This Week’s Ink: September 30, 2013

It’s been a couple of weeks since there was any change in my daily carry. Between new pens and nibs, and low ink in the current pens it was a good opportunity for a refresh.

Four of the five pens are new arrivals, although in the case of the Esterbrook only the nib is new to me.

Pens inked for the week ahead

Sheaffer Legacy I (stub) – Iroshizuku Yu-Yake // Retro 51 Lincoln (medium) – J. Herbin Perle Noir cartridge // Esterbrook J (#8440 Superfine) – Rohrer & Klingner Blau-Schwarz // Edison Menlo (extra fine)Montblanc Toffee Brown // Sheaffer PFM I (fine) – Montblanc Irish Green

Writing Samples

This week's ink writing samples

Sunday Notes and Links

Some links I found interesting this past week…

Datation of Japanese Pens. IV. Platinum Nibs at Crónicas Estilográficas

Doane Grid+Lines Loose Leaf paper review on the FPGeeks forum

Sailor Fude de Mannen Fountain Pen – Bamboo Green at Ink of Me Fondly

You Need To Try It At Least Once at Inktronics

Rhodia R Premium Notepad Review at The Pen Addict

Lamy Vista Fountain Pen – F Nib at The Clicky Post

My Esterbrook Collection at Fountain of Pens (via Pen Addict)

Ink Reviews

Diamine Soft Mint at Inkdependence

Sunday Notes and Link

Some links I found interesting…

Crónicas Estilográficas continues exploring Pilot pens with Pilot Filling Systems in the 1960s.

The Beautiful Pens writes about Red Pens! The Montegrappa Alfa Romeo.

Inkophile brings news of two new iron gall based permanent inks from Montblanc. Also the current Midnight Blue is being reformulated. Montblanc inks get a lot of use in my pens so looking forward to seeing what the new black is like. Since Montblanc intends for the ink to be used in their own pens I figure the iron gall content must be pretty tame.

Edison Pens has a new double-nibbed pen. Two nibs, two ink reservoirs. First one I’ve seen that looks nice. Maybe next years Edison for me. Same nib on each end to allow different colors? Two different nibs? It may take me a year to decide.

Ink Reviews

Edjelley.com reviews Sailor Kiwa Guro Nano Black ink. I almost added this to a recent Jetpens order but decided not to due to the price. This review will have me seeking out lower cost alternatives

Ink Notes: Noodler’s X-Feather

Noodler's X-Feather Bottle

I hadn’t planned it this way, but I have another pitch black ink with Noodler’s X-Feather this week.

This is a very dark black ink which stays pitch black as it dries, unlike the Private Reserve Invincible which develops a bit of a chalky look when it dries. It’s also thicker than I expected. Not molasses thick, but thicker than most inks. The nib remained coated in ink after filling until it was removed with a cloth much like the PR Invincible, but unlike the PR Invincible the X-Feather doesn’t cling and does actually flow in the direction of gravity.

As the name implies the ink is anti-feather and I didn’t experience any feathering when using the ink with any pen on any paper.

As I mentioned, the ink is very dark and it stays bright after drying. It doesn’t show very well in the pictures but the dried ink has a slight sheen to it and looks almost wet.

X-Feather isn’t the fastest drying ink, except for some reason with an extra fine nib on Doane and other less smooth papers. The EF dried over twice as fast on Doane as it did on Rhodia. Both extra fine nibs I used experience this fast drying on all but the slickest paper. Except for the extra fine nibs the drying time between Doane and Rhodia papers was much closer, although Rhodia was still slower. The drying time was also considerable longer than the 3 seconds, with the fine nib taking about 8 seconds. So the amount of ink put on the paper has a considerable impact on drying time.

The runs a little when it’s wet although it’s still easily readable so I’d consider it water resistant. Despite the dark color there wasn’t any show through and I didn’t encounter any bleed-through, even on cheaper paper. Since the ink is pure black, there’s no shading.

Wrapping Up

I like the pure black color of the nib. I wish it was faster drying but since I typically use an extra fine nib this is less of a problem. Noodler’s X-Feather is near the top of my list for a black ink.

Pens Used

My TWSBI Vac 700 with extra fine, fine, medium, broad and 1.1 mm nibs was used for the writing samples. There weren’t any flow problems with any of the nibs, but it was short writing sessions. There weren’t any problems cleaning the ink, although being a dark and slightly thick ink it took a little longer than some inks.

I used a Gate City Pen “The Belmont” with a extra fine steel nib as a daily writer for a couple days. The pens started  each time I needed it and didn’t skip. The ink did not evaporate off the nib when I paused for a couple minutes.

Additional Information

Stephen Brown has an Inkcyclopedia entry for Noodler’s X-Feather.

Writing Samples

More Retro 51 Metalsmiths

Retro 51 jefferson and Franklin

After reading The Clicky Post’s review of the Retro 51 Jefferson Metalsmith Series rollerball I had to order one and give my Lincoln some company. And while I was there I decided to give in and include the Franklin in the order. Complete lack of will power.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t get the relationship between the pen names and finishes. But a commenter at The Clicky Post suggested it was related to the coins, Lincoln being on the copper penny and Jefferson on the nickle, but that only works for those two pens. Eisenhower has stars on it so that makes sense. But the now discontinued Monroe and the Franklin defy logic. The closest I can come for Franklin is that the pattern on the pen is reminiscent of his mapping of ocean currents.

My Lincoln is smooth copper so I was concerned the raised grooves in the Jefferson would bother me. But they don’t bother me at all and are mostly smooth. They’re obviously raised, but not at all sharp. The raised design on the Franklin isn’t bothersome either. If anything, the raised design helps grip the potentially slick metal.

I always liked the designs used on the Metalsmith pens and these two pens exceed the pictures. The Jefferson has a brushed nickel finish where the indented areas are slight darker as the raised areas reflect light. The Franklin is a darker finish but it’s highly reflective and looks bright.

Ever since Brad Dowdy reviewed the Schmidt P8126 refills I’ve been using them in my Retro 51’s due to the slightly thinner .6 mm line so I did swap out the stock refills.

Rather than repeating what’s already been written I’ll post some pictures and refer you to other reviews. The Jefferson is linked to above. The Pen Addict reviewed the Lacquer Retro 51 (similar design) and the Schmidt P8126 refill.

Now I’m off to search for the Monroe which is discontinued.