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cobalt impurity
Apr 23, 2010

You can relax and be free!


Why should I write with a fountain pen?

There are many reasons to write with a fountain pen instead of a rollerball or ballpoint pen, such as:

  • It feels better: Writing with a fountain pen is like painting on the page. Very little pressure is used since unlike a ballpoint pen, more ink will not come out with additional pressure.
  • It's better for the environment: You can buy a pen made in the forties (or one made last week) and use it for lifetimes. The only consumable is the ink, which is primarily made up of water and benign substances. It's a huge departure from your disposable plastic ballpoint pens. Even if you have an expensive MontBlanc rollerball, the consumables on such pens are disposable plastic/metal one-time-use cartridges.
  • It's stylish: Much like old-fashioned shaving has made a resurgence, fountain pens show an investment in the process of writing, rather than simply using a cheap (or even an expensive) ballpoint. Fountain pens can also be one of the few forms of "jewellery" it's acceptable for men to have. A nice way to show off and have a little personality while keeping it professional.
  • Lots of choice in pens for practically any style: I will get to this later, but you can buy pens from all over the world manufactured over the past 70 years without trouble. Practically every design aesthetic that has existed in that time has corresponding pens
  • Ink choices galore: You can buy tons of different colors of inks for any use, with different properties.

How do I write with a fountain pen?

Fountain pens work by using capillary action to pull liquid ink from a reservoir to the sweet spot at the tip of a nib. Ballpoints work by rolling a ball around in a pastey ink. Fountain pens are a bit pickier with positioning because of this. Generally speaking, you need to hold the pen with the nib pointing outward, with the line between the tines facing away from your hand. You also need to use a smooth hand and light pressure to write.


DO NOT PRESS DOWN HARD WHEN WRITING WITH A FOUNTAIN PEN!!!!

A fountain pen is delicate, and pressing down hard can really gently caress up the tines. Due to how it works, no additional ink will come out AND you will probably need to get the pen repaired.

Tines? Nibs? What exactly goes into these things?

Fountain pens come in a few simple parts with about a dozen variations to each, so here's the basics.

  • The nib: The nib is the pointy metal bit at the end you scrape across paper to draw letters. They use capillary action to pull ink from the feed to the tip as you write. The nib is the most important part of the pen in terms of how it will operate. The material the nib is made from (commonly steel or gold) will affect how smoothly it moves across the paper and the way it's cut will decide what kind of line you write and how thick it will be. Y'know, for the most part.
  • The feed: The feed is a piece of plastic, rubber, or ebonite underneath the nib that sticks into the pen's grip section. It draws ink from the reservoir and brings it to the nib while also exchanging air back into the reservoir to control flow properties.
  • The grip section: Sometimes also just called "the section" or "the grip" or "the," it is the bit of the pen you hold on to and it's where the nib and feed are seated. If a pen unscrews from its body, that's where it's divided.
  • The body: The long bit that rests in your hand. The ink reservoir is held inside of it. Sometimes the bit at the end unscrews as part of the filling mechanism. That's about it.
  • The filling mechanism: Sometimes pens use mechanical means to draw ink into their reservoirs. Piston fillers, lever fillers, pneumatic fillers, vacuum fillers, snorkles, converters of all types. There are tons of these things and they all have their advantages and disadvantages.

How do I take care of a fountain pen?

Fountain pens are actually pretty resilient things, for the most part. Vintage pens that have seen a lot of use can come with problems. These things are tools, after all, and are made to take some abuse within reason. Take care of the pen like you would a watch is a good guideline.

However, the nib will need some basic care. Every couple of ink fills (I do it every 2 ink fills, and whenever changing colors to wash out the color), run lukewarm (NOT HOT) water through the nib using the cartridge converter or whatever ink filling system you use. I cycle it until the water becomes clear, but whatever, it doesn't matter much. I usually want the color out so I can switch inks easily. Let the pen dry out and then fill. An easy way to get it to dry quickly is to wrap it in tissues so that the capillary effect does the work for you. If there is some stubbourn ink that won't run completely out, some ammonia in the rinse water can help. Just flush it with clean water afterward.

Lastly, don't leave pens inked (filled with ink) if you are not using them for a long time.

You make it sound like the bee's knees, but I'm not sold. What's a good way to try it out?

Well, there are always the cheap, semi-disposable pens. Both the Pilot Petit and the Platinum Preppy are good starter pens below $4. The Petit even comes with an ink cartridge, but you can get a Preppy free with a bottle of ink... which I'll get to in a minute.

This is just the cat's pajamas! What are some better pens?

This is my tried and true pen that I use every day at work:


The Pilot Metropolitan ($18)
This is the starter pen. Metal body, steel nib (now available with Medium or Fine nibs!), and it comes with both a cartridge and a converter. I absolutely adore this pen. It has a durable finish, the cap snaps on tight and secure, and the nib is unbelievably smooth for such a cheap pen! It can also apparently swap nibs with the italic-only Pilot Plumix ($9), so that's a slightly cheaper option if you want to try out italics as well. An important note: Pilot is a Japanese company, and as a general rule, nibs made in Asia write thinner than the equivalent size nibs from Europe or America. The Medium nib on a Metro will write more like a Fine pen from a European company.


The Lamy Safari ($25-35)
This is a wonderful entry-level pen. Cheap, widely available, durable as all hell with its ABS plastic body (the same stuff LEGO is made from). It can either use Lamy cartridges or a Lamy converter for using bottled ink. If you buy it from here it even comes with a free converter. There is a clear version called the Vista which is otherwise the same, and some aluminum-bodied versions called the Al-Star. Probably the best thing about this pen is that you can buy the nibs separately and swap them out. Drop the pen? No sweat. Want a different line width? Not a problem. Note: These pens get tested at the factory but not cleaned, so a brand-new pen will have some blue ink in the feed. Rinse it out and you'll be all set.



The TWSBI family ($50-80 65)
Pictured is the Vac 700, a popular pen with an interesting filling mechanism. TWSBI pens are made of durable plastic, have decent-quality steel nibs with swappable units, and are pretty popular right now. They are designed by a company that takes an active role in the community and genuinely listens to feedback. They also have a baller customer service. If parts get damaged, they'll send you free replacements and the entire thing is user-serviceable. It even comes with a special wrench for taking it apart. The Diamond line is another good pen and the Diamond 580 is out now! Also the Vac 700 just dropped by $15! The best thing about TWSBIs? The screwcaps!



The Lamy 2000 ($160-200)
This bad boy has been a standard in design since the 60s. Great ink capacity, sleek design, ink window so it's not a blind guess as to whether you'll run out of ink today. It uses a solid gold nib coated in platinum. It's often recommended as a go-to pen for students because of its large ink capacity and reasonable cost.



The Pilot Vanishing Point ($140)
That's right, fools, a fountain pen clicky top! By the Japanese company Pilot/Namiki (depending on how fancy they want to sound). This is a nice and very portable click pen with a solid-gold nib that you can get plated in rhodium if you really want to. It comes in a wide selection of body designs, all-metal, and can accept cartridges or use a converter. Some people complain about the reservoir size, but it's a trade-off for a one hand operation pen that won't accidentally lose a cap and ruin your pants/shirt/purse/manservant

What if I don't want to spend all that money on a pen, but still want an upgrade from my Preppy?


Mother. loving. Hero 616
During the communist revolution in China, a lot of foreign pen manufacturers had factories there. Well, the People's Republic nationalized them and are passing the savings on to you! Hero specializes in Parker Pen Co. knockoffs, and the 616 here is based on the iconic Parker 51. For being cheap Chinese knockoffs, these pens are of a pretty decent quality and are recommended by some, though the QA is definitely lacking. Here's a pack of 10 of them for $22. At least a couple of them are bound to be good. I have a Hero 200a and after some finagling it works alright. Not bad for a $35 gold nib pen.

Great! Where can I buy these marvelous gizmos?

Well, lots of places. These are some recommended retailers:

The Goulet Pen Company. - Family run business, huge (but not comprehensive) selection, has a lot of helpful tools to compare nib lines/pen sizes/ink colours. Very Canada friendly
Wonder Pens. - "$7 shipping across Canada, free for $100+ orders. They have a pretty big variety of stuff, pricing all over. Doesn't seem to be any retail markup on the basic Twsbi 580 for example and they have dirt cheap Platinum Preppies. The Al-Stars seem a bit pricy though, compared to Safaris at least. Lots of great stationery that's hard to find here too." (thanks, teethgrinder!)
I Sell Pens - Another family business, good source for Chinese pens, customer service is amazing. Their website finally crawled out of 1996 and brought with it a rewards point system. Perfect place to get your Safari and free converter.
Richard's Pens - Great for restored vintage pens and custom nib grinds.
Jetpens
Rakuten Global imports - A great source for Japanese pens like Pilot and Platinum, and for getting fancy Iroshizuku inks for $10-20 less than most American or European retailers.
Writer's Bloc - A great place to buy notebooks and pads in bulk and I've had good experiences with their customer service team.
You can also find a decent selection on Amazon and the like.

There are also ebay sellers, the best source for Chinese pens:

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/YesPen?_rdc=1

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/earlyherow...pens1992?_rdc=1

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/YCPENS?_rdc=1

So where do nerds talk about pens?

Well, this thread is good, but you probably want blogs. Fine!

The Fountain Pen Network - The place for fountain pens.
Ink Nouveau - The blog front-end for the Goulet Company. They only really review poo poo they sell so don't expect an unbiased opinion.
Fountain Pen Geeks - Alright blog with a regular podcast.

cobalt impurity fucked around with this message at Aug 4, 2014 around 05:16

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cobalt impurity
Apr 23, 2010

You can relax and be free!


Cartridge vs Bottle Inks

Cartridges are enormously expensive on a per mL basis and create tons of waste. Bottled ink can cost from $6 to $30, but one bottle will last you a few years. My everyday black that I use for work and a lot of my writing I've had for about a year and I've only just reached the top of the label on the bottle.

To use bottled ink, you will need some bulk-fill adapter. Usually, this will come with pens in some fashion. Usually called the "converter," it's a device that sucks up ink into a pen. Some have a bit you screw and unscrew to drive a piston up and down a hollow tube, pushing out the air and sucking the ink in as it retracts. Some are just a rubber sac you either squeeze yourself or push a metal bar to squeeze, sucking in ink like a turkey baster. Some pens have these things built-in, some pens don't even use any mechanical means. They're called "eyedropper fillers" and you just unscrew the body and fill it up with ink directly. They have a huge capacity but during long writing sessions the heat from your hand can cause them to belch or dribble.

Here is a visual aid on how to use a typical cartridge converter.

Tell me more about inks!

Inks! God I love inks! There are literally hundreds of inks to choose from, widely available from pen manufacturers and others. The number of colours and shades and hues available is just insane. If you can imagine a colour, someone has made an ink of it. You want blacklight-reactive ink? Holmes, you have choices. Fountain pen inks are water-based and use coloured dyes, which means they generally wash out easily, even from paper. Do not use India ink or any shellac-based or pigmented inks. They will destroy your pen.

If you want a permanent ink, there is a whole line of "Bulletproof" inks from the Noodler's Ink Company. The ink works by bonding with cellulose, so if you spill it on your desk it's no problem, but if it gets on your clothes they're just done. Bulletproof inks resist water, most common solvents one might use to lift ink from paper, and thanks to consumer input, lasers! Heart of Darkness is a "bulletproof" ink designed to be blacker than the blackest black and even comes with a free Platinum Preppy converted for eyedropper use if you buy the 4.5oz bottle. This is the ink I use every day and I swear by it.

There are tons of other companies with tons of other colours which each have their own properties. Some inks flow better, some inks are more resistant to soaking into the paper and "feathering." There are cheap staple inks you buy all the time and use every day and there are some more luxurious inks with better flow or brighter colours that you might like. This is the most dangerous part of fountain pen enthusiasm: ink collecting is a slippery slope. Oh, sure, you start off with a bottle of HoD, but then you decide you need a blue to keep it festive, or a nice blue-black to add a little character but keep it legal. Then you want a fancier ink for important letters. Then you'll need another colour for writing Christmas cards. Then you get an italic nib and need an ink with better shading. Then one day you wonder what's the big deal about scented inks and curiosity gets the better of you and the next thing you know you get a pallet from the Goulets and wonder what the hell you're going to do with 3 ounces of ink that can only be read under blacklight.

Wait, go back. Italic?

Yes! Italic! And oblique and stub and flex! Nibs come in a variety of types that give different line properties. The most basic nibs just create a normal line and generally come in Extra-Fine (XF), Fine (F), Medium (M), and Broad (B).


Italic nibs are ones that are flattened out near the tip with sharp edges. They're useful for creating lines with a lot of variation in the width. If you draw a line across the broad side of the nib it will be very thick, and if you draw a line across the thin side it will create a much, much thinner line. This style of writing is mostly associated with calligraphy, but plenty of people use it in their everyday writing. Here's a sample to show what I mean:



Stub nibs are much like italics, but their edges are rounded for a more gentle variation in line width. You don't quite get the stark angles, but they tend to glide a bit more gently compared to italics.



Music nibs are super-wide italic nibs with three tines. As the name suggests, they were originally made to write out music, but nowadays they just give crazy-wide lines and great flow since one little slit doesn't have to feed the entire pen tip.



Oblique nibs are like italics, but they're cut at a weird angle requiring the pen to be held in a different way. They also give a more "calligraphy-like" line, but which strokes get which variation are different.


Finally, we have flex nibs. These are nibs that force you to commit a mortal sin against fountain pins: the harder you press, the wider the lines you get. Flex nibs were very popular in vintage pens but fell out of style until recently when the Namiki Falcon and Noodler's much more affordable lines came out. The idea is that you control when the lines get fatter or skinnier, not some punk-rear end nib horning in on your turf. I have an Ahab that I use often because I love the ability to add flourish or emphasis without switching pens.

Wait, I'm left-handed. Won't everything I write just be a smeared mess?

Heck no! There are inks made specifically with lefties in mind that dry almost as soon as they hit the paper, and with the proper form you'll be writing up a storm in no time.

cobalt impurity fucked around with this message at Feb 5, 2013 around 04:33

lags
Jan 3, 2004



Jesus. Very comprehensive. Might want to mention that gouletpens.com is very friendly. Shipping is not outrageous and offers more inventory than any Canadian online retailer that I've been able to find, anyway.

Hotbod Handsomeface
Dec 28, 2009


I just ordered a Pilot Metropolitan with Noodler's Liberty Elesyum and Heart of Darkness. I am super excited.

evilneanderthal
Mar 5, 2008

After school we'd all go play in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us. It wasn't until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear.

Will one of these converters fit in this Sheaffer cartridge pen from the 90s?



Descriptions for the converter say they're 5/16" in diameter at the fat end (e.g.), which is exactly the width of the cartridges it takes (regular Sheaffer ones like they sell at Staples). So, I would think that it would work just fine. However, this post on FPN had the same question with a very similar pen, and one of the responses said it wouldn't fit.

Anyone know for sure? It's only either way but I'd prefer to know for sure.

evilneanderthal fucked around with this message at Jan 31, 2013 around 00:26

Solkanar512
Dec 28, 2006


Cobalt, loving brillant!

One thing to add to your pen list: the Pilot Metropolitan. A complete package perfect as a first pen for $15. Also, Amazon has a great selection of pens, and Overstock has pens on occasion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7F5Vbz1nTg

Solkanar512 fucked around with this message at Jan 31, 2013 around 02:09

jomiel
Feb 19, 2008

nya

Some FAQs

http://www.gouletpens.com/Fountain_...edge_s/1130.htm Goulet Pens' store also has a fountain pen 101 youtube video

http://nibs.com/Left-hand%20writers.htm John Mattishaw's page on the different ways left handed people hold fountain pens and how that factors in which type of nib you might look for

http://www.richardspens.com/ Richard Binder's page has a good selection of faq, as well as stuff on vintage pens and how to do basic repairs on them



If anyone is interested in trying out vintage pens, a really cheap one with good writing value is Esterbrook. http://esterbrook.net/ has its various series, and you can buy one on ebay for ~$20-30.

cobalt impurity
Apr 23, 2010

You can relax and be free!


Quote is not edit.

Wibbleman
Apr 19, 2006

Fluffy doesn't want to be sacrificed



cobalt impurity posted:

If you want a permanent ink, there is a whole line of "Bulletproof" inks from the Noodler's Ink Company. The ink works by bonding with cellulose, so if you spill it on your desk it's no problem, but if it gets on your clothes they're just done. Bulletproof inks resist water, most common solvents one might use to lift ink from paper, and thanks to consumer input, lasers! Heart of Darkness is a "bulletproof" ink designed to be blacker than the blackest black and even comes with a free Platinum Preppy converted for eyedropper use if you buy the 4.5oz bottle. This is the ink I use every day and I swear by it.

You didn't mention that you have a few other options for permanent inks. The Iron Gall inks are waterproof and bleach proof, for modern pens you can get either Lamy T52 Blue-black (blau-schwarz (Eisengallus)), Montblanc blueblack or Diamine Registrarís ink, don't for the love of god use old Iron Gall inks unless you want your pen to be ruined though.

Or the nano inks from Sailor which have very small carbon particles in them Eg Sailor Sei-Boku Bottle Pigmented Ink ~ Blue Black, 50ml or Sailor Kiwa-Guro Bottle Pigmented Ink ~ Ultra Black, 50ml
(my TWSBI 530 has Sei-Boku in it all the time)

duckfarts
Jul 2, 2010

~ shameful ~




Are there any fountain pens that are "travel-proof" or pocket friendly? (read: don't piss ink everywhere inside the cap if carried in a bag or pocket)

Baller Witness Bro
Nov 16, 2006

Hey FedEx, how dare you deliver something before your "delivered by" time.


duckfarts posted:

Are there any fountain pens that are "travel-proof" or pocket friendly? (read: don't piss ink everywhere inside the cap if carried in a bag or pocket)

I've been using a Pilot Varsity for a bit now and I've not noticed any kind of ink leakage even when I've purposely banged it around on my desk and such.

Not a "true" fountain pen but it writes well (if pretty thick) and they're cheap.

I really want a Lamy Safari with EF tip but I can't justify 30 bucks on a pen right now

I also had no idea you could only write maybe 5-10 pages per load of ink. I use Pilot G2 0.38mm pens for all my labwork / writing and I'd wager I could probably fill a notebook using one pen. They last forever and make a nice neat line that I really like. If I could get that kind of fine-line performance from a fountain I'd be very happy minus the consumption issues.

vdate
Oct 25, 2010


The amount of writing you get out of a single fill of a fountain pen varies pretty heavily, to be honest. I got about one and a half days' worth of really, really intensive note-taking out of one fill of my Lamy Safari, while my lovely new Metropolitan seems to have a much smaller reservoir.

On the subject of travelproofing or being pocket friendly, I've literally worn one of a Safari, a Faber-Castell Basic, a Scheaffer 100, or a Pilot Metropolitan in a breast pocket every day for a year, and the only place I've ever gotten ink that wasn't on the page was a bit on my hands while refilling. They've traveled with me by bus, car, and plane, and no ink spills yet.

duckfarts
Jul 2, 2010

~ shameful ~




Oh yeah, in terms of bleedy inky mess problems, one thing I'm pretty sure of that you may need to be aware of is that fountain pens may not fly well, as in if you go on a plane, you may want to make sure nib side is facing up or the pressure changes may cause the ink to bubble out like they did for one of those mini disposable stubby fountain pens I forget the brand and model of.

Non-edit: after some googlin', word says you should keep them in a plastic bag nib-up, and either completely full or completely empty and FFS don't use them on the plane.

404notfound
Mar 5, 2006

stop staring at me

The amount of writing varies by nib size (thicker lines = more ink used) and ink capacity (piston fillers, eyedroppers, and vacuum fillers will generally hold a lot more than a cartridge converter), but 5-10 pages sounds really, really low. My Vanishing Point uses a converter and has a medium nib (close to a western medium even though it's Japanese), and I've been writing about a page a day in my A4-sized notebook for work for a few weeks now.

Also, if being travel-friendly is really important, the Platinum 3776 is specifically designed with an airtight seal so the pressure won't change even on an airplane, meaning you'll never get ink spilling out of your pen. They also claim that you can leave a pen inked up for up to two years and still start writing with it again without any trouble.

Invalid Octopus
Jun 30, 2008

When is dinner?


Great OP. I fell off the last thread and never caught up, so I'll be sticking with this one! I'd like to throw out a recommendation for Writer's Bloc. There's a corresponding blog with some really well done reviews, and the shop itself has a pretty good selection and prices.

Solkanar512
Dec 28, 2006


duckfarts posted:

Oh yeah, in terms of bleedy inky mess problems, one thing I'm pretty sure of that you may need to be aware of is that fountain pens may not fly well, as in if you go on a plane, you may want to make sure nib side is facing up or the pressure changes may cause the ink to bubble out like they did for one of those mini disposable stubby fountain pens I forget the brand and model of.

Non-edit: after some googlin', word says you should keep them in a plastic bag nib-up, and either completely full or completely empty and FFS don't use them on the plane.

These pressure issues can happen on the ground as well. If you have a pen that is cold and nearly empty, the heat from your hand can push additional ink out of the nib. If you notice your nib is unusually wet, that can mean it's time to refill.

camino
Feb 22, 2006


The one thing I wanted to throw in on the last thread is about breaking TWSBI's. It seems to me that aside from the cap, they don't crack until you disassemble and reassemble them. I've seen a lot of people comment on this. With my next TWSBI, I'm not going to take it apart unless absolutely necessary.

Vitamins
May 1, 2012


camino posted:

The one thing I wanted to throw in on the last thread is about breaking TWSBI's. It seems to me that aside from the cap, they don't crack until you disassemble and reassemble them. I've seen a lot of people comment on this. With my next TWSBI, I'm not going to take it apart unless absolutely necessary.

I have to think that that says more about the people taking the pens apart than the quality of the pens themselves. If someone's not careful it's very easy to overtighten parts of the pen, making the reasonably brittle plastic they use for them (PC?) more likely to crack.
As it's marketed as a pen that you can take apart, it's possible that more people who wouldn't take a pen apart normally may be encouraged to, and thus if they don't know what they're doing break it.

I'm not saying that a load of people don't know what they're doing with regards to pen repair, but I think it could be a factor in the seemingly high failure rate that may not entirely be down to production defects.

Solkanar512
Dec 28, 2006


camino posted:

The one thing I wanted to throw in on the last thread is about breaking TWSBI's. It seems to me that aside from the cap, they don't crack until you disassemble and reassemble them. I've seen a lot of people comment on this. With my next TWSBI, I'm not going to take it apart unless absolutely necessary.

The only time mine have cracked were in my pocket or being dropped on the floor.

gwrtheyrn
Oct 21, 2010


Solkanar512 posted:

The only time mine have cracked were in my pocket or being dropped on the floor.

My cap only broke because I forgot to tell someone it was a twist cap

Brightman
Feb 24, 2005

I've seen fun you people wouldn't believe.
Tiki torches on fire off the summit of Kilauea.
I watched disco balls glitter in the dark near the Brandenburg Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like crowds in rain.

Time to sleep.


camino posted:

The one thing I wanted to throw in on the last thread is about breaking TWSBI's. It seems to me that aside from the cap, they don't crack until you disassemble and reassemble them. I've seen a lot of people comment on this. With my next TWSBI, I'm not going to take it apart unless absolutely necessary.
So far I've disassembled two TWSBIs several times each and neither have cracked. Both are 530s, and there's another 530 my grandfather has that I'll probably have to disassemble and then give up on because I suspect he left Sailor ink in it for like a year

jomiel
Feb 19, 2008

nya

I've flown with fountain pens and most modern pens are fine with the altitude change. If you want to be careful I would not use it during take off and landing, but I've actively written with my pen during take off and had no problems. I would carry a spare tissue just in case.

JP Money posted:

I also had no idea you could only write maybe 5-10 pages per load of ink. I use Pilot G2 0.38mm pens for all my labwork / writing and I'd wager I could probably fill a notebook using one pen. They last forever and make a nice neat line that I really like. If I could get that kind of fine-line performance from a fountain I'd be very happy minus the consumption issues.

The # of pages would depend on the nib width. I use Japanese Fs and EFs and could go for a week or two without reflling my Decimo (slimmer version of Pilot VP). I love the Pilot G2 0.38 too. If you are looking that performance I'd recommend you starting with F or EF in a Japanese/Chinese pen: TWSBI EF (twist cap), Pilot Vanishing Point (retractable), Pilot Prera (clip cap). The Platinum Preppy is a very cheap and good pen but I think its F is a little wide, it's more like a 0.5 mm.

Solkanar512
Dec 28, 2006


So does anyone know how to remove the nib and feed of a Sheaffer 300? I have this gorgeous pen here:



And despite sending it back to have the medium nib changed out for a fine, I'm having really inconsistent ink flow. The pen writes well if I'm going for a while, but at times it will just stop (as if there's a bubble in the converter) and I have to shake it to get the flow going again. I've tried the following:

Used multiple inks - Noodler's Eel, BSB, Private Reserve Naples Blue.
Flushed multiple times - Water, water is a bit of dish soap, water with a bit of ammonia and dish soap. The last one worked really well, but maybe I should soak it over night?

So Yeah, I'm thinking I need to take it apart and look at the feed, but the thing won't twist or pull off. I'm not sure how the assembly works, so if anyone out there has any advice I'd love to hear it. The pen looks too nice to stay in my box unused.

Solkanar512 fucked around with this message at Jan 31, 2013 around 19:52

My PIN is 4826
Aug 30, 2003



Hello new pen thread Any UK goons want to trade inks? I work in a lab, so I can easily nick some 2ml eppendorf tubes for sending samples.

As far as non-standard ink colours go, I have "Pelikan Brown" and "Diamine Green/Black" (I also have waterman black, but I'm sure nobody's interested in that).

Kung Fu Jesus
Jun 20, 2002

lol jews gonna get fucked.

I used a fountain pen once about 20 years ago. I think it was for some project in art class or something. All I remember, and the reason I haven't used one since, is that it produced a scratchy, almost sandpaper sound and feel when I wrote. It was just the right feel and sound to make my skin crawl. It was similar to that feel when you remove a molded piece of styrofoam out of a cardboard package and it rubs together.

Was I just using it wrong or do these pens just not have a smooth movement/feel?

cobalt impurity
Apr 23, 2010

You can relax and be free!


Kung Fu Jesus posted:

I used a fountain pen once about 20 years ago. I think it was for some project in art class or something. All I remember, and the reason I haven't used one since, is that it produced a scratchy, almost sandpaper sound and feel when I wrote. It was just the right feel and sound to make my skin crawl. It was similar to that feel when you remove a molded piece of styrofoam out of a cardboard package and it rubs together.

Was I just using it wrong or do these pens just not have a smooth movement/feel?

It's all based on the pen, but I have pens from 5 different manufacturers and none of them are anything like that. They range from buttery-smooth to too dry for my tastes but still perfectly usable. It might have been a bad nib or you might have been holding it wrong/pressing too hard. Once you get it down, they become a pleasure to use!

Synastren
Nov 8, 2005

Bad at Starcraft 2.
Better at psychology.
Psychology Megathread


Kung Fu Jesus posted:

I used a fountain pen once about 20 years ago. I think it was for some project in art class or something. All I remember, and the reason I haven't used one since, is that it produced a scratchy, almost sandpaper sound and feel when I wrote. It was just the right feel and sound to make my skin crawl. It was similar to that feel when you remove a molded piece of styrofoam out of a cardboard package and it rubs together.

Was I just using it wrong or do these pens just not have a smooth movement/feel?

You probably used a really cheap "calligraphy" pen. I had the same experience, so I was hesitant, myself, until fellow goon Sarern* got me a Safari Vista for Christmas.

I am now one of the faithful.

*He's also the sonofabitch who got me this red text. **

**He also lurks like a motherfucker, and is probably giggling at this post RIGHT NOW.

Synastren fucked around with this message at Feb 1, 2013 around 03:32

KKKLIP ART
Sep 3, 2004

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As a lefty who side writes with my hand dragging where my freshly written text is, what type of ink would you suggest? I have a Lamy Safari with the medium nib and am going to get the cartridge for it, but I don't like the idea of smearing ink all over my hands.

teethgrinder
Oct 9, 2002

Nurse?

Most of the inks I have don't smear. I'd avoid regular Noodlers, though they have a few specific fast-dry inks which I'm sure would be fine.

Also a medium nib means more ink is put on the page, resulting in longer dry times. Consider going finer if you have trouble. (But generally I don't have trouble with a medium Lamy nib.)

teethgrinder fucked around with this message at Feb 1, 2013 around 18:08

Solkanar512
Dec 28, 2006


KKKLIP ART posted:

As a lefty who side writes with my hand dragging where my freshly written text is, what type of ink would you suggest? I have a Lamy Safari with the medium nib and am going to get the cartridge for it, but I don't like the idea of smearing ink all over my hands.

I know you said cartridge, but there are quick drying bottle inks, Noodler's has some but I can't think of which ones they are.

The other thing you can try is either going to a finer nib, or trying a left handed nib, since Lamy makes those as well. I'm not sure how well they work, but it should make the process more comfortable.

404notfound
Mar 5, 2006

stop staring at me

I've been adapting to keeping my hand just below the line where I'm writing, so I won't have smearing problems. Probably the easiest way to keep your ink options open without carrying blotting paper everywhere you go.

KKKLIP ART
Sep 3, 2004

VTEC
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404notfound posted:

I've been adapting to keeping my hand just below the line where I'm writing, so I won't have smearing problems. Probably the easiest way to keep your ink options open without carrying blotting paper everywhere you go.

I think this is probably what I am going to do.

gwrtheyrn
Oct 21, 2010


KKKLIP ART posted:

I think this is probably what I am going to do.

I do this and I'm right handed. Another thing to consider is what paper you have--a more absorbent/cheaper paper usually dries a little faster because the ink doesn't sit on the surface very long

Brightman
Feb 24, 2005

I've seen fun you people wouldn't believe.
Tiki torches on fire off the summit of Kilauea.
I watched disco balls glitter in the dark near the Brandenburg Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like crowds in rain.

Time to sleep.


To add to all this trying to improve your handwriting by writing from the shoulder might help quite a bit. Here's an article about handwriting in general that goes over grips, writing from the shoulder, and such. It takes practice but it makes writing more comfortable and produces smoother letters. I'm sorta in between writing with my wrist/fingers and shoulder right now unless I'm actively thinking about it, but it does work.

WAFFLEHOUND
Apr 26, 2007

A DOG THAT FUCKING LOVES WAFFLES

So I just got the Masonic fountain pen I posted at the end of the last thread and it's crazy nice. I'll do a more full writeup later.

Brightman
Feb 24, 2005

I've seen fun you people wouldn't believe.
Tiki torches on fire off the summit of Kilauea.
I watched disco balls glitter in the dark near the Brandenburg Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like crowds in rain.

Time to sleep.


Got my Pilot Metropolitan early today. Goulet Pens threw in a Tootsie Pop with this one...okay.

Came with a Con-20 instead of a Con-50, which ain't that bad considering the 50's capacity is a bit poor. It writes really well, the line is thinner than the medium nib on my VP funnily enough, but the snap cap feels looser than my Lamy Safari, so I don't have a lot of confidence carrying this outside of a shirt pocket. Pen looks nice, writes decently, and for the price it's a great deal, quite deserving of its place in the OP.

Edit: I skimmed the page description on Goulet, the Con-50 is extra and the pen comes with the Con-20 by default.

Brightman fucked around with this message at Feb 2, 2013 around 00:42

SnakesRevenge
Dec 29, 2008

Remember the basics of CQC, Snake!

Brightman posted:

Got my Pilot Metropolitan early today. Goulet Pens threw in a Tootsie Pop with this one...okay.

Came with a Con-20 instead of a Con-50, which ain't that bad considering the 50's capacity is a bit poor. It writes really well, the line is thinner than the medium nib on my VP funnily enough, but the snap cap feels looser than my Lamy Safari, so I don't have a lot of confidence carrying this outside of a shirt pocket. Pen looks nice, writes decently, and for the price it's a great deal, quite deserving of its place in the OP.

Edit: I skimmed the page description on Goulet, the Con-50 is extra and the pen comes with the Con-20 by default.

I've had candy in my last few shipments from them.

I snagged two Metropolitans a week or so ago and I absolutely love them, I transplanted a plumix nib on to one with ease and have had a joy writing with both. Also both have tight caps and I've had no hesitation even putting them in my pants pockets.
Along with a Varsity, this is absolutely what I'll recommend to people wanting to get started with fountain pens.

On a more expensive note, I've been thinking of saving for a metal falcon. Any owners here care to talk me in/out of it? The pen looks absolutely gorgeous, and I'd love to see how writing with it compares to my Ahab.

Hotbod Handsomeface
Dec 28, 2009


Just got my order in today. The Pilot Metropolitan is great, I like the slight heft that it has. It feels very solid. I have it filled with Noobler's Liberty's Elysium. It is an ok blue, it isn't popping as much as I would like it to but it performs really well. I also got Noodler's Heart of Darkness and that is just fantastic. It is so black, and the Preppy that it came with is also very nice. I am very happy with Goulet as well.

I am going to ask for a red-black ink and a Lamy for my birthday.

Welsper
Jan 14, 2008

A Coalition government will provide assistance to forum members and their families, who have been victims of your posting since 10 September 2001.

abbotsgonnawin


Hotbod Handsomeface posted:

I am going to ask for a red-black ink and a Lamy for my birthday.

Red-Brown is where it's at.

Noodlers Tiananmen and Diamine OxBlood are as hell.

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Solkanar512
Dec 28, 2006


Welsper posted:

Red-Brown is where it's at.

Noodlers Tiananmen and Diamine OxBlood are as hell.

Tiananmen is awesome. It shades down to a dark blood red on the wider nibs.

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