Goulet Q&A Episode 212: New Website, Good Quality Ink, and Brian’s Ethics for Reviewing Products

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about our new GouletPens.com launch, what makes ink “good quality”, and his ethics around why he only reviews products we sell. Enjoy!

This week:

Pens/Writing

1. @KarlMue57- Twitter (15:35)

<haiku=on>
the LAMY Accent
many coming soon in May
give overview please?

  • haha, I think this is the first haiku Q&A question I’ve ever answered!
  • let’s check out the Accent
  • several colors, some with steel, some with gold nibs
  • Karelia Wood, Rubber, Brilliant Lacquer, Brilliant Briarwood
  • same nib/feed system as non-Lamy 2000 Lamy pens
  • takes z27 converter or Lamy cartridges
  • screw cap, push to post
  • interchangeable grips

2.@scheissgeist- Twitter (18:48)

Do fountain pens inevitably open up over time? Comparing sketches with an EF TWSBI Mini from when I first got it last year to today, the lines are noticeably thinner. I don’t draw with a lot of pressure at all, but my strokes are very fast and long. What gives?

  • they don’t inevitably open up, but they can open up with writing pressure
  • steel nibs are pretty stiff, so you’d have to be mashing it down pretty good to open it up with normal writing in a year
  • the paper or ink selection could be a factor, even things like writing speed or a change in writing angle could influence it, as could humidity in the air
  • you can actually adjust the flow on nibs, but it’s tough to do without some practice

3.will4mills- Instagram (26:38)

Does the term “dry writing pen” refer to the ink used, or the nib it’s self or is it something to do with the feed? I’ve been having this “dry writing” problem with my jinhao X450 since I got it last Friday.

  • “dry” can be used to describe the pen or the ink, it depends on the context
  • usually people will call a pen dry if it writes dry with multiple inks, and vice versa with calling an ink dry
  • if you try multiple inks, especially ones you know flow wetter in other pens, you may have a drier writing X450
  • try flushing it clean first, that’s always a good first step
  • you can open up the flow, and I’d only recommend this on less expensive pens like the Jinhao

4.Hassan K.- Facebook (33:48)

What pen should I get just to give to a nibmeister to get a ridiculously fine nib? What kind of nib?

  • you’ll want to check the nibmesiter’s site to verify, or email them to be sure before you make a purchase
  • I can pretty much say they’re going to want to start with the finest nib possible, because the broader you go that’s just more they’re going to have to grind away

Ink

5.taintedcrimson- Instagram (38:36)

In a recent Q&A, Brian mentioned there are certain inks that aren’t included in the random ink sample selection. Which inks are those and what makes them too high maintenance / problematic to be a random sample? (I’m sure one of them is the infamous Baystate Blue…)

6.The Gratitude Log- Facebook (44:38)

I want to love Noodler’s ink so badly — I love it’s permanent properties and wide range of colors. But I find them to have such long dry times they become impractical to use. When I started using fountain pens Noodler’s Black was all I used because it was so widely recommended, but I found that across almost all paper types it is easily smearable after more than a minute. I recently switched to using De Atrementis Document Black instead, and the difference is astonishing… no more smearing. I decided to check out the smear and drip test for Noodler’s Black on your site and it indicates a much faster dry time than what I’ve experienced. Is this a matter of a change in formula? I’ve experienced the same with Black Swan in Australian Roses and Apache Sunset, and the incredibly long dry-times are the only thing keeping me from buying a bottle. Any advice for someone wanting to love Noodler’s ink, but struggling? Thanks as always!

  • This isn’t uncommon with a lot of Noodler’s inks, honestly, they are very dye concentrated
  • DA Document Black definitely has a faster dry time, no question
  • DA will have a bit of compromise of spreading and feathering on certain papers, so there’s a tradeoff to consider
  • Noodler’s hasn’t changed their formula anytime recently, but it is handmade so it’s possible there’s some slight variation batch-to-batch
  • you can dilute the ink, but I don’t know if this will cut the dry time enough to meet your needs

7.@h1sham9- Twitter (50:56)

What is the definition of a ‘good quality ink’?

  • there is no firm definition, it’s VERY subjective
  • generally, I think people look for ink that does what they expect it to do, and that’s good quality!
  • easier to clean, doesn’t dry out, doesn’t stain, flows well but doesn’t burp, dries quickly but doesn’t spread
  • obvious things like doesn’t grow stuff in it, packaging and ink filling level is consistent, doesn’t smell, easy stuff like that
  • it’s probably easier to universally agree which inks are “bad” than which are good!
  • you’ll see opinions vary all over the place on this, some people swear by certain brands or ink properties as being the best, others disparage them and believe the complete opposite
  • The beauty of this hobby is we all get to experiment and form our own views!

Troubleshooting

8.Quan T- Goulet Pens Blog (53:16)

I just purchased a Vanishing Point with EF nib. Great pen. But I realised the pen actually uses the nib itself to push open the gate everytime each time. The tipping material literally scratching a piece of stainless steel each time I use the pen. And I probably need to do that more than 40 times per day. I know the tipping material is tough, but since EF has only so much of it, I have a concern about the longevity of the pen. Do you think I worried too much? Did you see any VP got depleted tipping material?

  • I know exactly what you’re talking about, I’ve seen it and asked Pilot USA about it
  • the design of the VP hasn’t changed in decades, and I haven’t ever seen a report of a customer wearing away a tip with prolonged use of that trap door
  • Pilot said they haven’t had any issues either
  • it’s really not very much pressure that’s being put on it, there are other things going on inside there that are pushing the trap door besides just that tip
  • you can rest pretty easy, but Pilot’s also pretty fair in their warranty assessments, so let us or Pilot USA know if you ever have an issue

Business

9.@Ladylilliandil- Twitter (57:13)

This is more of an “ethics” question than pen-related (hope this doesn’t cause too much controversy) but I was curious if you ever feel conflicted during Q&A to only talk or answer questions about products & brands that your business sells vs. products & brands you don’t carry?

  • sure, it makes sense and I get asked about it ALL the time so I’m very comfortable talking about it
  • I’ve never tried to put on airs about being a pen expert, this has been a journey all along the way for me
  • my journey has been that of a pen retail, and much of the experience I’ve gained has been in the products our team has curated and decided to carry in our store
  • I’ve gained some experience with pen models we don’t carry, but it simply doesn’t make as much sense for me to learn these inside and out, as I only have so many hours in a day
  • in my earliest days of blogging/vlogging I intended to have more separation of myself as a reviewer and our store
  • originally our YouTube channel was called The Ink Nouveau, and our blog was InkNouveau.com, you can see me reference these in a lot of the early content
  • I did experiment with reviewing products we didn’t carry, and a lot of the feedback was actually pushback on that, because people wanted me to be talking about things they could buy from my store, for their own convenience
  • it just doesn’t make a ton of sense for me to review something I don’t know as well, say “go find it somewhere else” and then not be able to go any further
  • it allows me to be more intelligent when I speak, because I clearly know more about the brands I carry, as I have access to them easily
  • I also get more accurate information having access to distributors and manufacturers, and for brands I don’t carry, I lose all that
  • ethically, I think it’s actually cleanest to stick to products I represent, because I’m equally “biased”, whereas if I was carrying a pen and comparing to one I didn’t sell, there would be an inherent conflict of interest
  • bottom line, as long as I’m genuine, honest, and not a douchebag I don’t think there’s any issue here
  • you can tell if I’m just trying to hock stuff, and that’s never been my game. I want to be completely authentic, and I’m authentically a retailer sharing with you what I know about the products I know most about, that’s pretty much the bottom line

QOTW: What’s the craziest diet/exercise regimen you’ve ever tried? Did it work? (01:06:42)

Writing Prompt: Write about the best dessert you ever tasted in your life.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

2018-06-04T08:23:53+00:00 June 1st, 2018|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments