Sunday Notes and Links

Photo this week's favorite pen and ink
Pelikan Souverän M805 Stresemann with R&K Blau-Schwarz LE ink

This week’s favorite fountain pen and ink combination is a repeat of last week’s choice. My Pelikan M805 Stresemann and R&K Blau-Schwarz LE ink. The pen is nearly empty so they probably won’t be back next week as I plan to switch up the next ink. I know, boring! But when I get hooked I stay hooked.

Some links of interest (so not boring)…

KAWECO – canetas e coisas // A Kaweco that’s not a Sport and is very business-like

Pen Review: Pilot Custom 74 – The Pen Habit – // I like the aesthetics of this pen a bit more than Matt. It’s much better (IMO) than the designs I’ve seen at retail in the U.S.. I especially like the green. If the trim wasn’t gold I’d probably be considering this pen.

The Nakaya elastic nib FAQ. – Leigh Reyes. My Life As a Verb. // Elastic nibs are new to me. If I have heard of them before it didn’t stick, and it seems like it would have.

Finding Journal Inspiration – A Penchant for Paper

NUUNA GRAPHIC NOTEBOOK REVIEW – The Pencilcase Blog // Interesting notebook. Dotgrid is my preferred paper when lined isn’t appropriate and matching the dot color to the cover is intriguing. Unfortunately the price and fountain pen ink issues make it a non-starter for me.

Minimal Sketchkit – Pens! Paper! Pencils! // Nice!

Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook Review – The Ink Blob // I’ve tried the brand once (different notebook) and liked it. Not sure why I didn’t get more.

Paper review – Field Notes Cherry Graph — The Purl Bug // Graph ruled paper is my my last choice which puts me in the minority it seems. If you’re in the majority these may interest you.

How-To: Clean a Pelikan Fountain Pen – The Pelikan’s Perch

Franklin-Christoph: Eyedropper Mania! — The Gentleman Stationer

Scribble Pen Scam – Backstage Media – The Tech Files – // I hate to waste a link on this, but if the Scribble pen has caught your interest as it’s tried various launches then you need to read this. And never consider Scribble again. It was also discussed Thursday’s Pen Addict podcast which is where I found this link.

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.

Not Crying Over Spilled Ink Thanks to eBay

Two bottles of Sheaffer Emerald Green
Two bottles of Sheaffer Emerald Green

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I flushed out my Platinum Plaisir and needed another fountain pen with green ink. I decided to return my new(ish) (to me) Jade Green Sheaffer Balance II to the rotation. It did so well with Sheaffer Emerald Green as it’s first ink I wanted to use the same ink. I wrote about the pen and ink here.

I only have a small 12ml bottle of the ink so I filled the converter with a syring since the nib is too big to fit in the bottle. Well, as bad luck and clumsiness would have it, the syringe caught the edge of the bottle and I nocked it over.

Spilled Sheaffer Emerald Green

The good new is all the ink was on my ink towel, a little soaked through to the desk but it was quickly wiped up. The bad news is I lost over half my remaining supply.

After satisfying myself that the ink was as nice as I remember I headed to eBay. I managed to find a couple bottles, caliming to be mint and unopened, at a reasonable price. So naturally I place the order.

The ink arrived Thursday and the bottles certainly appeared unopened and the ink inside seems fines, although I won’t open the bottles until I need the ink. Based on the packaging and my research the ink seems to be from the 1980s which makes it the oldest ink I have. Previously the Sheaffer red label bottles were my oldest inks.

As the ink I like goes out of production I’ve begun to use eBay for ink more and more. I picked up a bottle of Montblanc Bordeaux not too long ago. eBay is always a risk when buying things so I’ve developed my own rules for eBay ink purchases. I should point out I’ve only bought older, no longer manufactered inks.

  1. I have a maximum price of $25/bottle which includes the shipping to my door. This doesn’t mean I’ll spend $25 no matter what, but anything above $25 eliminates it from consideration. I set this price because even a seller with the best intentions can sell a bad bottle of ink, especially if it looks good but is unopened. If I had opened this ink and it was bad I would not have returned it. Externally the ink seemed fine and as described. If the seller had opened it to check the ink I would not have bought it (see rule #2). So I’m prepared to eat the cost if the ink happened to be bad. Plus I don’t actually open the bottle until I’m ready to use it.
  2. The bottle must be unopened. In the case of Emerald Green most listings were for opened bottles.
  3. Good pictures. While it’s impossible to tell the ink quality from a photo if the ink is sealed it just makes me feel better about the listing. Plus, it does confirm it is the correct ink. I see a lot of current Montblanc Reds that are listed as Montblanc Bordeaux.
  4. Plus the usual eBay considerations such as a good rating for the seller.

This particular seller still has a couple 2-bottle sets still available. I’m hoping they go soon so I don’t buy them. I do feel compelled to say that while I’m happy with my experience this is the only transaction I’ve had with the seller so you’re on your own if there’s an issue.

Do you buy ink on eBay? If so, what’s your experience been?

Ink & Pen Notes: Platinum Plaisir with R&K Alt-Goldrün

Platinum Plaisir with a fine nib and R&K Alt-Goldrün ink bottle
Platinum Plaisir with a fine nib and R&K Alt-Goldrün ink bottle

In my notes about this pen & ink combo I wrote:

Too light a shade and too dry a writer

I actually said in was too dry. I’d have thought that was impossible. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’ve been trying to keep my pens in my rotation until I’ve either written them dry or their performance is annoying. This pen has been neither written dry (far from it) and it’s not annoying, at least not in the ways that would make me consider flushing a pen, such as skipping and hard starts. The pen and ink are still writing great and there’s no objective reason to criticize either the Platinum Plaisir (fine nib) or the Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldrün ink.

So why take it out of the rotation? Like I said, to light a shade and too dry a writer. Those two attributes together create a greater annoyance than either would individually. One plus one equal seven on the annoyance meter.

The ink is a color of green that’s hard to describe, and none of those descriptions describe colors that are considered popular. Seaweed and swamp water come to mind. I really want to like this color, after all, it is green. I don’t actually dislike the color, but the ink is thin and watery which encourages the swamp water analogy. If the ink had more saturation I’d probably like it better. No matter how hard I try I just can’t bring myself to like this ink.

My real problem with this pen & ink combo is that I just didn’t enjoy writing with it. The thin ink, combined with the dry flow had me subconsciously thinking the nib was about to skip. I found myself griping the pen tightly and also pressing down on the nib. This made using the pen a very fatiguing experience. The Plaisir isn’t a thin pen, but it had the same effect on me as a thin pen. In the past, with other inks, the Plaisir has been great and doesn’t play mind games with me. Clearly the Alt-Goldrün is a bad influence.

Technically I’m not flushing it. But it is out of the rotation and out of mind. I’ll put it in my desk drawer to test the Platinum Plaisir’s claim to prevent evaporation for a year. I added a reminder to check the pen in 3 months since I probably will forget about it.

I actually like the Platinum Plaisir itself. I like the color and it’s a well built sub-$20 pen. I also like that the nib color matches the pen and the ink is visible in the feed. I have a second one in red. The nib is nice and smooth even if it is uninspiring.

I’ve already picked it’s replacement. I need a green ink and I’ll be returning to my Sheaffer Balance II in Jade Green and I’ll fill it with Sheaffer Emerald Green ink. This may seem repetitive, because it is. That combo was used in April.

Sunday Notes and Links

Photo this week's favorite pen and ink
Pelikan Souverän M805 Stresemann with R&K Blau-Schwarz LE ink

This week’s favorite fountain pen and ink combination is the Pelikan Souverän M805 Stresemann with a extra fine nib and R&K Blau-Schwarz LE ink. In my earlier comments about the pen I mentioned this nib, while nice, didn’t feel just right. Things have improved. I’m not sure if it’s the ink, the Blau-Schwarz is wetter than the Bordeaux which the pen started with. Or it could be I’ve used the pen enough to break in the nib for my hand. It wasn’t noticeably scratchy or rough so it wouldn’t have taken much. Now my dilemma is what ink to pick next: Do I go back to Montblanc Bordeaux? Do I stick with the very nice Blau-Schwarz? Do I try a third ink in the pen? I’m leaning towards the last option at this time. The pen is nearly empty so I may have to decide soon.

I updated my Resources & Links page. I spaced out and didn’t always follow my usual process when I come across a new site. If you’ve got pen or stationary related site that’s not in my list you can let me know using the contact page, twitter or add a comment below. Even if I linked to the site in the past I may have missed adding it to my resources page.

It’s a long weekend here in the US, so more links than usual since there’s more time to read. It’s not officially summer, but Memorial Day is the spiritual start of summer.

The Ink Blob came to my attention recently. It’s been around for a few months but it’s brand new to me. Two reviews caught my attention: A Rhodia Webnotebook review or the Webbie unmasked and the Sheaffer Calligraphy Set review. While I haven’t used either, I found the reviews interesting because they matched my expectations and fears. Calligraphy is wasted on me and I would share the frustration. I’ve seen the Webbie in stores and was concerned I’d have the same experience and opinions yet I’d never seen them mentioned in other reviews.

I’ve linked to Fountain Pen Physicist in the past. She does the awesome epic ink tests and is moving all her blogging to The Purl Bug. So be sure to go there for updates in the future.

Pen Review: Faber-Castell Loom – The Pen Habit // A nice, relatively inexpensive fountain pen and I like its design. I’ve used two other F-C pens and loved the nibs.

Top Five Stationery Stores in New York City — The Gentleman Stationer // It might be time to visit NYC again. Three of these places are new two me and I haven’t been to the other two in many years.

Pen Review: Krone Continuum Atmosphere – The Pen Habit // I never understood the attraction of this brand. IMO the designs I’ve seen are way over the top. This is one of the more subdued designs I’ve seen plus I didn’t realize they sold pens at this low of a price point. It’s still at a luxury price point IMO but it’s less than I paid for my Pelikan M805. While this blue/gold pen isn’t at all colors I’d pick, the other designs for this model that have silver trim are rather nice.

Ode to a Parker Duofold — The Pen Addict // I’ve got nothing to add.

Platinum R14 – Goodwriterspens’s Blog // Sometimes eBay can bring some pleasant surprises.

Pen Review: Pilot Custom 74 — the desk of lori // I love reading about someone’s favorite fountain pen, even if the pen aesthetics don’t suite my tastes at all.

Conklin Duragraph Review — Reverenced Writing // My own limited experience with Conklin is similar in that the nibs were lacking

Music Nibs – Not Really For Writing Music? – On Fountain Pens // An interesting comparison. I had a Sailor Music nib but I just couldn’t get the hang of it.

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.

Sunday Notes and Links

Esterbrook Dip-less in an empty #407 inkwell

This week’s favorite fountain pen and ink combination was my Esterbrook Dip-less with Montblanc Corn Poppy ink. I have to admit it won by default. Most of my writing this week was done direct to keyboard. The convenience of this pen meant I used it whenever I was at my desk and not banging on the keyboard.

Some links of interest…

VISCONTI HOMO SAPIENS STEEL REVIEW – The Pencilcase Blog // I’ve always liked the look of these pens but could never justify the price in my mind, and that was before the price increase.

Review: Pilot Penmanship With Ergo Grip EF nib — Johnny Anypen // At the other end of the price spectrum from the Visconti Home Sapien

The finer (and extra finer) things in life. – Leigh Reyes. My Life As a Verb. // Why I love fine (and extra fine) nibs.

New Coffee Journal with Hütte Paper Works Notebook — Three Staples

Fountain Pen Review: Edison Collier, TWSBI 580AL, Sailor Pro Gear – Rants of The Archer // Three orange (or nearly orange) pens.

How Much Must We Spend For A Great Nib – – My Pen Needs Ink // Good article and explains why I now typically buy pens from someone who will tune the nib before sending it to me, at least for pens over $100.

Pilot Kakuno – Fine Nib – Black Body / Light Green Cap – No Pen Intended

The TWSBI 580 AL Orange, With A Twist — The Pen Addict // Orange pens seemed to be a theme this week.

Parker 75 Cisele – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Parker 100 Cobalt Black GT – mycoffeepot.org

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.