In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about dip testing nibs, converter ink capacities, and how swirly pen materials are made!

This week:

Pens/Writing

1) Marilyn G.- Facebook (10:50)

Can one get useful information about a pen nib by dipping the nib to test it, or is it necessary to actually fill the pen with ink to get a true feel for how the nib will perform?

  • yes! you can get useful information about the nib, how it feels, writes, etc
  • nib smoothness, spring, line variation, all workable
  • the only thing you can’t get from dipping is a test of the ink flow of the pen

2) k_y_l_1_e- Instagram (17:06)

Should I wind the piston down as the ink gets lower in my Twsbi? I see photos of where this has been done, but not sure if it needs to be done.

  • you definitely don’t need to do this
  • sometimes people prefer to in order to either increase the flow or to decrease the chance of burping
  • the same can be done with any type of piston, like on a converter
  • it’s a matter of your personal preference, but in order to maintain consistent flow, it’s not required on a properly functioning pen
  • ink flows by capillary action
  • as long as ink is making contact with the back of the feed and isn’t impeded, it’ll flow

3) @kunaineck- Twitter (25:18)

Which branded converters that you can buy have the greatest ink capacity? I know the con-70 is pretty good, but what about the others?

  • basically, the Con-70’s the only one that makes a noticeable difference, up to 1.1ml
  • most converters will get you around the .86ml ink capacity, SI, Aurora, Jinhao, Lamy
  • a little lower, others are slightly more than .6ml, Waterman, Platinum, Parker, Montegrappa, Pilot Con-40
  • slightly smaller SI converters end up being more around .55/.6 (Nemosine, Kaweco, Monteverde Mini)
  • you may see some variance within 10% or so up or down, but largely it’s not the most critical factor when shopping for a converter pen

4) stuartjackson612- Instagram (33:27)

As a previous pen manufacturer yourself, could you please explain how the beautiful marbled and swirling pattern that you find in these acrylics and celluloid are formed?

  • this manufacturing process is extremely proprietary, so I can’t speak with certainty
  • I know from having mixed my own using dyes and mica powders
  • some can be swirls of different powders, which is essentially added in and swirled around physically to get that swirly look
  • I honestly don’t know exactly how the ribbons happen, it could be a thinner solid material is placed into the liquid resin during casting
  • flecked is put into casting in chunks
  • thin lines, mechanically cut and layered
  • there are many different processes, and it’s fascinating when you really think about it!

Ink

5) parkej4- Instagram (43:08)

How should I use the blotting paper attached to a Lamy ink bottle? The two sides seem different.

  • it’s there really to wipe off the nib, so use it however it works best for you!
  • the idea is to use the more absorbent side, I think
  • unfortunately there’s no replacement paper, so I’d say maybe rely more on paper towel and just use this in a pinch

QOTW: What’s your favorite ink bottle? (46:36)

Writing Prompt: Make a list of 5 people you wish you could meet from any point in history. (47:02)

Write On,
Brian Goulet