This Just In: TWSBI Go x 2

TWSBI Go Fountain Pen - cappedTWSBI’s latest pen is called the Go which enters the sub-$20 category. I’m not a huge fan of TWSBI pens in general. I can see why people like them, but for me the quality issues I’ve experienced outweigh any cost savings. Plus, I’m not a fan of translucent pens unless they are clear. The TWSBI Go intrigued me enough to give TWSBI another go (sorry).

I had money in the PayPal account, and I haven’t bought any fountain pens this year. So, I bought two of them. I got the Smoke version with an extra fine nib. I picked a broad nob for the Sapphire model. Neither the sapphire color (a blue) or the broad nib are typical choices for me, so I put them both in the same pen. I’ll probably use it for testing new inks. While I have filled both fountain pens, I’ve only really used the extra fine TWSBI Go.

The TWSBI Go is a sub-$20 piston filler fountain pen that seems well made, although it is plastic. TWSBI has a reputation of making pens with a tendency to crack or leak. Their more recent pens have seemed to have fewer complaints (although it’s possible I just haven’t paid attention). This pen design seems to limit the opportunity for problems, although it is plastic (except for the spring and nib) and I can’t speak to durability. The nib is removable for cleaning or swapping, although I haven’t done it. I would expect frequent disassembly to eventually cause breaks or leaks. I haven’t removed the nib, and don’t plan to, so I can’t speak to how hard or easy this is.

There’s no clip, but a small roll stop is molded into to clip. The roll stop is also designed to allow a lanyard to be threaded through it. I guess a lanyard could be a thing, but not for me. It’s a small roll stop, so if the pen has any momentum it won’t stop the roll.

It is a chunky pen, which does appeal to me. The pen does post, although it’s long enough for me to comfortably use unposted. The cap is very light, so posting doesn’t affect the balance. I don’t post the pen unless I need a place to store the cap. Speaking of the cap, it’s a pressure fit cap which snaps firmly into place. There isn’t any cap band so cracking may eventually occur.

TWSBI Go Fountain Pens - springsThe spring is visible through the pen body which gives it a steampunk look. At first I was thinking this is more like a vacuum filler, but it is a piston. Rather than screwing the piston up to suck in ink, the spring raises the piston for us. So spring-loaded piston filler is an accurate description in my opinion. Filling the pen is simple. Unscrew the body to expose the piston. Immerse the nib in ink, push the piston down and then release it. While simple, I’m not sure it’s significantly easier than a screw piston. One-handed operation seems possible, although it’s risky. While the filling system is far from revolutionary, I do like different filling systems, and find this a fun addition to my accumulation.

The TWSBI Go stops short of being a pen I want to use. The extra fine Go shared my pen case with a Fisher of Pens Hermès and I always pick the Hermès over the Go unless I want a second color of ink. That said, both the extra fine and broad nibs are smooth writers and the pens written well. I still have concerns about the durability, although more because of past experience than any obvious issues. The TWSBI Go is an inexpensive pen, and if it cracks after a year of heavy use and abuse, I’d consider it money well spent and buy another.

TWSBI Go Fountain Pens - uncapped

 

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This Just In: Nock Co. Tallulah (Kickstarter)

Nock Co Tallulah Pen Case  - open and flatI backed this year’s Pen Addict Live Kickstarter campaign which included a Nock Co. Tallulah pen case. I received my case just after Labor Day, and I’ve been using it since.

The Kickstarter Tallulah pen case is a two-pen zipper case with a clay exterior, black trim, and a bright Sunshine Yellow interior. This colorway is unique to this Kickstarter campaign. When I first saw the photos, I thought rust for color. I had read clay as the color before seeing the picture I would have expected a deep grey color. On the other hand, the color is a lot like terra cotta. So, the color name is appropriate. I was deep in my terra cotta phase when the campaign started. I’m not entirely over that obsession, so I like the color.

Inside, the case has two pen slots on the left, and a business card sized pocket on the right. It can lay flat when open. The exterior of the case is 6.25″ x 2.5″. Nock says it’s 0.75″ thick, although that can vary since it’s a cloth case. My largest pen, an Edison Huron Grande, doesn’t fit due to its length. All my other pens do fit, the longer ones being a Franklin-Christoph Model 66 and a Fisher of Pens Hermes. The side pocket fits business cards or Nock Co. Petite Index Cards.

I’ve been carrying the Nock Co Lanier in my daily travels. It’s a light, easy to carry briefcase. The Tallulah is an excellent match to the Lanier. I like that the case is nice and thin, while still providing excellent protection for the pens. I’ve been carrying a TWSBI Go along with my Fisher of Pens Hermès. The Hermès is a long pen. While it is snug, it fits comfortably without pressing against the case. I also carry a couple of business cards, and a few Nock Co Petite Index Cards although I yet to use either of them.

Nock Co Tallulah Pen Case - where the zipper sticks

Nock Co Tallulah Pen Case – where the zipper sticks

I’m a fan of Nock Co. Cases. This is the first one I’ve owned that had a hitch. It’s minor, and a side-effect of being a small case with a quality zipper, rather than a real defect. The corners are tight. When opening, the zipper gets tight at the final corner. It’s not snagging the material, but the material that protects the pens from the metal zipper isn’t rounded at that corner. There’s a little extra material, and it’s bunched up just enough to press against the zipper. I’m developing the muscle memory to pull the zipper out a bit when it reaches that corner.

I’ve been using the Tallulah for a couple of weeks and have enjoyed it. I’ve developed an affinity for carrying three pens, so the two-pen Tallulah caused me some angst in the beginning. My pens aren’t thin enough to carry a third pen. It’s a cloth case, so I’m sure I could get a third pen to fit, especially since I’ve never used a business or index card from the case. But I forced myself to stick with two pens, and I’ve become accustomed to two pens. I’ve yet to regret not having that third pen. (Part of this is because I often have my Fodderstack XL with me, and that has a third fountain pen along with a rollerball.) Adding a third pen to the Tallulah would go against my favorite feature: It’s a thin case that provides excellent protection for the pens.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – September 16, 2018

My fountain pen usage was sporadic these past two weeks, although I did write one fountain pen dry. My Karas Kustoms Ink ran out of Montblanc Petite Prince Red Fox ink. It was inked up back on June 13th and spent most of its time in my Fodderstack XL as my pocket carry.

Nock Co Tallulah with 2 TWSBI Go and FoP Hermes

Nock Co Tallulah with TWSBI Go, Fisher of Pens Hermes and another TWSBI Go. All but the FoP Hermes are new.

Three new products arrived over the past two weeks. I’d gone all year without buying a new fountain pen, and had money in my PayPal account, so I gave in and ordered two TWSBI Go fountain pens. The Smoke version with an extra fine nib. The Sapphire version with a broad nib. Broad nibs aren’t my typical choice, but I figure this inexpensive pen can be used for ink testing and experimentation, so I picked the broad nib.

Also arriving was my Pen Addict RelayCon 2018 Nock Co. Tallulah pen case. I’ve been using it since it came on the Tuesday after Labor Day.

I’ll write about the pens and the case in the next few days.

Finally getting my first new fountain pens in 2018 started the ball rolling. There was still money in the PayPal account when I read about a new Esterbrook Estie pen (the first since Kenro bought the company). The Estie is pretty much what I wanted in a new Esterbrook pen (except the price), so I ignored my rule that pens have to spend some time on my wishlist, and immediately pre-ordered one. I knew that no matter how long I considered it, it would remain at the top of my wishlist. I’m not sure what the market will be for this pen. I’m buying it because I have about three dozen Esterbrook nibs, while the vintage Esterbrook pens are too thin and light for me to write with for anything more than a quick note. I’ve been using the Esterbrook nibs in my custom Newton Eastman; now I can use two at one time. The pen does appear a bit pricey, especially considering that several vintage Esterbrooks can be purchased for the same amount of money, a single Esterbrook often can be less than the cost of the adapter itself. Anderson Pens has a video about the pen, and is taking pre-orders, while Goulet Pens has more of the technical details.

Links

“Always Listen to Your Mother”: I Go to the San Francisco Pen Show – Fountain Pen Follies

D.C. Pen Show Mini Haul & Recap – Owl Ink

The Dogs of the SF Pen Show – Hand Over That Pen

Back to School with the Stabilo EASYbuddy fountain pen. | Fountain pen blog

Handwriting – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

On Craft, Appropriation, and Distance. – Leigh Reyes. My Life As a Verb.

Review: Composition Notebooks at Walmart | Comfortable Shoes Studio

So Ugly It’s Cute? My Thoughts on the TWSBI Go — The Gentleman Stationer

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – Sept. 2, 2018

It’s a busy holiday weekend, so not much to say, I just wanted to get a few links up before they become too stale. I did post my currently inked fountain pens a couple days ago.

Photo of Pens currently iked on August 27, 2018 (capped)

Links

A Summer Work Space – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Currently Inked with Aeon Timeline — The Pen Addict

Pelikan 101: An Infographic & Understanding The Basics « The Pelikan’s Perch

Review: Up&Up White Index Cards Target | Comfortable Shoes Studio // I was driving by Target on Friday and decided to stop in and pick up a couple of packs. While I’ve only used one card so far, the review is spot on so far. I nice inexpensive (1/2 cent each) card that’s durable enough (for me) and FP friendly. Most of my index cards end up in the recycle bin shortly after use, and these are ideal.

Sydney Pen Show 2018 — TooManyPelikans

Newcastle Pen Show: An Interview with John Twiss – Pens! Paper! Pencils!

Off-Topic: Katherine Johnson, the ‘hidden figure’ behind first US manned space flight, is 100 – CNN // A reminder that computer once meant “one who computes”.

Currently Inked – August 28, 2018

I haven’t done one of these currently inked roundups since March. I inked up a total of 15 pens at the end of April and covered those in a Trail Log. It took me all this time to write them dry. I did add one to try a new ink, and that one is still going.

I haven’t used my large, clip-less pens in a long time so I inked up all three. These are too big for a pocket. While the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 can squeeze into some pen cases, the others are too big for any pen case that can hold them securely. These are desk-bound pens which I sometimes skip over for that reason. All three are eyedropper fills, so there’s a lot of ink.

The Newton Eastman is a custom pen designed for my vintage Esterbrook nibs. This time out I fitted it with a [#9788 Flexible Medium nib](https://fpquest.com/2014/10/14/nib-notes-esterbrook-9788-flexible-medium/ “Jump to the nib notes”). The ink is Montblanc Psychedelic Purple (The Beatles). I was shocked to see the Eastman has bee unused for over a year.

It’s been two years since my Edison Huron Grande has been inked. Another Shocker. I filled it with Iroshizuko Fuyu-Syogun ink. This ink was a favorite a long time ago, and I recently started using it again. The bottle is almost empty, so an eyedropper fill is ideal. With its extra large ink capacity and extra-fine nib, this will be in the rotation for a long time.

The third, and last, eyedropper filler is my Franklin-Christoph Model 66 with my favorite blue-black ink, R&K Blau-Schwarz LE. Another nearly empty bottle, but with a new bottle ready to open. The Model 66 is the smallest of my Big 3, but it will still last a long time with its extra fine nib.

My next choices were two Sailor Pens. The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe has a very thin Japanese extra fine nib. This one got a cartridge of Sailor Kiwa-Guro pigmented black ink.

The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen received its 13th ink. While not much to look at, it’s become my favorite pen to use. It also received a cartridge, this time it is Sailor Sei-Boku pigmented blue-black ink.

When I did the writing samples and started writing the draft of this post I had two holdover fountain pens. But that dropped to one when the Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe went dry on the first page of the draft for this post. So the only holdover is the Karas Kustoms Ink with a Montblanc Petit Prince Red Fox ink cartridge. This pen wasn’t part of the “April 15”. It was inked in June so I could try the new ink.

Photo of Pens currently iked on August 27, 2018 (capped)

Photo of Pens currently iked on August 27, 2018 (uncapped)

Photo of the writing samples for Pens currently iked on August 27, 2018