Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – August 05, 2018

My fountain pen usage picked up this past week. In addition to the typical notes and lists managed to write about a dozen A5 or larger pages.

Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Vintage GreenMy Franklin-Christoph Model 20 with its oblique medium nib and Montblanc Psychedelic Purple ink was used far more than any other pen as I waited for it to leak. Technically it didn’t leak. But, on Thursday it rolled off my desk and fell about 3 feet to a carpeted floor. There was ink all over the cap, nib, and section. I’d been using the pen moments before, so I knew the entire mess was new. The converter was now empty, so that was all for this pen. There wasn’t an obvious place for a leak. After I removed the nib unit, I saw some faint ink stains along the section threads in one area, but not enough to indicate ink was flowing through it. I’m going to give the pen a break, but with the next fill, I’ll put some silicone grease around the nib unit threads. I don’t expect that to help. I think this pen is just prone to gushing ink through the feed when gravity and momentum attack it. My other Model 20 remains leak free. In fact, I rolled it off my desk a couple of times, and it was fine.


Richard Binder has published two new fountain pen books. One about L.E. & A.A. Waterman and the other about Wahl-Eversharp. All his books are listed here. I have to admit I haven’t read any of the books.

Daily Carry – The InkSmudge

Aesthetic Bay Nakaya Clinic: Day 2 – Hand Over That Pen

Hobonichi Techo 2019 Preview Festival – HOBO NIKKAN ITOI SHINBUN // Looks like they’re changing the release schedule and will spread it over six days. Follow the link to get the details. Personally, I’ll be skipping paper planners for next year. As much as I want to use one, I find its just not for me. That said, I’ll probably spend the next month trying to come up for another reason to use one.

Using my Hobonichi Techo as a Wellness Tracker. — The Finer Point // One possible excuse to buy a Hobonichi for next year.

Commonwealth Pen Show // The Boston area pen show is Sunday, September 16, 2018.


Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 29, 2018

Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Vintage Green with medium stub nibEven though four fountain pens went dry during the last two weeks, my fountain pen usage was just the usual lists and notes. The Waterman Edson and the Visconti Brunelleschi were dry when I picked them up to use them this week. While they were used since being inked in April, I suspect more ink ended up in the air than on paper. The Pilot Vanishing Point with an XXXF nib and black ink saw plenty of use before it was finally written dry, so very little of its ink escaped into the air.

The fourth pen was a different story. The Franklin-Christoph Model 20 with its medium stub nib didn’t evaporate all its ink or put it on paper. Instead, it leaked into the cap. Not all the ink, but enough to make a real mess. This leaking has been an ongoing problem with this pen, so it’s time I tackle the problem.

I have a second Model 20 which doesn’t leak at all. So it’s not something in the design, such as the recessed nib collecting ink. The nib unit sits deep in the section, so there’s a lib around the nib that could collect ink. I make sure ink isn’t pooled up there after filling the pen. I can see missing it once, but not regularly on this pen and never on the other Model 20. And not consistently so much ink.

I’ll try a few things before I send the pen off to Franklin-Christoph. I already took the pen apart, made sure there wasn’t any apparent damage (such as cracks) and then filled it up again. This time I filled the converter directly, not through the feed. We’ll see what happens.

I refilled the Model 20 with Montblanc Psychedelic Purple (Beatles) ink because it was at hand and I like the ink. The pen hasn’t leaked yet, but it’s always been at least a couple of days before it leaks (another strike against it being ink collecting in the lip while filling).


Pen Zero. – Leigh Reyes. My Life As a Verb.

Nakaya Pen Clinic – 2018 — Alt. Haven

Aesthetic Bay Nakaya Clinic: Day 1 – Hand Over That Pen

Review: M815 Metal Striped (2018) « The Pelikan’s Perch

Some early thoughts on the Pelikan M120 special edition, green and black fountain pen. | Fountain pen blog

Travelling with ink: pen shopping in Lake Garda. | Fountain pen blog
Unexpected Discoveries | Slightly unnerved


Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 15, 2018

I seem to be settling into a fortnightly schedule for these trail logs. With it being summer, along with my boringly standard fountain pen usage, there’s not much to write about every week. Every time these weekly posts stop being weekly I tell myself I’ll use the time to write more reviews. We’ll see how that goes this time.

My fountain pen usage continues to be low. The typical lists and notes.

I gave my Pilot Vanishing Point, with its medium left oblique nib and Aurora Blue-Black ink an early flush. The pen was a hard starter every time I picked it up, and it never wrote well. One pen is not enough to declare an ink good or bad, but I’m not in any hurry to use Aurora Blue-Black again. Other inks flowed better in XF/F nibs than this ink did with the medium nib.

My favorite and most used pen of the past two weeks was the Edison Menlo with and extra fine nib and Athena Sepia ink. When I wanted something different I reached for the Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with a medium nib and Papier Plum Burgundy ink. Both pens are nearing empty. I plan to refill the Menlo since that’s so much easier than cleaning the pump filler, while the KOP with will probably get a break so other pens get a chance.

photo of the Edison Menlo Pump Filler

Edison Menlo Pump Filler


iPhone X vs Pixel 2 XL review: which takes better pictures for pen people? – Leigh Reyes. My Life As a Verb. // I’ve been using the Pixel 2 (non-XL) for some pen photos and have been pleased with the results.

June 2018 Pen & Ink Pairing – Hand Over That Pen

St. Louis Pen Show Recap – The Well-Appointed Desk

Ten Years Old And Still Going Strong | An Inkophile’s Blog // Congratulation!

It’s the pens, not the destination – Leigh Reyes. My Life As a Verb.

Crónicas Estilográficas: A Collection?


Letter Writing Club – Thursday, July 12 – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Why Collect Pens? | Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Mark Twain Goes Postal: Great Courant Letters – Hartford Courant // Two things struck me when reading these: 1. Only 72 words in a page? 2. He would absolutely lose his mind over zip+4 (unless it replaced the rest of the address).

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 1, 2018

Retro 51 System with packaging

Retro 51 System with packaging

My nineteenth Retro 51 rollerball arrived recently, Mike Dudek’s The System. It’s my third space themed Retro 51. There’s still one empty slot in my Retro 51 pen case. Of course, I always have at least two pens out, and in use, so I have a ready-made excuse to add a few more.

(L->R)The System, Lift Off, Apollo

(L->R)The System, Lift Off, Apollo

The pen has a lot of black, which certainly makes sense for this design. While I usually like black pens, the addition of the color is less pleasing to my eye. While I love the theme and the design, it doesn’t grab my attention aesthetically. And poor Pluto, it’s either being dissed by being all out on its own with no orbit shown (although showing it’s orbit would have screwed with the design). A more positive view would be that it’s being elevated above the others as the only named planet.

The separated AL Sport

The separated AL Sport

One pen was emptied this week, but this was more due to evaporation than use. It was my Kaweco AL Sport (Raw Aluminum). It recently developed the habit of unscrewing as it travels in my pocket. The pen has stayed in the cap as it travels, although the cap remains in my pocket when I remove the pen. The last time the section also unscrewed from the barrel and remained in the cap, which had also become unscrewed, being removed in three pieces and requiring assembly before use. So far no ink stains, but it’s finished as a trouser pocket pen.

My fountain pen usage continued to be low. I use them mostly for lists and notes. It’s safe to say I use them daily, just not very much. I did start journalling again as June began, but that’s been inconsistent, about 14 A5 pages in all of June.

Two Retro 51 pens themed for summer

Two Retro 51 pens themed for summer

Since the 4th of July Holiday is approaching (Independence Day here in the U.S.) I pulled out the Betsy Ross Retro 51 to join the Play Ball.


The System Tornado Rollerballs // The Clicky Post There will be one more round, along with a new pencil.

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Overview // NASA

(via Liftoff Podcast) Off topic, but keeping with the space theme, NASA released some images originally taken to plan the first moon landing. When initially released in the 60’s they were down-res’d to hide the capabilities of the cameras. Several have now been recovered from the original tape drives in their full resolution glory. All are black and white. Warning: Huge Files, JPG files exceed 25MB each and TIF files exceed 500MB each.

My Ultra Black Montblanc M Ballpoint – Pete Denison

Triangle Pen Show Write-Up! And bonus road trip! – SquishyInk

Field Notes: Three Missions // This continues today’s unofficial theme. I love this design, but I’m going to try and take a pass. I don’t use the pocket notebooks that I have, and this one is grid-ruled, which is my least favorite. I’ll see if I can hold out until it’s sold out.

Inky Pursuits: a recent round-up. | Fountain pen blog

The Silver Arrow | Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – June 17, 2018

No fountain pens were written dry this past week. I did ink up one new pen. More on that down below.

I did have two new stationery related arrivals this past week.

Retro 51 Corona on a pen standThe first to arrive was my eighteenth Retro 51, the Retro 51 Corona. The Corona isn’t officially a Vintage Metalsmith, but it’s very much a Metalsmith in spirit. The Corona is the first pen in the Smithsonian Collection. The barrel is inspired by the bronze-metal lattice on the outside of the National Museum of African American History and Culture building. The pens are numbered, but not limited. Mine is number 490.

This pen was an insta-buy for me once it became available. Everything about its design is what drew me to the Vintage Metalsmiths. The design is either the metal itself or created with the metal of the pen, no printing needed. In this case, the latticework is raised over the barrel. The raised lattice prevents slippage when holding the metal barrel, although it’s not sharp or uncomfortable.

I would typically swap the standard .7mm refill with a .6mm or the newly discovered .4mm gel refill. I’m out of refills and decided to go with the original, rather than order one. If the .7mm refill bothers me, I’ll swap it with one in another pen.

The Corona has taken its place on my desk.

Montblanc Petit Red Fox ink cartridges and writing sample

The second item, ordered mainly to get me above the $50 free shipping, was a pack of Montblanc Petit Prince Red Fox cartridges. I wanted to try the new Montblanc ink but didn’t want a whole bottle of ink added to my collection. Plus, like I said it got me the free shipping.

Only after I ordered it did I realize how few of my frequently used pens take international cartridges. Sailor and Pilot are proprietary, and Pelikan is a piston filler. My first choice was my Edison Huron Grande with an extra fine nib. The ink and pen did not get along. The line was so thin and dry that it was barely legible, and it looked terrible. I moved the cartridge to a Karas Kustoms Ink with a medium nib, and it was fine. It’s a beautiful red color.


Comparison: Baron Fig Squire vs. Retro 51 Tornado — The Gentleman Stationer

In praise of the Leuchtturm 1917, A5 notebook. | Fountain pen blog

Roterfaden Update 2018 – Pens! Paper! Pencils!

The Letters of Kurt Vonnegut and Letter Writing Club This Thursday – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop