In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about heat setting, which fountain pen he would be, and his greatest day at Goulet Pens!

This week:

Pens/Writing

1) Kim L.- YouTube (24:00)

I instinctively hold my pen way far back from the nib, right at “step” (the point where the step-up is, from the section to the barrel). No idea why I do this (and only with FPs!), but holding them down closer to the nib does not work for me at all. What are some pens that have a smooth or minimal step? I don’t have a death-grip, so even a big step isn’t painful, but I’d welcome some recommendations for good pens with less of a step

2) Tony C- Facebook (30:06)

The majority of pens are cylindrical, thus will roll on angled surfaces (drafting table), or easily knocked off. Are there pens that inherently won’t roll by design (without roll stops or the clips on caps) particularly in lower price ranges? Might be a useful filter on the your store site as well.

  • this would be tough to put as a filter, but we’ll think about it!
  • I would factor in the cap/clip because you’ll probably cap your pen pretty regularly
  • there aren’t a lot of choices, most pen bodies are round, and the caps/clips help keep them in place
  • Diplomat Magnum
  • Kaweco Perkeo (light facets)
  • Lamy Joy
  • Jinhao Dragon?
  • this is all I could find under $100
  • You might be best off going with some quick capping pens

3) Gary H- Facebook (33:36)

Why don’t all manufacturers (calling out Pilot, Lamy, Pelikan, Platinum) include the applicable converter for their pens? It is frustrating buying a pen and then having to pay more for the ability to use it (other than the actual ink costs)…. it is crazy that the converters for these pens are between 30% and 50% of the price of the pen and the platinum one is more than some of their pens… (I.e Preppy and carbon deskpen). I doubt the manufacturing costs can justify the the exorbitant price… if Diplomat and Nemosine can do it these bigger companies can too…

  • I agree, and I give this feedback to every manufacturer
  • Cost is a consideration, for sure, and some depends on the manufacturer’s target market
  • Some brands cartridges are much more popular, so it’s not a given that converters are necessary
  • This is DEFINITELY not the case for us, and likely for most of the US
  • Proprietary brands have to make their own converters so the economy of scale perhaps might not be as strong as standard international
  • I don’t have a great answer for you, other than it’s the way that some companies choose to go about it, and you should factor in the cost of a converter when comparing across brands

Troubleshooting

4) quiltpeg- Instagram (38:06)

What is heat setting? I have Noodlers Ahab flex that does nothing but leak badly! Is heat setting something that will help?

  • heat setting is when you heat up the feed on a pen to properly set it up against the underside of the nib
  • this is most easily done with ebonite feeds like Noodler’s, and it definitely can help
  • check out the Heat Setting a Noodler’s Ebonite Feed video we have
  • I much prefer using water over fire
  • if you’re swapping nibs, sometimes it can help
  • plastic feeds can be done, but not as easily and they can melt if too hot so do at your own risk!

Personal

5) Ana C- Facebook (42:27)

Based on your experience with various pen shows, what do you look forward more to in Pen Shows? Talks? meeting people? seeing new products? Different vendors? Classes? Something else?

  • All of the above! I’ve done 3 shows this year
  • So far I’ve been to 13 shows total (10 DC, 2 Atlanta, 1 San Francisco)
  • The products are great but the people are the reason I go
  • I’m around pens all the time, and it is cool to get to see stuff I don’t see all the time
  • Vendors are good because I get to build stronger working relationships
  • Classes are often beneficial, though the timing has to work
  • I always come out of shows energized, though it’s a sacrifice away from family and my daily work so I have to limit it
  • DC I’ll continue to do every year, all others I will have to evaluate on an annual basis
  • Not looking to have a table at any shows at this time, I like to be a floater!

6) dylandilly- Instagram (46:41)

Fun question! If you were to be a fountain pen, which one would you be?

  • probably the Lamy 2000
  • Not fancy, pretty utilitarian, function over form
  • tough, hard working, and reliable
  • quick, respected even if not liked by everyone

7) Richard D- Facebook (48:44)

What was your best day ever running Goulet pen co? Note: if you answer this one then next time I might ask about your worst day at Goulet. I wanted to start with your best day first though.

  • November 17, 2009, what we consider our official anniversary
  • Finished trade show, didn’t even break even
  • came home to our first shipment of fountain pens supplies, listed them that night, and got 4 orders
  • It was at that moment that I knew Goulet Pens would actually work, that I’d found the business model that would finally work after 3 years of pouring my heart and soul into pen making and having it just not take off
  • There have been many days since then that could easily rival this one, but that day was validation of the turning point of Goulet Pens and a foreshadowing of all things to come!

QOTW: If you were a fountain pen, which would you be? (56:11)

Writing Prompt: Write about a day in your life that was a turning point for you. (56:19)

Write On,
Brian Goulet