The Great July Fountain Pen Flush

So far this year I’ve only been flushing my fountain pens after I write them dry or they are unbearable to use. That all changed this week. I rather impulsively flushed nine of my twelve inked pens even though only two were written dry and the other six were fine writers. In the interest of time I won’t be doing my typical Ink & Pen Notes and will just summarize them here.

Part of the reason for this was my desire to make some significant changes in my carry and the other part was the upcoming DC Pen show. I suspect I’ll have at least one new fountain pen to ink up in the next week or so. Probably a new ink or two also.

Sheaffer Balance II (Crimson Glow) and Montblanc Bordeaux

Sheaffer Balance II Crimson Glow with writing sample

My favorite ink with one of my favorite pens, what’s not to like? This is one of the pens I wrote dry. It does need some nib tweaking which I’ll have done at the Washington DC Pen Show, so I was using it whenever possible in order to avoiding wasting ink since I want it dry for the show. Other than the occasional skip the performance was fine.

The medium nibs in the Balance IIs are on the thin side and I love the way they write. My Balance II Aspen nib was tweaked by Mike Masuyama and I look forward to getting this pen (and it’s Jade Green sibling) adjusted for the same great writing experience.

Sheaffer Balance II (Jade Green) and Montblanc Irish Green

Sheaffer Balance II Jade Green with writing sample

Another favorite pen paired with my favorite green ink. Again, what’s not to like? Like the Crimson Glow model the nib will be tweaked at the pen show so I wanted the pen empty. It wasn’t written dry but it was very close, just whatever the feed held was left.

Edison Menlo Pump Filler with Athena Sepia

This was the other fountain pen written dry. The more I use this pen the more I like it, especially its extra fine nib. It’s a great writer and comfortable for long writing sessions. The Athena ink is also a favorite, although on the expensive side here in the States, assuming it can be found or arrangements can be made to have it shipped from Japan.

This vacumatic-like pen is a royal pain to clean. The nib unit can be removed (unscrewed) which I did this time to make it slightly easier to clean. It’s been inked all year, having been refilled when empty, and this is it’s first cleaning. It wasn’t hard to clean with the nib removed, but it was still tedious. The filler tube (attached to the nib unit) is stained although it’s unobstructed. I haven’t bothered with anything besides water to remove the stains. It won’t affect performance and the brown staining pretty much matches the pen.

Lamy AL-Star with KWZ Ink IG Blue-Black (1106)

Lamy AL-Star with writing sample

This is a new ink for me, and an iron gall ink. I had picked this pen with the intention of swapping nibs to give the ink a good testing. But I never used anything except the original extra fine nib. It’s been a month, so I decided to flush it. There was still a good amount of ink left even though I thought I had used the pen a lot. That extra fine nib sure is stingy. But the writing was smooth and consistent with a nice solid blue-black line. It was quick and easy to flush the pen.

Kaweco Brass Sport with Kaweco Black (cartridge)

This was inked back on February 27th and refilled June 2nd. Even though I was saved more than once by having this in my pocket I decided to flush it out despite having a 1/2 cartridge left. As usual, cleaning was quick and easy.

Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe with Sailor Sei-boku (Blue-Black) (cartridge)

I almost didn’t flush this pen since it had about half a cartridge left. This is a nano pigment ink and while I’ve never had a problem with it, even in this thin extra-fine nib, I decided it was time to flush it out. I kept trying to convince myself that thin blue-black line was dark enough for me, but the lack of use tells the real story. I love the way this pen writes but I’ve used less than 1/2 a cartridge in nearly two and a half months.

Franklin-Christoph Model 02 with Sheaffer Green

The pen and ink combined for a nice writing experience with the extra fine nib. I almost wrote the pen dry, the converter was empty. If there had been more ink I wouldn’t have flushed the pen since I enjoyed it. But, I was already cleaning. The ink did seem to take an abnormally long time to flush from the pen. I didn’t write the pen completely dry so there was still some ink in the feed but it still took longer than expected. Eventually I got lazy and used the UC to get the ink out of the feed. It wasn’t dried or staining, it just seemed to be clinging to every part of the feed and was reluctant to let go. This pen took longer to clean than the other pens, except the Menlo.

Lamy Safari with Lamy Dark Lilac (cartridge)

This was the Lamy Dark Lilac ink in the new Lamy Dark Lilac Safari with a medium nib. The nib is wide for me and while I used it a lot it was mostly for notes or other short sessions. The nib is a little wider than my preference in a daily writer. I inked it up back on April 29th and there was still about 1/4 of the cartridge left. I do like the color of the ink and think that the wider medium nib was a good first choice for this ink. I don’t have a lot of purple inks but I did like this color. It was easy to flush from the pen.

Pilot Custom 823 with Namiki Blue

It was a last minute decision to flush this pen. I love the fine nib and the pen itself is extremely comfortable. But I filled it with Namiki (Pilot) Blue ink and while many people like blue inks, I’m not on of them. I’ve been warming to blue a bit over the years and figured I’d use up some that I had. But after two months the pen is still over 1/2 full. That’s a lot of blue ink left. I hate to waste it but I want something I’ll enjoy more. The pen may be back soon, but with a different ink.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 28, 2016

Currently Inked - July 2016
Look familiar? All the pens I started the month with are still inked up.

It’s been a slow month as far as fountain pen usage goes. All the pens I started the month with still have ink. Only the Visconti was written dry and that was immediately refilled. A couple pens are close to empty but they’ll probably survive the month.

The Washington DC Pen Show is next week and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been three years since I attended the show.

Non-Negotiable: Eleven Days of Morning Pages | From the Pen Cup

I gave this a try earlier this month and I could see immediate benefits. Despite this I just didn’t stick with it and only lasted about a week. I’m not a morning person so it didn’t take much of a speed bump to break the habit. I did enjoy it and I used my pens a lot.

I’ll probably try to get going again, although not as a daily habit. I find that a “daily goal” like this can become mechanical and I just go through the motions the reach the physical goal. Rather than enjoying the writing I was concentrating on getting to three pages on the last couple of days.

One Book July 2016 — The Purl Bug and One Book July: Halfway Point – The Well-Appointed Desk

I realize that this is a thing, just not for me.

KWZ Inks: A New Favorite — The Gentleman Stationer

It seems like there’s always a hard to get boutique fountain pen ink that’s the latest rage in the FP community. KWZ Ink, from Poland, is the latest of these. I have more than enough ink and I tend to avoid these inks during the initial feeding frenzy but may pick up a bottle as the fad fades. I did pick up a bottle of KWZ IG Blue-Black which I like. My motivation was mainly that it was an iron gall ink and a blue-black. KWZ does have non-IG inks and a wide range of colors. Joe makes a good case as to why he likes them. I tell myself I have enough ink but I expect I’ll buy a bottle from Vanness pens at the DC show next week.

A Shinobi creeps in – And All Other Tasks

A favorite vintage nib found a new home in a modern pen. I love that Shawn Newton does this. Others do it too, but since I have a pen on order with Shawn I’ve noticed his work more.

Ink Review: Waterproof, Permanent Inks – The Well-Appointed Desk

I’ve had a heightened interest in iron gall and other waterproof inks most of this year. Although the appeal of IG extends beyond its waterproof properties it did lead me to look at other waterproof inks. Among Ana’s recommendations is the Platinum Carbon Desk Pen with Platinum Carbon ink. This combination has been on my desk since February. I use it when water resistance is my primary goal bit it’s also good for general use.

A Good Pen Matters – crane reaction

That One Pen is now Crane Reaction. Well, both exist, but only Crane Reaction will get new content from Todd. He’ll still write about pens, just not exclusively.

From Parker to Montblanc: the appeal of the fountain pen | The Week Portfolio

A bit of a puff piece, but its nice to see a fountain pen article in a non-stationery setting.

Zen and the Art of Fountain Pen Maintenance — The Pen Addict

Good info. I like that no fountain pens are disassembled simply to make cleaning easier. Especially since it’s not necessary.

My Personal Fountain Pen Collection | Hey there! SBREBrown

Stephen Brown shares his pen collection.

Aurora, Cross and Omas ink tests | FOUNTAIN PEN INKS & BLEACH

This sites new to me but it’s been around a few years. Interesting stuff worth checking out.

The Value of a Pen — Pen Economics

Some interesting thoughts in this post. The Blue Hour Skeleton isn’t for my aesthetic tastes and I immediately move on when seeing this price. But it’s interesting to read about the thought process from a fountain pen user. I always consider pens of this price to be more jewelry purchase rather than a writing instrument purchase so it’s nice to see it considered as a writing instrument.

Currently Inked – July 2016

Currently Inked - July 2016

I’m back up to a dozen inked fountain pens. While eight pens are carry overs from June, two of those where written dry, flushed and then refilled. As I was deciding whether or not to ink up my twelfth fountain pen The Gentleman Stationer’s post about Choosing Pens for the Daily Carry showed up in my RSS feed. The entire post rings true to me, especially this part:

Needless to say, it takes a LONG time for me to work through the various pens in my rotation, and I’m getting annoyed that some of my favorites have fallen by the wayside.

He limited himself to ten fountain pens, but with a certain logic behind the choices (read the article for details). While the article makes perfect sense it didn’t stop me from inking up that twelfth pen.

New Pens or Inks

I decided to start highlighting my newly inked up pens and why I made the selection.

Sheaffer Balance II (x3)

I absolutely love the look of these three pens and the nibs are terrific. The Aspen’s nib and feed has been tuned by Mike Masuyama (it had a not uncommon flow issue when I received it) which makes me realize how good they can be. The other two aren’t quite there but I plan to remedy that next month.

These all got a matching color ink from my favorite ink brand.

I reviewed the Sheaffer Balance Aspen and the other two are similar and I did write a This Just In post for them. The inks used are Montblanc Bordeaux (my absolute favorite), Montblanc Irish Green and Montblanc Permanent Grey. No review of the Permanent Grey even though it’s a former Fav 5 ink.

Lamy AL-Star (Green)

An early favorite of mine the Lamy Safaris (and similar AL-Stars) have been neglected. I recently returned to using them. The ink in this one is a new brand to me. Plus it’s a boutique manufacturer, and third it’s an iron gall ink. So I wanted a fountain pen that would be easy to clean and also relatively inexpensive should the unexpected happen and the ink damages the pen. As an added bonus I have a complete set of Lamy nibs and can swap them to give this ink a good workout.

Lamy AL-Star with writing sample

I’ve never reviewed the Safari/AL-Star but I’m sure a search of Pennaguod will turn up hundreds, if not thousands.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age

This was the twelfth pen that I was debating to ink up. It would have been inked sometime during the month anyway since it’s the favorite, plus I really do need to review it finally. I continued my practice not repeating inks in this pen. The Aurora Black is an ink I’ve ignored for far too long so it was picked.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with writing sample

No full reviews of this pen or ink yet but I did write about the Visconti soon after it arrived.

The Full List

The samples are in the same order as the pens in the photo up top.

Currently Inked Writing Samples - July 2016