This Just In: Pilot Vanishing Point Cherry Bamboo and Left Oblique Nib

Pilot Vanishing Point Cherry Bamboo on my Roterfaden TaschenbegleiterWhile not the only reason, I’ve been selling off my accumulation to fund some new purchases. While I like the metal Pilot Vanishing Points the metal feels cold and impersonal. This really became apparent to me the more I used the Maple Wood Vanishing Point. So when Pilot released two more models made of wood the only question was which one I would add to my accumulation first.

The two new models are Cherry Bamboo and Black Bamboo, both have rhodium trim. Both finishes called out to me. My last addition was a dark pen, the Stresemann, so this time I decided to go with a little color and picked the Cherry Bamboo. Besides, I do like red and black together and while mostly red this does have black in it.

Pilot Vanishing Point Cherry Bamboo closeup

Cherry Bamboo closeup

Despite the Bamboo name the pens are made of Birch Wood. While several sites say it’s Bamboo, enough say they’re made of birch wood that I’m convinced it’s birch wood. While it could be the varnish on the Retro 51 and the dye on the VP, my Bamboo Retro 51 feels and looks a lot smoother with less wood grain than the VP.

The pen is pricey and it’s not for everyone. But it is for me and since I sold enough of my accumulation to pay for the pen I went ahead and took the plunge.

I have plenty of VP factory nibs. I sold most of my VPs as empty barrels and have five nibs for two pens, so I ordered the pen from Classic Fountain Pens. This way I could have John Mottishaw grind the factory medium nib to a left oblique. More on the nib later.

The pen is even better looking in real life than in pictures. I’m really glad I picked the Cherry Bamboo. It arrived in a Russian Nesting Doll of boxes. The outer white cardboard sleeve covered a heavy cardboard black box. Inside that was a hinged presentation box for the pen, also black. Removing the presentation box revealed the paperwork and an ink cartridge. The pen sat in a bed of thin cloth and the Pilot name is embossed on the cushioned cover. Nice, but not overboard.

While I’ve been selling off my metal Vanishing Points barrels I’ve been keeping many of the nibs. I’ve been considering getting one of the medium nibs ground to a left oblique or stub. The left oblique fits the way I hold the pen perfectly, at least my Esterbrook left obliques do. The little rotation it needs is the way I want to hold the pen normally and one reason I have a harder time with italic or even stubs.

I was slightly concerned that the clip might prevent me from holding the pen comfortably with the right angle for the nib. Because of this I had intended to have one of my medium nibs ground at a future pen show so I could test it while it was ground.

Ordering the VP without a nib wasn’t an option and another factory nib was unneeded. I spent some time comparing my Esterbrook left oblique with the way I held the Vanishing Point. I was confident it would work for me and I went for the left oblique ground by John Mottishaw.

Pilot Vanishing Point Left Oblique NibI was extremely happy when the pen arrived. The left oblique, which is about 15° in this case, seems perfect for the Vanishing Point. The clip, which can bother some people, and the nib combine to give me a near perfect writing experience.

Since I naturally grip the pen correctly for the nib I can use this pen for notes since I don’t really need to concentrate on my writing. Still, this nib is more for sit down, longer form writing sessions such as the draft to this article.

I inked it up with the included blue cartridge rather than waste the cartridge. I like Pilot ink and I usually use cartridges in the VPs, although blue is rarely my color of choice. But why waste a cartridge. I’ll probably use the converter with this nib so I can pick inks that appreciate the left oblique nib.

The nib isn’t very wide (not a complaint, it’s my preference) so the line variation is subtle. But it’s noticeable and I like it.

I’m glad to have another wood Vanishing Point and I’m very happy to have the Pilot Vanishing Point Cherry Bamboo in my accumulation.

Mid-year Fountain Pen Giveaway

I’m really working to thin out the accumulation. I started with selling 10 fountain pens and now it’s time to give away a fountain pen. The winner will be picked at the half-way point of the year and chose one of three available fountain pens.

The Rules:
1. Leave a comment on this post and to prove you read it, indicate the pen you want. If you win you’ll be able to change your pick, put your comment must include one of the three pens offered as a selection. I’m not looking for exact names so duplicating what I wrote as the name isn’t required and having a typo won’t disqualify you. Picking a Visioneer would disqualify you since there’s no universe where that’s a typo or a good choice.
2. One entry per person.
3. This is open internationally as long as USPS will ship there. Prizes will be declared as a gift but I am required to indicate a value. While this value will be relatively small you will be responsible for any customs fees or taxes.
4. I can’t (won’t) replace any prizes that may be lost or delayed in transit. I use the lowest cost method with no insurance and often no tracking outside the US. After many years of problem free shipping my recent history has some international deliveries taking over 30 days while touring the customs house in multiple countries only to be sent back. This applies to U.S winners too, but it’s mainly been an issue internationally.
5. Please leave your email address in the appropriate comment field. It will not be made public and I won’t add it to any mailing list or share it with others. This will allow me to contact you directly if you win. I will also post the winning comment here on the fountain pen quest but the email will prevent someone from impersonating you to claim the prize.
6. You have until noon eastern U.S. time on July 1st, 2015 to post your entry. This is mid-year in my part of the world.
7. Comments will be numbered in the order received and a winning number will be picked at random.org.
8. The winner has 7 days to contact me after I post the winner. If the prize hasn’t been claimed by then I’ll pick another winner.

The Pens:

Pens for the giveaway - capped Pens for the giveaway - uncappedThese pens are the ones I can’t (or shouldn’t) sell because I didn’t pay for them. None of them include boxes or paperwork but they all include the appropriate converter.

Sheaffer 300 Metallic Gray This pen was provided by Goulet Pens for review purposes. You can read the review here. Of the three pens this is the hardest for me to part with. As I said in the review, I love this pen. Yet, among all my Sheaffers this gets lost so it needs a better home with someone who will use it. My one caveat is that if you must post your pens you may find this top heavy. The pen has a fine nib.

Taccia Staccato Black I won this pen in the Pen Addict’s 100th episode giveaway. I reviewed it here. The pen is nice but the broad nib and gold trim aren’t for me. I find it comfortable and considered having the nib ground more to my liking. But the gold trim is also a turn off for me.

Monteverde Impressa Pearl Silver This pen was provided by Pen Chalet for review purposes. You can read the review here. Others have liked this pen but reviews have been mixed. This one had issues so if you pick this one expect to fiddle with it. This has a fine nib, but it’s very wet.

So pick your pen: Sheaffer 300, Monteverde Imressa, or the Taccia Staccato. Leave your choice in a comment by noon eastern US time on July 1, 2015. The winner will be posted as soon as I can after that.

Ink & Pen Notes: Sheaffer Balance II (Jade Green) with a Medium Nib and Sheaffer Emerald Green Ink

Sheaffer Balance II (Jade Green) medium nib with Sheaffer Emerald GreenThis fill of Sheaffer Emerald Green ink in my Jade Green Sheaffer Balance II was jinxed from the beginning. I did have high hopes based on my first experience with this combination. This time I started off by spilling the ink while filling the pen.

It’s a small, 12ml bottle of ink that Sheaffer packages as calligraphy ink. It’s from the maroon label era of Sheaffer inks, probably around 2000, give or take a couple if years. Because it’s a small bottle I filled the converter directly and clipped the rim of the bottle with the converter, I did clean the converter so this wasn’t the cause of my future problems.

It took what seemed like forever to get the ink to the nib so I ended up manually saturating the feed by twisting the converter. The pen was fine while I wrote a couple pages. I stored the pen in my Dudek “The Stand” overnight, which means it was nib up. In the morning it was hard starting and once it did start it was just a bit skippy. This was a theme with this pen, hard start and just a bit of a skip at times. While not annoying enough to flush the pen early this was a big difference from my initial experience from the pen, which made it feel worse than it was since my expectations weren’t being met.

Then on Saturday, after being unused for about a week, the pen wrote immediately. Much to my surprise it continued to write great for about a page. It wrote great right up to the point it did’t write at all. I knew the pen wasn’t empty so I opened it up, planning to saturate the feed. What I found was ink all over the inside of the barrel and the outside of the converter. The converter was secure so this was either a hole in the converter (that I can’t find) or ink creep.

Sheaffer Balance II (Jade Green) ink in the barrel and on the converter

Sheaffer Balance II (Jade Green) ink in the barrel and on the converter

So that was it for this pen and it was time to clean and flush the pen, with the emphasis on clean. Because these pens have a reputation of being brittle and prone to crack I skipped the ultrasonic cleaner for the barrel and stuck with water and a long cotton swab. The barrel liner seems to be metal (brass?). I am a little concerned about the moisture causing rust or corrosion so the pen will sit out a long while to make sure the moisture evaporates before I close it up.

Ink leak aside, the writing experience with the pen and ink this time wasn’t up to the expectations set by my first experience with them. In fact, based on that first experience I bought two bottles of old Sheaffer Emerald Green (yellow label) ink on eBay. While this experience wasn’t downright bad, I probably wouldn’t have bought additional ink based on this experience.

So with two full 2 oz. unopened bottles and another fill or so left after the spill I’ll certainly be using the ink. It will be back in this pen, but first the Sheaffer Balance II needs to dry out and I need to wipe this experience from my brain.

Sunday Notes and Links

Kaweco Black Stonewashed AL Sport in my TaschenbegleiterThis week’s favorite fountain pen and ink combination is my Black Stonewashed Kaweco AL Sport with a extra fine nib and a Kaweco Red ink cartridge. This pen snuck back up on me. I had decided to sell it to make room for the new brass model. I inked it up to test it out before selling. It’s been inked since and wasn’t put up for sale. I’ve been carrying it in the pen loop of my Taschenbegleiter. It can be annoying at times but I don’t worry about dings in the pens so I may keep it there.

Speaking of selling pens, in the blatant self-promotion department, three of the pens are left, the Vanishing Point 2012LE, the Kaweco AC Sport and the Edison Herald.

Some links of interest…

JINHAO – canetas e coisas // A pretty nice looking inexpensive pen

Jinhao X750 – penreviewingbrit // Just like the above, pretty nice pen for the money.

Review: TWSBI Diamond 580 RB edition — Alt. Haven // RB does not mean rollerball

Airmail Regd Fountain Pen – Write to Me Often // While Indian pens are generally inexpensive, I’ve found many of them to be rough around the edges and usually not worth the cost to get them in the U.S.

Leather Review – Northwestward Field Notes cover by Craft & Lore — The Purl Bug // *A nice cover. In my case I don’t want this much protection for my pocket notebooks. Use and abuse provides it’s own design.

Pilot Capless – 1973 – CN–400BS – Crónicas Estilográficas // At one time I wanted one of the old style VPs but never came across one that had a proce I was willing to pay. I’ve gotten over it, although I do look for them if I’m at a pen show.

June Loadout — The Finer Point // I always enjoy seeing what others are using.

Announcement: The Souverän M3xx Now in The Aviary – The Pelikan’s Perch // A great Pelikan resource grows.

Pen Review: Kaweco Fantasie Pen — the desk of lori // A very interesting idea.

Check out all of this week’s links at Fountain Pen Links. If you’re looking for information about a specific pen or ink be sure to visit Pennquod.

Fountain Pens For Sale

It’s time to thin the accumulation again. All the pens are in excellent shape, they just aren’t for me. Shipping is $6 in the U.S. unless otherwise noted.

Additional details and fine print:

  • I will ship internationally. International shipping is at cost which can be significant, at least $25 for a reasonable delivery time, about $16 for a delivery time that could be measured in weeks. I’ve had some recent problems with the USPS with recent international shipping (geographically challenged, sometimes sitting in customs for the wrong country, resulting in delivery times exceeding a month) so I reserve the right to not sell the pen when tracking and insurance are not available. The price of the pen is declared for customs.
  • Multiple pens in the same order pay only one shipping charge.
  • Boxes are not included unless specifically mentioned in the pen description.
  • The prices are firm. No trades, I’m trying to reduce the number of pens.
  • All the pens were recently tested and thoroughly cleaned as recently as last night. There may be moisture condensation in the pen when you receive it.

If your interested in the pen you can contact me using the form at the For Sale page or email me at ray <@> fpquest.com. A firm “I want it” and I’ll send a PayPal invoice. Square Cash is also accepted if you’d prefer. I’ll hold the pen for 24 hours after invoicing for payment and then make the pen available for sale again. I’ll ship no later than the business day (M-F) after payment is received.

The pens are listed in the same order as in the group photos (L -> R). Click any of the pictures for larger photo.

Pens for sale - cappedPens for sale - uncapped

Pilot Vanishing Point 2012 Limited Edition – $190

Excellent condition. This is #1659 and is the last of my metal VPs as I make room for the new wooden models. Includes your choice of a 18K gold rhodium plated fine nib or a 18k gold gold colored medium nib. The con–50 converter and the cartridge cover are included. The presentation box is optionally available. If you want it there will be an additional $5 shipping charge or see the bonus offer below.

Bonus offer – add $60 for the following:
* The second nib unit, with a second con–50 converter and a second cartridge cover.
* The presentation box.
* Free US shipping or $11 off international shipping
So the total of everything would be $250 with free US shipping or $11 off international shipping. This offer is only available with the Pilot VP pen.

Kaweco AC Sport Carbon Red – $90

Fine steel nib. Excellent condition. Includes a Kaweco Eco single pen leather pen sleeve (reviewed here).

Edison Herald Amber Tortoise – SOLD
Edison Herald Amber Tortoise nibFine steel nib, excellent nib tuned by Richard Binder when purchased. Excellent condition. Includes a Schmidt converter. No box or paperwork.

Sailor 1911 Dark Blue w/gold trim – SOLD

Sailor 1911 music nib21K gold music nib. This is a dark blue, nearly black pen. The nib and pen are in excellent condition. The converter is included. The zoom nib isn’t for me so the pen got little use and it’s time to give it a better home. This is the full size 1911.

Sailor 1911 Black w/gold trim – SOLD
Sailor 1911 Zoom Nib21K gold Zoom Nib. The nib and pen are in excellent condition. The converter is included. The zoom nib isn’t for me so the pen got little use and it’s time to give it a better home. This is the full size 1911.

Sailor 1911 Burgundy w/gold trim – SOLD
Sailor 1911 medium nib21K gold medium nib. The nib and pen are in excellent condition. The converter is included. This is the full size 1911.

Sailor 1911M Yellow w/gold trim – SOLD
Sailor 1911M broad nib14K gold broad nib. I reviewed the pen here and as I mentioned I already sold the pen once and it came back to me with flow issues. I pulled the nib and cleaned it thoroughly and this seems to have resolved the issue. I’ve priced the pen with the assumption you may need to adjust/clean it so I won’t take the pen back for flow issues (the pen retails new for about $150). The pen is in better cosmetic shape than before since as part of the cleaning I was able to get some ink stains out. Excellent cosmetic condition and an excellent writer the last time I used it, but as I mentioned it has a history of flow issues. The converter is included.

Pelikan 200 Green Demonstrator w/gold trim – SOLD
Pelikan M200 nibFine steel nib. The nib is gold colored. The pen and nib are in good condition but the pen show minor signs of use such as fine scratches. There is some moisture condensation above the piston.

Pelikan M605 Dark Blue w/rhodium trim – SOLD
Pelikan M605 nib14K gold medium nib. The pen and nib are in excellent condition.

Kaweco Classic Sport clear demonstrator – SOLD
Kaweco Classic Sport nibExtra fine steel nib. The nib is gold colored. There is some ink staining between the feed section and the barrel.

Sunday Notes and Links

Parker Vacumatic with Montblanc Bordeaux bottle

This week’s favorite.

This week’s favorite fountain pen and ink combination is one that I wrote dry during the week, my Parker Vacumatic Maxima with Montblanc Bordeaux ink.

Some links of interest…

It’s arrived! – Pen Reviewing Brit // A new(ish) pen blog and he’s very happy to have received his Parker 51. While iconic, it’s a fountain pen I just can’t grow to love so have yet to get one.

Black Forest Carved Owl Inkwell – Geeodwriters’s Pens // I don’t think I could take having this looking at me all day on my desk.

A Retrospective: One Year of the Gentleman Stationer — The Gentleman Stationer // Congratulations

100 Ways to Use a Pocket Notebook – The Art of Manliness // In case you need ideas – suitable for man or woman

One thing all the pens reviewed in the links below have in common is that I find all the pens interesting, yet I have no desire to add any of them to my accumulation.

Montblanc 144 Classique – mycoffeepot.org

Wahl-Eversharp Skyliner 50 Fountain Pen Set in Menthol – The Well-Appointed Desk

Slick: Lamy Studio (Palladium, 14k Medium Nib) – From the Pen Cup

Waterman Carene Black Sea Fountain Pen Review – THE UNROYAL WARRANT

Pen Review – Franklin Christoph Model 65 — The Purl Bug

Pen Review: Jinhao 599 – The Pen Habit

Check out all of this week’s links at Fountain Pen Links. If you’re looking for information about a specific pen or ink be sure to visit Pennquod.

Ink and Pen Notes: Parker Vacumatic Maxima c.1942 with Montblanc Bordeaux

Parker Vacumatic with Montblanc Bordeaux bottleMy favorite vintage pen and my favorite ink. How could it be anything but great? It can’t, and it was (great that is).

The pen was inked back on April 3rd so it lasted just over two months.

I’m told the nib is officially a fine (it’s not marked) but it’s as thin as many of my extra fines (the western ones). It put down a consistently fine line right until the very end. There was a skip and then it went dry later in the same sentence. The nib is stiff without any spring which I like. The ink, combined with the fine line, make this a quick drying ink suitable for any paper.

The nib is 14kt gold and the nib finish itself is gold. I prefer a silver finish but I can live with gold on this pen.

The Vacumatic filer is a real pain to clean. It’s just repetitive filling and flushing of the pen along with a lot of shaking. I left it to sit overnight on a tissue to let any remaining ink wick out.

The pen is such a great writer and such a pain to clean I considered refilling rather than flushing, but I decided I needed some variety so I’ll pick a different pen. I’ve yet to decide what fountain pen and ink will replace it. I do want to get Bordeaux back in the rotation.