Two Sheaffer Snorkels Desk pens adorn my desk at work. Desk pens on a desk, imagine that. I didn’t want them to be only decorative so I keep them inked. These pens have been restored but being from the 1950s, like me, they can be a little finicky, again like me. They screw into the trumpets so they don’t dry out too bad. I try to use them at least a little every week to keep them flowing. I have Anderson Pens Green Bay (a great name for an ink from a Wisconsin-based company) in one and DeAtramentis Alexander Hamilton in the other. I will point out that I had Hamilton ink before the musical became a sensation.
I plan to keep these in service. I don’t want them to be just show pieces. So no desk pens to eliminate. But next up is pens just inked so I have color choices. Maybe I can cut down those.
Since these are vintage pens, write to the oldest person you know.
I am not talking about people who are good writers, but pens that write well. A few of my pens I think of as primarilygoodwriters. I likekeeping them ready for a card, letter or note. Each one of these pensdeserves a quick mention.
My Karas Kustoms INK with a Franklin-Christoph Masuyama cursive italicnib writes great. The combination of heft, flow, and italicoftenmatches my mood for quick card or note.
I oftenreach for my smooth writing Edison Nouveau Premiere with a stubnib when writing a letter. This beauty is the Majestic Pine special edition from Goulet Pens. This lightweightpen produces less fatigue in longerwritingsessions.
My nextgoodwriteris a Sheaffer Legacy with a 14k finenib. One of my firstfountainpens, Ibought it new in 1995. The fineline writes smaller than the cursive italic or stubnibs.
Another goodwriter, my Lamy Studio, belongs in this category. I know this mediumnibis the same as a Safari or AL-Star, but something about this Studio I really like. I tend to keep DeAtramentis Sherlock Holmes in it which matches the pen nicely.
My lastgoodwriteris my Pelikan M205 Amethyst. Another mediumnib, it lays down a niceamount of ink. So far I haveonlytried Edelstein Amethyst ink, but any ink with shading or sheen should look nicer coming out of this Pelikan nib.
These five give mechoices for most normal writingtasks. If I were to pare it down, I could alternate between the INK and Nouveau – cursive italic and stub – and also between the Lamy Studio and the Pelikan M205 – both mediumnibs. Of course, that would onlygive me 3 colorchoicesinstead of 5. Having many colorsavailableis what I will talk about nexttime.
While I will use any pen and ink that catches my fancy for note taking, I have two pens specifically configured for this task: a Franklin-Christoph Model 02 and a Pilot Vanishing Point. Right now I have a blue-black in both but typically I keep a black ink in the 02.
The Franklin-Christoph Model 02 is the Anderson Pens Edition. It has a marble blue finial and section. This pen helps me realize I prefer a medium diameter, light weight pen. The XF nib works well but after testing the different Franklin-Christoph nibs at pen shows, an even finer nib is in my future. I foresee outfitting this pen with a 14k Masuyama needlepoint nib and laying down a very fine line, perfect for small notes.
My other note taker is a Pilot Vanishing Point Blue Carbonesque purchased at the 2016 Atlanta Pen Show. I immediately took it to Mark Bacus for an architect grind. The architect grind excels when printing and for me note taking involves a lot of printing. The retractable nib is handy when taking notes. Summer time finds me using this pen less. The Vanishing Point is a natural for a shirt pocket. Alas many of my short sleeve shirts lack a pocket.
While I have been experimenting with various black and blue-black inks, I have decided to emphasize note preservation. In particular one incident leads me to deciding on a permanent ink. So far for permanent, or at least water resistant, black I favor Noodler’s Heart of Darkness. The search for a good blue-black continues.
Reducing the note taking pens I keep inked from two to one, would involve alternating between the Franklin-Christoph 02 and the Pilot Vanishing Point. The Franklin-Christoph 02 takes a long time to deplete a convertor of ink. The Pilot Vanishing Point, not near as long. So alternating would not be very even. I expect to try it as an experiment, but I suspect I will miss having the Vanishing Point available while waiting to empty the Franklin-Christoph.
So far, I am not doing much to reduce the number of inked pens. Perhaps tomorrow’s category, good writers, will produce better results.
I am examining the number of pens currently inked. Today I will look at the pocket pens.
I almost always carry a pocket pen. Slipped in my front right pocket, a pocket pen settles in deep and safe. I can quickly access it on demand. Currently, three pens, including two fountain pens, fill this role.
I primarily choose my Franklin-Christoph Pocket 40, an ice model. I prefer to keep a bright colored ink in it because it is just so much fun to tilt back and forth and watch the ink. Curre
ntly, I am enjoying watching OMAS turquoise. The Pocket 40 ranks as my number one favorite pen. The 14K Masuyama cursive italic nib contributes to the
top ranking. Several times I feared the Pocket 40 was lost. This freaks me out, so I need an alternative.
I recently purchased a new Kaweco Sport, a good fountain penalternative to the Pocket 40. But what ink? Currently the Sport is filled with Cross Blue. I bought the Cross Blue ink on the same trip and I wanted to try it. The Sport holds ink in a small cartridge which I fill with a syringe. Even with the Sport’s fine nib the ink empties quickly. Since I would rotate ink quickly, the Sport makes a good pen to try new inks.
For the most rugged conditions, I pull my Fisher Space Pen out of its special spot in my computer backpack. Small, tough and always ready to write on any surface describes the Space Pen.
So will I reduce the pocket pens I keep inked up? I think the two fountain pens with the Space Pen backup works for me. I like using a fountain pen but there are time I don’t want to put my favorite pen at risk. Having the Sport for those times, means I still get to use a fountain pen. I can save the Space Pen for the most challenging conditions.
Maybe I will find a pen to eliminate in the next group – note taking.
Get out your pocket pen and write down what is on your mind.
Recently I startedwriting a line with each of my currently inked pens. The completedlistcontainedtwentypens and inks. Keepingtwentyfountainpenswritingproperlyprovesdifficult. I decided to reduce this number. Documenting why I inked each of these pens inked gives me some insight into how to reduce this number.
Pondering the varioususes for my pens, I distilled it into the following categories:
Some pensfit into more than one category but I assigned each to the predominate category for its use.
Here is the list of pens and inks in the order I picked then up. I will be talking about each category soon and finish with a post discussing what I learned and modifications to how I ink my pens.
Pelikan M205 medium nib – Edelstein Amethyst
TWSBI 580 extra fine nib – Diamine Florida Blue
Waterman Expert medium nib – Caran d’Ache Vibrant Green
Waterman Expert medium nib – Iroshizuku tsuyo-kusa
Waterman Expert fine nib – Caran d’Ache Infra Red
Pilot Metropolitan fine nib – Sailor Shigure
Edison Nouveau Premiere – Setz-Kreunznach Dark Orchid
Franklin-Christopher 02 – Franklin-Christopher Blue Denim
Sheaffer Legacy f nib – Ackerman 23 Bekakt Haags
Retro 51 Postmaster medium nib – R&K Sunfower
Aurora Style medium nib – Lamy Blue
Pilot Vanishing Point – Mont Blanc JFK
Lamy AL Star fine nib – Lamy Copper Orange
Lamy AL Star medium nib – Edelstein Adventurine
Lamy Safari extra fine nib – Lamy Dark Lilac
Karas Kustoms INK Masuyama cursive italic – Lamy Green
Kaweco Sport fine nib – Cross Blue
Sheaffer Snorkel Desk Pen medium nib – Anderson Pens Greensboro Bay
Sheaffer Snorkel Desk Pen medium nib – DeAtramentis Alexander Hamilton
Franklin-Christopher Pocket 40 – OMAS Turquoise
Check back for more in this series.
Pick up one of your pens and write someone a letter.