Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 12, 2020

Photo of the Benu Scepter II - my most used pen this past week.
Benu Scepter II – my most used pen this past week.

Earlier in the week, Tuesday I think, I decided to pick one fountain pen and use it as my primary writer until it was dry. I chose the Scepter II with an extra-fine nib and R&K Alt-Bordeaux ink. The pen still has ink today, which indicates how low my fountain recent pen usage has been. My rather feeble defense is that Saturday, I used my ystudio Desk Pen far more than the Scepter II. It was just more suitable for the short notes I was writing as I worked at my desk. Hopefully, I’ll be motivated to pick them up more often during the week ahead.

A bunch of new pens have been catching my eye and trying to empty my wallet. I have to admit, despite having several new pens that have barely been used, I’m itching to buy one. For example, Retro 51 will be releasing a new fountain pen this week. I marked it on my calendar. Although the pen looks beautiful (in photos), I know it won’t become a favorite. Past Retro 51 fountain pens have failed to pull me in. An early model was of poor quality, and later well-built pens were sold off after going unused for years. So I deleted that calendar entry. It’s been like that with other new fountain pen announcements. After some thought, and more research – such as size and weight, I dropped the pen from my want list.

One product that caught my attention is the Sailor Shikiori ink cartridges. I’ve done a 180 on my ink buying philosophy. I used to go with only bottles since they were the best price per ml. But I have drawers full of ink bottles, and most are nearly full. I could set the record as the longest living human and still not use all my ink. Bottles are a low price per milliliter received, but a high cost per millimeter used. So I’ve become more open to ink cartridges. (I’m not too fond of samples.) While undoubtedly expensive on a per milliliter basis, it’ll be less money leaving my wallet overall. I’m still not sold since I only have four Sailor pens that can use them. (I could use that as an excuse for another Sailor pen. There is one calling to me.) I also doubt will they provide something I can’t get from my current ink stash, other than convenience.

New Arrivals






Written Dry


Newly Inked


Mechanical Pencils In The Spotlight | An Inkophile’s Blog

How To Write Your First Letter To A New Pen Pal – Fountain Pen Love

Caps and Convenience – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Pen Pals Are Connecting People During Coronavirus

Leonardo Officina Italiana Momento Zero – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Smoothing and Unsmoothing Nibs – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

My new approach to notebooks. | Fountain pen blog

Sheaffer Pen Museum: History in our backyard – News – The Ames Tribune – Ames, IA (via @neilspens)

Lines and Grinds: A Guide for Choosing and Customizing Your Nibs- Part 2 – The Well-Appointed Desk

[PfMP] Parker 51 | dapprman

2 thoughts on “Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 12, 2020

  1. Hi Ray,

    I enjoy your blog, thanks for putting it out. Do you refill cartridges? I have always thought that a fountain pen is the eco friendly, no waste way to write with beautiful inks and pens. The pens mostly last forever, in many cases becoming family heirlooms, and if used with bottled ink, produce zero waste. I have priced cartridges, I’m delighted to read that bottles are also lower cost per ml. Your blog has inspired me, I not only happily track writing my pens dry, I have set my sights on writing my bottles dry (yes, a very first world ambition).
    Thanks again,

    • Hi David, thanks for the kind words.

      I don’t refill cartridges so they do go in the trash, except for a couple I cut up to help clean pens where my bulb syringe can’t get a good seal. (Cut the end off, attach the cleaned cartridge to the pen and use a bulb syringe to force water through the feed.) Yes, there’s some waste but it lets me try some new colors at an economical price while still using my bottled inks.

      Thanks for reading,

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