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Thread: Fountain Pens

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    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Fountain Pens

    I'm getting a new fountain pen in the mail today.
    Anyone still write?

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    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    I have a Cross fountain pen I got from my dad. He got it as a gift from his parents when he graduated from college in 1961. I like using it to sign documents (I sign a lot of stuff in my job), but I quit using it because it's not very reliable. Probably just needs a new nib.
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    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    I only write checks now days.

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    I use them, but not for writing. I like cheaper ones like Pelikans because they take my abuse and are more willing to give varying flow rates out of the same pen. Yeah..... I'm a big fan of line weight variation.

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    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    I love mine, but I need to look into better inks - you don't want to use them for anything important (financial papers, important forms), especially addressing envelopes to be mailed when using the ink that runs in water.

    Having said that I love writing letters and in journals with them. I own a couple of nice Pelikans and a fancy schmancy Montegrappa, but the best writers I have are a pair of inexpensive Esterbrooks purchased by my father when he emigrated to the US in the late 1950s. One needed a new bladder and the other had a bent nib but a few dollars put them right again. Love those pens. I also have a couple of Sheaffers, very good writers and they take cartridges which comes in handy for use outside the home.

    If anyone wants to try a fountain but doesn't wanna shell out big bucks, check your local stationary store for the Pilot Varsity (disposable fountain pen)...about $3, comes in many colors, not scratchy at all and lasts a long time. It's a bold nib so you can't write super fine with it, but you'll at lest get a feel for using a nib...it's hard to go back to a ballpoint after that.

    For a little more bread you can get a Lamy Safari or a Truewriter from Levenger - the former is supposed to be really great (Never owned one, the edgy barrel shape doesn't get along with my hand), and I've owned several Truewriters. They do fall apart eventually but are good writers for a couple of years if you take care of them.
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    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    My brother uses them for all his writing in college, and I used to use one for calligraphy. Now, once in a blue moon, I'll use a quill pen dipped in India ink for minute details on drawings. But usually I draw digitally, so that's becoming more and more rare for me.

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    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I am left handed and thus I do things like writing poorly. I drag my hand through the ink, and hold the pen wrong and I generally just suck at the art of writing, even though I enjoy writing short fictional stories.

    I have a Mont Blanc that was a gift, but the pen is roller ball, or ball point or some such and the barrel of the pen is cracked after I dropped it one too many times.
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    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgoat View Post
    I love mine, but I need to look into better inks - you don't want to use them for anything important (financial papers, important forms), especially addressing envelopes to be mailed when using the ink that runs in water.

    Having said that I love writing letters and in journals with them. I own a couple of nice Pelikans and a fancy schmancy Montegrappa, but the best writers I have are a pair of inexpensive Esterbrooks purchased by my father when he emigrated to the US in the late 1950s. One needed a new bladder and the other had a bent nib but a few dollars put them right again. Love those pens. I also have a couple of Sheaffers, very good writers and they take cartridges which comes in handy for use outside the home.

    If anyone wants to try a fountain but doesn't wanna shell out big bucks, check your local stationary store for the Pilot Varsity (disposable fountain pen)...about $3, comes in many colors, not scratchy at all and lasts a long time. It's a bold nib so you can't write super fine with it, but you'll at lest get a feel for using a nib...it's hard to go back to a ballpoint after that.

    For a little more bread you can get a Lamy Safari or a Truewriter from Levenger - the former is supposed to be really great (Never owned one, the edgy barrel shape doesn't get along with my hand), and I've owned several Truewriters. They do fall apart eventually but are good writers for a couple of years if you take care of them.
    Thanks. Just ordered one from Staples. $3.95, delivered to the local store for free.
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    In high school we had to take a class on penmanship using a fountain pen. I had one of these Parker pens



    I used to draw with one of these speedball pens


    Then I switched to Rotring pens


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    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
    Thanks. Just ordered one from Staples. $3.95, delivered to the local store for free.
    Cool - if you like it and want another when it runs out of ink, check there and on Amazon, I've seen 5 or 10 packs where it works out even cheaper per pen. I really like them, they write pretty nicely, especially for the money, very smooth.

    Before I discovered the Varsity, I bought a cheap Sheaffer about 7 years ago (their $5 calligraphy model) and it wrote scratchy and started leaking all over the place. I was very disappointed in that one and tossed it not long after buying it...Fwiw, one of my current Sheaffers is a 1960s "School Pen" ; also plastic body, but the steel nib is not nearly as scratchy as the newer one I tossed, and it doesn't leak at all...inexpensive when new but built to last, they were aimed at students for budget-priced note taking right around the time ball points were taking over.
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    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    I should add in the current heatwave my wife and I have been visiting lots of museums (for the culture, but also the AC!) and I was really digging all the old letters, manuscripts, ledgers, musical scores and hand-inked official documents on display. Some of the penmanship that used to be commonplace was astounding, and the professionally copied documents were just fantastic. I couldn't wait to get home and use my fountain pen!
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    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Yes, I generally buy Pelikans then have the nibs re-tipped/ground.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    Yes, I generally buy Pelikans then have the nibs re-tipped/ground.
    Just curious, who does your nib work? All recommendations point to Richard Binder (I plan to use him next, although I am fortunate to work within walking distance from here).

    I had Deb Kinney regrind an Esterbrook nib to an oblique for me, that's my favorite now.
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    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Just bought a Bic disposable fountain...not impressed. Medium point. Nib is too scratchy and the part where you hold it is too thick. Very uncomfortable to write with. Picking up the Varsity today.
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    I have a few old Esterbrooks and Sheaffers from yard sales. Then I learned how to change sacs and restore them. Still I use Pilot Varsity 99% of the time, ink is easy to refill with small needlenose pliers with something soft on the jaws.

    I take all school notes with a Varsity. Smooth, cheap, refillable and easy to write with. Bought a 7 pack of Varsitys, each a different color. I dumped the terrible colors and mixed them together to get a brownish ink for random scribbles. The caps are great for using different inks. Black cap has montblanc black, blue cap is pelikan blue-black, light blue cap is pelikan royal blue. Don't have any more colors, but I could add a selection.
    Last edited by c23; 07-10-12 at 11:35 AM.

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    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgoat View Post
    Just curious, who does your nib work? All recommendations point to Richard Binder (I plan to use him next, although I am fortunate to work within walking distance from here).

    I had Deb Kinney regrind an Esterbrook nib to an oblique for me, that's my favorite now.
    Richard Binder ftw!
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    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    This is the pen I just purchased. I got the brushed stainless steel one.
    The two things I really like about it, 1.) screw top closure, 2.) the top has a ball of conductive rubber so it works as a stylus on touch screens.
    I need to adjust the nib a little. I would like just a breath more ink flow.

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    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c23 View Post
    I have a few old Esterbrooks and Sheaffers from yard sales. Then I learned how to change sacs and restore them. Still I use Pilot Varsity 99% of the time, ink is easy to refill with small needlenose pliers with something soft on the jaws.

    I take all school notes with a Varsity. Smooth, cheap, refillable and easy to write with. Bought a 7 pack of Varsitys, each a different color. I dumped the terrible colors and mixed them together to get a brownish ink for random scribbles. The caps are great for using different inks. Black cap has montblanc black, blue cap is pelikan blue-black, light blue cap is pelikan royal blue. Don't have any more colors, but I could add a selection.

    I had heard about that - if you can do that the pen is worth reusing imo - I like the nibs. I do wish they were a bit finer line but they're great as is.
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    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post

    This is the pen I just purchased. I got the brushed stainless steel one.
    The two things I really like about it, 1.) screw top closure, 2.) the top has a ball of conductive rubber so it works as a stylus on touch screens.
    I need to adjust the nib a little. I would like just a breath more ink flow.
    Those are nice. I've recently seen a couple of pens including the Safari in stealthy all-black - looks cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.

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    Must.resist.urge.to.create.obvious.spoof.thread.

    Couch

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    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Couch View Post
    Must.resist.urge.to.create.obvious.spoof.thread.

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    The only way to overcome temptation is to yield to it.

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    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Varsity > Bic...and by a mile. Really like the Varsity.
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    The only way to overcome temptation is to yield to it.
    And my spoof thread would elicit the angry hand of God (Foo Admins).

    Couch

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    Quote Originally Posted by Couch View Post
    And my spoof thread would elicit the angry hand of God (Foo Admins).

    Couch
    Is it about grinding your nibs?
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    Is this where I am obligated to suggest www.penisland.net? (I got the .net part right this time, right?!)

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