Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – January 31, 2021

photo of this week's new arrivals, Lamy Safari, Retro 51 and a Lamy AL-Star
This week’s new arrivals (T->B). Lamy Safari Mango, Retro 51 #119, and Lamy AL-Star Bronze

I didn’t have a favorite fountain pen this past week. The bias towards using new pens has worn off. So, while I still consistently use the newer pens, such as the Green Aero , other pens are working their way into daily use.

My Dark Lilac Safari leaked all the remaining (about 1/4 of the cartridge) violet ink inside my Visconti 3-pen case. The full length dividers limited most ink to the center slot containing the Safari. I couldn’t find any reason for the leak. The design of the Safari locks the cartridge firmly in place, so it didn’t come loose. Leaving through the feed as the only way out of the cartridge. The nib itself was firmly in place. The pen did spent a few nights nib down in my PenWell, but the hole in the cap means if any leaked it would immediately go to my desk. The case itself was stored flat most of the time. So the mystery remains. I plan to move the gold nib to another Safari for variety, not because of the leak. I’ll probably fill the Dark Lilac with ink again and let it sit around to see what happens.

I’ve been afraid to use the case again. Traces of the ink remain in the felt-like lining. Every once in a while I use a paper towel to rub out more of the ink. Eventually it may come out clean and I’ll start using the case again. I bought the case to protect my Sheaffer Balance IIs, although I’m not traveling regularly with my pens these days. I wouldn’t want those pristine finishes getting purple inked rubbed into them, so I started looking for a replacement. Finding cases that meet my requirements (mentioned in the previously linked post) at a reasonable price was impossible. This specific case was hard to find, and very expensive. Visconti has new designs and I’m guessing this case is no longer made. The new cases exceeded my budget, by a factor of 4, at a minimum, so I didn’t even research to see if they met my requirements. The least expensive option I found was the Esterbrook Nook at $100 which was 3 times my budget. I don’t have a record of how much the case was when I bought it, but the entire order that included the case was less than the cost of the current options.

I ended up ordering a Franklin-Christoph pen roll. I went with canvas. Leather may provide slightly more protection, but it was more expensive (and above my budget) and I’m not sure there would be more protection from the leather. The main selling points for me were that the pen clips don’t need to fit over the material in order for the pen to fit in the slot, and there’s no elastic strap putting pressure on the pen as I pull it out of the case. The pen roll is due in a few days.

My now repaired Vanishing Point XXF nib is working it’s way back to me. It’s overdue, which is not unexpected these days.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Listening: Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 by Rick Atkinson (audiobook). I haven’t listened to this at all during the past week.
Reading: I haven’t started another book yet.

New Arrivals

  1. Retro 51 #119 Train Rollerball
  2. Lamy Safari Mango (EF)
  3. Lamy AL-Star Bronze (EF)





Written Dry

  1. Sheaffer PFM I : Either I forgot how much I used this, or if evaporated, or (my guess) it got an incomplete fill. It was dry when I went to use it.
  2. Kanilea Kona Cherry : I wrote this one dry. I’ve been refilling it, but after several refills over seven months, I decided it needs a quick cleaning. But it will be back with the same ink. I just haven’t gotten around to cleaning it.
  3. Lamy Safari Dark Lilac (w/14k O.M.) : As mentioned at the top, this pen leaked for some reason. I plan to move the nib to a different Safari and return it to the rotation, but haven’t done it yet.
  4. Lamy Safari USA : I flushed this one out early. I’m considering sending a Lamy nib for nib work when I send the Sailor for repair, and I’ll use this one as the nib holder since it’s the color that I’ll miss the least. Plus, the already attached medium nib is probably the nib I’ll want Changed.
  5. ystudio Classic Brass Desk Pen : This was written dry. While I do like having it available on my desk, and is certainly gets used, I decided to hold off on re-inking, and give some other fountain pens some work.

Newly Inked (or re-inked)

Both new fountain pen arrivals were inked up with the cartridges included with the pen.
1. Lamy Safari Mango (EF)
2. Lamy AL-Star Bronze (EF)

My Personal Traveler’s Notebook, Plus Traveler’s Notebooks in The Curated Shop! — The Gentleman Stationer // Great minds thinking alike? Along with the recent Safaris that I ordered, I also received two Traveler’s Free Diary (019) refills, and I started using my Travelers Notebook again this week. I’ve been away from it for a long time. There’s a lot of similarities, in addition to the diary choice. I also use the zippered pouch and the Kraft Paper Folder. The folder is mainly to hold a notebook that can be quickly removed.

Monthly Inked // 2021 Work Rotation – Weirdoforest Pens

Pelikan’s #350: An Eastern Oddity Of The Classic Line « The Pelikan’s Perch

The Anatomy of a Stacked Nib – Tokyo Station Pens

A few thoughts on the Leonardo Furore Arancio fountain pen. | Fountain pen blog

Spring Semester Stationery Setup — The Pen Addict

Sheaffers – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

What Do You Write? – Goodwriterspens’s Blog


Brooklyn’s Street Address Mess: A Tale of Civic Dysfunction – The New York Times // Back when I started college I was majoring in urban planning (for only a short time), but articles like this still interest me. The NY Times attempt to make it visually interesting does make it a chore to read, but I still found it interesting enough to get through.

A Conn. photographer took the shot that became the Bernie Sanders mitten meme // First, Connecticut – Yea! Plus, Second, I can relate to wanting a warm coat and mittens. Nothing wrong with that. Those mittens look toasty.