Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – August 22, 2021

The Pen Post zine, and a TWSBI Swipe. Both new arrivals.
Newly arrived this week

Yes, I know this is posting early, and it’s still Saturday the 21st where I am, this isn’t an accidental premature posting. With Henri already raining in Newark, where my server is, and forecast to turn towards me tonight, I figured I’d get it posted, do an extra set of backups, and batten down for the night. So it’s an on purpose premature posting.

Even though I wrote a several pens dry this week. my fountain pen usage is still on the low side. I did manage to do a journal entry ever day this week, after only have a couple entries for the previous week. So while consistency is improving, the length of entries is still way down. Mary, at From the Pen Cup, puts me to shame.

I also used pen & ink to write a letter to Anderson Pens for their 400th podcast celebration. You have until August 31st to get your handwritten entry in to them. Full details are in Podcast 400 (YouTube, Audio).

Two of the pens written dry, the Aion and Model 20, are favorites and I already miss them. My Journal pen, the Kanilea Kona Cherry went dry Saturday night. It had Montblanc Bordeaux ink in it, and I refused to waste even a couple drops by flushing it out early. Good to the last drop.

My Sheaffer 300 Matte Green is turning out to be a problem pen. I’ve only used Sheaffer Black ink cartridges in it, so next fill will be a different ink. The first cartridge leaked through the cap and made a slight mess of the pen. I never came across a specific thing I could blame, but after a cleanup and inspection the problem never returned. What remained of that first cartridge seemed to do ok and was problem-free. But the two cartridges since then have skipping and hard start issues. Nothing major, but enough to be annoying. I’m spoiled by large supply of good performing fountain pens, so the Sheaffer 300 stands out. But, not in a good way.

I ended up doing my typical test which is to hold the pen at the top (end opposite the nib) and drag the pen across the paper to see what line it puts down under its own weight. The Sheaffer 300 failed this test miserably on every paper I tried, often failing to put down any ink. So it’s time to do some cleaning and testing. I don’t see any particles stuck on the nib or feed, but the tines do seem a bit close together. Since the pen worked great with that first cartridge (once that leak was cleaned up) and passed my “line test” with flying colors at that time, I’m reluctant to start yanking it apart or adjusting the tines. I’ll start with a good cleaning and inspection. Then I’ll try some different ink, probably a Waterman ink, and see where that leads me.

There was a lot of pen and ink turnover this week. I’m currently down to six inked fountain pens, which is a less than my typical load-out. One of those is the F-C Model 20 which I inked up Saturday night to use as my journal pen.

I linked to a review of The Pen Post in last week’s Sunday links. My copy arrived Saturday. I read the first couple of pages and plan to read the rest of it this afternoon. Get your copy here. As the name implies, it’s about all types of pens, not just fountain pens.

If you’re interested in Zines then check out the latest episode of the Erasable podcast where they talk about Zines. Johnny Gamber (publisher of The Pen Post) is one of the hosts. Brad joined the show and his post mentioned they talked about zines. In addition to the Zine discussion I hope they discuss the new (to me at least) Caran d’Ache + Nespresso pencils. Adding ground coffee beans to the lead seems like the dumbest stationery idea I’ve heard since the Visioneer. I don’t see how this could possibly go well. Maybe I’m missing something. After all, I’m not a pencil person. Could this be why the episode title is Bring Us Your Weird? I’ll be listening to the episode later today.

Brad (The Pen Addict) also put some of his personal fountain pens up for sale earlier this week. I purposely avoided looking at them for a full day. I had no doubt I would see some I like. Luckily most were sold by the time I looked. There’s still a couple left, one of which is my clear favorite out of all the pens he’s selling. Someone needs to buy the Visconti Aida before my willpower fades. My gut feeling (meaning zero research) is that the price, while not outrageous, is a little high. Certainly high compared to how much I want to spend on a pen these days. I haven’t done any research because I wouldn’t be shocked to find that it’s a good price, which would chip away at my will power. So, someone please buy it to put me out of my misery.

This is a problem I have. I start selling pens to slim down the accumulation, and I immediately start seeing pens I can spend the money on. I keep telling myself – “Enjoy the pens I have $#$@#*.)

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Foundation and Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov. It’s been over 40 years since I read the Foundation Trilogy. When I originally read it, it was still a trilogy. My memory is that I loved them back then. Memory provided little else as the story was new to me as I read the details, with an occasional memory of the broad strokes as I got to them. I didn’t like it as much as I expected. It provided some food for thought, especially when compared compared to history since the trilogy was published. I’m only through the first two books (Well, I plan to finish Empire this weekend. I plan to read the third, but I never intended to read the two newbies and that hasn’t changed. I’d give them 4 out of 5 stars, although some of that may be due to nostalgia and a nod to his stuff being classic science fiction.

Watched: Salt. I’m a fan of Angelina Jolie, especially when she’s in a kick-ass action movie. So I really enjoyed this. Fun action, little thought needed, just watch and enjoy the popcorn.
Watched: Casablanca Bogart and Bergman. With support from a slew of other great actors. There’s nothing better and I watch it every couple of years. It’s easy to ignore that the magical letters of transit were simply a plot device that didn’t exist in real life.

New Arrivals

  1. TWSBI Swipe (EF) in Smoke: Curiosity got the better of me and I ordered one of these.


  1. Esterbrook (Kenro) OS Estie – Seaglass w/ Palladium trim: It’s backordered and not due until September. Estimated shipping is Sept. 6th, so soon!


My pen sale is still ongoing. If you used the contact form that was originally on the page last weekend I’m not ignoring you. The form was broken and I never got the info. I apologize, please use the email address that’s on the sale page, or the contact form on the about page, which does work. Hurricane Henri is right on course for me. Dire consequences are being predicted (news outlets need those clicks, and power companies have to predict the worst to avoid looking unprepared). So it may be some time before a response in the event I lose power.

Fountain Pens I’ve Shipped Out:
1. Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Marietta in Vintage Green with a medium stub nib.
2. Leonardo Officina Italiana Momento Zero Blue Green with a medium nib.
3. Diplomat Aero Orange/Black with an extra-fine nib.

Out of Rotation

  1. Lamy Aion Dark Green (EF): I finally wrote the Lamy Green ink cartridge dry after slightly over two months. Despite how much I enjoy the pen I decided to give it some time in the pen drawer.
  2. Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Gemstone (EF): I gave it a short fill of Waterman Black ink, which lasted about a month. It will return as my journal pen once I pick an ink later today.
  3. Sheaffer 300 Matte Green (F): The pen had a Sheaffer Black cartridge and was flushed out early. I talked about why up above.
  4. Kanilea Kona Cherry (EF): Inked back in March with Montblanc Bordeaux, and refilled in May. My favorite ink, with a favorite pen. Time for a change, so I’ll give it a break. I liked having it as my journal pen, although that was a recent decision.

Into Rotation

  1. TWSBI Swipe (EF) in Smoke: This arrived a little over a week ago. I inked it up with the included Black ink cartridge. The cartridge is huge, so the pen will be around awhile.
  2. Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Gemstone (EF): This was flushed out and immediately returned to the rotation. I inked it up with KWZ IG Green #2 ink. This will replace the Kanilea in my journal. Hopefully it will server as a good incentive to journal daily. Have to keep that iron gall ink moving through the pen.


A London odyssey and early thoughts on the Platinum Plaisir fountain pen. | Fountain pen blog // The benefits of being able to get out-and-about again. And also living in a major city with pen, stationery and other shops.

Ink-A-Pet Pen Rest & Sample Vial Holder – The Well-Appointed Desk // I dislike sample ink vials and don’t use them. But, I want one, or two of these vial/pen holders. They’re so cute. Not just because they’re made by a 7 year old.

Filo-nanigans – Pam Alison Knits // I always enjoy what people use and like, even if it’s a planner that history has taught me isn’t for me.

Sorry – not with those swirls | Pete Denison // Good to see Pete writing about pens again. There was a time I was all about solid colors, often black. Then I started getting some brighter colors and patterns. I’ve found that while I might like bright colors and patterns for a while, I get bored with them. I don’t get bored with black. Although, some may claim I start off bored with black.

Review: “Pelikan Limited & Special Editions: Fine Writing Instruments 1993-2020” Book « The Pelikan’s Perch // I don’t have much to say here. I don’t have enough interest in Pelikan Pens to spend $100 for a book about them. But I have bought books about Sheaffer pens. One reason pen books are expensive is that the print runs are relatively small. So if you’re a Pelikan fan you may want to shop early.

Eye Candy – Cholla Cactus Wood Turned Pen – The Well-Appointed Desk // I can’t decide if this is a beautiful pen, or the ugliest pen I’ve seen in a while. Either way, it’s a nice gift, which has me leaning towards beautiful pen.

Filling Systems – Goodwriterspens’s Blog // I’ve always been interested in different filling systems. Interesting read about why there are so many variations on the sac filler. (Spoiler: Patents)

Fountain Pens From My Collection: Kaweco AL Sport | Fountain Pen Love // I still have my Brass Sport and like it. I also have the AL Sport but it’s shows more signs of abuse from the keys in my pocket, yet not enough to give it character. Both have been sidelined awhile. With the lockdowns and lack of travel I have little need for a pocket pen. Since then I begun carrying a ballpoint (egads!) as my pocket pen. This makes me sad. I’ll have to consider inking up the Kaweco.

TWSBI Swipe – Over-Engineered or Welcome Innovation? — The Pen Addict // I’ve had mine about a week. I still can’t answer that question. I’d hesitate to call it innovative.

Drillog reinvents the glass dip pen | UK fountain pens // Expensive and not for me. I haven’t dug deep, but there seems to be some drama around this Kickstarter pen.

News: Pelikan Hubs 2021 Cancelled « The Pelikan’s Perch // Not surprising, and a wise decision. A bit of a tease at the end of Pelikan’s email notification. Something new soon?

Crónicas Estilográficas: Platinum Pocket Nibs // For the last couple of years I’ve been intrigued by Japanese pocket pens from the 60’s through 80’s. I haven’t bought any, but I come close whenever I see them.

The demise of a Delike — mnmlscholar // What is it with the current rash of cracked nib collars?

Ten Journals | From the Pen Cup // Quite an accomplishment.


Going Nova | Dan Moren // I’ve enjoyed all three of Dan’s Galactic Cold War books, along with the Novellas. I’ve got time to reread them before Going Nova releases. This is the third or fourth book in the series. It depends on whether you use a book publisher timeline, or a human living in the world timeline. The books can be read as standalone novels, but it helps to have the backstory from earlier books. The Caledonian Gambit is the first book in the series, but from a different publisher.