Sunday Notes and Links

It’s not actually Sunday yet, at least in my corner of the earth. But I just finished an annoying pen cleaning session and wanted to relax with some reading. So here’s some links and notes but first I’ll gripe about cleaning the pens.

I started with cleaning the Sailor Black out of my Sailor Pro Gear Imperial. I didn’t really need to remove all traces since it would be getting a refill of the same ink. So naturally, all traces of the ink were gone in two flushes of an ear syringe.

Then it was on to cleaning the Diamine Ochre from my Edison Collier. It took seemingly forever to remove all traces of the red dyes. It wasn’t dried out or stained and the water actually looked clear after a couple of flushes. But every time I shook the nib into a paper towel there were those red traces. Did some soaking and more flushes than I could count to remove all traces. Almost refilled the pen with ink as the path of least resistance to cover up the remaining traces.

The third ink was Waterman Blue-Black which wasn’t bad at all. Not as easy as the Sailor Black, but not nearly as rough as the Ochre.

That was enough work so it was time to read some links I saved up over the week.

Anderson Pens and Edison Pens have extended the buying period for their LE bulb filler. I like both pens, especially the ebonite one. They’re making it tough, but I’m still going to pass on these.

FPGeeks is giving away a Delta Fusion 82 fountain pen. marketing BS aside, this seems like a nice pen so I’ll be entering. Besides, the entry is via snail mail so it’s a great reason to use a fountain pen. The pen seems like a pretty good value based on their review. If I don’t win I’ll add it to my list of pens of interest.

Also at FPGeeks, Stephen Brown had an Inkcyclopedia entry for Montblanc Toffee Brown. I like the ink and naturally I want it. But I already have some brown ink samples to work through so I’ll wait until it makes sense to get a sample.

I thought I was nuts when I added three Platinum 3776 Century pens to my accumulation at year end. But I’m not alone as Inkophile also has 3 on their desk to start the year.

EdJelly has a review of the Banditapple Carnet Handy Notebook. I had been interested in these because they seemed reasonably priced. The review saved me some money.

I don’t have any vintage pens and I can’t say I have a interest in a specific vintage segment, but I do love reading through Greg Minuskin’s website. Since there’s so many reasonably priced pens there it’s probably only a matter of time before I give in and add a vintage pen to my collection.

Lastly, Inkdependence has a review of Diamine Ancient Copper, one of my favorites and currently in my Edison Nouveau Encore.


Fountain Pen Reviews: Call For Ink Suggestions

I want to pick up the pace of my fountain pen reviews this year. I’ve got several pens in the queue and part of what I want to do is run a variety of inks through the pen as part of the review. I’d like to get your suggestions for ink to use. I can’t promise to try every ink request. But if I have the ink available or can get a sample at low cost I can give it a try. These would be inks to try in the pen, not a full ink review.

Leave a comment on this post or use the contact form to submit your suggestion. Feel free to suggest a pen review for any pens in my accumulation. I figure it will take a month or so of use before I can review the pen, but I’m hoping to be able to write one every two weeks.

The pens currently in the review queue are:

  1. Sailor Pro Gear Imperial: I’ll use the supplied black ink cartridge along with the supplied Sailor bottle black ink. This pen demands black ink, so I’ll only take those for suggestions. Aurora Black is one of my favorites so it will get used eventually.
  2. Platinum 3776 Century in Extra Fine and Fine nibs. I have a couple Platinum 3776 Century pens and plan to do a combined review.
  3. Stipula Model T: This one currently has Noodler’s Apache Sunset. Wide open for ink suggestions on the Titanium “one size fits all” nib.
  4. Faber-Castell E-motion – Just finished a converter fill of Diamine Oxblood and I’m looking for the next ink to use on this smooth medium steel nib.

So let me know what you want to see.

Ink Notes: Private Reserve Ebony Brown

I decided to pick up the pace of my ink notes and do more of a review this time around. In the past I’d just use the ink normally and collect my impressions once I’ve run it through a couple pens. I’ll be looking at Private Reseve Ebony Brown in this ink note.

I pulled out a Lamy Safari along with extra fine, medium and broad nibs for it. I’ll use my Edison Pearl for the fine nib sample since it’s already loaded up with the ink. I picked the Lamy nibs because I can ink up one pen and swap nibs for testing. Once I had everything in order I poured some bourbon and set out to do some writing.

Pictures of the samples on Rhodia paper are in the pictures, click them for the full size images.

My impressions of Private Reserve Ebony Brown

  • A basic, dark brown. Can look almost black at times, in the right (or wrong?) light.
  • Long drying time, at least to the point of not smudging. It took 11 seconds for the extra-fine line to dry and 23 seconds for the fine line, on Rhodia paper.
  • No noticeable feathering on any paper I used. This included Rhodia, Doane, and Staples 20lb multi-purpose paper. If I looked closely I could see some feathering with the broad nib on the Staples paper, but I really had to look hard.
  • I used the ink extensively in my Edison Pearl with an extra fine nib. It never experienced any hard starts or skips.
  • The ink would be suitable as a daily writer for me.

Bottom Line

A well behaved ink that I could use as a daily writer. In my opinion the color is ok but it doesn’t rise to the “must have” level for me. I’ll keep looking at brown inks although I wouldn’t rule out returning to Private Reserve Ebony Brown at a future date.

Pens I Used

The Edison Pearl LEE with an extra fine nib was the pen I used the ink in for my day-to-day testing. There was good flow without any skipping or false starts, I didn’t have any problem reading the thin line. There wasn’t any shading.

Additional Reading

Sandy1 has a review on FPN. They had significantly shorter drying times than I experienced.

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log #5: Year End Edition

The earth has completed another rotation around the sun and tradition dictates a recap of what happened during the trip and resolutions for the next trip.

My fountain pen interest was rekindled at the end of 2011. I’d been using them but sticking with the same pens and inks for long periods. I didn’t add any pens in 2007, 2008 or 2009 and only one in 2010. No new ink springs to mind during that time either. In late 2011 I added 4 new pens,

My first new pen of 2012 was a Pilot Vanishing Point in March. It was followed by another 46 pens during 2012. That includes by recent low-cost pen acquisition binge along with a couple that were ordered but have yet to arrive.

My favorite pen of the year was the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis Desk Pen.

photo of the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis Fountain Pen
Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis Fountain Pen

Both Edison and Franklin-Christoph were new brands to me. As I’m apt to do, I binged on their pens. There were 6 Edisons, including a Signature Line pen due in January. There were 5 Franklin-Christoph pens. Eleven pens from two brands I hadn’t heard if before the year began. Yup, a binge. By the end of the year my pen accumulation had exceeded 100 pens.

I  also binged on inks, ading them to my ink drawer faster than I can use them. Much of that is thanks to the Goulet Ink Drop membership. At last count I had 69 ink samples this year, and only a couple of them have been completely used.

I started this blog in August and this will be the 67th post. It’s a bit of circular thinking, but my main goal for this blog was to give me something to write with my pens. And from that point of view it’s succeeded as nearly all posts are initially drafted with pen and paper. This one with my Faber-Castell E-motion, mediam nib, with Diamine Oxblood ink.

According to stats I’ve had approximately 2,900 visitors from 66 countries. About half those visits were from the United States. The big bump came when Brad Dowdy, The Pen Addict, linked to my Stipula Model T post.

All things considered I’ve enjoyed the past year of fountain pens, despite the impact on my wallet.

The Year Ahead

I’m not much for resolutions, but some plans fir 2013 include…

  • Use what I have. I’ve no shortage of pens or inks, time to use them.
  • Try to focus new pen acquisitions for 2013. I’ve developed an interest in desk pens and clip-less pens so will explore those areas. I need to resist wanting every nice fountain pen. Nakaya fountain pens have caught my interest. I love the simple designs of the “Long” and Desk Pen models and they would be ruined with a clip. In addition, Edison will be announcing a new filling system in the new year. I suspect I’ll want it in a pen.
  • Attend a pen show. It will probably be the Washington D.C. show but I may try to get to one of the earlier east coast shows if the weather cooperates enough for driving.
  • Along with the first bullet point – more pen and ink reviews on the site. A weekly ink review should be possible. A pen review every two weeks may be a stretch, but ostly doable.

Happy New Year everyone!

These Just In: A Couple Platinum 3776 Century Pens

Among my year end pen arrivals were two Platinum 3776 Century pens. I’ve been curious about Platinum pens since I learned they still make their own nibs. I also like the style of the pens. So I pulled the trigger when prices seemed to drop a bit at the end of the year. At least they were lower than the last time I checked.

I got the Platinum 3776 Century Bourgogne (Burgundy) with a fine 14kt gold nib and the Platinum 3776 Blue Chartres with a extra fine 14kt gold nib.

Why I Bought the Pens

Mainly to try the Platinum nibs but I also like the translucent nature of the colors and the traditional cigar shape of the pens.

First Impressions

The look of the pens varies depending on the light, especially with the blue pen. Sometime the Chartres Blue appears black, while the Bourgogne has less of a color range. There’s metal inside the barrel so use as an eye dropper is out. These aren’t really see through so the convertor or cartridge doesn’t look bad. But it might be cool to see the translucence with a half full barrel of ink sloshing around in there.

The pen is light, especially since I write without posting the cap. It can be posted although the cap would just be held on by friction and I’d always be concerned about marring the finish.

The Bourgogne didn’t include a convertor, just a black ink cartridge. I did order a convertor, but from a different vendor and it didn’t arrive with the pen.

The Chartres Blue was chock full of goodies, a picture of them is in the gallery. There was a convertor and pigment blue ink cartridge. There was also a card telling me I got pen #74 out of the first 2000. This isn’t a limited edition, but apparently the first 2000 get these serial number cards. There was also a rubber stamp that says “Written Using Platinum Pigment Ink” and a instruction sheet.

First Ink

The Bourgogne arrived first and I used a Platinum Brown ink cartridge that I already had rather than the included back cartridge. There’s a nice wide opening where the catridge meets the feed

The nib is a smooth writer, although I’ve pretty much stuck to Rhodia and other fountain pen friendly paper so far. As expected it’s a very thin fine line. There’s a picture in the gallery that has a writing sample for these two pens plus my latest Edison fine nib.

The Blue Chartres has the extra fine nib. I like thin nibs, but I was afraid this Japanese extra fine would be too thin. I first inked it up with the included pigment blue cartridge. This was a complicated experience. I’m not a fan of blue inks so there is some bias here. I flushed out the pen before using it to get rid of any manufacturing residue. The blue was very thin and very light. At first I thought I had left some water behind but time and more writing didn’t help. Flow was also a bit uneven, no real skipping but the writing was really light at times. Shading? Anyway, since this wasn’t a pleasing experience I popped out the cartridge  flushed the pen again, and put Aurora Black in the convertor.

Things were much better with the dark black of Aurora black. The flow is good despite the thin nib. The line seems as thin as my Pilot VP Needlepoint nib (aka XXXF).


Click any thumbnail to open it in the gallery.