In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about his biggest pen turn offs, yellowing resin, and collecting vs using!

This week:


1. Stuart J.- Facebook (10:38)

What one feature or lack of feature is the biggest turn-off when regarding a pen?

  • honest to goodness, I am turned off by very little because I clearly acquire pens like its my job (it kind of is)
  • hands down, how the pen writes is most important (feel on the page, flow of the ink)
  • price is crucial for most people (value)
  • color/material is usually next
  • gold vs steel nib
  • ink capacity is often important, or at least the filling mechanism type
  • whether the cap posts or not is usually a pretty big deal
  • capping mechanism (snap, screw, magnetic, hook safe, etc)

2. andrew_.goss- Instagram  (18:26)

What is the purpose of the tines in the feed?

  • the fins?
  • it’s to help act as a reservoir for ink, to hold it there to be ready to go
  • it also helps regulate the ink flow
  • not all pens have them, it all depends how the feed has been designed
  • pens are basically controlled leaks!

3. residentevil789- Instagram (21:53)

Do some demonstrator pens turn yellow during storage and any advise on turning them back to it’s former glory

  • it depends on the pen and the type of plastic used
  • Noodler’s pens are the only ones that come to mind that do this fairly regularly
  • it has to do with the polymers that make up the plastic
  • UV exposure is most often the culprit, but gasses, oils, and solvents can also cause it too
  • I haven’t tried, but hydrogen peroxide could possibly help in theory, though it could also corrode the metal in your pens so do at your own risk!
  • bleach could also work, that can corrode metal
  • abrasive (sanding, Comet cleaner) can remove top layer, but will risk damaging trim
  • any scientists out there wanna help me out?
  • I haven’t heard of any foolproof ways pen users have de-yellowed their pens

4. feersumenjinn- Instagram (28:10)

The massive disconnect between using and collecting pens? At times it seems the two have nothing to do with each other.

  • perhaps, but my experience is that a lot of pen collectors do use their pens
  • if someone is a serious collector, it is likely because it’s more about art than writing
  • pens are small works of art, like paintings, carvings, or feats of engineering
  • there is sometimes history around a given brand or theme, a certain artist may use pens as a medium (Maki-e)
  • there may be an investment aspect of collecting them, this is hit-or-miss though
  • the two don’t have to be correlated, but they’re not mutually exclusive either

5. smseerymurphy- Instagram (34:41)

Why don’t more FP makers have stub nibs as part of their lineup? Sigh.

  • I know, right?
  • I run into this a lot, especially with manufacturers outside the US
  • stubs are more popular in the US, I think, so some manufacturers aren’t used to them being in demand
  • they’re harder to make (for gold nibs), and if a manufacturer doesn’t want to absorb that labor they might just not offer it
  • this is something that’s changing as time goes on though, it’s getting better but still isn’t an assumed nib offering all the time


6. Elizabeth D.- Facebook (41:54)

Would it be feasible to list a price per ml for ink, and price per square inch for paper on your site? The paper especially would be great.

  • possible yes…practical? not as much
  • the challenge would be that these calculations wouldn’t be dynamic, we’d have to update them manually with any price change unless we do custom development
  • price per ml would be simple enough, and that’s something we can consider if we can program it dynamically into our site
  • the challenge would be that not everything is displayed in the same measurements, like how Noodler’s is in ounces, J. Herbin is in ml
  • it could be done, but we’d have to pay our developers to do it which would ultimately have to pay itself back in increased sales, and it’s just not clear how big a win this would be
  • we have other bigger, more clear projects in the queue, but this is one I’d be curious to hear more about if there’s demand for it
  • paper would be much more complicated, as we’re not already calculating square inches (and our paper is mostly metric sizes anyway)
  • we’d have to measure and calculate everything as a new measurement
  • this would require measurements, calculation, and custom site development, so is it worth it?

QOTW: If you were given any fountain pen in the world that you asked for, would you ink it up (and what with)? (49:32)

Writing Prompt: If you could do anything at all today, knowing that tomorrow no one would remember what happened but you, write what you would do. (49:59)

Write On,
Brian Goulet