Ink & Pen Notes: Edison Extended Mina with Sheaffer Peacock Blue

Edison Extended Mina #27 extra fine with Sheaffer Peacock Blue ink bottleThe Edison Extended Mina is my newest fountain pen. It was the Edison Pens group buy for 2015 and I received #23 in Blue Denim with an extra fine nib. I filled it with Sheaffer Peacock Blue when the pen arrived in March. There have been a couple refills since then, but this in the only ink that’s been used in the Mina.

My thoughts about this fountain pen vary wildly, depending on the day and my mood. I also tend to like it more when using it after a break of a few days. It becomes less liked after extended use.

I like the look of the pen. The blue denim ebonite is at its best in good lighting, in indirect lighting it’s a little drab. I do like the feel of the ebonite. The nib design is new, at least for Edison Pens. It’s a steel nib that’s all silver. I do like silver nibs more than gold colored nibs and I was drawn to the unique design of the nib, but that’s worn off a bit. The nib writes great, but aesthetically I’d prefer a nice big, traditional nib.

It’s a clip-less pen with a slightly conical shape in both the cap and barrel. Like the nib, I was initially attracted to the uniqueness of the design (at least unique in my accumulation). The design, including the lack of a clip, took some getting used to so that I could tell the cap apart from the body with touch alone. Eventually I did get used to it and stopped starting to unscrew the barrel from the section. Although I would have to relearn the feel of the cap if the pen went unused for a week or so. Since the Limited Edition number is engraved on the top of the cap it’s easy to visually tell which way is up so it’s not a complete crap shoot.

The cap can’t be posted, which doesn’t bother me. While I’ve begun to post a few pens I do use most pens unposted. The pen is very comfortable in my hand. It’s a good size for me and the ebonite has a nice warm feel to it. The extra fine steel nib is smooth and flows well. I didn’t experience any skips. The only hard starts were after storing the pen nib up for several days and those were quickly resolved by just holding the pen nib down for a few moments.

Being clip-less, the cap and pen can easily roll away. This isn’t usually a problem because I often hold the cap in my left hand while I write with my right. But in this case the conical shape of the cap felt weird to me and I never really got used to it. When I’m at my desk I can safely put the cap down and not worry about it rolling away, but when I’m out and about it’s more difficult and not something I want to worry about. So even though the pen fits in all my pen cases it rarely leaves the house.

Despite my dislike of turquoise inks (they’re too blue) I do really like Sheaffer Peacock Blue. Even with the Mina’s extra fine nib there’s some nice line variation and I just like the way the ink writes.

It would be incorrect, and a little harsh, to say I’m disappointed with the Edison Extended Mina, but I don’t think it has a future in my rotation. The Mina has several unique design features and I expected to really enjoy it. But the reality is I have two other desk pens I enjoy more (F-C Model 66 and Edison Huron Grande) and another that’s more functional (Platinum Carbon Pen). The Extended Mina is less desk bound than those fountain pens since it fits in all my cases, but it’s still too much trouble for me when I take it on the road. So while it will be difficult so soon after arrival, I think it’s another fountain pen that will go up for sale in preparation for the DC Pen Show.

Despite being a turquoise ink the Sheaffer Peacock Blue will return to a fountain pen in the not too distant future.

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Ink and Pen Notes: Edison Menlo Pump Filler and Athena Sepia

Edison Menlo Pump Filler with Athena Sepia ink bottleI’ve had the Edison Menlo Pump Filler for just under three years. It was a purchase from the 2013 Washington DC Pen Show. It topped my Favorite 5 list back when it still had that new pen glow. It never repeated as a top 5 modern pen, but it’s still been a frequent visitor to my rotation since I got it. It’s always paired with a brown ink. This time it’s Athena Sepia. Athena is the house brand for the Maruzen stores in Japan. Sepia describes the color, not that the ink is derived from the cuttlefish.

The pen was filled at the end of December, meaning it lasted just under four months. This is a little long for this pen even though it holds a gallon if ink (OK, not a gallon, but a lot.) This is the longest an ink has lasted in this pen which did surprise me since it really gets along well with the extra fine nib in this pen.

This ink makes the nib feel even smoother than the previous inks. The nib has always been smooth, especially for an extra fine, but with this ink it feels like it’s gliding above the paper, especially on smooth Tomoe River or Rhodia paper. Yet it puts down a nice dark line without the hint of skipping. There weren’t any hard starts, even after sitting for a week or so.

Athena Sepia rivals Montblanc Toffee Brown as my favorite brown ink. I bought this bottle from Nanami Paper (where it was very expensive) but they no longer carry it, and since it’s a department store brand it’s non-existent outside of Japan. I’ve seen contradicting claims that Athena ink is made by various manufacturers. I suppose it’s possible that the manufacturer varies by color and people have assumed they are all the same. This FPN post says the Sepia is made by Sailor. If Athena Sepia crossed my path again I’d buy another bottle. But I doubt it will so I’ll simply enjoy it while it lasts ,then go back to Montblanc Toffee Brown.

The ink is easy to flush from a pen, but the Edison Menlo Pump Filler is a royal pain to clean. The large capacity and feeder tube makes it take forever to flush out. So this is one pen where I break my rule and do remove the nib/section simply to clean the pen. Or, I do what I did in this case and simply re-ink the pen. Not only do I kick the cleaning can down the road, but I get a very nice ink and pen combination to write with. The Athena Sepia ink is well behaved so I’m not worried about damage or staining.

I usually don’t write these Ink & Pen Notes until I’m ready to clean the pen and put it away. That was my intent in this case, but after writing this up I realized what a pain it would be to clean the pen and I’d much rather enjoy the using the Edison Menlo Pump Filler for another month or two.

Ink and Pen Notes: Edison Huron Grande with Montblanc Bordeaux

Edison Huron Grande with extra fine and Montblanc Bordeaux bottleThe Edison Huron Grande was inked with Montblanc Bordeaux back on Sept. 19th of last year. I use it as an eyedropper fill. It’s barrel is huge and the nib is a thin extra fine, so it’s no surprise the fountain pen lasted six months, getting topped off once during that time.

There was one day where the nib was dry. Other than that the pen performed flawlessly, no other hard starts or skipping. That one case was at night, so I left the pen nib down overnight and it was fine it the morning. I used the pen regularly, but it may have been a few more days than normal between uses at that time.

The pen and ink are both among my favorites so it’s not the first time they’ve been paired and it won’t be the last. At the moment I have enough other fountain pens inked up, so I flushed out the Edison Huron Grande and put it back in storage.

I don’t have Montblanc Bordeaux in any fountain pens at the moment. An omission I can fix when I ink pens up for April.

Ink and Pen Notes: Edison Huron Grande with Extra Fine Nib and R&K Blau-Schwarz LE

Edison Huron Grande Extra Fine Nib and R&K Blau-Schwarz LE inkRohrer & Klingner Blau-Schwarz LE ink is the standard ink for my desk pens and one is usually always inked up. The Edison Huron Grande was inked up back on December 7th as a eyedropper fill. It went dry once but was immediately re-inked. I decided to clean it out this time and give it some time off.

I’ve never had a problem cleaning this ink out of a pen and this time was no different. It’s one of my favorite inks based on both color and performance. At the moment I don’t have it in and fountain pen and I’m already going through withdrawal.

Despite the size, it’s easily the largest pen in my accumulation, there’s no metal (other than the nib) so it’s nice and light so long writing sessions aren’t a problem.

The fountain pen and ink combine for a nearly perfect writing experience, at least for me. The only problems I had was a couple instances of a drop escaping from the nib when it shouldn’t. It was never on the paper and always when reaching for something with the pen in hand.

 

Ink and Pen Notes: Edison Menlo with Montblanc Toffee Brown

Edison Menlo Punp Filler with Montblanc Toffee Brown bottleI picked up the Edison Menlo Pump Filler at the 2013 Washington DC Pen Show and it’s been a favorite since then. Montblanc Toffee Brown, also a favorite ink, has been the most common inked picked for this pen so it was an obvious choice when I inked it up again.

This pen and ink have always gone well together. I inked the pen up way back on November 26th so it was just over two months ago. I did have a rare skipping problem, the only one I can remember, in early January. The pen had been used the day before and stored overnight, nib up, in the pen stand. A very common occurrence, yet this time the pen needed some help getting ink to the feed the next morning. Other then that one incident this ink and pen were a joy to use. The nib has a good flow but it is an extra fine and the Menlo holds a lot of ink, so the pen lasts a long, long time.

Because this is a pump filler (think old style Parker Vacumatic this pen is a pain to clean). There’s a thin tub attached to the feed so ink tends to stay in there. Plus, there’s just not a lot of pressure when the water is pumped out. So when I’m cleaning the pen for storage I unscrew the nib & feed to give the pen a good cleaning. An ultrasonic cleaner also saves time with the feed. It does mean applying a little silicone grease when replacing the nib, but is saves so much time.

Of course, it’s saves even more time to just re-ink the pen and keep it going. But I bit the bullet this time and cleaned it out for storage. This way I’m more likely to use my other pens. The Edison Menlo has such a large ink capacity and is such a nice writer I always want to reach for it.