My fountain pen usage was very low again this week, so I still have 15 inked up fountain pens. I changed the way I picked my pens to use. Rather than a different pen each day instead, at the beginning of the week I picked two pens as my primary writers for the week. This week it was the Diplomat Aero Green with a fine nib, and the Esterbrook OS Estie with a Journaler nib. The Aero has one of the included ink cartridges, while the Estie has Sheaffer Red ink. I don’t prohibit myself from picking another pen, but I’ll use the two selected pens as much as possible.
For the week ahead, I picked the Sheaffer Custom Legacy with a Bacas Blade Turk nib and Pilot Blue-Black ink. I’m pairing it with a Lamy Safari Mango with my 14k gold oblique medium nib loaded with a Lamy Blue cartridge.
There’s really no favorite pen this week. Or, both pens are favorites. I only used two fountain pens for any measurable length of time. If all the pens I used are favorites, is any pen a favorite? I hesitate to say they’re in my Favorite 5 until I sit down and think about it, but they’ll get serious consideration. The green Diplomat is too new for me to call it a core pen, but I do think it will be added to that list soon enough.
The new Lamy Safari fountain pens arrived Friday, a quick delivery considering other recent mail from that part of the country. I love the colors. They shipped on Monday making transit times pretty much back to normal.
I finally shipped out a couple of pens to Mark Bacas for some nib work. A Sailor KOP was sent for nib repair. For those keeping track, besides me, I’m 2 for 2 on mangling KOP nibs. Since it didn’t add to the postage costs I sent a Lamy nib to be ground to a needlepoint. Basically I asked for it to be as thin as practical for the nib material, with a Platinum UEF being the goal.
I realized that I really need to inventory my Lamy nibs and accessories. I regret not adding a converter to the recent order. While I always had plenty, many converters went with Lamy pens that I sold, and I seem to be down to two converters. This coincides with the number of Safaris I owned at year end, so I don’t expect to come across any others. I’ve added some Safaris (and one AL-Star sibling), bringing the count to seven, but no added converters. I sent one off with the fountain pen that went for nib work, leaving only one for me to use. I do have plenty of cartridges, and I really should use them up. But having only one Lamy converter makes me nervous.
No favorite pen this week. None of them got much use, and I spread out my usage.
My fountain pen usage was down a lot his week, mainly because I missed a couple days of journaling. This was also another week of misplaced fountain pens. Like the green Diplomat Aero and the Orange/Black Diplomat Aero of weeks past, I had no fear that the pens were permanently lost. When I went to take some photos of my new(ish) Retro 51 Lincoln fountain pen I couldn’t find it. I had left it at the office. Although it wasn’t the one I intended to leave there as a safety net. I also couldn’t find my Esterbrook Estie when I wanted to use it, but that eventually turned up in one of my desk cubbyholes. I would have said I never put pens there, but obviously I do. At least I’m not the only one, on this week’s Pen Addict podcast Brad mentioned that he misplaced four pens, although knows they’re around someplace. As far as I know, I have all my pens now. Of course, I didn’t know the others were misplaced until I went looking for them.
I finally posted a non-Trail Log article on Friday. Over the last few months I wrote some articles as an excuse to use my pens, but never went farther than the written draft. The Friday post was mostly written sometime over New Year’s weekend. The one publishing on Tuesday was some thoughts I wrote before that. So, I’ll working to get caught up on those, and get some articles published. But on the downside, I won’t get to use my pens as much as I want to.
But, continuing the trend of misplacing stuff, the notebook with my articles drafts was nowhere to be found when I went looking for it. Again, certainly not lost, it’s probably on my office desk. I may swing by there later today, so I can work on transcribing an article or two later today.
I got the in-stock notifications for the Lamy Safari Savannah and Terra fountain pens and placed my order. They haven’t shipped yet, but I expect them to ship early this week.
I finally gave in and acknowledged that a blue and gold fountain pen is a favorite. That would be the Sheaffer Custom Legacy with its Turk Blade nib, since I used it three straight days. Although it I was only my primary writer one of those days.
I committed sacrilege this week and bought a ballpoint pen. I wanted a small pocket pen that I could use in any situation. It also needed to be inexpensive. It’s main use would be so that I can avoid using shared, community pens. After looking around at pen retailers, some brain cells finally aligned and I went out to the Pen Addict’s Top 5 Pens page and looked under ballpoints. There was the Fisher Space Pen at #4, It’s the most pocketable pen of the bunch, and was also #1 on the Most Useful Pens list. Plus, the price was right.
Not wanting to pass up free shipping, I added a Lamy nib to the order. I need to send a pen out for nib repair and I’ve been debating sending along another pen for a new nib grind. Under consideration was getting a Lamy nib ground to a Italic. I know from experience that Italic nibs aren’t for me, but I thought it might be nice to have one. Lamy nibs are inexpensive and I could swap it around. But still, I had little confidence that I’d use the nib more than the one or two times that curiosity will get the better of me this decade. I was willing to spend $13 in order to satisfy my curiosity, which is considerably less than a custom grind. I also told myself it was really only $7 because I would have paid $6 for shipping. After all, it isn’t like JetPens has anything else I could choose from. The nib has arrived, although I haven’t put it on a pen.
Last week I mentioned that my green Diplomat Aero was misplaced. As expected, it turned up under a pile of papers on my desk. I was never a fan of the comic, but I really want to refer to this pen as the Green Arrow.
I’m down to 15 inked pens, down from last week’s 19.
Lamy 1.1mm Calligraphy (Italic) steel nib. Just the nib.
Sheaffer Balance II Jade Green with Sheaffer Emerald Green (Yellow Box)
Sheaffer Balance II Crimson Glow with Sheaffer Peacock Blue (Yellow Box)
Leonardo Officina Italiana Momento Zero Blue Green with Omas Green
Penlux Masterpiece Grande Black & White Koi with P.W. Akkerman Dutch Masters Sreenrood van Vermeer
Not exactly newly inked, but close enough. I swapped the extra-fine steel nib for the 14k gold oblique medium nib on the Lamy Safari Mango.
Liza Minnelli Tries to Turn Off a Lamp – SNL – YouTube // I came across this on twitter early this week (I forget who’s tweet), it cracked me up when I first saw it years ago, and it still cracks me up today, even though it makes little sense, just Kristen Wiig being a hilarious idiot.
My fountain pen usage was down a bit this week. I skipped a day journaling and wrote less than my unofficial 1 page daily minimum on another day, although I did average over a page a day for the week. Other than the occasional note or list, that was all of my fountain pen usage.
I didn’t have a clear favorite fountain pen this week. On Saturday I used my Sheaffer Legacy with a custom blue fleck barrel, which is a pen I’ve always been conflicted about. It’s blue and gold, a lot of each, and they’r my least favorite color & trim choices. But, it’s a Sheaffer and it feels great in my hand. I had Mark Bacas turn the nib into his Blade Turk (a XXXF nib) and it’s great. I still have an aversion to calling a blue & gold pen a favorite.
As the year began I liked the idea of having a lot of fountain pens inked up. It gave me a variety of newly inked pens to choose from as the year began. I’m down to 19 inked pens and it’s beginning to cause anxiety. I have several pens I want to re-ink (Kanilea Kona Cherry, Sheaffer 300, Lamy OM gold nib, Diplomat Volute) and others that I put off inking, but want to ink up (F-C Model 66, Edison Huron Grande, etc…). I may go back to inking up a limited number of pens per week and flush them out at the end of the week. If I do that there will always be some pens that are permanently inked. A side-effect of having so many pens inked up is that I appear to have misplaced the green Diplomat Aero. I’m not concerned it’s actually lost, but it’s been so long since I last held it, that I’m not sure what pile of clutter it might be under, or what piece of furniture it may have rolled under.
The Franklin-Christoph pen roll arrived after the snow storm. I think it will work well for what I want. The canvas is heavy enough to provide good protection against most damage, except crushing. The pens slip in and out easily and the clips fit inside the slot without a need to clip over the material.
Lastly, my Dudek pen block arrived this week. I had kind of forgotten I had ordered it at the end of November. He does them in batches now, and I managed to get in on the last batch. Sign up to the mailing list if you’re interested, then hope that you’re around and see the email soon enough to respond before all the slots are filled. While I ordered this long before I misplaced the green Aero, I’m hoping this will solve that problem by giving me a compact storage solution that can be always visible on my desk. Some pens are too big to fit in the 5/8″ holes, but most do fit.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Listening:Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 by Rick Atkinson (audiobook). No progress. Reading: I haven’t started another book yet.
Fisher of Pens Hermes – This pen doesn’t do well when it’s in dry indoor air for an extended period, so it’s been finicky. Hard starts, often after just one night of rest, are a constant annoyance. It’s certainly a dry writer, which is one reason I like it. I just need to remember to use a more forgiving ink during the winter. R&K inks seem to do better than others in the winter months, although that may just be the few that I have. In any case, the pen will get some rest.
Sheaffer 300 – This one was inked up back on Christmas. I really like this inexpensive fountain pen. If I didn’t have so many pens already inked I’d have inked this up immediately. Instead, I’ll clean it out and give it some time off.
I didn’t have a favorite fountain pen this past week. The bias towards using new pens has worn off. So, while I still consistently use the newer pens, such as the Green Aero , other pens are working their way into daily use.
My Dark Lilac Safari leaked all the remaining (about 1/4 of the cartridge) violet ink inside my Visconti 3-pen case. The full length dividers limited most ink to the center slot containing the Safari. I couldn’t find any reason for the leak. The design of the Safari locks the cartridge firmly in place, so it didn’t come loose. Leaving through the feed as the only way out of the cartridge. The nib itself was firmly in place. The pen did spent a few nights nib down in my PenWell, but the hole in the cap means if any leaked it would immediately go to my desk. The case itself was stored flat most of the time. So the mystery remains. I plan to move the gold nib to another Safari for variety, not because of the leak. I’ll probably fill the Dark Lilac with ink again and let it sit around to see what happens.
I’ve been afraid to use the case again. Traces of the ink remain in the felt-like lining. Every once in a while I use a paper towel to rub out more of the ink. Eventually it may come out clean and I’ll start using the case again. I bought the case to protect my Sheaffer Balance IIs, although I’m not traveling regularly with my pens these days. I wouldn’t want those pristine finishes getting purple inked rubbed into them, so I started looking for a replacement. Finding cases that meet my requirements (mentioned in the previously linked post) at a reasonable price was impossible. This specific case was hard to find, and very expensive. Visconti has new designs and I’m guessing this case is no longer made. The new cases exceeded my budget, by a factor of 4, at a minimum, so I didn’t even research to see if they met my requirements. The least expensive option I found was the Esterbrook Nook at $100 which was 3 times my budget. I don’t have a record of how much the case was when I bought it, but the entire order that included the case was less than the cost of the current options.
I ended up ordering a Franklin-Christoph pen roll. I went with canvas. Leather may provide slightly more protection, but it was more expensive (and above my budget) and I’m not sure there would be more protection from the leather. The main selling points for me were that the pen clips don’t need to fit over the material in order for the pen to fit in the slot, and there’s no elastic strap putting pressure on the pen as I pull it out of the case. The pen roll is due in a few days.
My now repaired Vanishing Point XXF nib is working it’s way back to me. It’s overdue, which is not unexpected these days.
Current Reads, Watches & Listens
Listening:Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 by Rick Atkinson (audiobook). I haven’t listened to this at all during the past week. Reading: I haven’t started another book yet.
Retro 51 #119 Train Rollerball
Lamy Safari Mango (EF)
Lamy AL-Star Bronze (EF)
Sheaffer PFM I : Either I forgot how much I used this, or if evaporated, or (my guess) it got an incomplete fill. It was dry when I went to use it.
Kanilea Kona Cherry : I wrote this one dry. I’ve been refilling it, but after several refills over seven months, I decided it needs a quick cleaning. But it will be back with the same ink. I just haven’t gotten around to cleaning it.
Lamy Safari Dark Lilac (w/14k O.M.) : As mentioned at the top, this pen leaked for some reason. I plan to move the nib to a different Safari and return it to the rotation, but haven’t done it yet.
Lamy Safari USA : I flushed this one out early. I’m considering sending a Lamy nib for nib work when I send the Sailor for repair, and I’ll use this one as the nib holder since it’s the color that I’ll miss the least. Plus, the already attached medium nib is probably the nib I’ll want Changed.
ystudio Classic Brass Desk Pen : This was written dry. While I do like having it available on my desk, and is certainly gets used, I decided to hold off on re-inking, and give some other fountain pens some work.
Newly Inked (or re-inked)
Both new fountain pen arrivals were inked up with the cartridges included with the pen. 1. Lamy Safari Mango (EF) 2. Lamy AL-Star Bronze (EF)
My Personal Traveler’s Notebook, Plus Traveler’s Notebooks in The Curated Shop! — The Gentleman Stationer // Great minds thinking alike? Along with the recent Safaris that I ordered, I also received two Traveler’s Free Diary (019) refills, and I started using my Travelers Notebook again this week. I’ve been away from it for a long time. There’s a lot of similarities, in addition to the diary choice. I also use the zippered pouch and the Kraft Paper Folder. The folder is mainly to hold a notebook that can be quickly removed.