Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – May 20, 2018

It’s been a slow two weeks for fountain pen usage, embarrassing for a guy with a fountain pen blog. Just the usual quick notes and checklists. No pens written dry so no new pens inked up.

Photo of the Sailor KOP and Fisher of Pens Hermes

Still the most used couple of pens this past week.

Links

Chicago Pen Show 2018 Recap – The Well-Appointed Desk

Chicago Pen Show Write-up – SquishyInk

Clips | Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Ink Review: Waterman Audacious Red – The Well-Appointed Desk

My Supply Room: More Glow In The Dark Retro 51 Pens

Pen & Ink Pairing: April 2018 – Hand Over That Pen

Fake vintage pens on eBay – Vintage Pen News

Off-Topic (long read): The Long Way Round: The Plane that Accidentally Circumnavigated the World

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Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – May 6, 2018

Another week of consistent, but low, fountain pen usage. From a glass half full point of view, I used a couple of fountain pens every day. I averaged one A5 page per day in addition to the usual notes and lists.

From a glass half empty point of view, I didn’t write any pen dry and didn’t I skipped my journal entry one day.

I still have 14 inked up fountain pens. To work through them I pick two pens a day and put them in the holder on my desk to use throughout the day. I take the next two in the pen case to avoid picking favorites. In addition to those, I use my Pilot Vanishing Point (black in, XXF nib) daily for note taking and as a pocket carry.

Despite not wanting to pick favorites, I have come to prefer two of the pens over all the others. The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with its medium nib and Papier Plum Burgundy ink, along with the Fisher of Pens Hermes with its extra fine nib and Iroshizuku Shin-Ryoku ink. There were times where these two stole time from the two pens I had picked for the day. These pens helped lighten the mood when taking notes for something I didn’t otherwise find enjoyable but had to do.

Photo of the Sailor KOP and Fisher of Pens Hermes

Links

Is this thing on? | From the Pen Cup // Mary writes about a thinner refill for Retro 51s. I picked up three (black, red, green). It’s even thinner than the 0.6 mm P8126 refill I typically use. It’s a 0.4 mm gel refill which makes it significantly thinner. My order arrived Thursday, so I haven’t used them much. It’s been awhile since I used gel ink so that takes some getting used to, but I like the thin line.

Getting mixed up – into the Wild Blue Yonder | Slightly unnerved //  can relate to the ever-expanding shopping cart despite only wanting one item.

Inky Fingers | The Pen Habit // Matt will be ending The Pen Habit. The existing videos will be up a while, but there won’t be any new videos. I can relate to not needing (or wanting) new pens and the lack of interest in reviews. Thanks for the videos Matt, and enjoy life.

Stormy Scene with Quink and Bleach | FOUNTAIN PEN INKS & BLEACH

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – April 29, 2018

My fountain pen usage was below average this week, which is frustrating because I started the week with 15 inked fountain pens last week. The Sheaffer Balance Oversize did go dry, but that was more because of the lack of ink that I loaded into the pen. It wrote three or four pages then went dry. The other pens are still going strong. I’ve been picking two each day and using them throughout the day, so they are getting used, just not heavily.

Currently Inked 2 - April 22, 2018

The now dry Sheaffer Balance Oversize (c.1934) [bottom pen]

Links

Vintage Pen News: A special Schnell

Iconic pen used by military, made by blind people turns 50 | Boston Herald

Ink Disaster! | Goodwriterspens’s Blog

kmpn: montblanc swan illusion ink (2018)

Workhorse Pens: Faber-Castell E-Motion Pure Black Review — The Gentleman Stationer

Perhaps M is for Madness | Pete Denison

 

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – April 22, 2018

My fountain pen usage has been low for the last two weeks. That changed a bit on Friday, and I’m hoping it will continue. I couldn’t sleep Thursday, so I got up, poured a bourbon, turned on the Red Sox game, and decided to do some writing. None of the pens on my desk called out to me, so instead of writing I inked up some pens.

I started by picking a few pens and ink that I like but haven’t used in awhile. I put the inked pens in a 12 pen case just because it was handy. But since I don’t like empty pen slots in a case, I was compelled to keep inking pens until the case was full. I inked up the last pen as the Red Sox were celebrating their win. By then I had 10 newly inked pens to add to my five previously inked pens. For most pens I didn’t pay any attention to matching it with ink, I just picked pens and ink I liked and matched them based on what ink was closest when I picked up the pen.

The newly inked fountain pens and the inks I filled them with are…

Two Vanishing Points: The VP is easy to carry and quick to use, so I decided to add some variety to the XXXF already inked up. The medium oblique nib is in the Maplewood body. It was last inked in June 2016. This is the second oblique nib inked up. While officially a medium it’s a thin medium. It has a small sweet spot, so unlike my typical VP use, I use it for “real” writing and not quick, hastily written notes. This one got my never-before-used Aurora Blue-Black ink. The second VP was a medium nib with a cartridge of Pilot sepia ink. It was last inked in November 2016.

Blasts from the Past: My old pen inventory reminded me of two long unused pens. The Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe was last inked in September 2014. I filled it with my newest ink, Robert Oster Hippo Purple (from the Hippo notebook Kickstarter). I’ve been drawn to red inks in this pen since I typically used it for marking up documents. It’s too thin for me to use comfortably for long writing sessions, but still a great writer. So while not red, the Hippo Purple adds a little bright color.

The Waterman Edson was last inked in June 2014. It got Omas Green for its fine nib. It’s a comfortable pen, but my current tastes prefer less gold, so it’s been overlooked.

Something Old: I wanted a vintage pen in the mix. My first choice was a Parker Vacumatic, but I couldn’t get it to take in ink. So I went with a gorgeous Shaffer Balance Oversize. I had skipped it in favor of the Vacumatic as the Vacumatic would be more durable. I did match inks with this pen and filled it with near vintage Sheaffer Emerald Green (Yellow Box). I tried filling this one earlier this year, but it wouldn’t take in ink. Luckily I didn’t notice my note on that until I went to record the new ink. It seems fine and has already written over a page, so it has ink. It was last used in August 2016.

Why So Long?: When looking over my pens I came across the Pelikan M805 Stresemann and couldn’t remember the last time I used it. (It was March 2017.) So I inked it up with Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun. This is a favorite pen so I was shocked that it’s been over a year since I used it. Glad that’s rectified. It’s also been years since I used Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun ink. This used to be my favorite ink and the first ink used in my newly arrived pens. That began to fall off in 2014 for no other reason than boredom. It’s time to bring it back. While I didn’t intend to match this pen and ink, seeing both on my desk ready to get used made the combination obvious.

Not So Stale: The Fisher of Pens Hermes was last used in July 2017, which makes it one of the least forgotten pens that were inked up. I love the Celluloid of this pen and used it consistently since getting it at the 2016 DC Pen Show. I decided to give it a break which ended up being longer than intended. This one demands a green ink, so it got Iroshizuku Shin-Ryoku which I had already pulled out to use in one pen or another.

Worth the Effort to Clean? The Edison Menlo Pump Filler hasn’t been used since 2016. Every time I start to pull this pen out to use it, I think of the cleaning effort and put it back. I dislike removing a nib or any pieces merely to clean a pen, but if I don’t then cleaning this is tedious. An obvious solution is to simple re-ink the pen. This pen demands brown ink, so I did specifically match it with Athena Sepia.

Worth Breaking the Rules I had intended to only ink up long unused fountain pens. But the Sailor Pro Gear KOP is too good to go used for over a month. So even though I used it in March, it came back. It was filled with a long unused Papier Plume Burgundy ink. Favorite is overused, but I do really like this ink.

Why Not? I saw my two Franklin-Christoph Model 20 pens in the case and decided at least one needed to be inked up. The Tiger Red with a medium nib hasn’t been used since October 2015 so why not ink it up? It was filled with Callifolio Yalumba for no other reason than “Why not?”

So that’s the ten newly inked pens. All the inks are nice, safe inks so I can leave the pens inked until I write them dry. That’s probably what I’ll do since cleaning out all these pens at once is a daunting task.

Miscellaneous Notes

My Kickstarter Hippo Notebook arrived two weeks ago. I’ve yet to use it. I have a problem with nice new notebooks. Unless I bought it for a specific purpose, I’m afraid to use it. I currently have a newly started Crossfield as a work notebook, so that will last me awhile. My Seven Seas Writer, used as my journal, is farther along but still less than half full. Those are the only large, nice notebooks that I used.

The Hippo Purple ink arrived with the notebook, and that was matched with a newly inked pen.

I’ve been using the Nock Co. A5 Seed case a lot. Some of my concerns are proving correct, but there seem to be acceptable workarounds. Like many (all?) Nock Co. products they are flexible but have a definite point of view in their design. There are no features added just so a box can be checked. I’ll use it a bit more before I do a more in-depth review.

Links

Standing the Test of Time (4) – Pens! Paper! Pencils! // I much prefer these types of post over a review of a new pen.

Taking the Pelikan 400nn to School – My Creative Habit // You need to do a lot of scrolling to reach the meat of the post, but the trip is worth it.

Architect Nib vs. Stub Nib — The Pen Addict

Atlanta Pen Show 2018: Friday and Saturday Recap — The Gentleman Stationer

Atlanta Pen Show 2018 Recap! And Lamy Vibrant Pink Al-Star + Ink Giveaway! – SquishyInk

Review: Pilot Custom 823 – Hand Over That Pen

What’s With All These Chinese Pens? Meet the Wing Sung 601 – Fountain of Pens

Currently Inked – March 2018

Currently Inked Group Shot - March 2018A little different format to the Currently Inked post this month. I’m not sure if I like it, but it’s worth a try. Click any photo for the full-size version.)

I’ll start with the pens that live on my desk in a Dudek/Karas pen stand. The Cube holds nine pens, all of which are disposable fountain pens. These keep me from having to figure out the right mix of color and nibs to have inked up. The only time I need a color, or multiple colors, is when I’m taking notes or marking up a document. These pens all fill that role nicely and don’t evaporate over time. The Pilot Varsity pens are all medium nibs, while the Thornton’s are all fine nibs. While there are more Pilots than Thorton’s in the pen stand, I actually like the Thornton’s a bit better. (Although I hate the name since the apostrophe appears to be part of the proper name, making writing about it a pain.) The nib is a bit thinner, while the pen itself has a bit more girth, which makes it more comfortable for me. That said, I haven’t used the Thornton’s enough to give an unequivocal recommendation over the Pilots.

Next up are my carry pens. I pair a rollerball and a fountain pen in my Fodderstack XL. With winter ending (I hope) and pitchers and catchers reporting, I’ve swapped my Ugly Seater Retro 51 for the Play Ball version. The Ugly Sweater is still my favorite Retro 51. If memory serves, the official name of the pen is Montana. How boring. The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe remains in the Fodderstack. It has a sweet extra fine nib and Montblanc Albert Einstein ink. A Nock pocket notebook joins the pens.

The Fodderstack is usually in my shirt pocket, but when it’s not, I still have a Kaweco Brass Sport in my pants pocket (trouser pocket for you Brits). It has an extra fine nib and a Kawaco Black ink cartridge. Despite both being EF nibs, the Sailor is much thinner.

There’s another Dudek pen stand on my desk which hold my remaining pens. There are the three themed pens along with a couple of misfits.

The themed pens are what I use when I “sit down to write.” This time around the pens and ink theme is “favorites”, which is a bit of a cheat, but accurate.

The Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age just returned from having its bent extra fine nib straightened by Dan Smith (The Nib Smith). This pen used to be my clear favorite, but in picking these pens, I realized it has some stiff competition. I think part of its decline is that I have so many extra fine nibs another pen can challenge its claim by having a unique (at least in my accumulation) nib. It’s still a favorite, just not the favorite.

Ranked right up there with the Homo Sapien is my Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen. While there are flashier models of the KOP, the black and rhodium pen is a bullseye for the aesthetic I like. While it’s well made, it is just a resin (plastic) pen which makes it hard to justify the price. The pen is a joy to use, and the price is more than justified as far as I’m concerned. It’s medium nib, and superb writing experience made it my go-to pen for trying new inks. This time I picked and ink that I have used enough to be a favorite already, although challenged by Montblanc Toffee Brown. The KOP is filled with Athena Sepia.

The final fountain pen in the favorites theme is the Montblanc Meisterstück Le Grand Ultra Black (a lot of words in that name). In addition to being ideally sized for my hand, it has an oblique medium nib that I love to use. It’s filled with the only ink that’s ever been in this pen, Montblanc Bordeaux. MB Bordeaux is far and away my favorite ink.

I called the remaining two pens misfits, although that’s probably not fair. They just stuck around after they served their purpose.

The Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche with it’s Richard Binder XXXF nib has a Pilot Red Cartridge in it. It started out as a pen dedicated for use in my Hobonichi Weeks. It stopped using the Weeks but kept the pen around. It’s just so damn convenient.

The final pen is the Retro 51 Coffee rollerball. I have too many Retro 51 pens, and they’re everywhere. I could not find the Play Ball and went searching through bags and pen cases. I had forgotten all about the Coffee Retro 51 when I came across it in a bag. I liked it and decided to keep it handy. (FYI: It has the same refill as the Play Ball, so there’s no writing sample.)

Speaking or writing samples, here they are:

Currently Inked Writing Samples - March 2018

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – January 21, 2018

Two fountain pens were written dry this past week. As expected, the Sailor King of Pen went dry soon after Sunday’s Trail Log went up. I resisted the urge to refill it with the gorgeous Montblanc Psychedelic Purple ink. The Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver went dry on Friday. I liked the Montblanc Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Encre du Desert ink although the name is far too long. Montblanc just calls it “Brown” on the back of the box. Me? I had to create a Text Expander snippet. I like brown inks, so while I do like this well-behaved ink, there’s nothing about it that rises above all other browns (except the price).

The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe with its extra fine nib has proven perfect for my Hobonichi Techo and other places where a really fine line is ideal. So rather than retiring it to change up the theme, it’s in my pen holder for continued use. It will be used regularly, but only for short, specific purposes. So, it will most likely be around awhile.

I picked a new theme and inked up three more fountain pens. The theme is simply “Sheaffer” for both pen and ink. I have more Sheaffers than any other brand in my accumulation, so there was a lot to choose from. I decided to drill into the theme and picked my three Sheaffer Balance II fountain pens and my three old-stock Sheaffer inks.

The Aspen Balance II is filled with Sheaffer Gray. The Crimson Glow Balance II got Sheaffer Peacock Blue while the Jade Green Balance II is matched with Sheaffer Emerald Green. The Emerald green is the oldest of the inks and dates from the 1980s while the Grey and Peacock Blue inks date from the 1990s or early 2000s.

I do lack nib variation, with nothing wider than a fine nib. But I enjoy the Sheaffer nibs which makes up for it.

Three Balance IIs and some Sheaffer old-stock ink

Links

An Anecdote Of Two Pens – Hand Over That Pen // Great story!

A peek at the office pen cup. | Fountain pen blog // I always like seeing what others use in day-in and day-out.

Fountain Pen Review: Wing Sung 618 Demonstrator – The Well-Appointed Desk // When this review showed up in my feed the first photo I saw was with the Lamy style box so I thought “Lamy Safari knockoff”. Ana mentions it’s a Parker 51 copy which was harder for me to see. The clip and hooded nib are Parker-like but it reminds me more of a TWSBI, An interesting inexpensive pen.

Currently Inked – January 2018

I put off inking up any additional fountain pens in December and was down to two inked pens as the month drew to a close. Last year I kept my pens inked until I wrote them dry, which would often be months. (There were a couple of early dismissals for poor performance.)

This year I’m going to try changing that up a bit, starting now. I’ll ink some pens for specific tasks and keep them inked until they run dry or stop serving their purpose. Then I’ll pick three pens around a theme and ink them up with ink also picked around a theme. I’ll still haven’t decided how often I’ll replace the themed pens. I expect to flush them before they go dry, but I think two weeks will be a little quick, and a month is more likely.

Currently Inked January 2018 capped pens

Currently Inked January 2018 uncapped pens

Currently Inked January 2018 writing samples

So, first is the purpose inked pens:

The Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche was loaded with an XXXF nib and a Pilot red ink cartridge for use in my Hobonichi Weeks Planner. The thin nib is ideal for the thin paper, and since the thin line uses little ink, it’s relatively quick drying. My Hobonichi cover has a pen loop built in. While I don’t typically like pen loops built into notebooks and considered cutting this one off, I’m now using it.

The Lamy 2000 is the one inked pen carried over from 2017 will serve as my desk pen until it goes dry. That’s “desk pen” as in the pen that’s always sitting in the pen stand on my desk that’s ready to use. I wanted a desk pen as in the style of pen, but I put my Esterbrook inkwells someplace for safekeeping they are so safe I couldn’t find them. My goal is to find them before the Lamy 2000 goes dry.

I shined up the Kaweco Brass Sport with its extra fine nib and loaded it with a Kaweco Black cartridge. I like patina, but when I pulled it out of the case it seemed to have crossed the line between patina and grunge, so the decision was a spur of the moment decision. It will travel as my pocket pen. Based on my history carrying a Kaweco Sport the pen won’t get much use.

My theme for the three inked for fun fountain pens is “Sailor,” and the theme for the ink is “Montblanc.” True, those are brands which may stretch the definition of “theme” but calling them themes gives me more flexibility in the future.

The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe with its extra fine nib got Montblanc Albert Einstein ink. I was concerned that the ink wouldn’t be dark enough for the thin nib, but it’s fine.

The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen got one of my newest inks, Montblanc “The Beatles” Psychedelic Purple. The KOP has become a favorite for my new inks and especially for my bright new inks.

It’s been over 18 months since I inked up the Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver fountain pen. Like the Kaweco it also needed polishing, but it was much easier to polish than the brass. I inked it up with another new ink (although released some months ago). Montblanc Antoine de Saint-Exupery Encre du Desert is one of the longer ink names. The back of the ink box solves that problem by just calling it “brown.”

The themed pens will provide a nice mix of nibs and ink color.