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aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

I am probably going to take the plunge and pick up a Pilot Metropolitan and some Noodler's Ink (Heart of Darkness or Borealis Black) in a week or two. I like using small notebooks to catch ideas on the go (grid or lined, I need some structure) but Moleskines have some iffy papers that bleed somewhat. Are there any recommendations for decent stationary?

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aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Kessel posted:

I may be alone here but I think that while Clairefontaine paper is very nice, you are paying a lot when you can get comparable or better paper for less cost from a Japanese maker.

For instance, Kokuyo makes a line of notebooks with paper it calls Mio. http://www.jetpens.com/search?q=kokuyo+mio They're cheaper than Clairefontaine sheet for sheet and the paper is of a ridiculously high quality - I use these daily and get zero bleeding or feathering even with the very wet Visconti HS nib and a wet-flowing ink.

Moleskine paper is, as you've mentioned, overpriced bullshit and you shouldn't get Moleskines.

edit - forgot to mention. If you're really hardcore about your paper you can get Cyo-bo from Kokuyo: http://www.jetpens.com/search?q=kokuyo+cyo-bo gets you 100g paper (Clairefontaine is 90g), the texture of which is difficult to describe beyond "man this paper feels and writes expensive."

This is neat. I was looking locally since I live near Oakland and work in San Francisco CA so there are a couple of stationery stores that I am looking at to see if I can find these papers, but I think they're probably a bit too specialty to find them in local shops.

This Midori Traveler's Notebook seems to be pretty overkill but I'd view it as an investment (also locally available). I might stop by this store on a long lunch break while I'm in the city to pick up some of the refills or some such, pick up a few things at that store I just linked (Maido Stationery).

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Kessel posted:

Actually, if you're in California Jetpens is based there and will get you your stuff FAST.

Having used both Rhodia and the Kokuyo papers, I can say that they're comparable in quality with the Cyo-bo winning out by a hair in terms of drying time. However, when you look at the price difference - especially if you write multiple pages daily - the per-sheet lower cost of the Japanese paper makes it more economical.

So it is! I sent them an email to see if I can trick them into letting me come to their office (I don't think they have a physical store) so I can try out some pens as a day trip or some such.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

My sister mentioned that there's a place in San Francisco called FLAX - which sells Noodler's ink and a staggering amount of stuff that's art and stationery related. I'm going to check it out during lunch today!

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

I want to try a bunch of inks at once! Are there any sampler sets that are recommended to buy, or good places to obtain samples, etc? I saw, for example, that Goulet Pens sells 2ml samples for $2.50 of the entire Iroshizuku line; if you wanted the entire set as a sample, it's $54 instead for 24 colors, which is a bit of a discount ($1.13 per sample at that point). I'd be testing with a Pilot Metropolitan (whenever I get around to purchasing things) and a variety of papers (Apica CD, Exacompta, Maruman Eco, Clairefontaine 1951, Maruman Mnemosyne) to see what all works best.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

So I went to Flax in San Francisco and I got the chance to try a variety of pens in person to find one that felt good. I ended up with a Faber-Castell LOOM Fine, which is a steel body (chrome on the barrel, matte on the grip), black plastic cap.

I also ended up getting a Rhodia DotPad, Apica Basic 5B4, Apica CD-5, Whitelines Spiral A5, Rhodia 5 1/2" x 8 1/4" Webnotebook, and three inks: J. Herbin Lie de The, Diamine Prussian Blue, Noodler's Bulletproof Black.

I may have splurged a bit.



e: pen

aldantefax fucked around with this message at 20:51 on Aug 25, 2013

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

I tried out the pen with the Whitelines notebook, the Apica Basics notebook, and the Rhodia DotPad so far! interesting results...

For reference: Faber-Castell Loom - Fine Nib, J. Herbin - Lie de The ink

The Apica Basics notebook actually has minimal ghosting and will only bleed if you get really excessive with the ink (three passes of cross-hatching for me). You have good value with it ($2 USD for 48 sheets, so 96 pages total for this size of the notebook means about 2-4 cents a page). Great as a take around notebook that can take ink well.

The Whitelines Spiralbound notebook has smoother paper but has an issue with ghosting - it's very visible on the backside of the page. It actually bleeds through the back a bit worse than the Apica Basics! It's a pleasure to write on, and considering that I'm using a pen that appears to have a wet stroke with an ink that flows very easily, I'd imagine a drier nib would work better for it. Still fine to write on, but in terms of economy you trade for paper that feels a little better and has a grey tint with the trademark white lines. It's still nice at $10 for 70 A5 sheets - spiralbound means it lays flat, too, a definite perk.

The Rhodia DotPad is kind of a gold standard from what I've seen for pen reviews and the like - it feels good to write on and I got a pad expressly to test out inks with, so it's good to know that it hasn't let me down. Minimal ghosting, smooth, takes awhile for the ink to dry. Very crisp white paper. I'd say that if you wanted to try out a lot of inks this is a good thing to have! I'm going to assume that the Rhodia Webnotebook that I have is going to perform very similar to the DotPad.

I have an Apica CD-5 which has a higher quality paper than the Apica Basic notebook that I've already tried out and a different color cover, so I'll give that a go at some point soon also.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

comaerror posted:

Fine, Goulet, TAKE MY MONEY!

Going to give the pilot metro a shot as babby's first fountain pen. I've been meaning to re-learn cursive (it's just been so long) and a nice pen sounds like a good investment.

This is what I'm doing. I've found during a lunch break about 40 minutes of just writing quotes about a specific topic from famous people makes for good variation and practice. I'm using a Rhodia Webnotebook and I do a front and back page, so it'll be nice to go through the whole book and see my writing steadily go from "what is this" to "kind of legible" by the time I hit the end of the book!

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

i have made a terrible mistake

On the other hand, I have the Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun and a Pilot Prera now...

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'



Handwriting practice is already showing some small results, which is nice. Using the Prera with its Fine nib versus the Loom with its also-fine-but-clearly-not-as-fine and also very wet nib is definitely a different experience - I'll need to write with a lighter hand!

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

So I've tracked down three brick and mortar stores that have fountain pen displays and inks of various sorts in the SF Bay Area. Here are some about them:

Flax Art & Design, San Francisco - they have a whole fountain pen kiosk with nice ladies at the helm. They are happy to let you try out a variety of pens and have some Diamine blue ink handy for testing. There is a swab book available for all the inks they happen to carry - a variety of Noodler's (but not 54th Mass.), J. Herbin, Diamine, and some others. This is also pretty great as an actual art store, and they carry a pretty gigantic selection of papers (about a warehouse's worth) and many shelves of notebooks.

Maido, San Francisco - A Japanese gifts shop, they nevertheless have a nice pen selection and carry Iroshizuku inks. I spotted some Midori products including the Traveler's Notebook line; Tsubame notebooks; and some others that are fountain pen friendly. Their stock of inks and the Midori stuff is somewhat spotty though! They are nearby my work and it is dangerous to go there. They have a King of Pen.

Castle in the Air, Berkeley - I found this by chance when I was looking through Yelp, they are a small store but the people there are pretty wonderful. They have fancy hand-stitched custom leather wraparound books that have the 150g+ paper with the spackling for all you water colorists - a 2x4" book costs $84 bucks, woah. They carry Clariefontaine classic spiral notebooks and both the standard Rhodia pads and the Rhodia "R" series which has thicker, smoother paper. They also have a quaint cabinet full of Noodler's (including the stuff that Flax didn't have handey), a few bottles of Iroshizuku, and some others like india inks and such. They also sell calligraphy dip pens with the steel flex nibs and also glass dip pens (which are super fragile, please don't drop one in your sink when cleaning it).

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

ChickenOfTomorrow posted:

Have you joined the SF Pen Posse yet? We usually meet in Millbrae.

poo poo, a posse? Hook me up.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

For handwriting practice today someone asked me to write out the lyrics to this song, but I got bored after the chorus:

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Edmond Dantes posted:

Hah, same with me. Gouletpens sent me an email asking me to review my purchases, and I have no loving clue what to say about the inks, and "writes pretty" doesn't quite cut it.

I have been looking through a lot of reviews recently and they all have a discussion on the methodology they use for the review - what paper, pen, nib, and so forth are used. Brian Goulet's ink reviews aren't super duper comprehensive, but they give key information regarding the more universal factors of inks and are a good point to start if you wanted to get a really good perspective on what is going on with an ink, since everybody has some different setups based on pen/nib/paper.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Brightman posted:

The stone pen from Kickstarter

Are these being sold normally post-kickstarter? That looks fantastic!

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

I want to get a TWSBI and some kind of nib comparable to a Pilot Prera Fine nib (or an italic or flex, really want to try those out). Do I want to buy the Vac-700 or the 580?

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Hot drat that commemorative 50th Vanishing Point looks classy. For anybody that owns a VP, does the clip get in the way of day to day writing?

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Solkanar512 posted:

Do you have a link to the pen you're talking about? Is it the wooden one?

Correct. Goulet Pens will be stocking some when they roll out later this year.



aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

I'm going to a pen posse in San Francisco this Sunday! I'm not sure what to expect other than maybe someone from this thread showing up. I'm going to eat a bunch of Chinese food.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Well! That was interesting, if a bit crowded. Someone brought a Nakaya Urushi (the burgundy clipless! oh my!) and someone had already busted out their kit to inspect some pens that needed work. I ended up walking away with a certain kind of paper that is supposedly quite expensive, very thin, and very fountain pen friendly? I'll have to test it out some time.

I also was like half the age of a large majority of those present, it felt like...

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

ChickenOfTomorrow posted:

You took some of the Tomoe River paper that Loren posted about? Do share scans of your writing samples. I'm a brand loyalist but I enjoy the reviews of others.

Goodness, 100 sheets for 10 bucks is a princely sum. A majority of the old hats at the pen club noted it as a "paper of the gods" - I'll see if I can do something with it tonight.

I sampled some inks, too, whilst I was out there: De Atrementis Merlot, Shaeffer Permanent Royal Blue #532, a custom Iron Gall labeled "Valley Oak Iron Gall, 14 April 2013 GT Veddig", and some mystery Chinese black ink. I sampled all of the inks with a J. Herbin large glass dip pen:



Handwriting still terrible!

The top left was a demonstration by the organizer of a proper flex pen, which was done with a pen that I'm sure had something considerably more expensive in the nib that I'm ready to spend!

No idea what that Chinese black ink was because I can't read the label, but it wrote well enough. I think it's pretty thick, overall:



I quite like that Royal Blue, more of a blue-grey that I'm a fan of. I was also, ah, educated by the guy who brought his entire pen repair kit that a 'demonstrator' pen is, in fact, just a 'clear' pen - a real demonstrator would be nonfunctional. Educational!

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

poo poo. Iroshizuku inks are 20 bucks on Amazon right now and I have Prime. I'm gonna get that Tsuki-yo, but what else? Yama-budo? Asa-gao?

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Welsper posted:

Kon-Peki is quite nice, Tsukushi and Fuyu-Syogun have been getting lots of comment in the thread lately.

Always buy a Tsuki-Yo

Actually, I have Fuyu-Syogun already, works like a champ (though I swapped it out for Noodler's Borealis Black in my Prera). Since I have the Diamine Prussian Blue it feels like too much overlap to get the Shin-kai, but the Kon-peki seems like a winner.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Hey. Tell me about vintage pens. Estebrooks, Watermans, Schaeffers, whatever. The local Pen Posse has told me that if I want to look into flexy nibs and italics that vintage pens are ones not to sleep on. I'm looking for durable, easy to maintain, sub 70 bucks, flexy nib. Suggestions?

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

ChickenOfTomorrow posted:

I think someone asked about maroon/beetroot-ish inks a while back? Here's a wee sample of Noodler's Saguaro Wine:



What! How do you get writing like that!? I want to get some writing like that. Also, what pen/nib?

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

So I forgot to actually post in this thread that last weekend during the local pen posse I ended up buying a TWSBI 530 with a medium nib + an italic 1.1 - someone also gave me two Esterbrooks, one a desk pen. They are all pretty fantastic! The medium nib on the TWSBI is juicy, and I love the way it feels in the hand since it's a bit thicker than most other pens, but still fairly light because it's still all plastic.

I also picked up some of those Midori TN refills and doohickeys for a faux Midori I'm getting pretty solid mileage out of.

In other news...anybody want to buy a Nakaya Decapod? One of the local pen people is selling hers before moving to Poland.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

So, uh, I guess now I have a TWSBI 540 with a fine nib and Vac 700 with another medium nib. Not sure how I did that, but I think Pen Posse had something to do with it.

I got a bunch of purple ink samples from the last meetup which I'll take a picture of soon!

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Yay, my first 14k nib pen - and it's hella older than me! Wahl Eversharp Symphony 713 flex nib.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

pens. PENS.

I got that Metropolitan on Friday with Iroshizuku Asa-gao and Tsuki-yo bottles, very speedy Amazon delivery. The metro writes great with the Asa-gao, pretty juicy nib with it!

I also loaded up my Prera with this Montblanc black that has the West Germany label on it, ink on loan from a local goon who doesn't post that much these days anymore. It writes quite beautifully - odd for the Prera since I always thought the nib was a bit on the scratchy side, being a Japanese fine. Turns out, it can handle this 50+ year old ink like a champ!

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

breathstealer posted:

Can anyone post a picture of the Diamond 530 instruction leaflet, specifically the parts diagram? I need a replacement o-ring but I'm not sure how to describe it precisely. Thanks!

yeah okay one sec

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

twinight posted:

Ah hell now I'm caught debating between the Prera M and the TWSBI 580 M. The 580 M nib seems marginally larger than the Prera M. Mostly I'm just worried about the Prera being too short and the modularity of the 580 is kind of attractive. The cap insert on the 580 is a bit more attractive, too, but the color accents of the clear Preras are nice.

Looking at the writing samples from Goulet the Prera is a bit 'flatter' (is that the right word?), seems more even. The 580 has a bit more expression to it just due to ink flow I suppose.

Don't suppose anybody who has written with either (or ideally, both) can comment on the smoothness? Scratchy pens of any variety drive me up the wall.

Aaaa. Why did I ever open this thread?

Edit: angerbeet you are a bad person.

Thanks for the info about the nibs!

hella comin

The TWSBI 540 and 700 are definitely on the larger range of modern pens that aren't special edition Montblancs, etc (I've seen a few where the pen bodies are twice as thick) - however, it's meant for larger hands and totally not meant to be posted. The metal band with the TWSBI engraving on it adds a ton of weight, so when posted it becomes extremely back heavy. Works fine for the Mini, but not the bigger pens.

I have a TWSBI 530/mini with an M nib and the 700 with an M nib (both of them are the old style ones, I think). They both seem to write just fine for me, but I did have a bit of a time fiddling with the 700 before it got really decent ink flow. The 540 has a F nib, which has the same type of characteristics as the above. I can't say whether or not that impacts the newer nibs!

The Prera posts fine but does get a bit of ink in the cap. Since I've used both the 540 (which is the predecessor to the 580) and a Prera with an F nib, I would recommend the TWSBI (if you want a more comparable size, try the Prera vs. the TWSBI mini, which has threads so you can screw the cap on the back to post).

It's probably been covered already but TWSBI is all about self-serviceability, so you have more leeway to do goofy stuff with it like switch out the nib (someone in the local Pen Posse appears to have switched out a TWSBI nib for a Wahl Eversharp flex nib - going to have to ask him about that tomorrow). Threaded caps mean that the thing won't suddenly fly off if agitated, a problem I have had with the Prera (dropped mine a couple of times as a result, but still writes fine).

The older TWSBI nibs (bock?) can feel a bit on the drier side, so if you write with a light hand then you may find that they do not put out as much ink, or any at all! Someone mentioned the Prera M nib is the exact same as the Metropolitan nib (which only comes in M), and that puts out a very solid line without any shading (tried with Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao ink in the Metropolitan, Fuyu-Syogun ink in the Prera F). I can post some writing samples when I get back.

Also - time to go pick up this Eversharp Symphony!

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

A dude showed me his TWSBI mini with an Eversharp Symphony nib in it. I think...this is a thing that i am going to want to do now!?

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Oh, I'm a bad pen man.

I purchased reconditioned new old stock from Peyton Street Pens in Santa Cruz, CA and drove down there to pick up the thing - an Eversharp Symphony 713 (?) Medium 14k flex nib. I have been fiddling with it since I got it last Friday, and experimenting with some different ways of holding the pen. This thing puts out a ridiculous amount of ink (compared to the other pens I've been using, anyway).



Bad handwriting time! This was in a Rhodia Webnotebook with the above pen and Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo. I make no claims to any of the content being legible, pretty, or accurate.

In the above example, #1 was writing by gripping high on the barrel while posted, on the upper third of the pen (practically where the posted cap meets the rest of the body). #2 was holding it on the middle third, done with rapid strokes using a lot of wrist movement. Lastly, #3 was as close to the actual grip as I could get my hand, making fast but short deliberate (kind of) strokes to get the lines down.

It's difficult to keep the pressure so light! However, in order to achieve shading, it looks like that you want to be pretty deft on the downstrokes. If I were to use a lighter ink (which I may in a week or two, I am still really digging using the Tsuki-yo though) then I think it would be a bit easier.

I'm looking on various places that discuss proper flex positioning and writing, but I must say that since this is a medium nib it feels like (and this is probably inexperience talking) that the 'flex' portion only flexes up to B or BB. I am probably being a big baby about it though and not flexing it as much as it can go!

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Xovaan posted:

What?? Santa Cruz has a pen store? God damnit. I just graduated and now I'm back in San Diego. Had I known...

Looks like a great pen though! Congrats.

It's an online order only store, Peyton Street Pens. They don't have a real storefront but Teri was really accommodating and gave me a quick tour and introduction to their new workshop - they completely demolished a garage at her house and rebuilt it to have some dedicated space for the biz. They've been in business for about 5 years now full time, and they have what appears to be a complete staff!

Speaking of which, they are doing a celebration now that the new workshop has been open and nothing exploded for about 2 weeks. I am probably going, but who else is? Apparently, there are "famous meatball sliders" and "locally made ice cream" in the works - this sounds like it's worth the drive...

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Here, now, what's all this?



Ah ha. Seven Seas Tomoe River paper. I don't know how many people in this thread know of it, but it was brought up some time ago. A very fancy paper that is ridiculously thin. Looks like this one is used - what's on the other side?



lovely handwriting practice time, and power metal lyrics, at that! Shameful.



Goodness, if I didn't transcribe these from album lyrics I'd swear the last 2/3rds were worrisome (good song, though, if you like Holy Grail).



lovely pen picture time! From left to right, then the desk pen:
  • Wahl Eversharp Symphony, 14k Medium Flex - Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun
  • Pilot Metropolitan, Medium - Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-gao
  • Esterbrook Renew-Point, 9550 Extra-Fine - Diamine Prussian Blue
  • Pilot Prera, Japanese Fine - Montblanc Black (W. Berlin formula)
  • TWSBI 530 mini, Medium - Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo
  • Faber-castell, German Medium - Montblanc Alt-burgundy cartridge
  • TWSBI 540, Fine - Private Reserve Burgundy Mist (aged?)
  • TWSBI 700, Medium - Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki
  • Esterbrook Renew-Point, 2668 (Medium?) - J. Herbin Lie de The

It looks like I'll be giving Leigh Reyes a ride to the Santa Cruz Pen Posse while she's in town! I'm sure I'll have a lot of questions for her during the car ride down. She has been known to have beautiful calligraphy, artwork, and a hell of a lot of fancy pens.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

I hope you guys find some super cool pens (then give them to me)!

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Is anybody going to the Pan-Pacific pen meetup next weekend? I heard they are going to display dark secrets of pen-based telepathy at it.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Would anybody like to do a virtual pen pal thing for the holidays? Save on the postage, get all the fun of writing to someone else! Actual pen pal things would be cool too. I know there are a few efforts to get some holiday greetings correspondence out on FPN and FPGeeks and the like.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

I now have a Waterman 52 full size in black, with a ring top! It flexes from XF to BBBB (or thereabouts), it is going to be craaaazy to write with. I also had someone put an Eversharp nib into a TWSBI Vac-700, grind the feed, and smooth the vintage nib so that it writes with some semiflex, comparable to a Pilot Falcon nib. I'll see if I can come up with some samples later!

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aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

For cleaning, use a cuticle brush, you can find them in drugstores, and just scrub up for awhile. I haven't had to deal with anything that bills itself as bulletproof or permanent (though I do have bulletproof black Noodler's) but rinsing the majority off quickly with the scrubbing action tends to work. I hear but cannot corroborate that shaving cream is also a good ink lifter from body parts.

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