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
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
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)
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.