Author Topic: Fountain pens  (Read 12152 times)

Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #25 on: 17 January, 2011, 10:14:42 am »
Any pen or pencil fanatics should really have a trip to york for the sake of visiting 'Signatures'. It's a pen shop run by people who love pens, particularly fountain pens. They don't mind browsers, and encourage you to try the pens. When I took my son in to pick something for school use, they didn't mind lining up 10 sub-£10 pens and him having a go with all of them.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #26 on: 17 January, 2011, 10:16:01 am »
I'm not a fan of ballpoints either. I've got a bunch of Lamy Safaris with various ink colours and, just like Woofage (possibly unsurprisingly), I have a TWSBI Diamond 530.
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Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #27 on: 17 January, 2011, 10:24:24 am »
I'm not a fan of ballpoints either. I've got a bunch of Lamy Safaris with various ink colours and, just like Woofage (possibly unsurprisingly), I have a TWSBI Diamond 530.

 8). What nib size did you go for?
Pen Pusher

BrianI

  • Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Lepidopterist Man!
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #28 on: 17 January, 2011, 10:32:56 am »

I always use a fountain pen as my writing looks terrible with ballpoints.

My handwriting just looks terrible.   :-[  I've often wondered if those fountain pens advertised on telly really can be stabbed through a tin can then write nicely afterwards!

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #29 on: 17 January, 2011, 11:31:07 am »
I'm not a fan of ballpoints either. I've got a bunch of Lamy Safaris with various ink colours and, just like Woofage (possibly unsurprisingly), I have a TWSBI Diamond 530.

 8). What nib size did you go for?

EF. I tend to write small so I usually go for the finest option.

It's a nice pen and I see they're selling pretty well.  :thumbsup:
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arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #30 on: 17 January, 2011, 12:04:13 pm »
I eventually gave up (10-12 yr ago)after I got fed up with never managing to refill a decent amount at a time with the squeezy thing - I didn't use cartridges as they weren't so easy to come by for blue-black ink.  Also the stationery cupboard at work doesn't do ink, I had enough palaver to get hold of one bottle, once (though it's still on  my desk, not wuite empty ...)

If I magically without needing to look find something I'd use again quite happily.

Rotring drawing pens - I used to lust after one in my teens and could never afford.  By the time I had a job and could afford then I no longer had cause to use one, I bought one for my sister and one of my brothers instead (the other brother didn't want one), both of whom were still studying at the time.

In the dark, all views are the same.

Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #31 on: 17 January, 2011, 05:53:50 pm »
If you're looking to buy a replacement for your Sheaffer, consider these points:

How much do you want to spend? Less than £50; about what the current one cost, allowing for inflation
Styling: modern or traditional? Don't care
Weight: Most prefer light pens, but some like a bit of heft. Light
Filling: cartridges for convenience or bottled ink? Cartridges so I can change them when not at my desk
Nib width: is your writing large or small? Anything unusual about how you hold your pen? Large (I'm not one of those physics grads with tiny black writing).  You wouldn't believe the way I hold a pen, because it's unique, but I am right-handed.
Use: lots of quick notes or writing for longer periods? Both
Carrying and storage: best pen for home use or throw in bag to take to work? Leave in my desk drawer at work when not being used.
Brand snob? No.

I'll just get another Sheaffer 'cos they don't leak.  I used to have an Osmiroid (bottle fill) and it was a Bit Crap.
Through the angel rain, through the dust and the gasoline, through the cruelty of strangers, to the neon dream

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #32 on: 17 January, 2011, 06:21:31 pm »
I'll just get another Sheaffer 'cos they don't leak.  I used to have an Osmiroid (bottle fill) and it was a Bit Crap.

Don't. Unless you're buying a Valor or Legacy, Sheaffer fountain pens are poor value for money IMO.
Pen Pusher

Rapples

Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #33 on: 17 January, 2011, 06:36:15 pm »
I can recommend this (local to me) shop, good prices very helpful and post fr over about £15.00, they do online too :thumbsup:

Luxury & Designer Writing Instruments, Inks, Refills & Accessories - The Pen Company

Changes nib to italic FOC for Lamy Safari I bought for Little Miss Rapples, I noticed the cartridges were about twice the price in WHS!!!

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #34 on: 17 January, 2011, 11:52:39 pm »
I'll just get another Sheaffer 'cos they don't leak.  I used to have an Osmiroid (bottle fill) and it was a Bit Crap.

Don't. Unless you're buying a Valor or Legacy, Sheaffer fountain pens are poor value for money IMO.

Sorry, I didn't have much time for an adequate reply earlier.

Fountain pens don't leak. Well, I've never had one that leaked and I probably own about a hundred.

It's rather a shame that the more price concious offerings of the big fountain pen manufacturers (Sheaffer, Waterman and Parker) are, put simply, a bit crap poor VFM in my opinion. For the same money you can buy something a lot better made and that will give greater writing pleasure by Pelikan, Lamy, Faber Castell, Sailor or TWSBI to name but a few.
Pen Pusher

Jasper the surreal cyclist

  • Modern life is complicated stuff....
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #35 on: 18 January, 2011, 05:52:09 pm »
I have a lovely Mont Blanc that I found in an old sideboard. Also a Conway Stewart containing sepia ink. Both write well, but the MB can leak a bit so does not go in the jacket pocket.
Who only by moving can balance, only by balancing move....

Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #36 on: 18 January, 2011, 09:30:12 pm »
I've found out why there is such a big price difference between pens.  The cheaper ones have steel nibs (which may be gold plated), and steel nibs are stiffer.  At about £100 you start to find solid gold nibs, which are more flexible.  Beyond that, it's finish and brand name.

One online pen shop has a good guide to this sort of thing, and concludes by saying that £300 is about the limit beyond which you don't get a better pen, although you might get a "nicer" one.  Same as bikes, guitars and other personal accessories, then; above a certain point you get seriously diminishing returns.
Through the angel rain, through the dust and the gasoline, through the cruelty of strangers, to the neon dream

Dibdib

  • Fat'n'slow
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #37 on: 18 January, 2011, 09:58:07 pm »
Little query from the not-yet-quite-converted.

To an extent, I understand the appeal of a nice pen. I have a couple of reasonable* pens (A £30ish Waterman and a £20ish Parker) and even a troglodyte like me can appreciate that it's a much nicer pen than a 10p Biro or the cheap scratchy pens I had at school.

However, I can't imagine how a £100 "proper" pen, or however much people want to spend on a "really nice" pen, would feel that much different - and I can't say I'd relish the prospect of splashing out a ton to find out.

So what am I missing out on?

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #38 on: 18 January, 2011, 10:26:40 pm »
I've found out why there is such a big price difference between pens.  The cheaper ones have steel nibs (which may be gold plated), and steel nibs are stiffer.  At about £100 you start to find solid gold nibs, which are more flexible.  Beyond that, it's finish and brand name.

A rather simplistic view and one that is not necessarily true I'm afraid. For example, the steel nibs fitted as standard to Pelikan M200 (and similar) pens are more flexible than the gold ones on the more expensive, but identical in size, Pelikan M400.

Despite what may be stated by manufacturers, there is no clear advantage to having a gold nib over a steel one. However, customers expect a more expensive pen to have a gold nib, hence gold nibs are often finished to a higher standard. It's a bit like comparing a rear mech made of CF to one made of steel. A steel one can shift just as well as a carbon one all other things being equal. However, all things are not necessarily equal.


One online pen shop has a good guide to this sort of thing, and concludes by saying that £300 is about the limit beyond which you don't get a better pen, although you might get a "nicer" one.  Same as bikes, guitars and other personal accessories, then; above a certain point you get seriously diminishing returns.

I'm afraid I don't agree with that either. £300 is quite a hefty tag and it is not necessary to spend anywhere near this amount to own a well-performing fountain pen that is a joy to use. The aforementioned Pelikan M200, at typically around £50, can write just as well as pens costing many times that figure. The issue is that, sadly, almost all pen vendors just can't be bothered, or simply don't know how, to set up a pen to write at its best. There was a time when pen shops employed full time repair technicians and he or she would ensure that a pen writes perfectly before it leaves the shop. These days, pen shops are staffed by untrained personnel in the same way as Halfords is  not a proper bike shop. Thankfully, there are one or two exceptions.
Pen Pusher

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #39 on: 18 January, 2011, 10:33:49 pm »
However, I can't imagine how a £100 "proper" pen, or however much people want to spend on a "really nice" pen, would feel that much different - and I can't say I'd relish the prospect of splashing out a ton to find out.

You just have to try one and decide for yourself. Many people are happy with a supermarket BSO and can't conceive the need to spend more on a proper bicycle ;). If your current pens write well and meet your satisfaction then there is no need to go shopping. Just because a pen is low-cost (I avoid the c word here) doesn't mean that it shouldn't write well. I know I wrote that Parker and Waterman pens weren't good value, IMO, but that doesn't make them bad ;). Treat them to some nice coloured fountain pen ink and enjoy them even more!
Pen Pusher

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #40 on: 19 January, 2011, 05:17:22 pm »
These days, pen shops are staffed by untrained personnel in the same way as Halfords is  not a proper bike shop. Thankfully, there are one or two exceptions.

And, of course, one of the exceptions is The Writing Desk. ;D

(Woofage - light - bushel)
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Pancho

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Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #41 on: 19 January, 2011, 05:30:06 pm »
Thanks for that nicknack.

I was scratching my head to remember who it was and wondering why no one had posted it earlier!

Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #42 on: 19 January, 2011, 05:56:29 pm »
Having not used a fountain pen for 20 years, I'm quite shocked by the ink consumption.  I've used more than half a cartridge (allowing for the fact that new ones aren't full) in 3 days of note-taking (one or two meetings per day) and this is a fine (italic) nib!

Still not sure about blue-black ink, which looks like an anaemic black.  I know I don't like black (far too physics student) and I had enough of royal blue washable Quink at school.  Purple or turquoise might be fun, as long as turquoise isn't actually green; I'd hate to grink everything.
Through the angel rain, through the dust and the gasoline, through the cruelty of strangers, to the neon dream

ian

  • why would any decent person have such thoughts?
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #43 on: 19 January, 2011, 06:38:14 pm »
Having not used a fountain pen for 20 years, I'm quite shocked by the ink consumption.  I've used more than half a cartridge (allowing for the fact that new ones aren't full) in 3 days of note-taking (one or two meetings per day) and this is a fine (italic) nib!

Still not sure about blue-black ink, which looks like an anaemic black.  I know I don't like black (far too physics student) and I had enough of royal blue washable Quink at school.  Purple or turquoise might be fun, as long as turquoise isn't actually green; I'd hate to grink everything.

Havana Brown, for some reason, is my ink colour du jour. Suspect I am gradually segueing into a proper mad green ink as age drags me screaming into the dark shadowy universe of the Daily Mail letter writer. Of course, brown wouldn't be my colour then, since it's the colour of those sneaky asylum-seeking terror monkeys that lurk in the bushes outside of schools.

Always been a fountain pen user, biros are for sloppy, inky fingered worker drones and roller balls for people who don't really write but just want it to look like they do. Hand a monkey a roller ball and he'll think he's middle management. It'd also do a better job.

I do now have googly eyes for the TWSBI Diamond...

I can't say I'd pay much more than £40-50 for a pen, I think after than the returns diminish. Then again, I ride a £150 bike.

I also have a girl's handwriting. She may want it back at some point.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets, the Putin of pandas

Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #44 on: 19 January, 2011, 06:46:42 pm »
The 1980s girl's rounded handwriting with a two-storey "a" and a little circle instead of a dot over "i"?

Most girls with whom I went to school ended up with identical handwriting.  It never happened to the boys.
Through the angel rain, through the dust and the gasoline, through the cruelty of strangers, to the neon dream

ian

  • why would any decent person have such thoughts?
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #45 on: 19 January, 2011, 06:57:03 pm »
The 1980s girl's rounded handwriting with a two-storey "a" and a little circle instead of a dot over "i"?

Most girls with whom I went to school ended up with identical handwriting.  It never happened to the boys.

I do indeed do the two story 'a' for my sins. I also don't join up the letters. I have resisted the pull of dotting my 'i's with a love heart though. Unless I am writing to my boss.

For the record, I have no idea why I write like I do. I suspect it developed purely to annoy my teachers who were very big on the joined-up thing. The results are apparently very neat though.
Authoritarian Thought Leader, the Pol Pot of Powerpoint, the Stalin of Spreadsheets, the Putin of pandas

Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #46 on: 19 January, 2011, 07:36:51 pm »


Havana Brown, for some reason, is my ink colour du jour.


Don't know if they have improved it, but if it is old style brown (as was Waterman's) that is the worst for leaving deposits in your pen.

ian

  • why would any decent person have such thoughts?
Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #47 on: 19 January, 2011, 08:28:36 pm »


Havana Brown, for some reason, is my ink colour du jour.


Don't know if they have improved it, but if it is old style brown (as was Waterman's) that is the worst for leaving deposits in your pen.

Not noticed it being any more glacky than the Quink in my other pens, but I use the pen a lot so it doesn't get much chance to accumulate. Washes out of the cat fur quite easily too.
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Charlotte

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Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #48 on: 19 January, 2011, 08:50:08 pm »
The 1980s girl's rounded handwriting with a two-storey "a" and a little circle instead of a dot over "i"?

Most girls with whom I went to school ended up with identical handwriting.  It never happened to the boys.

I grew out of the eighties bubbly handwriting style.  Many of my friends never did.
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Wowbagger

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Re: Fountain pens
« Reply #49 on: 19 January, 2011, 08:52:58 pm »
I've forgotten which book but Mr. Orwell referred to the "neat handwriting of the illiterate". I think he was probably right.
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