Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – March 28, 2021

Photo of my pens for this week, a Lamy Safari Terra (EF) and Lamy Safari Mango (OM) and

For the week ahead: Lamy Safari Terra (EF) with the factory cartridge and Lamy Safari Mango (14kt OM) and Lamy Violet ink

My fountain pen usage was up a bit from the previous week. I can’t claim that as a huge accomplishment; the bar was vary low. I did continue my streak of journaling every day.

No real favorites this week. I had planned to use the Kona Cherry and KOP as my pens this past week, but the KOP went dry early in the week. I pulled out the Lamy Safari with the Oblique Medium nib to replace the KOP. The Diplomat Green Aero saw more use than the Kona Cherry. The Oblique Medium nib will remain for the week ahead, and will be joined by my new Lamy Terra with an extra-fine nib, and the factory provided ink cartridge. I like pairing a thin nib with a wider nib in my two-pen case.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Listening: Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 by Rick Atkinson (audiobook). I’m still making progress, albeit slowly, through this one. I’m close to halfway, but not there yet.
Reading: Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard. I finished this one off. Like any Elmore Leonard book, It didn’t require a lot of effort to read, and I enjoyed it. I curious and watched the movie again. It was closer to the book than I remembered. The book has more room to develop characters, but some minor characters I didn’t remember were in the movie, just quickly brushed over.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

None

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

  1. Sailor Tangerine King of Pen (O.M.) ran out of Sailor Shimoyo ink on Tuesday.

Newly Inked

None

Links

canetas e coisas: VAZIR

Review: Kolhabi Inabel Pen Cases | Rants of The Archer

Think ink – Pam Alison Knits

Love and money: the great fountain pen survey, part 2 | UK fountain pens

Pelikan M200 Café Creme Old Review and Update | dapprman

A look at the Pilot V disposable fountain pen and how to refill one. | Fountain pen blog // I find the ability of these pens to avoid drying out rather remarkable.

The Glorious Nail – Goodwriterspens’s Blog // My sentiments exactly

Off-topic

Suez Traffic Report // Since I remember pre-Google Maps traffic reports this made me laugh.

 

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – March 21, 2021

This week's pens the Tangerine Sailor KOP and the Kanilea Kona Cherry.

My fountain pen usage was way down this week. Journaling consumed the majority of ink used, with checklists a distant second. That journaling only filled 3 1/2 A5 pages. If I look for a positive, it’s that I did journal every day, if only a sentence or two. I alternated between the Sailor King of Pen, and the newly re-inked Kanilea Kona Cherry.

I had planned to use the gold-nib’d Diplomat Aero, but replaced it with the Sailor KOP to add a little variety to the nibs I was using. Considering how quickly I changed my pen plans last week, I’m not going to mention my plans for the week ahead. I’m trying to convince myself to pick new pens, but I like my current choices. The KOP is nearly dry, so if I can write it dry sometime today it will be easier to bring in a new choice.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Listening: Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 by Rick Atkinson (audiobook). I’m still making slow progress. This has turned into a housework book; I listen while doing my housework, meaning it’s only about two or three hours a week. With about 20 hours left, the book will be around awhile.
Reading: Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard. Last week I mentioned that NYPD Red reminded me of a failed attempt to write a Elmore Leonard style book. I decided to switch to the real thing. I’ve seen the movie but never read the book. I don’t remember enough of the movie to say how true to the book the movie is.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

None

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

None

Newly Inked

  1. Diplomat Aero Green (14kt fine) with a Montblanc Emerald Green cartridge
  2. Kanilea Kona Cherry (extra-fine) with Montblanc Bordeaux
  3. Lamy Safari Terra (extra fine) with the included blue cartridge

Snippets: Izumi exclusive ink, Parker 51, Taccia ink, Musubi Cosmo Air Light | UK fountain pens

Maker: Zine Friends Edition | Comfortable Shoes Studio

Crónicas Estilográficas: Curidas (IV). One Year Later

In Praise of the Big Nib — The Pen Addict

A fountain pen users guide to Blackwing Woodcase Pencils — Write Experience

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – March 14, 2021

Photo of my Diplomat Aero and Kanilea Kona Cherry
Diplomat Aero (14k fine) & Kanilea Kona Cherry (extra-fine)

Considering all the fountain pens that I wrote dry this week, it might seem like I wrote a lot this week. I didn’t. My usage was about the same as last week. I’m down to eight inked fountain pens, all of which have a trait or two that keeps them from being a daily driver. Nib too wide, pen too thin. Well, one could be, but it’s the Lamy AL-Star that I leave at the office. I plan to ink up the green Diplomat Aeros and Kanilea Kona Cherry. The Kanilea will get Montblanc Bordeaux. I’m undecided which ink I’ll pick for the Diplomat.

Things are looking up for 2021 this week. I was able to get my first COVID shot, and the weather was so nice that I could open my windows for four straight days and let fresh air into my apartment. Even my fountain pens enjoyed the fresh air. As the indoor air returned to normal humidity my pens behaved better.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Listening: Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 by Rick Atkinson (audiobook). More progress on this one, although plenty left.
Listening: NYPD Red by James Patterson & Marshall Karp (audiobook). I wanted to read a mystery/thriller and came across this one. I’d never read a James Patterson book so decided to try it. Although, anytime a famous author is a co-author I figure they are the brand name, rather than a writer, so I probably still haven’t read one. It’s a relatively short book so I’ll finish it today. But, I won’t read any other books in the series (this is Book #1 in a 6 book series). It reads like a bad attempt at an Elmore Leonard style book but with failed attempts at the snappy dialog and with unlikeable,uninteresting characters. Maybe there will be a surprising ending. Goodreads reviews are mixed, but mostly positive (3.94 out of 5 stars over 33k ratings). On the plus side, I found that the Libby app does a good job with audiobooks. Unlike Audible, it properly syncs for me.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

None

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

  1. Esterbrook OS Estie (Journaler): Inked back in December and refilled with Sheaffer Red a couple times since then, I decided it was time for a cleaning. It will be inked up later today if I can decide between Montblanc Bordeaux and Sheaffer Red.
  2. Pelikan M815 Metal Striped SE (Fine): Was inked back in December, but unlike the Estie, it took all this time for just one fill of Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black.
  3. Sailor Pro Gear British Racing Green (Medium/Fine): I suspect this went empty due to considerable evaporation. I just don’t find this thin & light fountain pen comfortable to use for any length of time. But, I love the color.
  4. Diplomat Aero Green (Fine 14k): I finally finished the ink cartridges that came with the pen, so I get to move on to bottled inks with this lovely 14k nib.
  5. Sheaffer Balance II Aspen (Medium): One pen choice for this week went dry on Monday, so this one was called upon. It went dry on Friday. It was filled with Montblanc 90 Years Permanent Grey ink, a consistent choice for this pen.
  6. Sheaffer Crest Nova Green (Extra-Fine): Also inked back in December. I love the nib and the pen’s color, but it’s even thinner than the Sailor Pro Gear and not a pen that I can use for more than short notes.

Newly Inked

None

Video Review: Pilot Custom 823 – Scrively – note taking & writing

Every day’s a school day – Pam Alison Knits

On a Whim Woodworks Fountain Pen Review – My Pen Needs InkMy Pen Needs Ink

How Many Pens Is Too Many (To Have Inked Up at Once): Managing a Collection — The Gentleman Stationer // 42

Crónicas Estilográficas: Against Marketing: New Parker 51

YouTube: Appelboom goes to Boston

This old thing? – Pam Alison Knits

How A Pelikan Found Her Song: Center Stage With The Rare And Exotic Music Nib « The Pelikan’s Perch

Of Letters and the Writing Thereof – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

“You cannot put a Fire out” | From the Pen Cup

Off-topic

Amazon’s monopoly is squeezing your public library, too – The Washington Post // I realize Amazon is an aggressive company (to put it politely), but this strikes me as especially egregious. They play in all parts of the book business. Standard Oil was broken up in the early 1900’s because it had similar top to bottom control of the oil business.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – March 7, 2021

Photo of the uncapped M815 Metal Striped

My fountain pen usage was up a bit this week, but that’s mainly because it’s been extremely low recently. I switched to using just two pens for the entire week, at least for my regular writing and I did write one of the pens dry. So, I pulled out my Pelikan M815 Metal Striped SE with a fine nib and Pelikan Blue-Black and used it for the remainder of the week.

I have a strange relationship with Pelikan M8xx fountain pens. I really enjoy writing with them, and find them comfortable for long writing sessions. Yet, I frequently pass them over when picking a pen to use. I sold my Pelikan M805 Stresemann because I rarely used it. The Pelikan gets overlooked when it’s time for me to pick up a fountain pen. I fear this pen is headed down the same path. A pen I enjoy using, but it’s rarely used.

My pens for the week ahead are repeats from two weeks ago: Diplomat Aero Green with a 14k fine nib, Esterbrook OS Estie with a Journaler nib.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

None

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

  1. Sheaffer Custom (Blue Fleck) Legacy was written dry of Pilot Blue-Black. It was inked up way back on November 19th.

Newly Inked

None

Organizing A Pen Collection: Pulling It All Together — The Gentleman Stationer // My own tracking evolution was: None -> Spreadsheet -> Evernote -> DEVONThink. The spreadsheet was too limiting (hard to add pictures, reference links, etc… in an logical way), Evernote became buggy so I moved everything to DEVONThink. DT is overkill for pen tracking, but it works and I use it for other stuff. I use the mentioned Fountain Pen Companion to track usage along with a notebook to track usage, but plan to drop the notebook tracking when the current one is full. I do track usage in DT also, so it’s clear I do far to much fountain pen administration.

Video-Review: Lamy Z55 gold nib (vs steel nib) – Scrively – note taking & writing // I reviewed the Lamy oblique medium gold nib this week.

REVIEW: TACCIA POLAR LIGHTS FOUNTAIN PEN | The Pencilcase Blog | Fountain pen, Pencil, Ink and Paper reviews

Fountain Pen Review: Esterbrook Estie Rocky Top Oversize | Rants of The Archer

Even More of His Nibs | Quieter Elephant

The Proof is in the Water — The Pen Addict

Kelly Loeffler Just Lost Her WNBA Team to a Player She Refused to Meet | The Nation

Swan SF130/61 Yellow & Black – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

My first Nakaya fountain pen – a Long Cigar in Aka-tanemuri — Write Experience

TWSBI Eco | dapprman

Branching out – of sorts | Slightly unnerved

Filling Systems – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Early thoughts on the Narwhal Schuylkill 365 fountain pen. | Fountain pen blog

Breaking News from the Stationery World: Paper Source Files Bankruptcy – The Well-Appointed Desk

Review: Lamy Oblique Medium Gold Nib

photo of the 14k gold Lamy oblique medium nib.
Lamy 14k Oblique Medium nib – top view

A few years ago Paul, from the now-defunct Gorgeous Ink blog, wrote about upgrading a Lamy Safari (as I remember it) to a 14K gold nib. That was when I first became aware that Lamy made gold nibs for pens other than the Lamy 2000. That memory ramained lodged in a brain crevice since then. I’ve always liked Lamy Safaris, but I never seemed to bond with one. I’ve rediscovered them lately, and I’m now a bit infatuated with them. My memory of Paul’s gold nib broke loose from the crevice, and I decided to check out Lamy’s gold nib options.

In addition to the standard nib sizes (extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad) Lamy also has medium oblique and broad oblique 14k gold nibs. Since an oblique is my favorite grind, I was on board with a medium oblique. A broad would be far too big for my writing style. The Lamy obliques are a bit harder to find at retail, but I was able to order the last 14k medium oblique nib from JetPens.

They showed as out of stock after I ordered one. It did come back in stock a couple of weeks later, with one in stock. Maybe it was sooner, I didn’t check daily, but it was long enough for me to believe the “Only 1 left in stock” notice was legitimate, and not an attempt to compel a FOMO purchase. (FYI: Lamy does not make steel oblique nibs.) I’ve been using the nib since it arrived on January 16th.

The nib shipped in a small plastic bag that could easily be lost in the packaging. It’s just the nib, no feed or housing is included. I included some ink cartridges in the order, so it was wrapped with them. This made me a bit squeamish as I tried to remove the tightly wound and taped plastic wrap without damaging the nib that I could not see. Lamy calls it a Z55 nib and it can be used with almost any Lamy fountain pen except the Lamy 2000. There are probably other models that it won’t work with, but it fits most Lamy fountain pens that I’ve seen available in the United States.

The nib is three-times the cost of the Lamy Safari fountain pen that I’ll be putting it on. This makes the cost justification a bit tough. It’s even harder because I’m not a gold nib snob. I like steel nibs just fine, and I don’t choose gold over steel when both are available. Well, I did on one recent fountain pen, but that’s another story. And for the record, the gold nib bump of that upgrade was more than the cost of this nib.

My justification is simple and summed up in three points.

  1. I’m curious and want one (I could stop here).
  2. Obliques are my favorite grind and were my gateway into using medium nibs more. Obliques are rarely a factory option, so there’s almost always an added cost for obliques.
  3. I don’t have to send a pen away for a nib grind, and then wait for its return.

I consider the Lamy 14k oblique medium to be a fair value at $100 when compared to other options, since the gold nib bump is often more than $100, even if the original nib is removed from the pen before the sale. While some nib grinders may charge less, an oblique grind is going to cost $40 or more, plus shipping from my preferred nib workers. While that’s less than $100, it does make the Lamy gold nib feel like a better value.

First Inking

Before I could ink it up, I had to put the nib on a pen. JetPens has a written guide describing a couple of methods to swap the nibs, and Goulet Pens has a video showing the tape method, which is the method that I use. I like the tape method because it makes it nearly impossible to drop the nib, and the risk of accidentally bending the nib is minimal.

With the nib in place, I popped in a Lamy Violet ink cartridge as the first ink. The nib was ready to write as soon as I was.

Writing with the Pen

It’s a medium nib, so wider than my usual everyday writer. I’ve been using medium nibs more and more recently, so I’ve gotten used to them.

I find the flow to be generous, almost a little too generous for my tastes, proven by the occasional smudge. I can’t make any direct steel vs. gold comparisons, but this gold nib is wetter than my Lamy steel medium nibs. On the other hand, there’s some nice line variation due to the ink flow. My issues with the oblique medium nibs are no different from regular medium nibs, especially western ones. I have to write bigger and slower than normal, otherwise, even I can’t read my writing Since all the e and o’s, among others are just balls of ink.

But I’ve gotten used to medium nibs, and have begun to enjoy them. Oblique nibs are a natural fit for my hand, and enjoy using them more than a regular round medium. The oblique medium will be primarily used for longer, sit down at a desk, writing sessions.

Overall, I do like the Lamy Medium Oblique 14k gold nib. It’s a nib style I like a lot, which is a huge plus. I am curious about getting a Lamy Steel medium nib ground to an oblique, so I can compare them. That probably won’t happen, since I have no reason to get a second Lamy oblique nib, beyond that curiosity.

I should mention that the Lany Violet ink cartridge leaked out into the pen case. I couldn’t find where it leaked, so I assume it came through the nib. Everything seemed secure and I don’t blame the nib, but since I don’t know the cause I can’t rule it out. There’s been no leaking since I moved the nib to another Safari.

Writing sample of the Lamy 14k Oblique Medium nib
Lamy 14k Oblique Medium Nib writing sample

Wrapping Up

I like the feel of writing with the gold nib slightly more than a Lamy Steel nib. But, I have to admit this could be my brain trying to justify the purchase. It’s also partly due to the oblique being more suitable for the way I hold a fountain pen.

I like oblique nibs, and my current preferred nibmeister charges $40, making the gold nib a $60 up-charge (me justifying the expense). I like the feel and consistency of the gold nib. While I’m not planning on getting any additional Lamy gold nibs, I am happy that I have this one, and don’t regret the $100 cost. This quickly became a lie, by the end of this month, I ordered another oblique medium gold nib, and an extra-fine gold nib. The more I used the nib, the more I liked it.

Additional Reading

Lamy Nib Guide – Lamy.com

Video-Review: Lamy Z55 gold nib (vs steel nib) – Scrively – note taking & writing