Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – May 2, 2021

My fountain pen usage, and journaling, were down a little this past week. I had ambitions of getting this week’s daily driver (Lamy Safari Terra) down to an ink level that could be easily used up in the week ahead. The ink level has barely reached the top of the ink window, so I don’t expect it to go dry this week. I am getting tired of the standard blue ink included by most manufacturers, so I may remove it early.

The five fountain pens inked as the month begins.
The month begins with these fountain pens

I’m down to five inked fountain pens. There’s a good mix of ink colors among them, so I didn’t see a need to ink up any others. My brain is still locked into wanting to pick a pen and use it until dry. And with two pens having evaporated dry, and requiring extra effort to clean, I’ll stick with what I have. I might ink up another Lamy sometime during the week. I have a second 14kt medium-oblique nib and a 14kt extra-fine nib that I need to test out.

Writing samples for the five inked pens.
Currently Inked – listed in the same order as the photo

I also have several new pens and nibs that have yet to be touched by ink. This puts me in a conundrum. I like using a pen as received before I start swapping nibs. This lets me know if any problems were caused by me or the factory. But, now I have three unused Lamy pens and two unused Lamy gold nibs. I can’t try those new Lamy nibs on the new Lamy pens.

I’ve also have a Retro 51 fountain pen that has yet to be inked. By my count that gives me eight nibs that need to be inked up. This helped me skip the Anderson Pens virtual vintage pen show, although I did review the pens. My avoidance was helped along by the lack of any Sheaffer that remotely interested me. I’m sure most of the pens have been sold, but if you want a visual tour of vintage pens, there’s this 90+ minute video of the pens that were available for sale.

I also have two fountain pens on their way back from Mark Bacas (nibgrinder). Hopefully, they’ll arrive this coming week. A Sailor KOP bent nib was repaired and a Lamy steel nib was ground to “as close to a Platinum UEF as safely possible.” These will be added to the “to be inked asap” queue once they arrive, especially that needlepoint.

Housekeeping – I move this blog back to WordPress self-hosted a while back and have been doing some cleanup since then. I’ve started cleaning up broken external links, such as the Trail Long (aka Sunday Notes and Links) posts and the resource pages. This may result in some weird references in old link posts or articles, such as “the following three links…”, while there’s only one link left.

I also scaled back the resource pages considerably. It was a little depressing to see how many of the listed websites have gone away. Keeping up with them is a time suck, and some are now linked to sketchy websites. So, I took the lazy way out and did a mass deletion, keeping a few I currently read and know are active. Links may return if I can find a semi-automated way of keeping them fresh.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Listening: The Guns at Last Night, The War in Western Europe 1944-1945 by Rick Atkinson (audiobook). I’ve made some progress, about 6 hours into a 32 hour book.
Reading: Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson. Finished this one last Sunday. It became more interesting during the last few chapters. But it became even more morbid in those final chapters and had a rather gruesome ending. I shouldn’t be too surprised, since it is a murder mystery. I’m guessing the two main characters will last throughout the series. So, viewed as an introduction to the characters, the slow parts may be forgiven. It has nearly 11K ratings on Goodreads and a 3.89 (out of 5) rating, which is the second-lowest among the nearly two dozen books in the series. I did finish it and it improved for me at the end, so I’d give it 3 stars, 2.5 if that was possible. The 24th book in the series is due out this year, so I’m obviously in the minority. If you like historical mysteries set around 1895 (based on the mention of Roosevelt just becoming NYC Police Commissioner) you’ll probably like this more than I did.

New Arrivals






Out of Rotation

  1. Lamy AL-Star Bronze (EF) went dry last Sunday as expected. It was inked with the included Lamy blue cartridge way back in late January. It spent most of the time as a spare pen I left in my office desk. Between infrequent office visits, and never forgetting my pens, it never got used. So I brought it home and made it my daily writer until it went dry.
  2. Esterbrook Estie (MV Adapter w/Esterbrook #9314M nib) A modern Kenro era Esterbrook, the nib is vintage. I find the MV adapter and converter to be finicky. I kept the pen inked to use as a comparison when reviewing the Journaler nib. That review has been delayed so long that this pen dried out. The converter has separated from the feed, so there was some ink in the barrel and a lot in the cap. It wasn’t too tough to clean, although I did have to take the pen and converter apart to get at the dried ink. I hate taking a pen or converter apart for what should be a routine task.
  3. Sailor Professional Gear Regency Stripe (EF) stopped writing after being unused for nearly two months. There was a little Yama-Dori left in the cartridge. But not enough to make it worth salvaging, so I just flushed out the pen. It took a lot of water before it ran clear going through the feed.

Into Rotation


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Spoke Axle by Spoke Design — The Inked Nib // A new blog. Via The Pen Addict Member Newsletter.

Monthly Inked // 2021 Work Rotation – Weirdoforest Pens // I missed this last week because it wasn’t in my RSS feed. I love seeing what other people use.

It’s That Time Again! Updated 2021 “Best Pen” Recommendations Are Live — The Gentleman Stationer

How Square! Writing in a Rhodia Reverse Book – Chicana Writes


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