F/EF for everyday writing, just tends to be more versatile especially when the paper quality is unknown
  • broader nibs and stubs look and feel amazing, so I will get and use them regularly, too
  • I write thank you notes, cards, things like that, broads work great (especially with shimmery/sheening ink)
  • I may be in the minority here though, most people I know narrow down their nib preferences then tend to get near that size in every pen they use

QOTW: What nibs do you gravitate towards? Do you stick with what you like, or do you want to try different things? (49:13)

Write On,
Brian Goulet