Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – January 28, 2018

This week’s big fountain pen news for me was the return of my Visconti Homo Sapien with its bent nib now straightened out. (I sent it to Dan Smith/The Nibsmith) I’ve yet to ink up the pen, although the nib seems fine. It’s taken all my willpower to keep from inking it up, but I want to use my Sheaffers a bit more, and once inked the Visconti will monopolize my fountain pen use.


I enjoy using the Sheaffer Balance IIs, but it hasn’t been a smooth road. I’ve had to prime the Sheaffer Gray ink in the Balance II Aspen a couple of times. It’s been lining to the converter. The Jade Green Balance II also had to be primed once, but it’s been mostly fine. All three Balance IIs are a joy to use when the ink flows.

I fell out of the habit of using my Hobonichi Weeks. The was partly because I didn’t have much need to use it, and somewhat because I fell back to my old habit of using an index card. I’m hoping to get back on the Weeks train this coming week.


Karst Stone Paper 2018 Planner Review – My Pen Needs Ink – This is the first stone paper review that I recall giving good marks to fountain pen usage.

My Workhorse Pens: Montblanc 146 — The Gentleman Stationer

Pen & Ink Pairing: Jan ’18 – Hand Over That Pen

Travel: TY Lee of Taiwan — Alt. Haven

Views of Life Behind the Shop – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – January 21, 2018

Two fountain pens were written dry this past week. As expected, the Sailor King of Pen went dry soon after Sunday’s Trail Log went up. I resisted the urge to refill it with the gorgeous Montblanc Psychedelic Purple ink. The Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver went dry on Friday. I liked the Montblanc Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Encre du Desert ink although the name is far too long. Montblanc just calls it “Brown” on the back of the box. Me? I had to create a Text Expander snippet. I like brown inks, so while I do like this well-behaved ink, there’s nothing about it that rises above all other browns (except the price).

The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe with its extra fine nib has proven perfect for my Hobonichi Techo and other places where a really fine line is ideal. So rather than retiring it to change up the theme, it’s in my pen holder for continued use. It will be used regularly, but only for short, specific purposes. So, it will most likely be around awhile.

I picked a new theme and inked up three more fountain pens. The theme is simply “Sheaffer” for both pen and ink. I have more Sheaffers than any other brand in my accumulation, so there was a lot to choose from. I decided to drill into the theme and picked my three Sheaffer Balance II fountain pens and my three old-stock Sheaffer inks.

The Aspen Balance II is filled with Sheaffer Gray. The Crimson Glow Balance II got Sheaffer Peacock Blue while the Jade Green Balance II is matched with Sheaffer Emerald Green. The Emerald green is the oldest of the inks and dates from the 1980s while the Grey and Peacock Blue inks date from the 1990s or early 2000s.

I do lack nib variation, with nothing wider than a fine nib. But I enjoy the Sheaffer nibs which makes up for it.

Three Balance IIs and some Sheaffer old-stock ink

An Anecdote Of Two Pens – Hand Over That Pen // Great story!

A peek at the office pen cup. | Fountain pen blog // I always like seeing what others use in day-in and day-out.

Fountain Pen Review: Wing Sung 618 Demonstrator – The Well-Appointed Desk // When this review showed up in my feed the first photo I saw was with the Lamy style box so I thought “Lamy Safari knockoff”. Ana mentions it’s a Parker 51 copy which was harder for me to see. The clip and hooded nib are Parker-like but it reminds me more of a TWSBI, An interesting inexpensive pen.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – January 14, 2018

I had mixed success with fountain pen and stationery related activities this past week. I didn’t write any fountain pens dry, although one is close. My favorite pen & ink combo, by a wide margin, was the Sailor King of Pen with Montblanc “The Beatles” Psychedelic Purple ink. The medium nib does an excellent job of showing off the purple ink. It’s nearly dry and won’t last another week which will present me with a problem. My plan was to ink only a couple pens at a time (excluding purpose-inked pens), so I could cycle through them quickly and have a nice mix of pens and inks. But I want to reload and keep this combination going. The KOP is one of my most comfortable pens, and I like the bright purple ink. I’ll have to decide soon.

Sailor King of Pen Pro Gear and Montblanc "The Beatles" ink bottle

Another success has been my Hobonichi Weeks paper planner. I’ve been using it consistently, and I’ve been happy with it. It’s easy enough to carry with me all the time, at least in winter with accommodatingly large coat pockets.

My other Hobonichi, the Techo, has been a failure. While I started off using it as a morning journal it always felt like a made-up reason to justify the purchase. This week I missed a couple of mornings and didn’t miss it. I’ll keep it as a log book of sorts and maybe find a use for it.

One of the reasons I have such a hard time finding a use for the Tech is because I do use a Nanami Seven Seas Writer as a journal. This has developed into a nightly habit, so while I did skip it one night this week I missed it enough to write in it the next morning. That was the nail in the Hobonichi coffin. If there’s journal type stuff I want to write in the morning, I’ll simply use the Seven Seas Writer.

Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories – The New York Times – Some good photography.

Pens of the moment – paperinkplan – I always like seeing what other people use day-to-day.

The New Year diary. | Fountain pen blog – The part I found most interesting is the use of a single fountain pen with this diary, for the entire year. This is something I couldn’t do. I’d either run out of ink or not have the pen handy when I wanted it. And even if I didn’t have those problems, I would spend the year in fear that I would.

The Bullet Journal-Workshop (Pt. 6): Moving from A5 to A6 and combining a Weekly Planner – Scrively – note taking & writing (Video)

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – January 7, 2018

Even though Monday was a holiday it feels like it was a long, long week. I know this is New England and the current weather isn’t unusual. But, it’s early in the season and this string of below freezing days and nights is getting to me. Rumor has it we’ll get above freezing on Monday just before some snow returns.

I did use my fountain pens more than what’s been typical. I like having just three pens inked up to pick from when I want to do some writing. I didn’t empty any fountain pens, but I did finish off a notebook. It’s a large (8.5” x 11”) Staples Sugarcane Paper wire bound notebook. I started it in July 2014 and used it on & off for the first draft of posts for this blog, along with other writing. The last page was the draft of this post. Like most notebooks that don’t have work-related notes, it will head in the trash bin now that it’s served its purpose.

Staples Sugarcane Notebook and three pens

The thin paper was challenging at times since I like to use both sides of the paper and wouldn’t pick pens/ink based on what I wanted to use, not which would work best. I’m fairly tolerant of show-through, but I was often distracted when writing on the back side to the paper. Even more so, it was hard to see the lines.

I didn’t see any of these when I was at Staples in December, but I do have one that I picked up on sale months (years?) ago.

Benu Pens Briolette | Fountain Pen Review – The Pen Habit

Great Pen Stores: My Visit to Vanness Pens – The Gentleman Stationer

How I got into Fountain Pens: Jinhao to Montblanc – On Fountain Pens

Crónicas Estilográficas: Madrid 2017 (II)

The wrap-ups continued in the new year…

2017 Cheers and Tears from the Well-Appointed Desk

2017 Pen Wrap Up from Hand Over That Pen

Pen, nib and ink rotations 2017 from Analog(ue) Obsesses which also has the Pelikan Class Photo 2018 — Analog(ue) Obsessed

Currently Inked – January 2018

I put off inking up any additional fountain pens in December and was down to two inked pens as the month drew to a close. Last year I kept my pens inked until I wrote them dry, which would often be months. (There were a couple of early dismissals for poor performance.)

This year I’m going to try changing that up a bit, starting now. I’ll ink some pens for specific tasks and keep them inked until they run dry or stop serving their purpose. Then I’ll pick three pens around a theme and ink them up with ink also picked around a theme. I’ll still haven’t decided how often I’ll replace the themed pens. I expect to flush them before they go dry, but I think two weeks will be a little quick, and a month is more likely.

Currently Inked January 2018 capped pens
Currently Inked January 2018 uncapped pens
Currently Inked January 2018 writing samples

So, first is the purpose inked pens:

The Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche was loaded with an XXXF nib and a Pilot red ink cartridge for use in my Hobonichi Weeks Planner. The thin nib is ideal for the thin paper, and since the thin line uses little ink, it’s relatively quick drying. My Hobonichi cover has a pen loop built in. While I don’t typically like pen loops built into notebooks and considered cutting this one off, I’m now using it.

The Lamy 2000 is the one inked pen carried over from 2017 will serve as my desk pen until it goes dry. That’s “desk pen” as in the pen that’s always sitting in the pen stand on my desk that’s ready to use. I wanted a desk pen as in the style of pen, but I put my Esterbrook inkwells someplace for safekeeping they are so safe I couldn’t find them. My goal is to find them before the Lamy 2000 goes dry.

I shined up the Kaweco Brass Sport with its extra fine nib and loaded it with a Kaweco Black cartridge. I like patina, but when I pulled it out of the case it seemed to have crossed the line between patina and grunge, so the decision was a spur of the moment decision. It will travel as my pocket pen. Based on my history carrying a Kaweco Sport the pen won’t get much use.

My theme for the three inked for fun fountain pens is “Sailor,” and the theme for the ink is “Montblanc.” True, those are brands which may stretch the definition of “theme” but calling them themes gives me more flexibility in the future.

The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe with its extra fine nib got Montblanc Albert Einstein ink. I was concerned that the ink wouldn’t be dark enough for the thin nib, but it’s fine.

The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen got one of my newest inks, Montblanc “The Beatles” Psychedelic Purple. The KOP has become a favorite for my new inks and especially for my bright new inks.

It’s been over 18 months since I inked up the Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver fountain pen. Like the Kaweco it also needed polishing, but it was much easier to polish than the brass. I inked it up with another new ink (although released some months ago). Montblanc Antoine de Saint-Exupery Encre du Desert is one of the longer ink names. The back of the ink box solves that problem by just calling it “brown.”

The themed pens will provide a nice mix of nibs and ink color.