Always Inked – September 30, 2014

It’s been over six months since my last “Always Inked” post and the pens have changed. Plus, it’s time for another “Currently Inked” post and I’m tire of squeezing these same four fountain pens into the picture. I always have these four pens inked. At least that’s been true the since the beginning of this month and will be into the foreseeable future. The one thing they all have in common is they can stay inked for months and not have any problems.

Esterbrook Dip-less in an empty #407 inkwell

The Esterbrook Dip-less is my newest always inked pen. Since it’s a dip pen it’s desk bound. I primarily use it for short notes and it still has the Esterbrook #7550 extra fine nib. There’s Sheaffer Red in the inkwell which is a nice bright red ink that suitable for the way I use the pen. It’s the only pen of the four that I clean off every couple of weeks. The red ink dries around the collar so I clean it off before it has a chance to permanently stain the pen. Plus, it starts to look cruddy on an otherwise pristine pen. The dip pen gets used nearly every day, although probably for less than 20 words each day.
 

If there’s a perfect fountain pen and ink combination this has to be it. They’ve been together for well over a year. The Model 66 went over a year just being refilled, no cleaning and it was problem free. It’s mostly desk bound since it’s so big, and clip-less. Because the Esterbrook Dip-less sits on the same desk and I now use the Model 66 less often, it does leave the desk at times so that it gets used.

Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with R&K Blau-Schwarz
Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with R&K Blau-Schwarz

I couldn’t decide which Kaweco AL Sport to carry, so I carry two of them. Both have finishes designed to be abused so I carry them in the same pocket as my keys. In a bit of irony, even though I’m always carrying these pens they are used the least of all my inked pens. I usually have another pen in my shirt pocket which gets used first. So these get used when I don’t have another fountain pen, or when I need additional ink colors. Maybe it’s because they bounce around in my pocket all the time, but I never have any hard starts. I also don’t have a lot of ink in the cap either.

Kaweco AL Sport Raw Aluminim posted
Kaweco AL Sport Black Stonewashed photo

Commonwealth Pen Show Recap

I visited the Commonwealth Pen Show earlier today. I didn’t take any pictures and didn’t leave with a large (or even medium) haul but it’s worth a recap.
While there was a Boston Pen Show last year the 2014 show is put together by different organizers and is outside Boston. The show was at the Somerville Holiday Inn and in a relatively small ballroom. I heard there were 18 vendors and that seemed about right (I’m terrible at estimating these things). The venue was nice, I really appreciated the free parking right at the hotel. It’s also about a half-mile from the local MBTA station. The room was well lit and didn’t feel congested. Even though 18 vendors is on the small side the room was obviously sold out as there wasn’t any more room for tables without making things feel cramped for the sellers or attendees. There was enough room to walk around and browse, at least when I was there from about 10 to 11:30 am.
Most of the pens were vintage. Richard Binder and Paradise Pens were the only vendors I saw that had primarily new pens, so the brands were limited. Richard Binder was also doing nib work. Also, I think it was Jim Baer I also saw doing pen repairs or nib work.
Jay Potter from PaperForFountainPens.com was also there with pads made from Tomoe River paper. I made my only purchase of the day from Jay. A hard cover notebook of white, blank Tomoe River paper. A review of the notebook was done by The Unroyal Warrant. Jay had only brought seconds to the show so the price was only $20 (regularly $29). I couldn’t tell what the defect was, if I had to guess I’d say it’s because the paper is ever so slightly misaligned where it’s glued into the covers.
A couple Sheaffers caught my eye but I resisted buying them. There were a lot of flex pens being sold, at least they claimed to flex. Since flex is lost on me I skipped those. There was a lot of variety among the vintage pens. I’m not familiar enough with pricing to know if there were good deals or not, but there did seem to be a lot interest in the pens that were there. If I had gone there wanting to buy a pen, rather than show restraint and wait for a perfect pen, I could easily have found one.
The small show size worked in my favor since I had to leave by noon. There was enough time for me to see everything and visit with a few people. I could be wrong, but I would guess that it would get busier after lunch but there seemed to be a good turnout when I was there. Hopefully there were enough attendees and sales to bring the show back next year.

Sunday Notes and Links

Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with R&K Blau-Schwarz
Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with R&K Blau-Schwarz


My favorite this week was my trusty Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with R & K Blau-Schwarz LE. It’s been awhile since I used the pen but it wrote right away as always. I had forgotten what a pleasant writing experience it provides.
I wrote the Sheaffer 300, Omas 360 Vintage and Pelikan Piazza Navone dry this past week and enjoyed them all. None were re-inked since I want to bring so new pens into the rotation. I’ll decide which ones to ink up once I return from today’s Commonwealth Pen Show.
Some links of interest from the past week…
What is a Pen? — Modern Stationer
The Mind and the Fountain Pen – Palimpsest
Morita Fountain Pen Shop – inklode // Nice to see brick & mortar shops thrive, even if it’s a world away (from my pov)
The Cartridge Chronicles – How many pages can you get out of a standard international? – Fountain Pen Physicist
Reevaluate Converters – Edison Pen Company
Review: Pelikan Souverän M101N Red Tortoiseshell SE Fountain Pen – Medium @AppelboomLaren @Pelikan_Company – Gourmet Pens // I have the “Lizard” edition of this pen. I have to say, I don’t really like the look of the Red Tortoiseshell although I’d buy it just for the ink bottle and the packaging.
Monk Paper Lokta Notebooks – Inkdependence!
When Buying Fountain Pens, Splurging (a Little) Is Totally Worth It – WIRED // Preaching to the choir
Edison Beaumont Pneumatic – mycoffeepot.org
Love At First Write: Tomoe River Correspondence Paper – THE PENVENTORY // I’ve been using this paper (but different pads) recently and really love it.
The ‘PF’ & ‘P|N’ Nibs Explained – The Pelikan’s Perch
Lamy Logo Fountain Pen Review – Pen Paper Ink Letter
Pilot Elite fountain pen review – Pens! Paper! Pencils!
Pilot Prera Demonstrator Fountain Pen Review – F Nib – Orange Accents — The Clicky Post
Noodler’s Creaper Flex (by FlexyNibs!) – On Fountain Pens

Ink Reviews

Review: Diamine Oxblood — Alt. Haven
Diamine Prussian Blue ink review – Peninkcillin
review: noodler’s turquoise – ink between the teeth
Like Nature: Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green Ink – From the Pen Cup
J. Herbin Tempête Review – The Pen Enthusiast

Pen Show Weekend

Wow, looks like there’s three fountain pen shows going on this weekend.
The east coast (of the U.S.) has the Commonwealth Pen Show, just outside of Boston in Somerville, MA. It’s one day only, just Sunday September 28th from 9am to 5pm. I’m hoping to make it to this show.
It’s not exactly the west coast but it is the other side of the Mississippi, the Dallas Pen Show started today and also runs on Saturday. No Sunday show according to their site. {Update: Chris posted in the comments that the show does run on Sunday too – it was a last minute change].
There’s also the Tilburg Pen Show in Holland (aka The Netherlands). I couldn’t find a website for the show but it’s on Saturday. This FPN thread has details.
I put together my pen show list, although my pen budget (aka my PayPal account) is low at the moment.

  • A extra fine nib for my Pelikan M620(s) – I really like the look of all three of that I have but don’t use them enough because of their wide nibs. OR Get my Pelikan M620 medium nib ground down. It seems a waste of gold tipping to get a medium nib ground to an extra fine, but it would be cheaper than a new nib.
  • Sheaffer Crest (modern) Ultramarine Blue or Cadium Yellow – my current obsession is the modern Sheaffer Crest. While there were more variations I’m looking to get all four that have the Nova pattern. I’m half-way there.
  • Any Esterbrook nibs I don’t already have.
  • Any Esterbrooks or Sheaffers at bargain prices.
  • Just browse any Sheaffers or Esterbrook eye candy that may be there.

Anyone else visiting a pen show this weekend?
 

Sunday Notes and Links

Pelikan Piazza Navone
Pelikan Piazza Navone and GvFC Hazelnut Brown


This past week seems to be the first time that I haven’t met my goal of published two articles every week this year. (These Sunday notes and the currently inked articles don’t count.) Things are definitely slowing down as life gets in the way. Because I’m still using fountain pens all day, every day, I suspect a large percentage of posts will be pen reviews, at least in the near future.
This week’s favorite fountain pen/ink combo is one of only two unreviewed pens I have inked up (hint, hint). The Pelikan Piazza Navone isn’t a pen I use a lot, not because I don’t like it, but because the broad stub isn’t my best choice for most of the writing I do during the day. This week was different and I got to use the pen for several long writing sessions. It was nice to use it enough to see the ink level drop noticeably during the day.
On to the links…
Cork – Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of It – The Pelikan’s Perch // A new (Aug 2014) site that is developing a wealth of Pelikan information. If I had found the site earlier I would have linked to A Treatise on the Modern Tortoise: 1980 – 2014 « The Pelikan’s Perch so the site gets a second link this week.
Back-To-School Goodies: Clairefontaine “Back To Basics” 1951 Notebook – THE PENVENTORY // I have a couple of these and really like them. But I’m still looking for a reason to use them since it’s not a notebook style I use a lot.
Review: Ryan’s Pen Tray — Alt. Haven // A nice simple pen tray
Luxury Plymouth pen maker to the Queen goes into administration – again – Plymouth Herald // Additional news indicates that all the employees, supplies and equipment are gone and only the name is left to be sold off.
Feeds – Crónicas Estilográficas // I’ve never considered the feed material when buying a pen. The only reason I can see for picking ebonite is that it’s possible to adjust the feed to change the flow. That’s not something I’ve ever done or even considered doing.
Pentrace // Pentrace has changed hands and has a new URL. To be honest I haven’t been to this site in years but it’s time to start visiting it again.
Muji Aluminum Round Fountain Pen – inklode // Muji has had a few reviews lately. Everything seems to be good quality at a reasonable price.
Liking Pens Part II: Can Pens Be An Investment? — The Clicky Post // For me the answer is “no” since I like to use the pen which will inevitably lower it’s value, especially if I add some blemishes. I have bought pens for less than I could probably sell them but I don’t consider that an investment. I also have a few exceptions due to pure luck.
Sailor Realo Professional Gear – mycoffeepot.org // I really like the look of these piston pens and their nibs.
Lamy Studio 2014 Special Edition Wild Rubin Overview – Ink Nouveau // Bright red
DDC and Field Notes Fun at American Field — Modern Stationer
NAKAYA – canetas e coisas // Beautiful pen
J. Herbin Tempête Review – The Pen Enthusiast // I didn’t realize J. Herbin made an eyedropper pen

Ink Reviews

Caran d’Ache Magnetic Blue – Inkdependence!
Ink Review – Private Reserve Sepia – Fountain Pen Physicist
J. Herbin Orange Indien, Clairefontaine And A Giveaway – An Inkophile’s Blog
Review: DeAtramentis Apple Blossom Ink – The Well-Appointed Desk
Private Reserve Black Cherry ink review – Pens! Paper! Pencils!
Organics Studio The Real Teal – Ink Review – edjelley.com
Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses – Ink Review – Stationary Journey
Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses – Ink Review – Stationary Journey