Ink and Pen Notes: Sheaffer Balance II and Omas Green

Sheaffer Balance II with Omas Green

There really isn’t anything about the Sheaffer Balance IIs that I don’t like. The acrylics are lovely,the nibs are great and they fit well in my hand. This one is a Jade Green Balance II with a medium 18ct gold nib that Sheaffer branded as Feather Touch. I inked it up back on March 13th and was surprised to see it had been uninked for over nine months. In my head I had used it recently.

The last time I used this pen it ended up with ink all over the inside of the barrel, either from a leak or ink creep. This time around it was uneventful from first fill to the last drop.

A bright green pen demands a bright green ink. This time around it was Omas Green. I’ve liked other Omas inks but this was my first time with green. I liked the ink so much that I picked up a second bottle before it vanishes from store shelves. The ink has a little line variation, giving it some character, while also being saturated enough to give it a nice bold color that pops off the paper. While not an exact color match, the character of the ink makes it a rival for my favorite green – Montblanc Irish Green. The ink was easily cleaned from the pen.

I did get a reminder as to why this pen went unused for so long. It still has a tendency to skip, although never bad enough to be put down. So this is another pen that gets added to the list for a nib tuning at the DC pen show. I really want it to write as well as the Balance Aspen that I have. It has such a nice soft gold nib. I don’t think I trust myself to smooth it out myself without making it worse. While it’s officially a medium it’s more a medium-fine so it works well for me.

Omas Green will make it into another pen soon enough, although I do have several other greens that are new to me and seem rather nice. The Sheaffer Balance II (Jade Green) will probably remain unused until I get the nib tuned.

Click any photo for full size version

Long Island Pen Show

Saturday brought a quick visit to the Long Island Pen Show. It was more crowded and congested than I remember from other years. The layout was the same as I remember so they didn’t seem to be squeezing in extra tables, meaning the congestion was from attendees which is a good things. I’m terrible at estimating and the table setup didn’t make it easy to count (no count one row and multiply) so I won’t try to estimate either the number of vendors or people. There seemed to be more nib workers there than in past shows, even though Richard Binder skipped this show.

There were more vendors selling new pens than in past years (based on my possibly faulty memory) but there were certainly more vintage dealers than new pen dealers. Although between Anderson Pens, Fountain Pen Hospital and Kenro Industries there was certainly a wide variety of new pen brands even before considering the smaller dealers.

I did see a Visconti Homo Sapien Dark Age. While a very nice pen I like my Bronze Age better and the tenuous hold the Dark Age had in my want list was lost. There was a time I would have preferred the all black design but these days I like either a very conservative all black without shading and little or no trim, or a pen with some contrast to it. Other window shopping was mainly vintage pens. A lot of interesting stuff, even if most were unfamiliar to me.

I did pick up some inks. They were a pre-order so this may not count as a pen show purchase, but here they are:

Three Long Island Pen Show Inks and their first pens,
The three pen show inks and the first pens I selected for them.

With Omas winding down I picked up Omas Green. This has been on my want list for awhile since I like green. I have Omas Black and Turquoise inks and while I’m not a fan of turquoise as a color I like the Omas Black and the turquoise performs well. My first impression of the Omas Green – very nice color, I like it. I haven’t used it enough to judge performance but if it’s anything like the other Omas inks I may have to buy a second bottle before it vanishes.

I also picked up another green ink, this one P.W. Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Groen. This is my third Akkerman ink. These inks were all the rage a couple years ago but I skipped them at that time. I’ve since picked up a couple, after they changed to the smaller bottles. The inks are fine but they aren’t close to being favorites for either of the colors that I’ve tried. I haven’t used this one enough to form an opinion. I can’t complain about the color since I knew what I was getting. It’s different than my other greens (more a yellow-green) which is why I got it, but there’s a reason it’s taken me awhile to add this shade of green. So it will probably be used less-frequently than other greens. They have the nicest ink bottle out there and the only built-in filling system that work flawlessly with all my pens.

Lastly, Noodler’s Berning Red. It’s a fast drying ink intended for lefties, which I’m not. I often use red to mark up documents so quick drying will help me avoid the occasional smudge. My concern here was bleed-through, since the fast drying is due to fast absorption. My initial test on Staples (cheap) copy paper is that it is fine (although close in spots of heavy ink), even with a medium nib. I don’t follow Noodler’s ink all that much, but this seems to be one of Nathan Tardiff’s more blatant (some may say extreme) political inks. The target is a current candidate so probably not surprising. If you watch the video it will take about 20 minutes to get to the ink (and even then there’s discussion about the pen he’s using, just no more politics).

Fountain Pen Hospital was one of the show sponsors so they were offering a $10 gift card at the door. They also offered their parts bags. The gift card required a $50 purchase and the parts pens were $50 per bag. So naturally I had to pick one up. I selected a bag of Parkers. All are missing nibs (well, one has a mangled nib) but this seems to be a good selection for learning how they are but together. I can tackle learning vacumatic repair with these and not worry about ruining a usable or even repairable pen.

Parker parts from the Long Island Pen Show

Overall, a good show that was worth the trip, even if most of it was window shopping.

Ink and Pen Notes: Lamy 2000 And Omas Turquoise Ink

Lamy 2000 fine nib with Omas Turquoise ink bottle

I inked up my Lamy 2000 with Omas Turquoise ink back on February 2nd. I wrote it dry today so it lasted just over a month. The Lamy 2000 has a fine nib which was very scratchy when I received it, as I mentioned in my review. But the nib has since been tuned by Mike Masuyama.

The ink performed well in this pen, no skipping or hard starts. Unfortunately the ink is, well, turquoise. It’s not a color I like at all but I did use it enough to write the pen dry. (The ink was included with my Omas pen.)  It was loaded into the pen because its line number in my ink spreadsheet was picked by I wanted to give the ink a chance so I picked a good pen for it rather than put it in a pen I also wouldn’t want to use.

Considering the light color it provides good coverage on all colors of paper.

The ink flow is on the wet side from this nib. It’s also slow drying and I did have a few accidental, careless smudges.

The ink was easy to clean from the pen. Piston fillers aren’t a favorite of mine when it comes to cleaning, at least when I’m cleaning it for storage and want all ink traces removed. But it was a quick process to remove all traces of this ink from the Lamy 2000.