In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about “detailing” your pens, aligning nib tines, and promoting the art of fountain pen use.

This week:


1) pkuziel- Instagram (05:35)

If you could have only one pen from each pen filling mechanism ie: piston fill, eye dropper, cartridge/ converter what would they be.

2) chrislimyj- Instagram (11:26)

Do you recommend “detailing” a fountain pen in a similar fashion as to a car, because for car detailing, some of the chemicals are rather abrasive, so would a fountain pen material be thick or strong enough withstand such treatment?

  • Cars are made to be outside, withstand direct sunlight exposure to the elements, rocks, bugs, bird poop, etc
  • detailing a car you’re working to strip away the oxidation, dirt, and grime from road wear, not really something you deal with on pens!
  • a simple rinsing with water and dish  soap will suffice, with a polishing cloth for a real shine

3) jwj5000- Instagram (15:23)

I recently got the Monza gift set with 3 nibs and converters. Is there a good way to store the two nibs that aren’t in the pen but keep them full of ink for easy swapping?

  • eh….not really, you pretty much need to clean them out
  • flushing with a bulb syringe is the easiest way to get it clean fast


4) JT B.- Facebook (19:39)

In your experience, just how sensitive is a nib to having perfectly aligned tines? For example, under a loupe, if one tine is on top of the other, it’s obvious that has to be adjusted. However, when I look at many of my new pens, I can tell that one tine is maybe fractions of a millimeter lower than the other, and it’s very hard to correct that. So, do they need to be absolutely perfect before going to polish the nib with mylar or something if it’s writing scratchy?

  • it actually depends a little bit on the nib
  • harder nibs (most steel nibs) are a little more sensitive to the tines being aligned
  • it’s best to try to align them, sometimes you have to bend them quite a bit to get them aligned
  • softer nibs are more forgiving, may not need to be aligned exactly because they’ll “self-correct” under a little writing pressure
  • in general, before smoothing, you want to align them

5) Stéphane N- Facebook (22:23)

On storing pens, is it possible that some storage method may damage pen finish, like for example using a varnished or stained wooded tray can damage some acrylic or celluloid or “precious resin”?

  • I haven’t heard of this happening a lot with pen trays
  • the only storage issue I know about is chrome-tanned leather pen cases causing sterling silver to tarnish
  • it’s possible there’s more that I don’t know about, but it’s not anything I’m aware of!


6) raghuugare- Instagram (25:22)

Due the advent of computers and smart phones, the #skill &/or #art of #writing has been on the decline! What do you think we should do to encourage all the people of the #world to pick this lovely art? Having/beautiful #pens is one thing — having something beautiful to share is perhaps the other more important one?

  • The best thing is to adapt to the medium
  • Use social media to share and teach your medium
  • Think of how popularized painting got with Bob Ross’s Joy of Painting
  • There are artists like Liz Steel doing urban sketching, sharing their passion and connecting others
  • Bullet Journaling has risen as a new medium for scrapbookers and casual artists
  • calligraphers like Jake Weidmann and Michael Sull are able to teach and connect with others
  • I’m a big proponent of teaching as a way to spread the joy of any craft, and it’s never been easier to do that than now!


7) susanbethc- Instagram (32:46)

Do you have favorite pens for different tasks? For example do you have one pen you use for journaling, another for quick notes and another for signing legal documents? Do your children use fountain pens for any of their homework assignments?

QOTW: Who are some of your favorite artists you follow online? (YouTube, Instagram, etc)? (38:50)

Write On,
Brian Goulet