Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – August 9, 2020

This past week was one of my most unproductive of the entire year. I did my chores, like grocery shopping and house cleaning, but anything requiring thought or concentration was pushed aside. That meant my fountain pens didn’t get much use. I didn’t even journal every day. I missed two days completely, and wrote less than a page for each of the other days. The Benu Briolette was my most used pen, but it didn’t have any competition. I used the Sheaffer Balance II Aspen on Monday, the switched to the Benu on Tuesday. It stayed on my desk for the rest of the week. Seems unfair to call it a favorite, but it was certainly the most used.

I was in a bubble as the storm blew through my area. The lights flickered enough to cause the clock on the stove to start blinking a couple of times (maybe more, but I learned my lesson after setting it the first time and having it reset a few minutes later) and the sous-vide cooker was toggled off mid-way through, but then it finished without incident. I had power the next morning, and everything visible to me looked good. Twigs on the ground, some big enough to scratch car paint I suppose, but not big enough to break anything. My travels the next couple of days had me encountering closed roads and a lot of big trees down within a couple miles, which explained the 60%+ outage rate in the state. So, I did have some luck.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

None

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

  1. The Fisher of Pens Hermes suffered a hard start after being unused for a couple of days. I decided to flush the pen since I had used most of the ink. It’s still in the queue for cleaning. I hope to clean and re-ink it in a few days.

Newly Inked

None

Links

Pens in Daily Use August 2020 | dapprman

Tale of a Vandal Ink User: Just a Little Mix-Up | Peaceable Writer

Crónicas Estilográficas: Safari in Japan

Black Lives Matter – Notebook Joy

Mabie Todd Swan 6142 – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Scrapbooking Isn’t Just for White People – The New York Times

Crónicas Estilográficas: Pilot Signing

Vintage Pen News: Greek nib breaththrough

When is a Fountain Pen Too Big? Considerations on “Oversized” Pens — The Gentleman Stationer

Cultural Nostalgia: The Italian Connection To The M151 | The Pelikan’s Perch

Off-Topic: Mont Blanc: Glacier in danger of collapse, experts warn – BBC News

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – August 2, 2020

photo of the Sailor 1911L Ringless Epinard with its zoom nibThis week’s favorite fountain pen isn’ the one that I used the most, but it’s the one I had the most fun using. The Sailor 1911L Ringless Epinard with its zoom nib was fun even though I was just playing around with the nib.

My fountain pen usage was fairly consistent this week, maybe down a little since I’ve yet to write the draft of my next article while last week’s draft was on the long side.

I I’ve identified another pen I should sell off, but I’m unable to do it. I’ve had the Lamy 2000 inked up for 1 1/2 months, yet I’ve only used it a little. The small sweet spot has been an issue in the past, but not the few times I’ve used it recently, so I can’t claim that’s the reason. It’s one of those weird pens, I have to force myself to pick it up and use it. But when I’m using it, I love it. When I’m done I forget about it for a another couple of weeks. It’s a classic fountain pen with a nib tuned by Mike Masuyama, so I can’t bring myself to sell it.

The Commonwealth Pen Show has been officially cancelled, as has every remaining U.S. Pen show except the Ohio Pen Show which is still schduled for Halloween weekend. Personally, I wouldn’t bet on the Ohio show happening. So I’m even happier that I went to the Long Island Pen Show earlier this year. The Commonwealth Pen (Boston MA area) show is scheduled for September 12, 2021.

As I was drafting this post Saturday afternoon when I decided I was bored with my current pen and ink choices. My practice of using the manufacturer’s ink cartridge had me with a lot of black (or blue-black) inks since I got a lot of new pens recently. This was aggravated by my choice of a black and a blue-black ink for my two piston fillers. I like black & blue-black inks, but everything in moderation. I’ll spend some time later today inking up some new pens. I’m covered for daily writers, so I’ll be looking for some variety in nibs, ink colors, and pen designs. I’m leaning towards so “S” brands.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

None

Outgoing

None

Written Dry or Pre-Mature Flushing

I like to keep using my pens until they run out of ink. But things were feeling a bit stale, so I flushed out a bunch of my pens Saturday night.

The first four pens all had black or blue-black inks. That didn’t help their cases since I want some more color.

  1. Benu Scepter II (EF) w/Montblanc Bordeaux. This is the one of two pens here that went dry. It had a very short fill when I needed to get it through writing the These Just In post.
  2.  Lamy 2000 (F) w/R&K Leipziger Schwarz which was inked back on June 19th. At least the ink level was below the view window.
  3. Benu Grand Scepter (EF) w/mfg ink cartridge. I used about half the long-international cartridge since July 21st, which seems like a lot for such a short time. I did use it a lot in order to get my initial thoughts.
  4. Sailor 1911L Ringless Epinard (Z) w/Mfg ink cartridge. I used about 1/3 of the ink cartridge playing with the nib. I hate to toss that much ink, but I want some color with this nib. So while I didn’t ink it up right after flushing it, it will be inked up later today.
  5. Franklin-Christoph Model 20 (M.Stub) w/Diamine Oxblood. The cartridge had about 25% of its ink left and I like the color, so I moved the cartridge to the Fisher of Pens Hermes.
  6. Edison Huron Grande (EF) w/Papier Plume Burgundy. This was eyedropper filled and had a lot of ink left. Its sin, unusual for this pen, was frequent hard starts and skipping. Plus, the ink color had shifted to be a bit darker and less to my liking. It was inked back on April 26th. With so many nice writers to choose from, I have a low tolerance for temperamental pens or inks. It does have a long history of loyal service. I’ll cleaned it out good, and checked it over. It took a long time with the bulb syringe before I got clear water, so there might have been dried ink in the feed. I’ll make a note that the ink does not seem to age well in pens.
  7. yStudio Classic Desk Fountain Pen (F) w/ Montblanc The Beatles Psychedelic Purple went dry as I was drafting this post. I simply refilled it.

Newly Inked

  1. Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) w/Diamine Oxblood taken from the F-C Model 20.
  2. yStudio Classic Desk Fountain Pen (F) w/ Montblanc The Beatles Psychedelic Purple. As mentioned above, this went dry and was immediately refilled with the same ink.

Links

Crónicas Estilográficas: Pilot Flat-Tops

(PfMP) Parker 25 | dapprman

The Leverless – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Re-Opening Plans  – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Delicate Gifs by Illustrator Maori Sakai Capture the Serene Moments of Daily Life | Colossal // (via Next Draft newsletter newsletter) // I find these oddly soothing.

Fountain Pens. — The Finer Point

Ebonite – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Personal Journaling Setup, Part 3: Revisiting Pocket Notebooks — The Gentleman Stationer

Crónicas Estilográficas: After the Pilot 65

My Personal Time Capsule | From the Pen Cup

Other Topics

Every Last Vote – Vote Save America

Opinion | John Lewis: Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation – The New York Times

Barack Obama’s Official Eulogy for Representative John Lewis | Barack Obama

Kentucky town hires social workers instead of more officers – and the results are surprising

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 26, 2020

photo of Benu Scepter II - This Week’s favoriteMy fountain pen usage was up again this week. Mainly due to a rewrite of my Benu Scepter II first impressions so that it included, and compared, the newly arrived Grand Scepter. That Benu Scepter II became my favorite fountain pen of the week. I love the green resin and sparkles.

I keep track of when I buy pens, but I rarely look at the quantity until the end of the year. I looked on Friday and saw that I purchased 18 pens in 2020 so far. I don’t keep track of sold pens in a way that’s easy to see how many I sold this year. But, I only recall two, one of the new ones and the recently sold Platinum. I was shocked at the total number. My brain had me guessing I might have reached a dozen—time to go through them and pick some more to sell-off. Unfortunately, I’m at the point where I can make a case for keeping any pen that I still have.

I also had a rash of spilled liquid at my writing district. Does two qualify as a rash? I did dampen a new notebook, although the damage was minor (smudged ink on some pages). That was a beer bottle where the condensation loosened the label, and while I grabbed it as it slipped and prevented any “spill,” the shaking caused a foam spout which found the notebook I had open. Friday, I hit the cup and splashed tea out of it. It was harmless but did require me to scramble as the tea traveled across the desk. After the Friday splashing, I decided I would only use my vacuum sealed water bottle at the desk. Of course, on Saturday morning, I sat down with my journal and a cup of tea. The same style cup as Friday’s spill. I’ll be cautious for the next couple of weeks, then forget about it. I’ll never learn.

With the arrival of my zoom nib, I searched for some videos on its use. Another video here, jump to 3:18 to skip the tea review and get to the zoom nib review. I had some fun practicing with the nib. With my regular grip and angle, with the traditional nib orientation, the line it puts down is far too broad for me, but that’s only one way to hold the pen. Getting some variation without changing pens, or requiring flex, will be interesting. Plus, I love the look of the pen.

New Arrivals

  1. The Sailor 1911L Ringless Epinard (Zoom) arrived Monday. (top pen in photo)
  2. The Benu Grand Scepter X (Fine) arrived on Tuesday. (bottom pen in photo)

photo of the Sailor 1911 Ringless Epinard and Benu Grand Scepter X

Incoming

None

Outgoing

  1. Platinum 3776 Ribbed with an ultra-extra-fine (UEF) nib. While I love the nib, the pen would go unused for years because I didn’t like the aesthetic. I had other pens with great thin nibs that would get picked before this one. While this was my thinnest nib (.1mm), my eyes couldn’t tell the difference when compared to .2mm nibs.

Written Dry

  1. While not actually written dry, I flushed and cleaned the Platinum 3776 Ribbed once I knew it would be cut from my accumulation. The water barely dried before it was on its way out.
  2. Sheaffer Ringtop Jade (fine). I love the jade green material of this pen and the Sheaffer nib is a nice writer (aren’t they all?). But the pen is small and short. I have to post the cap, which makes me grimace as I try to be gentle and not crack the cap. So, I may just use it sparingly. I may be careful but still risk using it. But for now, it’s going back to storage.

Newly Inked

  1. Platinum Carbon Desk Pen (Superfine) with a Platinum Carbon Black Cartridge. I wanted a basic black waterproof ink for the few times where it’s essential. So I went with this Platinum Carbon duo. It’s a nice nib, but a thin & light pen. I’ll only be using it for short session, so this won’t be a problem for me. I have the desk stand, so the pen resides on my desk, ready for use.
  2. Benu Scepter II. I inked this pen up again, with the same R&K Alt-Bordeaux ink, when the Grand Scepter arrived so that I could do a comparison. It got a very short fill of ink and is nearly empty after writing the comparison.

Links

Tiffany // Tailored Pen Company Custom Fountain Pen (REVIEW) – Weirdoforest Pens

I’m seeing Benu Pens in a new light | UK fountain pens // This is the first of several posts Anthony made that I collected for these links. I don’t include the others here, so be sure to check out his later posts after reading this one. Or if, Benu pens don’t excite you, go there to read about spotting bad nibs, a bad pen, and a couple good pens. As for the Benu pens, having now owned four (but only one of the ones he mentions), I obviously agree with his positive comments.

News: Chartpak Changes Pen Repair Policy « The Pelikan’s Perch

What Are My Forever Inks? – Fountain Pen Love // I like this concept, but I think one of the commenters had a good idea in mentioning that picking inks you always want available in a pen is a good idea too.

100 Years of Platinum Pens – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop // I’m feeling quality about selling off a pen from a company with such a rich history.

Notebooks over chaos. — The Finer Point

Notebooks I’m Using – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Personal Journaling Setup Part 2: Revisiting the Commonplace Book — The Gentleman Stationer

Muji is the latest retailer to file for bankruptcy – CNN // The U.S. arm is reorganizing under bankruptcy, sounds like high-rents are a major problem, even before CIVID-19. They want to “focus” online but no word on which stores will close or remain.

Other Topics

Wear a Mask for Those Around You – 512 Pixels

How Seattle’s NHL team became the Kraken // Love the logo. Also, how can I not root for a team with a General Manager who’s pro career started with the Hartford Whalers, where he was a star center for 10 years.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 19, 2020

photo of the Benu Briolette

Benu Briolette Secret Garden

My fountain pen usage was up this week. Mainly because I changed the way I journal. Previously I wrote either in the morning or the evening. In the morning, I’m often rushed to get on to something else. In the evening I’m tired and unable to remember the details of my day. Now I do updates throughout the day rather than trying to remember it all at the end of the day. I’ve also worked on drafting a couple of posts.

I broke down and ordered a couple more fountain pens. I’m telling myself these are the last pens until December when I might get something to end the year. I signed up for an in-stock notification for the Benu Grand Scepter X at Goulet Pens, and it arrived this past week, which dropped my defenses and triggered the buying. So I ordered the pen, along with some stationery. Since I was already ordering a pen, I looked at the pens on my watch list. The Sailor 1911L Ringless drew me in. I ordered it from Anderson Pens since they had a couple of notebooks that I wanted to try. Now I have to pick a few more pens to sell-off.

The Sailor 1911 with a zoom nib is a risky choice for me, which is why it spent so much time being considered. I sold off all my 1911, except the Sterling, because I didn’t use them. Plus, I had a zoom nib years ago and never got the hang of it. I’m willing to try again with the zoom nib since I was a neophyte when I had it. I don’t expect it to be a daily writer, just fun to use on occasion.

After I ordered the pens, I received an email from Pen Chalet. Another Benu pen I hade my eye on is on sale this weekend, the Benu Supreme. I’ll pass on it, even though it’s the best price that I’ve seen for the pen. If you do shop at Pen Chalet, be sure to find a 10% off coupon. If needed, check the latest Pen Addict podcast for a coupon code.

After a concerted effort, using it for several days in a row, I finally wrote the Benu Scepter dry. Next up is the Benu Briolette. Although, the Briolette has a long international cartridge and an extra-fine nib so that it will have some staying power. I’ll mix in other pens every few days. I am using just one pen for 90% of my writing most days. Since I’m pretty much always home, and at my desk, the ystudio desk pen gets called on the other 10% of the time. I rather enjoy the challenge of writing a pen dry as quickly as possible.

I mentioned I need to pick some pens to sell-off. I have had the Platinum 3776 Ribbed with a UEF nib inked up. It’s a pen that doesn’t get much use despite the terrific nib. I wanted to compare it to the newly arrived Pilot PO nib. While the UEF is slightly thinner, my aging eyes don’t notice any difference. Plus, I also have a perfect Sailor XF nib in my Regency Stripe that’s nearly as thin. Both pens appeal to my aesthetic much more than the gold trim and nib on the Platinum. I’ll be putting it on my for sale page as soon as I can get photos and flush it out. Mention you’re a regular reader (getting this far in this post qualifies, even if this is your first visit), and I’ll take $10 off the listed price, which I haven’t decided on yet. The pen is six years old and has the expected micro-scratches, but is in otherwise excellent condition.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

  1. Benu Grand Scepter X with a fine nib.
  2. Sailor 1911L Ringless Epinard

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

  1. Benu Scepter II went dry on Wednesday. Finally! I’ve been using it as my primary (but not exclusive) writer for almost a week. I inked up back on June 14. So it went for just over a month. I liked the R&K Alt-Bordeaux ink that was in it.

Newly Inked

None

Links

State of the collection: July 2020 | UK fountain pens

DIY: Make Your Own Pen Flush – The Well-Appointed Desk

Crónicas Estilográficas: Chinese Fillings

canetas e coisas: TIBALDI

Taking a (Slim) Chance with the Artisan Fountain Pens Classic Slim – Penquisition

Who’s Behind Wednesday’s Epic Twitter Hack? — Krebs on Security

Wrong About the Apple Silicon Mac – YouTube

Schon DSGN keeps the good stuff coming | UK fountain pens

Crónicas Estilográficas: Pilot Custom 72

Early thoughts on the Pilot Capless, matt black. | Fountain pen blog

Preferences – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 12, 2020

Photo of the Benu Scepter II - my most used pen this past week.

Benu Scepter II – my most used pen this past week.

Earlier in the week, Tuesday I think, I decided to pick one fountain pen and use it as my primary writer until it was dry. I chose the Scepter II with an extra-fine nib and R&K Alt-Bordeaux ink. The pen still has ink today, which indicates how low my fountain recent pen usage has been. My rather feeble defense is that Saturday, I used my ystudio Desk Pen far more than the Scepter II. It was just more suitable for the short notes I was writing as I worked at my desk. Hopefully, I’ll be motivated to pick them up more often during the week ahead.

A bunch of new pens have been catching my eye and trying to empty my wallet. I have to admit, despite having several new pens that have barely been used, I’m itching to buy one. For example, Retro 51 will be releasing a new fountain pen this week. I marked it on my calendar. Although the pen looks beautiful (in photos), I know it won’t become a favorite. Past Retro 51 fountain pens have failed to pull me in. An early model was of poor quality, and later well-built pens were sold off after going unused for years. So I deleted that calendar entry. It’s been like that with other new fountain pen announcements. After some thought, and more research – such as size and weight, I dropped the pen from my want list.

One product that caught my attention is the Sailor Shikiori ink cartridges. I’ve done a 180 on my ink buying philosophy. I used to go with only bottles since they were the best price per ml. But I have drawers full of ink bottles, and most are nearly full. I could set the record as the longest living human and still not use all my ink. Bottles are a low price per milliliter received, but a high cost per millimeter used. So I’ve become more open to ink cartridges. (I’m not too fond of samples.) While undoubtedly expensive on a per milliliter basis, it’ll be less money leaving my wallet overall. I’m still not sold since I only have four Sailor pens that can use them. (I could use that as an excuse for another Sailor pen. There is one calling to me.) I also doubt will they provide something I can’t get from my current ink stash, other than convenience.

New Arrivals

None

Incoming

None

Outgoing

None

Written Dry

None

Newly Inked

None

Links

Mechanical Pencils In The Spotlight | An Inkophile’s Blog

How To Write Your First Letter To A New Pen Pal – Fountain Pen Love

Caps and Convenience – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Pen Pals Are Connecting People During Coronavirus

Leonardo Officina Italiana Momento Zero – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Smoothing and Unsmoothing Nibs – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

My new approach to notebooks. | Fountain pen blog

Sheaffer Pen Museum: History in our backyard – News – The Ames Tribune – Ames, IA (via @neilspens)

Lines and Grinds: A Guide for Choosing and Customizing Your Nibs- Part 2 – The Well-Appointed Desk

[PfMP] Parker 51 | dapprman