In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about fixing hard starting pens, lightweight pens, and toddler-proof pens!

This week:


1) thesnoopylane- Instagram (14:41)

Which pens can fill from the tip of the feed like the Pilot 823? I think the new Procyon can, but are there others? This seems like a great feature–why isn’t it more common?

  • Pilot Custom 823
  • Pilot Custom 74
  • most other Pilot Customs, I would guess
  • Hooded nibs:
  • Platinum Procyon
  • Platinum Cool?
  • It requires a little more engineering, custom development
  • I don’t know particularly why it isn’t more universal, my guess is it hasn’t really been a dealbreaker for most pens
  • It’s certainly a nice-to-have, and it’s something I’d love to get more feedback on as it’s honestly pretty rare that I hear about it as something that’s really sought out as a feature on pens
  • if it stands out as a great feature, I can communicate that to more manufacturers

2) @ViragCsillagh- Twitter (19:37)

You’ve recently talked about “levels” of FP users. So what to do/how to “level up” if you’re a stingy minimalist and can’t/don’t want to acquire many more pens? Thx, keep up the good work!

  • you’re asking the wrong guy!!
  • I’m definitely not a pen minimalist, for sure
  • I do know those that are, however
  • there are basically three approaches as I see it:
    • either research/borrow/try before buying to minimize potential dissatisfaction (retailer sites, Goulet Nation, Reddit, whatever)
    • buy and return/exchange which is inconvenient especially online but an option, or
    • do one-in-one out, pare down your collection as you find your holy grails
  • #1 and #3 are usually what I see minimalists do with some pretty good success

3) gregoryveizades- Instagram (25:28)

Over time it appears that all my pens developed a hard starting issue. I’m not sure why. Could it have anything to do be being a left handed person who underwrites?

  • if this is something that’s developed over time, a thorough cleaning almost always is in order
  • depends on how long you’re talking about here, if it’s been 1-2+ months, yeah clean it
  • if you’re not cleaning in between ink changing, that’d be an explanation
  • sometimes paper fibers/dirt/junk gets clogged up in the feed over time
  • lefties may see more of this as the push motion is encouraging paper fibers to jam up into the pen
  • brass sheet for flossing wouldn’t hurt, may not be necessary but might be worth investing in if it’s happening consistently on all your pens
  • could be the ink you have is drying up, check that it’s sealed well, don’t leave it uncapped for long periods of time (so the water evaporates)
  • ink with water evaporated can be reconstituted with distilled water
  • ink could be evaporating in your pens as they sit there, depending on your environment, refill them
  • if could be your writing style has opened up or misaligned the tines causing flow to break, which would be a little tougher to fix (especially if it’s a habit of pressing really hard or whatever)
  • nib can usually be adjusted, but might require a pro, do this as a last resort, try to get pro troubleshooting help before sending it away anywhere

4) brutalhonestreviews- Instagram (33:43)

Is there a toddler-proof fountain pen? Like, one they won’t be able to open if they get their hands on it?

  • haha, none that I’m aware of, unfortunately! There are no child-prevention locks on pens that I know
  • Some screw-cap pens have longer threads than others and require more rotations, they could buy you a little time (Opus 88 Demo for example)
  • I raised two toddlers of my own with pens everywhere, the best protection was never allowing them to get their hands on them in the first place!
  • I was fortunate, no notable events with my kids and pens
  • sticking with screw-cap threads helps, lower ink capacities is usually good
  • I would say pens where you can lock off the ink reservoir like vac fillers, etc, but they’re usually more expensive and not often the ones you’d want around your kids anyway
  • I found keeping them in a pen case that required a zipper or some other strap that required some level of dexterity to open was the best

5) thesilverpumpkin- Instagram (38:18)

I love a light pen but they are usually inexpensive. What’s a good quality light pen (around 12 grams would be nice).

6) snuff_knight- Instagram (42:20)

Is a pilot vanishing point fountain pen worth it for a college student who is addicted to fountain pens?

  • it depends
  • it’s certainly a popular pen, and is very convenient
  • for me as a college student, it wouldn’t have been practical bc it was out of my price range and I would’ve probably wanted more ink capacity for long notes
  • I find TWSBI to be sort of an unbeatable brand for college students, especially for the value/ink capacity
  • if you love pens, take care of them well, and are attentive to maintenance and ink level, heck yeah it’s a great pen as a student
  • it’ll just be up to you if you want that level of responsibility with a pen or not, so it comes down to personal choice


7) calio4- Instagram (45:45)

Why won’t my Emerald of Chivor sample sheen? If I buy a bottle and shake it properly will it sheen? Everyone raves about it but my sample is just a nice green ink with a little bit of sparkle here and there. Did I get a dud sample? (don’t worry Goulet Pens, the sample wasn’t from you!)

  • it’s possible the sample didn’t have a lot of sheen, it’s easy for that to happen
  • we have to almost shake it as we’re dispensing it to keep the shimmer in suspension and distributed equally
  • it’s certainly worth asking who you bought it from what their process is, they will want to learn from you if there’s a way they can improve their internal process, that’s been our approach
  • let’s assume you got a fair sample though, you’ll want to shake it well (not hard) before you ink it, as the stuff will settle down and maybe not pull the shimmer from the bottom if it sat there a while
  • Let’s assume further that you got a fair sample, inked it well, and you have the proper ink in your pen, it still varies
  • paper is the biggest factor, and usually the more absorbent the paper the less shimmer/sheen there is
  • nib size and pen flow play a part too, the more ink goes down, the better
  • Try to eliminate these variables step by step and figure out what’s going on, and I think you’ll find your culprit

QOTW: What was the strangest gift you’ve ever been given? (52:10)

Writing Prompt: None! Take a week off ;) (52:37)

Write On,
Brian Goulet