Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – March 29, 2020

Photo of my pen choices for the week ahead

My primary pen choices for the week ahead.

Not too much to report this week. I wrote the Sailer Realo dry of it’s first fill of ink. I filled it with Iroshizuku Funyuns-Syogun back on February 25th and wrote it dry this past Wednesday while I was writing up my first impressions of the pen. (Hopefully to be published in the next day or two.)

I didn’t re-ink the Realo because I have another dozen pens inked up. I think this week I’ll concentrate of using the Sheaffers, along with the new Tangerine King of Pen.

I inked up the Edison Collier a couple weeks ago and finally used it for more than quick notes. Even though I have multiple pens inked up, it was with the intent of picking new ones each day, that’s not the reality. I tend to stick with a pen as my primary writer for several days, rarely using the others. Eventually I either write it dry or get bored with it. In this case I wrote the Realo dry and switched to the Collier. It was a nice reminder that the Collier is a nice big pen that comfortable to use. Plus, Edison always has well-tuned nibs.

My Pilot Vanishing Point caused me problems, which is completely out of character. It’s using a Pilot Black ink cartridge, a frequent choice for this pen. It was so clogged that I had to run the nib under the faucet to wash away the ink. Unfortunately, by the time it could write, I no longer wanted to use it. (It’s easier to pick another pen up while at my desk than it use to get out of my chair and walk 15 feet or so to a sink.) It’s using a needlepoint nib, but this is the only time I can recall needing anything more than gravity to get it to write.

I also remembered why I sold my left oblique Montblanc pen. While I love the nib style, it isn’t suited for a lot of my pen usage. If I’m writing at a desk or table, on a flat pad, or paper flat on the desk, it’s great. But, if the notebook is bound and isn’t flat, such as the Seven Seas notebooks I like, it can be a challenge to comfortably maintain the proper angle for the nib. But with a flat writing surface, using proper writing posture, the my normal grip keeps the nib at the proper angle.


Crónicas Estilográficas: Curidas. 1. Context

REVIEW: ASTON LEATHER PEN CASE | The Pencilcase Blog | Fountain pen, Pencil, Ink and Paper reviews // I really like the one Aston case that I have. It’s held up well.

On Writing in Your Journal (During a Pandemic) – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Pens That Got Away — Mountain of Ink // Don’t read this if you are susceptible to FOMO.

Tuesday Toolset, Top 5 Fountain Pen Ink Brands Edition — The Pen Addict // Montblanc is easily my favorite brand. I never really got into Sailor or Robert Oster, although I like the few inks I’ve tried from them, and they certainly have a great variety. I’d have trouble picking 5 favorite, since after MB it’s a free for all as far as brands go. As for picking “Top” brands, rather than favorites, I’ll yield to Brad.

Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen in a Stonewashed Blue finish – FOUNTAIN PEN INK ART

Updated 2020 “Best Pens” Recommendations! — The Gentleman Stationer

Eyes on Iopenna, designed for Visconti by Gaetano Pesce – Penquisition // A very weird pen.

A New Year party conversation. | Fountain pen blog

Sneaking Back In – Pete Denison // Good to see Pete’s blog active again.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – March 22, 2020

Photo of my Royal Tangerine KOPMy latest pen purchased arrived on Thursday. A Royal Tangerine Sailor King of Pen with a medium left oblique nib. It was the one pen on my want list that I was ready to buy. I already have a KOP that I love, and I’ve seen the Royal Tangerine Sailor 1911s in person. So, while I was hoping to see one at a pen show, just to be sure the similarity to the 1911 color didn’t end with the name, it was becoming apparent that there wouldn’t be any pen shows for awhile, especially not the ones I was considering attending. So, I pulled the trigger and ordered one from Classic Fountain Pens. So far I’m happy with it. I went with CFP because I could get the left oblique nib grind that I wanted in the same transaction.

Photo of the left oblique nib

My pen usage picked up this week since work slowed to a crawl, and I’ve been home. It’s a good opportunity to use my fountain pens. While I didn’t participate in InCoWriMo, I did receive a couple letters (thanks!). So, I can use this time to respond. The info I found is inconsistent, but the virus could survive on paper anywhere from hours to days (like I said, inconsistent). And who know what it will touch on the way. So for now, I’ll play it safe and write them, but hold them. They aren’t all that important, so no sense taking a chance.

It’s probably related to the COVID-19 fears, but I’ve been itching to buy stuff (and I don’t mean toilet paper). I love the look of the Sailor Epinard 1911 Ringless and it’s hard not to buy one. I have to keep reminding myself that there’s a reason I sold all my Sailor 1911s, except the heavier metal one. I’ll keep wishing for a KOP version. Even worse, I want one of the new iPad Pros too, even though I have the previous model, and the new model doesn’t add anything I’ve been wanting or need. I may get that overpriced keyboard once it’s available, but it will work with my current model. I already use a mouse and external keyboard with my iPad so I may just stick with what I have. Portability isn’t a huge benefit these days. The new keyboard won’t be out until May, so I’ll have time to try keyboard/mouse support with my current setup. Luckily a new iPad Pro is impossible for me to justify. My wallet should be safe from that bullet.

I couldn’t sleep Friday night, so it was time for bourbon and pens. The pens got a lot of use. I have a baker’s dozen inked up and I’ve been rotating through them. So, it may be awhile before any go dry.

Photo of pens & bourbon


Home | Mysite // The Chicago Pen show has been rescheduled. Let’s hope it can happen.

Pen Review: Matthew C. Martin OG1 Fountain Pen — The Gentleman Stationer // An interesting new pen brand/

A Blue Marbled Wartime Swan – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Golden Hour // FWI Golden Armour Fountain Pen (REVIEW) – Weirdoforest Pens // The photos make this look like a bright gold pen, which is a turn-off for me. But, if the brass develops a patina it could be nice.

Recommended Analogue-Inspired Books to Read While You’re Shut In — The Gentleman Stationer

Take Care of Yourself – Penquisition // My brain never linked the anti-microbial copper and brass to pens made of them. It may be time to ink up the Brass Sport again. Although, in reality it’s probably best to stop lending pens entirely.

Daily updated COVID-19 cases – All this I’m trying to avoid reading to much news these days, just enough to get any required info. But this is a good “facts only” look at where we stand. And yes, the “facts” rely on the underlying data which has issues that are documented on the COVID Tracking Project Website, but they seem to be using the best available sources.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – March 15, 2020

Welcome to the Ides of March. Jeez, could March get any more depressing? Don’t answer that.

A trio of pens went dry this week:

The Kaweco Brass Sport was inked back on November 16th and went dry March 11th. It faithfully travelled in my pocket despite little use.
The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe was inked back in January and went dry March 11th. I seem to have forgotten to record the date inked, and the ink used. It was a cartridge and probably their pigmented Kilwa-Guro black ink.
The Pilot Custom 823 was inked with Pilot Black back on October 1 and went dry March 11th.

All my currently inked pens, except the newly arrived vintage Sheaffer mentioned below, are listed in this currently inked post. The newly arrived Sheaffer, mentioned below, gives me a even dozen inked up pens. It’s been a long time since I’ve had that many fountain pens inked at one time.

I picked up a new (to me) pen off of eBay. I’ve been on the lookout for a Marine Green Sheaffer Balance Oversize to replace my cracked Marine Green. This one wasn’t ideal, a solid gold colored, not two-tone nib and the green didn’t appear to be as vibrant based on the pictures. But, it was a seller I knew and trusted, so I placed a bid and won the pen. It arrived Friday, and as expected the green color was more subdued, closer to an olive green, than my first Marine Green Sheaffer. I haven’t used it very much yet, although it seems fine. Just a little nib creep on one side of the slit, which quickly returned if wiped off. But so far, no dripping. I inked it with a classic (maroon box) Sheaffer Blue. Not Peacock blue, just “blue”. I don’t like blue inks, why is it so common in my vintage Sheaffers?

Photo of both my Marine Green Sheaffers

My new Marine Green Sheaffer (left) compared to my broken Marine Green Sheaffer (right)

Since my pen show opportunities are vanishing quickly, and my anxiety rises every time the President speaks, I ordered another pen. More when it arrives. Hopefully that will be this coming week, but I ordered it Friday and it includes a nib grind, so it may take a little longer.

In case you missed it: The Pen Addict Kickstarter won’t have a live show from Atlanta. If you’re one of the 30 or so Video/VLog only backers you may want to reconsider, although they are looking at replacement options. Personally, I’m in it for the pen and to support them. As of Friday night there were 260 (out of 950) pens left. I’m guessing there won’t be any Atlanta Pen Show and I won’t be making reservations for Chicago at the end of April. Those were the two shows I was looking to build a road-trip vacation around. If you’re waiting for an Atlanta (or any other) pen show cancelation announcement, keep in mind that events often have to wait for an external action (like a government order) to force a cancelation so that they can get refunds, collect insurance, or not be held to their contractural obligations.


How one Florida woman amassed a collection of more than 21,000 banana labels // Not entirely off-topic, after all, this and fountain pens are both obsessions with tight-knit communities.

Crónicas Estilográficas: S System

canetas e coisas

Mabie Todd Blackbird Fountpen – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Not too many links this week, so let’s go off topic with some happy, weird and educational links.

Puppies in a bucket / Boing Boing

Watch 80 joyous minutes of newly discovered Seinfeld bloopers / Boing Boing

Weird – Would you have expected this quote to end a news story: “Dispatchers with Arkansas State Police have no source of the toilet paper, but we are sending out a trooper to check go it out.” Dozens of toilet paper rolls found dumped alongside interstate

If you’re stuck at home and want to learn stuff: Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings

Like fountain pens. Sometimes the old technology is the best. The science of soap – here’s how it kills the coronavirus | Pall Thordarson | Opinion | The Guardian

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – Long Island Pen Show Edition

My fountain pen usage picked up a bit over the last two weeks, mainly because I’ve been trying to spend about 1 hour a day writing with my fountain pens. It’s usually in the evening, as a way to relax.

I wrote the Sailor King of Pen dry. I inked it up with Sheaffer Peacock Blue from the yellow box & inkwell bottle days. Not really vintage, although probably manufactured in the 1990s. I’m not a fan of turquoise or blue inks, yet I like Peacock Blue. It’s the nostalgia and Sheaffer’s reality distortion field that gets me. The pen was inked up from January 6 through March 3, 2020.

I inked up my Red Bamboo Vanishing Point with a Pilot Black cartridge and a custom XXXF nib. My Sailor Regency Stripe, which I carry in my Fodderstack XL, is nearly out of ink, and the VP will replace it. I inked it in preparation for the Long Island Pen Show on Saturday. I wanted a full pen for any notes. More importantly, the clickable VP is easier and quicker to use than the screw-cap Regency Stripe. The reality was – no notes or need for the pen while at the show.

Long Island Pen Show

I went to the Long Island Pen Show on Saturday. I went with a friend who drove, so it was a relaxing day for me. I was looking forward to the show because I figured there would be a lot of vintage pens there. And there was. Yet, I didn’t walk away with any vintage pens. Several Sheaffers caught my eye, along with a couple Parker Vacumatics, but they all had at least one strike against them. At this point, I’m looking for perfect, so gold furniture (except gold in Sheaffer two-tone nibs, or on an otherwise exceptional Sheaffer material) was an immediate disqualification. As was the size of the pen. Oversize Sheaffers are hard to find, at least in my experience. There were several beautiful Sheaffers, but all were too thin for me to use regularly or were in a material I already had. I did walk away with one modern pen, a Diplomat Aero in Orange/Black, along with a Rhodia dotPad.

Photo of my new Orange/Black Diplomat Aero

I lucked into the Aero since it wasn’t on display. Black, red, and blue models were on display, and I had decided on the red. I asked if they had it with an extra-fine nib. The reply was they didn’t but had EFs for the black model and the orange model. However, he probably said “orange and black,” meaning only in the pen that I eventually got. But I interpreted it as meaning two different models. To which I replied, “What? Orange? Can I see that one?.” I had known about the orange, but I had completely forgotten about it and had never seen the color in real life. The orange/black combo came as a complete surprise, and it was an instant decision. I bought it from Fountain Pen Hospital, so I was able to use the $10 gift card they were giving away with admission. This brought the price down to $135, which is in the ballpark of random, sketchy eBay and Amazon sellers and a good deal among reputable, authorized sellers, which includes FPH. I’ve yet to use the pen, but it seems to be a size and weight that I’ll be able to use for long writing sessions.

Not knowing about the orange/black and lucking into it reminds me why I’m not particularly eager to buy without researching. The Aero had been on and off my want-list multiple times, so the model was well known to me. But, I hadn’t researched all the available options, and it was an impulse buy. After all, there was nothing else to bite into my pen budget and no other reasons to use the gift card. At a previous show, I used the gift card for a parts bag but didn’t find any bags that caught my attention. There was a bag of Sheaffer nibs, but the reality is that I’m a long way from being able to do nib replacements.

The one other pen I saw and really liked was a large, oversized pen by Armando Simoni Club, which I had never heard of, or if I did know of it, I had forgotten. I forget the model and can’t find it online (I was told it was new). It was grayish celluloid with silver furniture which is right in my wheelhouse these days, with a rare (in modern pens) pneumatic filling system. I was able to quickly find out that they are Italian made, and I found vague references that indicated some link to Omas. However, that Omas just have been the inspiration for the pens. Armando Simoni was one of the Omas founders. At nearly $900, I wasn’t willing to try a new to me pen brand. Plus, they promoted the nib as “Flex,” which I don’t want, although if they really mean “soft” or “springy,” it would be more acceptable to me. I do prefer nail hard nibs. While I’m willing to pay $900 for the right pen, I decided that this wasn’t it. I admit to some regret, but not enough to head back today (Sunday) and buy it. I will keep them on my radar and possibly revisit them at a future pen show. It’s the type of pen I wouldn’t buy online without seeing the material in real life first. The material is too intricate to trust to the whims of online photos and computer monitors.

I was at the show for a couple of hours around lunchtime on Saturday, and I thought the crowd was a little sparse. It was easy enough to move around and see the pens, with only the occasional congestion. So, it was great from my point-of-view. The show space was remodeled a few years ago, and since then it has been bright and relatively spacious. It has not deteriorated with time. There were tables with space to sit down and try your new ink and pens or have the coffee/tea/food that was available. It was mostly vintage pens, although Kenro was there with their brands and a spattering of other modern pens among venders. My friend bought a Lamy Safari and some notebooks. I was on the lookout for Sailor Pens but only saw a few 1911s.

My one pet peeve about vintage pens is that they usually aren’t priced. (Although a few vendors at this show had priced their vintage pens.) While I certainly don’t mind asking the price, it could save us both a lot of time if I knew that the price was well above what I’d be willing to pay for the pen. I’m not particularly eager to negotiate price, especially when I don’t know anything about current pricing levels. I don’t want to lowball the guy (or gal, but they always seem to be guys, often in fishing vests, with unpriced pens). I don’t necessarily need a great or eBay level deal. Still, unless I really want the pen, I don’t like blind negotiating when I can’t feel justified in the offer. In the end, the only thing that matters is we both accept the price. But based on this pen show, the price I’m willing to pay is well below the asking price. The exception being vintage Sheaffers, where I’m both more familiar with current pricing, and ready to pay more for the perfect vintage Sheaffer.

On the way home, we stopped at Chip’s for breakfast. While it’s a popular local chain, there’s none near me, so it was my first time there. Naturally, I had to try the meal that gave me the most variety – eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes, and toast. All were delicious, and I’d stop back if I’m ever near one when I’m hungry. A good ending for a good day.


Vintage Pen News: Los Angeles pen show recap // Only one point of view, but it seems long-established, and what I’d call old-school pens shows such as LA and D.C. are having troubles. It seems like part of it is organizers resisting change, or just coasting on past success. Of course, the instances of theft is also a problem not directly attributable to organizers. At the Long Island show there were signs announcing hidden cameras all over the place. Not sure if there were a lot of actual cameras (one non-hidden one) or if they were meant as a deterrent. But as this article mentions, the camera are useless if local police don’t take it seriously.

My Supply Room: The Beatles

Tuesday Toolset, Top 5 Fountain Pens Under $50 — The Pen Addict

Nibs – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

New Find: Made to Order Samples – The Well-Appointed Desk // I’m not big on sampling ink these days (I still have too much), but this seems interesting, useful and unsustainable.

Vintage Pen News: Hicks and Tiffany

Scenes from the 2020 Baltimore Pen Show: Day One — The Gentleman Stationer and Baltimore 2020 Pen Show Recap: And It Keeps Growing! — The Gentleman Stationer

I’m Back from the Baltimore Pen Show! – Notebook Joy // I came across this one from another pen blogger but forgot to make a not of which one, so a h/t to someone.

The Pen Addict #400: Pen Addict 101 – Relay FM // The Pen Addict broke out their time machine and review the history of the podcast, and then jump into pen & ink basics. An enjoyable hour, even for this longtime listener and their coverage of pens I have no personal interest in.

Where It Happens – Goodwriterspens’s Blog // OK, not very informative, but I like seeing people’s work areas.

The Pen Addict Live 2020: Atlanta and Dallas by NockCo — Kickstarter // The Pen Addict Kickstarter for 2020 has gone new live. The Coronavirus, and its potential impact on travel, is mentioned as a risk. But the main (aka higher level) reward is a Retro 51 pen.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – February 23, 2020

Not much activity to report. No newly inked pens or pens written dry. My fountain pen usage was down this week. I started going through my photo library to eliminate duplicates. I’m using Gemini by MacPaw, and I’m at the point where the photos are close, but there are a few false positives found. So, I have to manually review the photos which sends me down memory lane. I do love Sheaffer nibs.

Photo of the nib on my Sheaffer Balance II Aspen

Sheaffer Balance II Aspen SE photo from the archives. Currently inked with Montblanc Permanent Grey.


Fountain Pen Ink Art Workshop at INTRA – FOUNTAIN PEN INK ART

Tuesday Toolset, Top 5 Fountain Pens Under $50 — The Pen Addict

Finding joy in black ink | UK fountain pens

REVIEW: JAQUES HERBIN CLIPPER FOUNTAIN PEN | The Pencilcase Blog | Fountain pen, Pencil, Ink and Paper reviews.

Inside Stationery (Pt. 02): Wolfgang Fabian – Lamy Safari – Scrively – note taking & writing

Galen Leather Co Zipper Pen Case Review – 40 Pens — The Clicky Post

Everyday Writers: Choosing the Best Pens and Pencils for Life — The Gentleman Stationer