Getting into Fountain Pens: Your First Pen and Ink

Getting into fountain pens can be a bit of a hurdle. Most people are probably a bit leery about spending a good bit of money on one pen when they can get a box of 24 Bic Crystal ballpoints for half the price. There are a ton of suggestions on getting into the hobby, but here’s my recommendations.

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The Fountain Pen Tool Kit

For me, a huge part of the appeal of fountain pens is the do it yourself experience. I don’t consider myself even close to a journeyman fountain pen tech, as my skills are probably closer to a bumbling hobbyist; but over time I’ve discovered some tools that that I think anyone serious about fountain pens should consider owning. These are the same items I recommend to my friends who I’ve suckered convinced into using fountain pens. You probably don’t need to own everything in this list, as everything on this list is optional in some way. I’ve tried my best to provide some guidance on where you can buy these items locally, as not all of us can be lucky enough to live in the same area as a fountain pen store or in a country with reasonable shipping costs.

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Adventures in Nib Grinding – The Reversible Fine/Stub Nib

Obligatory warning: Grinding your nibs can result in a destroyed nib. I’m not responsible and definitely not an expert in this field. 

A friend has been challenging me to grind a reversible fine/stub nib for quite some time now. I finally took him up on the challenge. After some trial and error, I have come down with the following technique.
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Inked Up – September Edition

/u/MxMJ from reddit’s /r/Pen_Swap was kind enough to show us what he has inked up this month!

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From top to bottom:

Lamy 2000 XF Nib – Private Reserve Ebony Blue

Parker Vacumatic 1940 Double Jewel Debutante – Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher

Conway Stewart 84 Sub Nib – Noodler’s Ottoman Azure

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Thanks to MxMJ for giving us a peek at part of his collection. Check out his blog MxMJ’s Pen Blog. If you’re looking for restored vintage pens, check out /u/MxMJ’s posts on /r/Pen_Swap!

Inked Up – March Edition

Please welcome Brandon Postal of the blog Go With Postal as our March guest! Although his blog is only a little over a month old, it’s been buzzing with tons of great posts with lots of coverage on vintage pens.

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Brandon was kind enough to let me take a peek at his current load out of pens and pencils.

From left to right:
Montblanc #22 – Private Reserve DC Supershow
Blue Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant – Noodler’s Lexington Gray Esterbrook LJ 9668 Renew Point – Diamine Oxblood Parker Shadow Wave Green Vacumatic – Diamine Sherwood Green Parker 51 Demi – Noodler’s Heart of Darkness
Parker 51 Demi Pencil – 0.9mm Lead

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A big thanks to Brandon for participating! Be sure to check out his blog at Go With Postal.

Inked Up – February Edition

This month, I have very lucky to have Ed Jelley of EdJelley.com showing off his loadout. Here’s what Ed had to say about his current loadout:ilaikepens.com - Inked Up - February 2014 - Ed Jelley of edjelley.com

Left to Right:
Nakaya Neo Standard in Kuro-Tamenuri – Medium Soft Nib – Diamine Oxblood
Conklin Crescent Filler – 1.1mm Stub Nib – Stipula Verde Muschiato
Lamy 2000 – Binderized Medium Nib – Rohrer & Klingner Salix
Karas Kustoms Ink Prototype – Medium Nib – Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron
Karas Kustoms Render K G2 – 0.4mm Black Pilot Hi-Tec-C Refill
TWSBI Mini Classic – Fine Nib – Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun
Tactile Turn “Mover” Prototype in Raw Aluminum – 0.38mm Pilot G2 Refill
Field Notes Drink Local Edition IPA

Inked Up – January Edition

Welcome to our very first edition of a new monthly segment called Inked Up. Every month, a member of the fountain pen community and I will share our current rotation that has been inked up!

Our very first guests are Jon and Liz Chen of Wonder Pens, hailing from Toronto, Canada. Wonder Pens is currently my local store and carries pens, pencils, journals, notebooks, office supplies, tons of fountain pens, and fountain pen accessories. I often plan to visit with the intention of picking up an item or two and end up leaving with a lighter wallet and bag full of ink. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, be sure to swing by their brick and mortar shop to pet Super the store dog in training while you stock up on ink. Liz gave us a peek at her very colourful rotation.

(Be sure to click the thumbnail for the full image in all its glory!)
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