Currently Inked – December 2016

While I consistently used my fountain pens during November I used less ink than other months. I did write all my December Pens dry and have a new bunch of five inked up. A couple large capacity pens are in the mix so they may last the entire month. The bad news is I have about 10 pens waiting to be the “next” fountain pen I ink up.

All the inked up pens are new, purchased at the DC Pen Show in August or in the few months after that.

Currently Inked - December 2016 (Capped)

Currently Inked - December 2016 (uncapped)

Currently Inked - December 2016 (writing sample)

Currently Inked

The Vanishing Point survived long enough for the ink sample but went dry a few words (literally) later when I picked it for the draft of this article. That’ll teach me not to check the ink supply.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Bookbinders Everglade Ratsnake

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with Bookbinders Everglades Ratsnake writing sample

Another orange ink for this pen. This is similar to the previous ink, Robert Oster Orange, although I like it slightly more. But I still haven’t found an orange I can fall in love with.

Newton Eastman (Esterbrook #2314F) with Montblanc Irish Green

Shawn Newton Eastman with Esterbrook #2314F nib and Montblanc Irish Green writing sample

A custom pen by Shawn Newton that was built to take my Esterbrook nibs. This time out it has a #2314-F nib which I really like. I can change nibs without emptying the pen so the nib may change.

Aurora Optima Auroloide Perla (M) with Aurora Black

Aurora Optima Auroloide Perla with Aurora Black writing sample

A fountain pen day purchase that arrived in early November. It’s still on its first fill of Aurora black ink. Aurora black just seemed appropriate for this pen.

Ryan Krusac Legend (EF) with Diamine Ancient Copper

Ryan Krusac Legend with Diamine Ancient Copper writing sample

Diamine Ancient Copper is an ink I really like yet it’s been a long time since it’s been in a pen. I ended that drought back on November 8th when I inked up this pen.

Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black LeGrand (OM) with Montblanc Bordeaux

Montblanc Ultra Black Fountain Pen with Montblanc Bordeaux writing sample

My newest pen, another fountain day purchase although it didn’t arrive until late November. It’s fist ink was obvious, at least to me. Although the pen is far too new for me to have formed an objective opinion, but I’m loving the oblique medium nib as well as the pen itself.

Pens Written Dry

Pilot Vanishing Point (XXXF) with Pilot Black

Pilot Vanishing Point XXXF with Pilot Black writing sample

I moved the nib unit among various VP bodies but it’s the same nib and ink from way back in July. The pen went dry shortly after the month began. As usual, a nice thin line but the ink flowed just fine.

Pelikan M101N “Lizard” (EF) with Sheaffer Peacock Blue

Pelikan M101N Extra Fine with Sheaffer Peacock Blue writing sample
I’m not a fan of turquoise or true blue inks but Sheaffer Peacock Blue is the exception that proves the rule. Although I guess it’s blueness caught up to me. It took me over three months to write the pen dry which is a long time even considering that this piston filler can hold a lot of ink. The pen wrote well right to the last drop, but it wrote blue.

Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche (M) with Pilot Blue

Another blue ink. This was the cartridge that came with the pen. I saw no reason to waste it. This one lasted a bit over two months. It wrote well right to the end.

Sheaffer Balance Aspen (M) with Montblanc Permanent Grey

I love this pen and ink. Despite this, it went dry early in the month and I decided to give it a rest.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Robert Oster Orange

Sailor Pro Gear KOP with Oster Orange

A great writing fountain pens The ink was OK, but I didn’t consider a refill and the pen has a new ink this month.

Fisher of Pens Hermes (EF) with Waterman Red

Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) with Waterman Red writing sample

This one started and ended in November, lasting just three weeks. I picked a Waterman ink because the pen has been finicky. It did better with the Waterman ink, but I did have to prime the feed a bit if the pen was stored nib up for a few days.

Currently Inked – November 2016

Usually the last Sunday of the month is when I ink up some new pens for the month ahead. Not this past Sunday. I’ll be starting November with just five pens inked up, four were inked before October began and the fifth was inked mid-October. I decided to skip any new pens for now and see if I can write these dry. Most of these pens have proven to be ones I skip over when others are at hand, yet they are all nice pens with nice inks.

The Vanishing Point with the needlepoint nib is nearly empty so that will be the first to go. Yet the nice thin nib and easy-access clip mechanism make this my most functional pen, so it will probably be immediately re-inked with another cartridge.

The Sailor will probably also remain, but with a different ink as I continue to try various inks in this relatively new fountain pen. The other three will be retired when they go dry as I’ve got a long(ish) list of other pens I want to ink up.

Currently Inked - November 2016 (capped)

Currently Inked Uncapped - November 2016

Currently Inked Writing Samples - November 2016

Still Inked

The Cherry Bamboo Vanishing Point is stingy with ink thanks to its XXXF nib but it’s nearly empty. It gets used every day in my Hobonichi Journal although it’s typically only a line or two. It was inked back on July 29th, so it’s been going awhile and problem free. I do swap the nib units between barrels for variety.

A second Vanishing Point, the new Guilloche, was inked up on September 9th when it was new. Neither the ink (blue) or the nib (medium) will make it to my favorites list so I’m not surprised it’s only half empty. The ink and nib are fine, just not my color or size preference. Even though the VP is ideal for quick notes, the medium nib isn’t my choice for this task.

The Pelikan M101N just doesn’t get much use and it’s been inked since July 29th. Sheaffer Peacock Blue is one the only blue/turquoise ink I actually like, rather than tolerate, but I guess I’m getting tired of it. Plus, for such a small pen the M101N holds a lot of ink.

The Sheaffer Balance Aspen deserves more use than it gets. I love the look and it’s a great writer. Yet it’s a fragile pen. I don’t use it as a note taker as those pens tend to get lightly tossed or jostled on my desk. Even when it’s on my desk it’s usually in a protective sleeve and therefor out of sight and out of mind.

New Pens & Inks

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Robert Oster Signature Orange

Sailor Pro Gear KOP with Oster OrangeDespite liking every orange ink I see online I’ve yet to use one I actually like. I picked the medium nib to inaugurate the ink brand in my pens. So far I like it, but don’t love it. I’m guessing I’ll like it even less in my typical thinner nibs but I’ll try to remain optimistic. Its certainly bright and orange. I don’t plan to give the pen a refill of this ink when it goes dry.

Pens Leaving the Rotation

Fisher of Pens Hermes (EF) with KWZ IG Green #2

Fishr of Pens Hermes with KWZ IG Green #2I inked this pen up mid-month so it wasn’t even in October’s Currently Inked. This is an iron gall ink so once I inked the pen I made sure to use it a lot and it was written dry within two weeks. This was helped by the fact that I liked the ink. Being an iron gall ink it does darken as it dries, becoming more of a blue/green with the emphasis on blue. Once it was in the pen a couple of days it also darkened a bit which meant it didn’t write as a green either, which was a bit of a negative for me. But performance was great (with one caveat) and it’s waterproof. I did have to prime the feed a couple of times as the flow thinned out, but I think this may be due more to the pen than the ink. At least it wasn’t an issue unique to this ink. If I’m smart the next outing with the pen will be a Waterman or Iroshizuku ink since those work well with everything.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Sheaffer Blue-Black

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Sheaffer Blue-BlackI was impressed with this inexpensive ink and it performed well in the pen. I let the empty pen sit about a week before cleaning and it was still easy enough to flush out. I liked the color, more black than blue, and looks vintage to my eye. It seemed a little slow to dry at times since I had a couple accidental smudges, but otherwise it performed well. I probably used the ink in a cartridge, but this is the first time I opened the bottle. The ink did well with the pen and the price is right.

Sailor Pro Gear King KOP (M) with P.W. Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen #28

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen 28The more I use this ink the more I like it. It does well with this wide (for me) nib.

Pelikan M805 Stresemann (EF) with Papier Plume Burgundy

Pelikan M805 Stresemann with Papier Plume Burgundy writing sampleThis ink quickly became one of my favorites. As I mentioned in the ink notes, it’s not a exact Montblanc Burgundy replacement, but for me it’s a spiritual replacement. This was the time using the pen since getting what Pelikan called an extra fine nib ground down to a real extra fine nib. Much better as far as I’m concerned.

Currently Inked – October 2016

This Currently Inked post is more than a little late since I try to publish it on the first of the month. At least it’s still the first week. I actually did the ink samples two weekends ago, then promptly wrote a couple of those pens dry during the week. As it is, I’m expecting a new pen any day now and will be inking it up, but I decided not to wait.

I’m starting October with seven pens, down from the ten as September started. Only three of these fountain pens are carried over from September.

Currently Inked Pens - October 2016

Currently Inked Writing Sample - October 2016

Still Inked

The first three fountain pens in the photo are the ones carried over from September.

The Cherry Bamboo Vanishing Point, with the XXXF nib should get more use now that the Platinum Desk Pen is gone. This VP has replaced the Platinum as the pen I use for entries to my Hobonichi Journal each morning.

The Pelikan M101N has been inked for what seems like forever. This is the only turquoise ink that I like, but I guess it’s allure is vanishing and I often pass it over when reaching for a pen. Plus, that small pen holds a lot of ink.

The Pelikan M805 survived the month thanks to its ink capacity but it is nearly empty. I really like the Paper Plume Burgundy and may give the pen a refill of the same ink.

New Pens & Inks

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen #28

This Akkerman Ink has really grown on my so it returned in the Sailor Pro Gear KOP. It’s a favorite pen and I’m still making sure I don’t repeat any inks in it, although some ink will get a couple fills when it has it’s turn. I suspect this will be one of those inks.

Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche (M) with Pilot Blue (cartridge)

This is my newest fountain pen and I should have my initial impressions posted in a couple of days. I’m already on my second ink with the pen, but that says more about the con-40 converter than the pen, as does the fact that the pen now has a cartridge loaded.

Sheaffer Balance Aspen (M) with Montblanc Permanent Grey

The Sheaffer Balance Aspen is a favorite fountain pen of mine of mine. While officially a medium nib, it’s much more like a fine nib. For some reason this ink and pen seem to belong together. I mainly picked the ink for its waterproof properties since the Platinum Desk Pen, with it’s waterproof ink, left the rotation. But the ink and pen are worthy of use even if the ink wasn’t waterproof.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Sheaffer Blue-Black

I was surprised to find that I never opened this bottle of despite having it for several months. I was even more surprised on the great initial impression it made.

Pens Leaving the Rotation

Parker Vacumatic Maxima (F) with Montblanc Bordeaux

Parker c1942 Vacumatic Maxima fine nib with Montblanc Bordeaux writing sampleIt’s hard to put this combination back in the case, but when the Bordeaux ran out I decided to clean it rather than refill it.

Sheaffer Legacy I (Stub) with Akkerman #28

Sheaffer Legacy I stub nib with Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen writing sampleI like this fountain pen for occasional use but the wide stub nib isn’t my choice as a daily writer. So the ink remained, but the pen is back in the case.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Bookbinders Ground Rattler

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with Bookbinders Ground RattlerThe pen remains in the rotation but Bookbinders Ground Rattler is gone. The ink was OK but not my favorite grey.

Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) with Montblanc Irish Green

Fisher of Pens Hermes with Montblanc Irish GreenIt was hard not to re-ink this pen again so it will be back soon.

Sheaffer Balance II with KWZ Green #2

Sheaffer Balance II Jade Green with writing sampleThis one is nearly identical to the Sheaffer Aspen, so in a way it remained in the rotation.

Currently Inked – September 2016

I did a lot of writing this past month, especially since the Washington DC Pen Show, writing every day and averaging over two A5 journal pages every night. That made the ink flow fast, and I wrote six pens dry during the month, a couple pens more than once. Every pen I bought at the pen show was written dry, the five pens that are being carried over were inked prior to the show. So new pens kept my attention, which isn’t surprising.

Currenly Inked September 2016 - the pens

Currenly Inked September 2016 - the pens uncappedCurrenly Inked September 2016 - writing samples

Still Inked.

The first five pens in the photo are carried over from August (or earlier) . The Vacumatic got a lot of use and I thought I would write it dry, but it holds a lot of ink. The Vanishing Point may look new, but I simply swapped the Maplewood barrel for the Red Bamboo one. Its’s the same nib and ink.

New Pens and Inks

I limited myself to 10 pens in total so that each pen has a reasonable chance of regular use. I didn’t make any attempt to bring any new pens into the mix, so many were recently inked. Many of the inks were also recently used, just loaded into a different fountain pen.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with Bookbinders Ground Rattler

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with Bookbinders Ground RattlerThe King of Pen has a good chance of replacing the Visconti Bronze Age as my favorite pen, although I haven’t had it long enough to hand it the crown. Like the Visconti my plan is to keep it in the rotation but to use a different ink with each fill. The Bookbinders ink brand, and therefore the ink, is new to me. I picked it for this pen because the grey ink is likely to benefit from this wide (for me) nib.

Pelikan M805 Stresemann (EF) with Papier Plume Burgundy

Pelikan M805 Stresemann with Papier Plume Burgundy writing sampleI had Pelikan’s overly-generous factory extra fine ground down to a more traditional extra fine size. This is the nib that was technically fine from day one, smooth with a good flow, but it just didn’t feel right. Now it does. The ink is new to me and I really like it, so I’m looking forward to using it in this pen which has been in storage since the end of April. I already reviewed both the pen and the ink.

Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) with Montblanc Irish Green

Fisher of Pens Hermes with Montblanc Irish GreenThe first ink in theFisher of Pens Hermes was new to me as was the pen. The combination was a little dry so this time I picked Montblanc Irish Green which I know well. It also happens to be my favorite green ink.

Sheaffer Balance II (M) with KWZ Green #2

Sheaffer Ba;ance II with KWZ Green #2This ink was originally paired with the Fisher of Pens Hermes and they were a little dry. I liked the color so I put it in an appropriate green pen that is a nice writer.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with KWZ Gummiberry

Visconti Homo Sapien bronze Age with KWZ GummiberryMy favorite pen returns, this time with its ninth ink. KWZ Gummiberry was in a different pen during August. I like the color and wanted to try it in a thinner nib.

Written Dry.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with KWZ Gummiberry.

My new Sailor Pro Gear KOP went dry for a second time since the Washington DC Pen Show so I flushed it out back on August 18th. I managed to keep it dry for the rest of the month so my other pens would get some use. I liked the color of the KWZ Gummiberry ink, a very nice purple. Plus, the ink was easily flushed from the pen. I’d have no problem matching this fountain pen and ink in the future, but for now I’ll enjoy a variety of inks in this pen.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with KWZ Gummiberry Writing Sample

Sheaffer Balance Oversize (Pearl/Red) (F) with Sheaffer Peacock Blue (Yellow label).

The ink got darker after it was in the pen for a couple of days, appearing to be more of a blue-black than a turquoise. This was a vintage pen, and new to me, so there might have been old ink in the pen. There was no signs of ink when I tested the lever and sac, but I didn’t test it with water. I was in a hurry to ink up my new pen.

I’ll try in ink in another pen eventually but I still have one inked pen with Sheaffer Peacock Blue so it’ll be awhile. The Sheaffer Balance Oversize will return to the rotation with Montblanc Bordeaux, although I’ll wait until the Parker Vacumatic is written dry of the same ink.

Sheaffer Balance Oversize c1934 with Sheaffer Peacock Blue Writing Sample

Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) with KWZ Green #2

Another new pen from the 2016 DC Pen show, this one took two weeks to write dry. The pen and ink started off being a little on the dry side, even for me. It never skipped although it did have a hard time waking up several mornings. Once it got going it never actually skipped and things got better over time. I obviously should have cleaned the pen before its first fill but I gave in to the impulse and inked it right up. I did keep going until I wrote the pen dry and then gave it a good cleaning. I liked the ink, unless of course I’m wrong and it was the cause of the problems and in fact a really dry ink. I already returned the pen to the rotation with a different ink. The KWZ Green #2 also returned, but in a different pen.

Fisher of Pens Hermes with KWZ Green #2 Writing Sample

Sheaffer Balance Aspen (fine-medium) with Montblanc Permanent Grey

This pen took nearly two months to write dry. I love the pen and the way it writes, yet I always seem to pass it over. Montblanc Permanent Grey is a nice grey, if you like grey, and I do. For now the pen will return to the pen case and I’ll ink up a different Balance II.

Sheaffer Balance Aspen with Montblanc Permanent Grey writing sample

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Montblanc Ultra Black

The Homo Sapien is a favorite pen and Montblanc is a favorite ink brand so I had high hopes for Montblanc Ultra Black. Unfortunately, while I don’t actually dislike the ink, it’s been a disappointment. The color is OK, but a run-of-the-mill black in my opinion. In addition, it’s slow drying so I often smudge it or turn a page too soon. This pen isn’t the easiest to clean, but even considering this, the ink took exceedingly long to flush from the pen. Since I was filling it immediately I didn’t get to concerned about removing every last trace and eventually gave up. Very un-Montblanc like. Even though it’s a small bottle I anticipate needing years to empty it. As for the pen, it’s still a favorite and has a new ink.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Montblanc Ultra Black Writing Sample

Ryan Krusac Legend

Both the pen and ink were new from the DC Show. They worked well together and I like them both. The pen is a little light, compared to most of my pens, but comfortable to write with. The ink has already returned to the rotation and the pen will be back soon.

Ryan Krusac The Legend with Papier Plume Burgundy Writing Sample

What Others are Using

Hobonichi Techo – A [3/4ths] Year in Review – No Pen Intended reviews a 3/4 used Hobonichi. It is planner buying season and the new Hobonichis are available today.

Pen Cleaning Disaster! (Again…) — Pendora’s Box – A significant reason I don’t like taking pens part to clean. I would so do this.

Fountain Pen Wish List Updated — Pendora’s Box – Some nice pens moved from a wish to a reality.

Currently Inked #10 | 25 August 2016 – Pen Habit – (Video) A nice mix of Q&A and showing what’s currently inked. Be sure to check earlier video as Matt posts several a month.

Review: Recollector Collection Management Software « The Pelikan’s Perch – Everyone needs a way to track their pens. I use DS Note (think Evernote wanna-be) for Synology. If I was starting over I would consider this software.

Currently Inked – Mid-August 2016

Currently Inled pens, Mid-August after the DC Pen Show. (Pen tray capped)After the 2016 Washington DC Pen Show I’m up to eleven inked fountain pens, so it’s a good time for an update. One fountain pen went dry just before the show and it was re-inked with new ink from the show. All the other pens and ink remain, although my four new pens/ink are new from the show.

I’ve been using my fountain pens a lot since the show so hopefully I’ll empty many of these before the month ends. In addition to written drafts of all the articles I’ve posted, I’ve also written at least two pages every day. I guess I could call them journal entries but they are really just an excuse to use the pens. Hopefully I can keep this pace because my normal daily routine doesn’t give me much opportunity to use my pens these days.

Anyway, I’ll start with the new fountain pens and inks. If you just want to see all the pens and quick writing samples, or links to what others are using, then drop down to the bottom of the post. Links are to a review or “This Just In Post” for the pen if no review exists.

New Pens and Ink

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Montblanc Ultra Black

This is the pen I wrote dry before the show. I picked up Montblanc Ultra Black early Friday at the show but didn’t use it much until Sunday after I had the Homo Sapien’s nib tuned by Dan Smith. It was good, but now it’s perfect and worthy of my favorite pen. The Ultra Black is a dark black, even in this extra fine nib, but it’s nothing special. I wouldn’t say ultra=darkest. Montblanc’s new Ultra Black Pens are a matte black and this ink tends to match them. I don’t like that the ink takes so long to dry and I’ve had more than a few careless smudges even though I’m not a lefty. I like to use different inks in this pen and usually give each ink two fills before cleaning the pen although Montblanc Ultra Black will only get one turn in the pen and I’ll switch inks when I write it dry the first time.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Montblanc Ultra Black Writing Sample

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M) with KWZ Gummiberry

Both pen and ink are new from the 2016 DC Pen Show. The Sailor KOP has a medium nib which does a great job of showing off this ink. The pen has already been written dry once and was refilled with the same ink. I’ll probably swap inks when it goes dry again, but the pen will stay in the rotation and the ink may return in another pen shortly.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with KWZ Gummiberry Writing Sample

Sheaffer Balance Oversize (c. 1934) (F) with Sheaffer Peacock Blue

While I’ve used Sheaffer Peacock Blue before, and it’s the only turquoise ink I like, this particular bottle is a NOS yellow label bottle from the pen show. I hesitate to call it “vintage” because it dates to the late 1970’s or 80’s making it younger than me. While it was made 40 or 50 years after the Sheaffer Balance, it still seems more appropriate than an ink made this century.

The more I use the Sheaffer Balance, the more I like it. The material is mesmerizing and changes as the lighting changes.

The pen has a tendency to collect ink between the nib and feed and will let go a a drop of ink onto the paper every three or four pages if I don’t dab it. I find a quick dab on a ink towel every time I turn the page (I write on both sides, so this is two pages) avoids any issue. The pen doesn’t leak or splatter even when I carry it or move my hand somewhat quickly. Although being a 80+ year old pen I make sure it doesn’t get jostled about in my bag.

Sheaffer Balance Oversize c1934 with Sheaffer Peacock Blue Writing Sample

Fisher of Pens Hermes (F) with KWZ Green #2

Again, both pen and ink are new from the pen show. I’d previously mentioned that the Fisher of Pens Hermes experienced hard starts. Those have since gone away and the pen has become a wetter (relative to it’s past) writer. I didn’t clean the pen before I used it so there may have been some oil or crud in the nib. While I would expect custom made pens to be clean, Carl did swap the nib to a fine nib from stock, so the nib was probably never cleaned.

The three previous pens have had a near monopoly on my writing so this pen hasn’t been used all that much and is still on it’s first fill. It will stay in the rotation when it goes dry although I’ll give it a good flush and probably switch the ink for variety.

Fisher of Pens Hermes with KWZ Green #2 Writing Sample

Ryan Krusac The Legend (EF) with Papier Plume Burgundy

Continuing the theme, both pen and paper are from the pen show. The Legend is Ryan’s newest design and my first pen from him. The ink is also a new brand for me. The two work well together, but they haven’t been used as much thanks to the pens listed above. The ink, in both flow and color, reminds me a bit of my favorite Montblanc Bordeaux, not an exact match but it does have hints of my favorite ink.

Ryan Krusac The Legend with Papier Plume Burgundy Writing Sample

Written Dry

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age (EF) with Aurora Black

The Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age is the only pen to go dry so far this month. It had Aurora Black which is nice and dark even with this extra fine nib. I like running different inks through this pen and limit any ink to two fills. So even though Aurora Black is a great black ink it was time to clean the pen and move on.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Aurora Black writing sample

Still Inked

The following inks and pens remain in the rotation. All are performing well, they just can’t compete with the new and shiny.

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What Others are Using (or Used)

Currently Inked #8 | 11 August 2016 – Pen Habit – video that includes his inked pens along with some Q&A.

My New Work Notebook. — The Ink Smudge – I too use a steno style pad but I settled on the Doane Paper Large Flap Jotter simply because I prefer Grids + Lines.

Currently Inked: August 2016 — Pendora’s Box and Currently Inked: EDC for Kayaking — Pendora’s Box

One Book July 2016 Recap — The Purl Bug – I couldn’t stick to just one notebook, but this was a innovative way to mimic more than one notebook.

All The Pens

The writing sample is in the same order as the photos.

Currently Inled pens, Mid-August after the DC Pen Show

Currently Inled pens, Mid-August after the DC Pen Show. Writing sample

Currently Inked – August 2016

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I’ve changed my routine this month. I flushed almost all my inked pens from July which left only three pens inked up. (And really, in my mind it was only two.) I also decided to limit myself to six inked pens (although this became seven).

I picked six as the magic number in order to constrain my choices and because it happens to be the number of slots in my favorite pen case. The six pen limit was a nice constraint that forced me to be more deliberate in my ink and pen choices.

The One That Doesn’t Count

Platinum Carbon Desk Pen In StandThe Platinum Carbon Desk Pen is the pen I’m not really counting. The pen lives on my desk and it gets used every day. I use it for my short daily Hobonichi entry along with quick notes and addressing envelopes. But it’s a thin, light pen that I find uncomfortable for anything more than a few lines. It’s not a pen I would carry out and about and never consider it for anything other than quick notes.

Carried Over From July

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with Aurora Black writing sampleA carry-over from July is my favorite fountain pen, the Visconti Homo Sapien with its extra fine nib. It remains inked with Aurora Black. I’m having fun using different inks in this pen so when it runs dry this time I’ll switch to a different ink. But the pen will remain in the rotation.

Sheaffer Balance Aspen with Montblanc Permanent Grey writing sample

The Sheaffer Balance Aspen has also been carried over from last month. It’s filled with Montblanc Permanent Grey ink. This is a pen & ink combination I really enjoy.

The newly inked pens are…

Pilot Vanishing Point XXXF nib w/Pilot Black

Pilot Vanishing Point XXXF with Pilot Black writing sampleOne of the things I like about the Vanishing Points is that it’s easy to move the nibs between barrels, so while this starts August in the Maplewood barrel I’ll move it to the Red Bamboo barrel when I feel like a making a change. While I do like everything about the nib, barrel and ink combination, I picked it for its functional abilities. It will live in my shirt pocket.

Pelikan M101N “Lizard” extra fine nib with Sheaffer Peacock Blue

Pelikan M101N Extra Fine with Sheaffer Peacock Blue writing sampleIt’s been nearly two years since I’ve inked up this fountain pen. It’s a little smaller than I prefer but it’s a great writer and looks great. Sheaffer Peacock Blue is the one blue (turquoise really) ink that I actually like. I love the line variation it gets, even in thin nibs.

Sheaffer Legacy I stub nib with Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen

Sheaffer Legacy I stub nib with Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen writing sampleAnother long ignored fountain pen, it’s been over two years without touching this pen. The wide factory stub nib isn’t my typical choice. It’s nice to have something different in the mix, which is why I picked it. The Akkerman #28 is a nice green ink that challenges Montblanc Irish Green for the title of “favorite green ink”. I wanted a green ink in the mix and this combination seems like a good choice for this wide nib.

Parker Vacumatic Maxima (c.1942) fine nib with Montblanc Bordeaux

Parker c1942 Vacumatic Maxima fine nib with Montblanc Bordeaux writing sampleI wanted a vintage pen is the rotation and Ron Gilmour’s Vacumatic review on The Pen Addict reminded me how much I like this pen, especially the one with silver pearl finish. His comment on cleaning explains why this pen only gets used about once a year…

…Then you can suck water into the pen and slowly depress the plunger to expel that. Repeat this until a) the water comes out clean or b) you’re hungry, your thumb hurts, and you just don’t care anymore.

Option B is my usual choice.

I picked Montblanc Bordeaux for this pen. It’s my favorite ink, and while it’s not vintage it does seem perfect for an iconic vintage pen. Plus, it’s easy to clean.

More Pens?

I’ll be heading to the Washington DC Pen Show in a few days. It’s safe to say I’ll be inking up more pens before the month is over. Either because the pens are new or because the ink is new. The Visconti is probably closest to empty (not that I can actually be sure) but that will go right back into the rotation with some Montblanc Ultra Black ink I’ll be picking up in DC.

While limiting myself to six pens was a nice constraint that made me consider my choices it was made easier knowing I had a ready-made excuse to add more pens in a week.

What Other Are Using

Some of these go back to early July but I still like seeing what others are using and figure you will too.

Currently Inked #7 – 28 July 2016 – Pen Habit

Currently Inked Black Pens’ Night Edition | Write to Me Often

July Long Weekend Getaway EDC — Pendora’s Box and Currently Inked: July 2016 — Pendora’s Box

Currently Inked – July 2016

Currently Inked - July 2016I’m back up to a dozen inked fountain pens. While eight pens are carry overs from June, two of those where written dry, flushed and then refilled. As I was deciding whether or not to ink up my twelfth fountain pen The Gentleman Stationer’s post about Choosing Pens for the Daily Carry showed up in my RSS feed. The entire post rings true to me, especially this part:

Needless to say, it takes a LONG time for me to work through the various pens in my rotation, and I’m getting annoyed that some of my favorites have fallen by the wayside.

He limited himself to ten fountain pens, but with a certain logic behind the choices (read the article for details). While the article makes perfect sense it didn’t stop me from inking up that twelfth pen.

New Pens or Inks

I decided to start highlighting my newly inked up pens and why I made the selection.

Sheaffer Balance II (x3)

I absolutely love the look of these three pens and the nibs are terrific. The Aspen’s nib and feed has been tuned by Mike Masuyama (it had a not uncommon flow issue when I received it) which makes me realize how good they can be. The other two aren’t quite there but I plan to remedy that next month.

These all got a matching color ink from my favorite ink brand.

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I reviewed the Sheaffer Balance Aspen and the other two are similar and I did write a This Just In post for them. The inks used are Montblanc Bordeaux (my absolute favorite), Montblanc Irish Green and Montblanc Permanent Grey. No review of the Permanent Grey even though it’s a former Fav 5 ink.

Lamy AL-Star (Green)

An early favorite of mine the Lamy Safaris (and similar AL-Stars) have been neglected. I recently returned to using them. The ink in this one is a new brand to me. Plus it’s a boutique manufacturer, and third it’s an iron gall ink. So I wanted a fountain pen that would be easy to clean and also relatively inexpensive should the unexpected happen and the ink damages the pen. As an added bonus I have a complete set of Lamy nibs and can swap them to give this ink a good workout.

Lamy AL-Star with writing sample

I’ve never reviewed the Safari/AL-Star but I’m sure a search of Pennaguod will turn up hundreds, if not thousands.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age

This was the twelfth pen that I was debating to ink up. It would have been inked sometime during the month anyway since it’s the favorite, plus I really do need to review it finally. I continued my practice not repeating inks in this pen. The Aurora Black is an ink I’ve ignored for far too long so it was picked.

Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with writing sample

No full reviews of this pen or ink yet but I did write about the Visconti soon after it arrived.

The Full List

The samples are in the same order as the pens in the photo up top.

Currently Inked Writing Samples - July 2016