In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about #8 nibs, drying pens after cleaning, and salvaging yourself after an embarrassing pen leak!

This week:


1) @vikingmedic542- Twitter (18:29)

I am wanting to move towards pens with line variation, however my handwriting is rather small. As such I use extra-fine or fine nibs. Should I start with a soft fine, flex or stub?

  • if you plan to keep your writing small, you’ll want to keep the nib small
  • most stubs will be a pretty drastic jump, so try a cheap one first, or maybe get a spare nib and swap it (LAMY, Goulet #6 nib, Metropolitan, etc)
  • stubs will be easiest to use, most accessible, most options across brands
  • flex will write pretty wet, harder for small writing
  • soft fine would be my recommendation, though they’re not all that common (mostly Platinum/Pilot)

2) @VsWhiz- Twitter (24:59)

After flushing a pen with water, what is the best way to remove all the residual water from the feed to prevent the new ink from being diluted?

  • why? ink is made up of at least 80% water, so a tiiiiiny  bit left in your pen won’t do any harm to it
  • we do get asked about drying out the pen, but seriously, it’s not necessary
  • my recommendation is get out as much as you can, then wick what’s left in the feed with a paper towel, and you’re good to go
  • even if you’re diluting the ink 5%, you wouldn’t notice

3) stabarts- Instagram (29:06)

I like Monteverde pens very much. I basically started on an Invincia and even though I have more expensive pens, I still like to use them. I was wondering if you could clarify the process of getting some better or gold nibs on them. I didn’t see any options for a gold nib by Monteverde. What will fit? Will I have to replace the feed too or can I just slap it on there😁 I’d really appreciate some advice if you got a second to give it. 👍

  • Monteverde hasn’t done gold nibs in a while, true
  • there are other pens with #6 gold nibs that could swap, but they’re not often available separately
  • we sell Edison 18k nib units at $150 each, thread pattern doesn’t match MV but you could swap just the nib if you were determined
  • the challenge is you can buy a whole gold nib pen for that price, so it’s not universally appealing
  • you’re going to have sort of a tough time finding a lot of other options, but there are a couple
  • Diplomat Aero
  • Stipula
  • the challenge is that #6 golds nibs are just so darn expensive, it’s not practical to offer them a lot, especially separately
  • It’s mostly best to let the MV pens be what they are, and invest in other gold nib pens for that experience

4) anurag_chatt3rjee- Instagram (34:56)

What do I do if my pen starts leaking in an inopportune moment? What some are emergency protocols to prevent ink going everywhere.

  • been there! I dumped ink all over my hands and tablecloth an a business networking event, while I was showing off the pen so the whole table was watching me!
  • it happens, it’s a risk of the hobby
  • you just use common sense, wipe it up as quickly as you can with a tissue or paper towel
  • excuse yourself if you need to go wash your hands
  • make light of it, say a joke like “oh good, I needed to go to the bathroom anyway”, or “doesn’t this color look good on me?” or “I saw you eyeing my pen and I just wanted to make sure you wouldn’t want it”, something like that
  • it’s always best to spill the ink on paper, instead of a wood desk
  • when in doubt, tilt the pen nib-up
  • if you know you’re going  to an important meeting, choose a pen that you know is reliable (no eyedropper, no flex)
  • it never hurts to have a backup just in case

5) adriangeth- Instagram (42:31)

How come we don’t see many pens offered with a #8 size nib? I see mainly # 5 and #6.

  • I’m having to speculate a bit on this one, as I haven’t had a lot of conversations around it with manufacturers (yet)
  • largely, I think it comes down to size and cost
  • bigger nib = more gold = higher cost
  • bigger nib = bigger/heavier pen (especially the cap), which is not appealing to everyone
  • I’m certainly intrigued by it, and it’s something I’m going to want to talk to other manufacturers about to see if it’s ever an option in the future
  • Montegrappa is the only brand I’ve seen use it with any regularity

6) @monoolho- Twitter (46:14)

Is it dangerous to handle pens with creamy/moist hands (lotions, creams, sweat, etc)? What would be some hints on that (other than gloves)? Some people have really dry or sweaty hands, so any recommended pen for that?

  • dangerous is probably a more intense word that I would use, so no
  • there may be some natural materials that could be susceptible to lotions or creams, like wood, ebonite, leather, casein, celluloid (maybe?), though I don’t recall specific incidences of it
  • perhaps certain tarnishing metals like copper or sterling silver could tarnish more rapidly
  • if you’re use a pen made of the more common materials like resin or metal (steel, aluminum, etc) I doubt you’ll have any issue
  • you just do you, and don’t sweat it (pun!)


7) adriangeth- Instagram (48:49)

Also, is cereal soup?

  • Apparently there is debate on this across the internet
  • I researched it for 10 minutes before I realized that sleep was more important
  • The argument for it is that yes, it’s comprised of “things in a liquid” just like soup
  • The argument against it is that no, it hasn’t been structurally altered or cooked together in any way, and that cereal exists as cereal with or without milk, yet there is no soup apart from its liquid base
  • the dictionary’s definition of soup is based much more on broth, meat, vegetables, not grain or milk
  • While technically I can see the stretch of an argument that cereal could in some way be considered soup, but I ask why?
  • Let cereal be what it is, it does not need to be classified into anything else, it stands alone as one of the greatest food forms that exist
  • I am extremely pro-cereal and think it should not be considered a soup!

QOTW: Is cereal soup? (54:19)

Writing Prompt: Write out the Preamble to the US constitution (or your own country’s significant document) (54:32)

Write On,
Brian Goulet