Sunday Notes and Links – February 26, 2017

Currently Inked - February 26, 2017
All the same fountain pens and ink as last Sunday

A lot of fountain pen usage this week when compared to my normal week. I mixed up the usage among my 11 inked pens so none were written dry. A lot of planning and brainstorming using pen and paper in addition do my usual daily writing.

Pen Shows & Clubs

The first of two March Pen Shows happens March 3 – 5th in Baltimore, MD. The Little Rock, AR pen show follows on March 17 – 19th.

The Inaugural GNYPIG Meet-Up | From the Pen Cup // A great acronym and sounds like fun. My hopes went up briefly when I saw New York, but this is about as far from me as you can get and still be in NY.

Gourmet Pens: First Dutch Fountain Pen Group Meet!

Nows as good of time as any to hype my Fountain Pen Clubs & Meetupspage and my US Pen Show Schedule page

What Others Are Using

What’s in My Pen Roll – Winter Is Ending – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

The Cost Disease — Pen Economics

The Frugal Fountain Pen: Why the Noodler’s Ahab is One of My Favorite Pens

A Static Yet Evolving Fountain Pen Collection – Pete Denison  // Excellent post that came through my feed as I was compiling this post, so no comments yet. But it was too good to hold for next week.

Pelikan’s M700 Series « The Pelikan’s Perch

Crónicas Estilográficas: Pilot Cartridges and Converters 2017

Ink & Pen Notes: Sheaffer PFM I with Montblanc Lucky Orange

Sheaffer PFM I (capped) with Montblanc Lucky Orange

It’s been awhile since I flushed a fountain pen of ink before I’ve written it dry. I’ve been writing them dry unless they become annoying to use. My vintage Sheaffer PFM I with its fine nib and Montblanc’s new Lucky Orange ink became that annoying pen and ink combination.

Other reviewers have mentioned that Lucky Orange has a tendency to dry out on the nib but it did OK in my Sailor King of Pen so I decided to give it a try in a thinner nib. The PFM I would be dry after spending the night stored nib up. But then gravity would quickly bring ink to the tip and the pen would write perfectly the rest of the day. So it wasn’t annoying or especially unusual.

The Sheaffer PFM I was in use for a couple of weeks, during which I enjoyed using it. The find nib and bright line meant it got used every day, even if it wasn’t a lot of use. Typically short notes or marking up a document. Then it spent a couple days flat on my desk and needed more than gravity to get going.

Sheaffer PFM I (extra fine) with dried Montblanc Lucky Orange
Dried ink clogging the feed

I could see the dried, crusty ink between the nib and the feed. A dry towel wasn’t enough to get things going. A little water would have fixed it, I’m sure. But I put the pen aside and picked another. When I did bring the pen to water it was to flush it out. I have little patience for finicky fountain pens these days. A problem that makes me get up from my desk to resolve is unforgivable.

As expected, cleaning the pen was a pain. This pen is a pain to clean even with the easiest to flush ink. In this case it was made worse because there was still plenty of ink in the pen. Staining wasn’t a problem and the crusty ink washed away quickly. But the orange dye remained, and remained. Once I got most of the ink out I started filling it with water and leaving it nib down in a tissue for several hours, then repeating whenever I get around to it.

I like the Montblanc Lucky Orange ink and will use it in another pen, although I’ll pick one that’s easy to clean and has a wet nib. The Sheaffer PFM I remains a favorite writer. The nib and size are ideal for me. I’ll stick to known well-behaved inks.

Sheaffer PFM I (extra fine) with Montblanc Lucky Orange writing sample
Sheaffer PFM I (extra fine) uncapped with Montblanc Lucky Orange

Sunday Notes and Links – February 19, 2017

Currently Inked - February 19, 2017
Currently Inked

It was an interesting week with fountain pens, at least when compared to other recent weeks. Early in the week I decided I wanted some variety but didn’t want to flush any pens. So I inked up six fountain pens to bring me to 12. It ended up being a messy day. No actual spilled ink but I had more ink on my fingers than anytime else in recent memory. I had more of a problem getting ink into the pens than on my fingers. But the problems didn’t end there.

The Sheaffer Balance Oversize from the DC show didn’t take in any ink, which I noticed the next day as the feed went dry. After experimenting with plain water I moved the pen to the repair queue. There must be a hole in the sac or a similar problem. Was I too aggressive cleaning it last time?

The second problem was with my Sheaffer PFM I with Montblanc Lucky Orange ink. The nib had been dry after spending the night nib up but flow would quickly returned after a few nib down moments. Then I left the pen flat on my desk for a day or two. The feed was all dry and crusty and more than gravity was needed to get it going. Rather than just wetting the nib to get it going I flushed it instead. I have a low tolerance for finicky pens these days. So inked pens quickly dropped to the 11 shown above.

Now I have to start using them.

Currently Inked Writing Samples - February 19, 2017
Currently Inked Writing Samples

On to the links…

Pen Shows & Clubs

The Los Angeles pen show is going on this weekend. The show is open to the public from 10am to 5pm today (Feb 19th).

Appleton Pen Club – Spring Cleaning – // March 16th at 7 PM in Appleton, WI

What Others Are Using and Doing

Ink Swatches | East…West…Everywhere // I’ve pretty much stopped doing swatches. But others are just starting.

InCoWriMo Toolkit — The Finer Point

Retro fountain pens push for placement in digital world – Kitchener-Waterloo – CBC News // Another mainstream press fountain pen piece. Nothing new here (prices are up, volume down, luxury item, etc… ) except a brick & mortar pen store is mentioned.

Tale from a Vandal Scribbler: Poetry As Uniting Force | Peaceable Writer // Not fountain pen focused, but a good read

Letter Writing Call To Arms! – The Well-Appointed Desk // Looking for a reason ti use those fountain pens?

Thoughts On Organizing Your Journals – Recording Thoughts // I’ve never considered doing any organization (there than by date) since I have no reason to do so. But if you have a reason (or don’t, but want organization anyway) here are some ideas.

The Chronoswiss Styloscope by Pelikan « The Pelikan’s Perch // beautiful dark green. I also find it interesting that an extra nib was sold with the pen and that the carry case had a a way to properly carry the extra along with the pen and a small note pad.

Pelikan m805 Stressman | Wondernaut in the world of stationery wonders // One of my favorite pens but it’s not for everyone. I was lucky enough to try the various Pelikan sizes at a pen show so I knew it worked for me. Wondernaut was able to borrow one a found that it wasn’t.

Ink & Pen Notes: Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) with P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta

Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) with Akkerman #12 bottle

I inked my Aurora Optima with this purple(ish) ink the same day I inked the Homo Sapien with another purple ink. While the Homo Sapien/Montblanc Lavender Purple was a disappointment, the Mauritshuis Magenta was a delight. The wider medium nib of the Optima does a good job of showing off the pinkish-purple color of the ink. It pops off the page. I haven’t been overly impressed with the P.W. Akkerman inks that I’ve used, until now. This ink will probably be in more pens than any other Akkerman ink I’ve used.

I love the color of this ink and the performance was great. Well, except for the dry time which was a little slower than I prefer. The line stays true to the nib size. There’s a little line variation, which is nice. I really like the pinkish look to the ink.

The Aurora Optima was inked for nearly two months which is a little longer than expected, since I like the ink so much. That’s due to the large capacity of the piston fill Aurora plus the medium nib. I prefer thin nibs, so while the Aurora’s nib is great, it is a medium. As I mentioned the ink is a little slow to dry. So between the slow dry time and wide(ish) nib I never picked this pen for notes which tends to be most of my fountain pen usage.

Cleaning wasn’t a problem. I expected the purple dyes in this pen to complicate cleaning but I was wrong. I don’t like taking fountain pens apart just for cleaning and it wasn’t necessary in this case. The pen was cleaned by working the piston for about 10 minutes, then spending the evening nib down in a tissue to wick away a little remaining ink.

In my This Just In post for this pen I wrote that I considered the reserve reservoir an unnecessary complication, calling it a negative. The Aurora got its revenge and proved me wrong. I had started a checklist with the pen and it was over two pages long when the pen went dry. Now, I was home and I could easily refill the pen. Instead I released the reserve ink and barely missed a beat in my work. It was enough to get me through the rest of my work. I’ve been put in my place.

The Aurora Optima Nero Perla is already back in the rotation with a new ink. The P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta will be back in the rotation, but I’ll probably stick to medium or the occasional broad nib.

Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M) with Akkerman #12 writing sample

Ink & Pen Notes: Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Montblanc Lavender Purple

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Montblanc Lavender Purple bottle

I inked up the Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Montblanc Lavender Purple back on December 8th and was immediately disappointed. One thing I’ve liked about most Montblanc inks was their ability to have a little “pop” along with line variation, even in my fine and extra fine nibs. Not so for this Montblanc ink, at least in this pen with this extra fine nib.

The line put down was more of a dark blue-black than purple, with no line variation. Then to make matters worse it’s slow to dry, leading to many accidental smudges. Those smudges do bring out the purple in the ink, so at least there’s that. If I use white paper in good light I can call that thin line purple. I’ll give the ink a try in a medium nib. There are those who love the ink so I have no doubt the right nib will improve the color, although it will probably lead to even longer drying times.

There was heavy show through, especially considering the thin nib, in the Write Notepads wire bound notebooks I use for much of my business note taking. There wasn’t any actual bleed-through.

There was some rumors of a reformulation when the ink was unavailable at retailers a couple of years ago. This was a recent purchase, so if there was a reformulation I certainly have the reformulation, not an older bottle.

The Homo Sapien has a power filler, like a vac filler, and does not come apart for cleaning. I wouldn’t normally make this a first pen for any new ink, especially a purple which has a reputation of being a harder to clean color, but Montblanc inks have always been easy to clean (waterproof inks aside). So I gave it a try since I wanted to try this ink and keep the pen in the rotation. This was easily the most tedious of my inks to clean from this pen. After 15 minutes of filling and flushing I gave in and held the nib in the ultrasonic cleaner for another 15 minutes or so. After this and a couple more flushes and shakes into a tissue the water seemed to run clean. I filled the pen with water, wrapped it in a tissue, and left it nib down in a shot glass overnight. In the morning the tissue was caked with ink, mostly from where the feed inserts into the section. Lots of ink in those nooks and crannies. So some more flushing and it’s back in the shot glass tonight. If there’s still signs of ink I’ll give up and just fill the pen to get it back in the rotation.

Except for drying slower than I would like the ink performed great. Flow was excellent and problem free. I plan to give the ink a try in a medium nib next, I suspect it will look a lot better. I’ll also pick a converter pen to make cleaning easy. It may be awhile, but the ink has potential so I will give it another try.

The Visconti Homo Sapient Bronze Age is a favorite, so it will be back in the rotation later today, although I haven’t picked the ink yet.

The Homo Sapien Bronze Age is long overdue for a full review, but there’s more information and pictures in my year old This Just In post.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Montblanc Lavender Purple writing sample