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The Fountain Pen Thread

samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
edited February 2014 in General Discussion
I don't know if anyone besides Aaron and I are fountain pen enthusiasts, but I thought we might need a thread for those of us who are.

Brad Perri recently turned us on to Noodler's Ink (http://www.noodlersink.com/), which is awesome ink you can use in refillable fountain pens, roller balls, and highlighters. Brad bought me a bottle of "Legal Lapis," an interesting blue that looks much better than regular blue ink, but still makes it easy to tell apart from copies.

Definitely worth checking out, especially because you get a free fountain pen with each bottle of ink!
Post edited by samglover on
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Comments

  • AaronStreetAaronStreet Minneapolis, MN Admin
    I hope Sam and I can start a trend of lawyers who carry iPads and fountain pens with them wherever they go.

     

    They are surprisingly less contradictory than they might appear. 

     

    Both are highly-tactile, aesthetic experiences.
  • I find that many geeks have a strong appreciation for quality retro technology. Look at the upsurge in retro-camera apps, phones rings that sound like the 1980s, artisan bread bakeries, and things you've mentioned above - handmade paper and fountain pens. They each create an experience that is unique to the user that can't be mass-replicated, which I think most geeks recognize sometimes more than others.
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    Are you calling me a geek?
  • Well, you've found another lawyer out there who carries an iPad and fountain pen everywhere. And towards the resurgence of all things old, I also use an old-school double-edge safety razor to shave. Let's just say there's a good reason my grandfather talks about the good ole' days. But it can't hurt to merge the old with the new.
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    That's awesome! I do shave with a mug and brush, but not an old-school razo. I've been looking at straight razors for years, but it sounds like too much work. Instead, I got a nice Truefitt & Hill handle and stand for my Mach 3 razor that also holds my brush.

    I was in the office of an old family friend this afternoon who is now a judge. He had a guest book he wanted me to sign, and I pulled out my fountain pen for it. I'd spotted a few ink pots in the room, and sure enough, he spotted my fountain pen and it gave us something to talk about. I just with I had my nice pen with me instead of my Noodler's Ink freebie.
  • So glad there is a fountain pen thread.  It needs to be more active!

     

    I am a newly minted member of the lab, but I am a fountain pen fanatic and Noodler's ink lover.  It has done wonders for my penmanship, but has reaked havoc on my bank account.  It can get to be an expensive hobby once you dabble with the higher end pens and customs.  It's all worth it though.  I love being able to fill out client intake forms and sign letters in off colors to give it some flair! 

     

    ...and in response to Jonathan and Sam, I shave almost exclusively with a straight razor.  Like you said Sam, the learning curve is steep, but not insurmountable.  I think shaving with a Double Edge razor is a great stepping stone, but it is a commitment.  If you decide to dive in, let me know.  I could send you a "beginner" razor and some info if you decide you want to give it a try.
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    We've neglected the most important part of any fountain pen thread: the pens!

    I'm almost ashamed to say that my favorite pen right now is the dirt cheap ($3) Platinum Preppy that comes with large bottles of Noodler's Ink. Despite the cost, the nib is really nice to write with.

    I've also got a beautiful S.T. Dupont Ellipsis, and a Parker Sonnet from my wife. The Sonnet got the most use before I decided to use the cheapo Noodler's pen, which holds so much ink that I still haven't used up the first load.
  • Do not be ashamed.  You would be hard pressed to find better value than the Preppy.  I have heard about some random leaking and breaking, but as long as you don't ruin a shirt or pants, you can just buy a new one!  I currently have a preppy inked with highlighter ink.

     

    Right now I have a rotation of pens that includes a Lamy 2000, a TWSBI 530, a Pilot Vanishing Point, a Pelikan M-200 (stub nib) and a custom made Edison pen that cost about 100x the price of a Preppie.  I can tell you that it does not write 100x better, so not sure it was worth it! 
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    Ooh, I've always wanted a Vanishing Point. Cool!

    My Dupont definitely writes better than the Preppy (~200x better? no), but it's too heavy to carry around. I keep looking for a nice desk holder for it, but so far I haven't found anything I like. Any ideas where I could find something? I'm basically just looking for a very trim wooden cradle (with a suede or similar liner under the pen).
  • I think that everyone should own a Vanishing Point.  The mechanism works flawlessly and they write great.

     

    As far as a nice desk holder, I have never come across the specific design you are looking for.  It sounds like you may want to get creative and look for wooden pipe boxes, razor boxes, etc.  You may have to contact a woodworker if you are dead set on a specific design.

     

    Check out Fahrney's, Art Brown and Fountain Pen Hospital.  I remember seeing some interesting desk holders at those sites, but pretty pricey for what basically is a paperweight.
  • I am a new member and while FP's are not really a passion for me I do enjoy writing with them.  I make it a point to have a ball point or stick pen in my pocket if I have a FP so I do not need to explain why I will not loan my FP.  I use a Parker 51 out of the office due to its durability and it seems to write forever even with a medium nib.  I like Eversharps in the office from the mid size silverline thrgh the stiffer nibbed desk types.  Those 14k nibs are really nice to write with where there is some flex in the tip but unless you are buying old pens the cost is pretty high. I have a number of the Harley Davidson watermans that I bought and for steel nibs they are not bad.     It does seem funny but one of the nicer regular writing pens I have is a cheap waterman purchased in a set from officmax which I often carry as a backup to the 51.  I purchased two sets of the same type but the one is heads and shoulders above the other in the way it lays down ink.   I am still using quink from a purchase of 4-5 boxes of vintage ink about 10 years ago and it was probably 20-30 years old at the time of purchase.  I tried a number of other midline type inks but the quink seems to work just as well.   Noodlers sounds pretty nice but it is hard to purchase ink while I still have a half dozen of quink left. 

    I really think that some pens just come together right and the way they work just happens to fit the lucky buyer.  Rarely, especially when in chambers, I see some really nice high end pens in the hands of other attorneys that are really beautiful but I will stick with my old 51.  You could probably drive it in a board like a nail without hurting the stiff nib on it. 
  • Sam:  I use an old brass round pen box to hold multiple closed pens for use.  I set a piece of 1.5" foam in the bottom and pressed snug holes in it which holds the pens up and away from each other nicely.  I use the bottom part of old desk sets to hold an open pen for daily use or just use a desk set pen.  It used to be easier to find the desk pen holder minus a pen than a full set and they were pretty cheap.  It is nice to be able to put the pen down without closing and not risk ruining a good shirt.  I do not really notice any ink loss from doing this.  As I recall the old Eversharp desk sets have a wide mouth which fits many pens, but it depends upon the size of your barrel.  Sitting here now I am using an old shaeffer desk set holder (it also has a wider mouth), in green "fake" jade base to hold an Eversharp Silverline med size as it will hold the pen posted or not.  As you are aware where the pen has a snap on cap deployment is not really much effort but screw on tops are a bit of bother getting them ready for phone notes with one hand.
  • So, I might be buying a fountain pen on black Friday....Or better, yet, maybe my uncle has an old one that I can, um, borrow......

     

    As far as the stand, there's a woodworker that makes my fave handmade wooden crochet hooks. When I went to grab the site address, I saw that he also makes calligraphy pens (same as FP?) and boxes for them. Here you go:  http://www.turn-of-the-century.com/write.htm.
  • So what would be a good starter fountain pen? 
  • My recommendation for a starter fountain pen is a Pilot Prera.  It is medium priced (around $40), but is a quality pen that looks, feels and performs better than pens double the price.  To me it is a great beginner pen.  Another popular suggestion is the classic Lamy Safari which can be had under $30.

    Or, if you don't want to dive in head first, go with Sam's suggestion and get a Platinum Preppy for under $5.

    If you have any questions on pens, feel free to contact me.
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    Yeah, honestly I think the best way to start is with a big bottle of Noodler’s Ink and the Preppy that comes with it. The nib is just really easy to write with. Much easier than a lot of fountain pens that cost ten times as much.

    I’ve got a few really nice fountain pens that I rarely use, because I prefer to carry around the Preppy for everyday writing.
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    In fact, I love my Preppys so much that I just bought a bunch of them from JetPens.com, and a set of o-rings from GouletPens.com so I can convert them all to eyedropper pens.

    I seem to break one every few months, so it makes sense to have a few spares. (It's not necessarily the pens' fault that they break; I'm just hard on things.)
  • Goulet is my go-to source for pens and ink!  In fact, I think they will do the eyedropper conversion on the preppy for an additional $2. 

    I'm off to Goulet to order one now as a Christmas gift for someone!
  • Great, just what I needed -- another cool thing to spend money on !  LOL

    This will, however, have to get in line behind motorcycles and medieval armor and clothing.  :-)




    Lee

    ==========================

    Sam Glover said:

    I don't know if anyone besides Aaron and I are fountain pen enthusiasts, but I thought we might need a thread for those of us who are.

    Brad Perri recently turned us on to Noodler's Ink (http://www.noodlersink.com/), which is awesome ink you can use in refillable fountain pens, roller balls, and highlighters. Brad bought me a bottle of "Legal Lapis," an interesting blue that looks much better than regular blue ink, but still makes it easy to tell apart from copies.

    Definitely worth checking out, especially because you get a free fountain pen with each bottle of ink!

  • AaronStreetAaronStreet Minneapolis, MN Admin
    Sam Glover said:

    In fact, I love my Preppys so much that I just bought a bunch of them from JetPens.com, and a set of o-rings from GouletPens.com so I can convert them all to eyedropper pens.

    I seem to break one every few months, so it makes sense to have a few spares. (It's not necessarily the pens' fault that they break; I'm just hard on things.)

    Ha!


    I bought 10 Preppys from JetPens last week and a pack of 100 O-Rings from Amazon.

     

    I'm an idiot for not checking with you before I did it, since I have no idea what I'm going to do with my extra 90 O-Rings. (Thankfully, 100 O-Rings was only $5.00).
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