Review: Zeller Writing Co. 1-Pen Stand – Steam Bent Chair Arch

Lamy 2000 resting in the Zeller 1-Pen Steam Bent Chair Arch penstand (side view)

The Steam Bent Chair Arch is a unique handmade pen stand from Zeller Writing Company. I bought it mainly for its unique looks. From a pen stand point of view it’s got its drawbacks, but if viewed as a display stand its a winner.
The stand arrives well packed and includes a certificate of authenticity and a personal note from Aaron Zeller. While neither the certificate or the note make for a better pen stand, they do indicate a high level of care that goes into making the stands. The packaging and presentation is top notch.
The stand is a simple design. There’s a dimple in the base to hold the pen in place. The steam bent arch has a notch at the top to help hold the pen in place against the smooth surface. Since each stand is hand made the exact size will vary, but the base of my pen stand is 2 1/4 inches wide and 4 inches deep. The base is about 3/4 inches high and the arch rises about 3 1/2 inches above the base.
The pen stand isn’t as delicate as it looks. While I wouldn’t throw it around it isn’t going to break during normal use. Or even if it’s dropped on a carpeted floor, as I learned.
The pen can be knocked out of the stand relatively easily, although how easily depends on the pen. It’s been more stable than I expected with my Lamy 2000 and Franklin-Christoph Model 66. I could kick my desk and most times the pen would hang in there. But pens do fall off and this has to be taken into consideration when placing the stand. I keep it away from the edge of my desk. I also keep it clear of my Mac Mini which has sharp edges which could potentially scratch a pen that falls against it.
The product page at Zeller Writing Co also has a video about the Steam bent Chair Arch 1-Pen Stand.
The ZRC 1-Pen Steam Bent Chair Arch stand is a cool looking handmade stand that looks good on my desk. No pictures of it on my desk, while it looks good the res of the mess doesn’t. But more pictures below.

Sunday Notes and Links

Pen Addict deliveries this week

There were two Pen Addict related deliveries this past Wednesday. The bright orange Pen Addict 100th podcast T-shirt arrived. The same day saw the arrival of the Pen Addict giveaway. Everything except the Cult Pens Deep Dark Green ink is new to me so I’m looking forward to using it all.
Some links of interest from the past week…
An Interview with John Twiss of Twiss Pens at Pens! Paper! Pencils!
Stone Paper from the Da Vinci Notebook Kickstarter from No Pen Intended.
Featured Pen – Kaweco AL Sport – Stonewashed Black from Pens Paper Inks…Whatever!
Happy Ester(brook) Sunday! from the Well-Appointed Desk
Pen Review: Franklin-Christoph Model 19-”1901″ from The Pen Habit
Solar Flair! A review of the Signum Solare fountain pen in Orange from A Fool With A Pen
Time For A Notebook Review…..ARC by Staples at Fountain of Pens
Langs Summit Cadet S100 at Goodwriterspens’s Blog
Midori World Meister’s Note Vol. 3 “Grain” Memo Book Review at The Unroyal Warrant
The Pen Addict has updated his Top 5 lists for Spring 2014
JustWrite Multi-Review #3: Sub $5 Fountain Pens at Pentorium
Sheaffer Student Cartridge Pen at My Antique Pens
Goulet Q&A Episode 28, Pilot/Namiki Fountain Pens (video) at Ink Nouveau
Pelikan M205 (the Illustrious) Fountain Pen – F Nib at The Clicky Post

Ink Reviews

Ink Review: J. Herbin Vert Olive at A Penchant for Paper

Review: Platinum 3776 Ribbed Fountain Pen

photo of the Platinum 3776 Ribbed

I have several Platinum fountain pens and have always enjoyed their nibs, including the inexpensive Plaisir and Preppy. The Platinum 3776 Ribbed is my latest addition although it wasn’t the pen design that I targeted, rather, I wanted the ultra extra fine nib and this was the pen I picked for the nib.

Why I Bought It

nib on the Platinum 3776 Ribbed

As I mentioned, I mainly bought the nib and the pen was attached. I already have a couple regular Platinum 3776 pens so I wanted a little variation. The black w/gold trim version was readily available but I prefer something other than gold trim so I looked around a bit. I also found mention of a red version but it was at least $50 more and from unknown sellers. Plus it still had gold trim. So I opted for black w/gold trim and ordered it from nibs.com (Classic Fountain Pens) so that UEF nib would be tuned before it was sent to me. When collecting links for this post I noticed that the pen is no longer available from nibs.com and appears to be discontinued by Platinum but may still be around from other retailers and eBay.

What I Got

The pen is basic black with gold trim. The ribbed design adds some character. In theory, the ribs help dissipate the heat from the hand so it doesn’t warm the ink. Assuming the gold bands are separators they separate the ribs into a “3776” pattern. Three on the cap above the band, then 14 (7 + 7) between the two bands, then six after the second band. My fingers never touch the bands so they don’t impact my grip although they provide a nice tactile feel when uncapping the pen. The ribs started out just being different but I’ve grown to actually like the look of the pen.
It’s a click on cap yet for some reason, even after several months of use, I still want to unscrew the cap. The 14k gold nib is solid gold in color which complements the trim color.
The pen is made of plastic and although it doesn’t feel cheap and there’s no visible seams. But it does feel like plastic. This has the benefit of making the pen nice and light.
The pen uses Platinum’s proprietary cartridges and converter. (A converter and one black cartridge were included.) There is a platinum to international adapter available although I’ve never used it.

The Numbers

  • Length Capped:  5.6015″  (142.28 mm)
  • Length Uncapped:  4.99″  (126.74 mm)
  • Length Posted:  6.5″  (165.1 mm)
  • Section Length:  0.8710″  (22.12 mm)
  • Section Diameter (near nib):  0.3865″  (9.82 mm)
  • Section Diameter (below first rib):  0.4650″  (11.81 mm)
  • Section Diameter (mid-section):  0.4025″  (10.22 mm)
  • Cap Diameter:  0.5645″  (14.34 mm)
  • Barrel Diameter (at gold band):  0.5130″  (13.02 mm)
  • Weight:  .8 oz  (22 g)
  • Weight (body only):  .5 oz  (14 g)

Using the Pen

writing sample comparison

At 5″ in length the pen fits comfortably in my hand unposted and is so light that fatigue seems nearly impossible. The pen does post securely and the cap is light so the pen is still well balanced when posted, but I prefer to not post my pens.
The first ink for this pen was the included Platinum black ink cartridge. It took about 20 minutes for the ink to reach the nib, without any added help other than keeping the nib pointing down. But that was the only time I had to wait for ink. When I replaced the cartridges there was still water in the feed so I suspect that helped the new ink reach the nib faster. The Platinum cartridges have a metal ball inside to help the ink flow. This can cause some noise as the pen moves, which can be distracting at times.
As the name implies, the ultra extra fine nib puts down a nice thin line. A light touch is all that’s needed since the ink flows well. The 14K gold nib is a bit of a contradiction. It has some spring (not flex) under pressure, but when I write normally it feels like a nail. But I like my thin nibs to imitate nails as they put down a consistent line, so I’m very happy with the nib. For such a thin nib it’s extremely smooth. I couldn’t say it’s this way out of the box or because it was tuned by John Mottishaw.
Ink flow using the converter was also very good and problem free. The large opening allows plenty of ink to reach the feed. Leaving the pen to sit unused for over a week did result in a dry nib when it was uncapped but the ink did reach the nib quickly without needing to be forced.
Due to the thin line I plan on sticking with darker inks with this pen. I have a small cache of Platinum Black and Platinum Carbon black ink cartridges so those will probably be the ink of choice for this pen in the foreseeable future.
Below is a recent writing sample comparing it to two fine nibs.

Cleaning the Pen

There’s not much to say here. The pen cleans easily. Just a couple flushes with the bulb syringe and it’s clean.

Inks Used

I used both the Platinum Black cartridge included with the pen and a Platinum Carbon Black cartridge that I already had. Both inks put down a consistently thin, dark line. The Carbon Black is a pigment based ink and didn’t have a problem with the thin nib.
I also used Rohrer & Klingner Salix in the converter. Like the other inks it was also problem free.

Wrapping Up

I’m extremely pleased with the nib and I’m glad it’s part of my accumulation. The pen has been inked since I got it in January and used regularly. It’s never failed to please me. There hasn’t been any skipping and the only hard start was after it sat unused for about 10 days. The hard start was quickly resolved as the ink reached the nib on its own. The ribbed design gives the pen some character which I like. I’d prefer silver trim but the gold is growing on me. Bottom line, this pen is a keeper.

Addtional Reading

The Pen Addict reviews the UEF nib on the regular 3776 pen.
Video at Goulet Pens reviews several Platinum nibs.

Favorite 5: Modern Pens

It’s been a little over six months since I first picked my Favorite 5 modern fountain pens, vintage fountain pens, and inks. In looking over those lists I find that only the Modern Pens list has significant changes, with four pens bumped off the list. In my defense, all 4 replacements are new since I published the first list. The Vintage pens and ink lists are holding up so there’s no need to update those lists.


1. Pilot Custom 823

The Pilot Custom 823 has the classic cigar shape that I love. The large 14K gold nib has enough spring to add to my writing enjoyment without making me feel like its talents are completely wasted on me. It’s a large pen but light and seems custom designed for my hand. Add its large ink capacity and it defines a perfect pen for me. Here’s my review.

Pilot Custom 823 not posted


2. Franklin-Christoph Model 66

The F-C Model 66 is the only holdover from my first Fav 5 list. As I said then: The design is simple, but it fits my hand perfectly and it’s a great writer. Rohrer & Klingner Blau-Schwarz is my ink of choice for this pen which I converted to an eyedropper filler. The pen wrote consistently well for over a year without needing a cleaning. I just kept topping off the ink supply. It was a strong contender for the top position but didn’t quit make it. My review is here

Franklin-Christoph Model 66


3. Pelikan M101N “Lizard” SE

A new acquisition that seems like it should be too small for me to appreciate. It’s one of the few pens I regularly use posted, which should also be a strike against it. Despite these two strikes I love this pen, I writes great. Here’s my review.

photo of the uncapped Pelikan M101N Lizard uncapped


4. Pilot Vanishing Point Maplewood

The Vanishing Points almost made the list the last time, but I wasn’t using them enough. While practical, the metal bodies weren’t all that comfortable during extended writing sessions. That all changed with the Maplewood Edition. No review yet.

photo of the Pilot Vanishing Point Maplewood Limited Edition


5. Kaweco AL Sport Raw Aluminum

Kaweco AL Sport Raw Aluminim posted


This pen made the list simply because it’s used so much. It gets carried every day and used nearly every day, even if only for short notes. The raw aluminum has been banged up a bit since it’s a pocket carry but that gives the pen character. There’s a converter available but I’ve stuck to cartridges since they hold more ink. It’s reviewed here.
 
Wrapping Up
I’m pretty fickle when it comes to fountain pens. The ones I like the most tend to be the ones I’m using or used most recently. So I’m sure this list will be different in six months, but for now these are solidly in the top five.
 

Sunday Notes & Links

photo of the box and botle
My favorite pen/ink combination of the past week.


It was a quiet week for posts but still a busy week on FP Quest. The week ended on a high note when I listened to the latest Pen Addict podcast. I was a winner in their 100th podcast giveaway. So giveaway package #1 will be heading my way. Thanks Myke and Brad! And thanks to Anderson Pens for supplying the Taccia Staccato. And then later in the podcast I heard that FPQuest.com was Brad’s blog of the week. Thanks Again!
Speaking of 100th podcast giveaways, Anderson Pens will be having their 100th podcast on Tuesday which will include some giveaway. You’ll need to be listening so be sure to check their blog for the show time (usually Tuesday at 8PM central time). You’ll need to have sent them an entry so if you haven’t done so already you’ll have to get lucky with speedy mail delivery.
I’ve got two weeks worth of links and I’m still behind in my reading. So some of these may be a bit old but still worth reading if you missed them…
The Atlanta Pen Show was last weekend and there seems to be a lot of Pen Bloggers on that area. Brad “The Pen Addict” Dowdy wrote about the Pen Show Experience. Pen Paper Ink Letter put out a podcast about the show.
SBRE Brown has a great video about Iridium Point Germany Good or Bad.
There was also a pen show in England and A Fool With A Pen writes about his first pen show.
A Colibri Pen (Model = Mystery!) at Inkdependence

Vintage Pen Review: Conway Stewart 14 at The Pen Habit

Monteverde Poquito Fountain Pen Review at Pen Paper Ink Letter.
The Parker 51 is at That One Pen
Visconti Rembrandt Fountain Pen Review at Write To Me Often
Review: 1901FC Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic Smoke & Ice – Broad at Gourmet Pens
Travelling pens at Palimpsest
Lamy Al-Star Fountain Pen – Bluegreen 2014 Special Edition – Black B nib at No Pen Intended
Kaweco Allrounder Fountain Pen Quick Review at The Unroyal Warrant

Ink Reviews

Rohrer & Klingner Salix at Edjelley.com
Sailor Jentle Epinard at Pens! Paper! Pencils!
Rohrer & Klingner Verdura at The Five Cat PENagerie
Prussian Blue – Diamine Ink Review at Ink of Me Fondly