Pelikan Launches Contest to Select the 2015 Edelstein Ink of the Year

Pelikan has started a contest that challenges internet visitors to mix their perfect ink colour. The German company will be selecting five entrants to join five Pelikan employees to choose the a winner out of the top fifteen contest entries. The creator of the winning entry will net themselves a M400 fountain pen in black-green. There are also bottles of Edelstein inks up for grabs for the finalists.

To enter, create your own colour using Pelikan’s design tools. Once you submit it, it will be added to the gallery of colours where visitors around the world will vote on it. The top fifteen most popoular entries will be judged and whittled down to three finalists. Pelikan will try to create Edelstein inks that best mirror the entry and choose one to release as 2015’s ink of the year. Good luck to all the entrants!

Pelikan Ink of the Year Contest

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!)
wonder-pens-inked-up-001
Continue reading “Inked Up – January Edition”

Adventures in Nib Grinding – Lessons Learned in The Pursuit of the XXF Needlepoint

I love extra fine pens. The finer the better! I absolutely adore my extra fine Pilot Penmanship (XXF by Western standards)  as it is incredibly comfortable to hold and lays down a very fine line. However, in the search of something finer, I have begun grinding my own nibs. It started with nib smoothing and grinding stubs, but now my quest for knowledge has turned to creating needle point nibs.

There are plenty of tutorials teaching how to grind stubs and how to smooth nibs, but the information gets a little… thin (my apologies) when it comes to grinding needle points. When I grind my needle points, I try my best to replicate few pictures of needle points I have found online and my Pilot Penmanship XF nib.  This post is a compilation of lessons learned so far and my current method of grinding a Western XXF. I won’t go so far to call it a tutorial quite yet as I think I have a lot of practice left before I would be so confident. However, I hope this article may provide a starting point for my fellow nib grinding novices!
Continue reading “Adventures in Nib Grinding – Lessons Learned in The Pursuit of the XXF Needlepoint”

Noodler’s Apache Sunset Review

I’m testing out a new camera set up, I think this better reflects the ink’s actual colours.

Noodler’s Apache Sunset

Paper: Clairefontaine 90g
Pen: TWSBI Diamond 540 w/ FPR Fine Stub Nib
Flow: Wet
Shading: Lots
Bleedthrough: None
Feathering: None
Dry Times
1 sec: Lots
2 sec: Lots
5 sec: Lots
10 sec: Mild
15 sec: Minimal
30 sec: None

Cheap Paper Notes

Considering how wet this ink is, it is very surprising that there is barely any feathering and no ghosting. The amazing shading is less pronounced on cheap paper. 

Notes

Apache Sunset is considered a must own for all flex pen and stub nib owners because of its amazing shading properties. It goes from golden yellow to a dark orange. I also noticed this ink seems to get darker in the pen barrel over time. It looks fantastic in a demonstrator!

Noodler’s Heart of Darkness Review

Unfortunately my camera does a poor job capturing how black Noodler’s Heart of Darkness really is. It is the darkest black ink I have encountered so far.

Noodler’s Heart of Darkness

Paper: 90g Clairefontaine
Pen RPG Dilli with Custom Ground XF Nib
Flow: Wet
Shading: None
Feathering: None
Bleedthrough: None
Dry Times
1 seconds: Lots of smearing
2 seconds: A little less
3 seconds: Mostly at the end of the stroke
5 seconds: Quite a bit at the end of the stroke
10 seconds: Just a bit at the end of the stroke
15 seconds: Barely anything at the end of the stroke

Cheap Paper Notes

A little feathering with broad and flex nibs. Minor Bleedthrough with flex nibs, but very clear ghosting.

Notes

A nice wet black that is very black. Only comes in 4.5oz eye dropper bottles that are a bit of a pain to deal with. The bottle does come with a free eyedropper converted Platinum Preppy and a rollerball tip that can be swapped in. A very economical starter kit for a fountain pen newbie as the rollerball is great if they decide the fountain pen isn’t for them!

Kaweco Sport Demonstrator Review

The Kaweco Sport is a pen designed to be as small as possible when closed for easy storage in pockets, bags, purses, and so forth. When capped, the pen expands to a small pen that fits comfortably in the hand. The pen is available in plastic and aluminium in a wide variety of colours.

The pen is built like a linebacker. The thickest part of the cap measures in at 1.5 cm and the body measures 1.1 cm in diameter. When capped, the entire pen measures 10.6 cm in length. From nib to end, the body is a measly 10 cm. I have really small hands, so I find writing with the Kaweco Sport uncapped to be perfectly comfortable, but I believe most people will want to write with the pen capped. When capped, the pen is 13 cm long. I found the small size is perfect for sticking in jacket pockets and on the outside pouch of backpacks. Because the pen is so small, most user’s grips will sit on the threads of the pen. The threads are not sharp at all and are actually pretty comfortable to hold.

Disassembling the pen is very easy. The nib and feed is friction fit and best removed with a rubber grip pad. The barrel is one single piece which makes the Kaweco Sport a popular choice for converting into an eyedropper pen with a little bit of silicone grease. For people who prefer cartridges and converters, the Sport accepts the standard international short cartridge. Some people have had luck with using the Monteverde Mini converter, but I found it was too loose and could not make a seal to draw up ink. Kaweco offers a squeeze converter for those who like them. Personally, I have been refilling the short cartridges with a blunt syringe.

The Kaweco Sport accepts Kaweco nibs from extra fine to 1.5 mm stubs. The stainless steel nibs come in silver or gold colouring. The standard Kaweco Sport line comes with gold coloured nibs will the ICE editions come with silver coloured nibs. Although a standard #5 nib fits the feed, they are too long and will stop the cap from screwing in. As Kaweco is a German company, nib sizing is European. A pen clip can be purchased separately. I found pen clip to be extremely tight. Trying to slip it into the pen slots in my jacket pocket often resulted in the pen clip being pushed off the pen.

I have a 1.1 mm stub and an extra fine nib for the Sport. The 1.1 mm stub is buttery smooth. My previous experience with a stub nib was rather scratchy and even after extensive tuning, I still haven’t quite smoothed out all the edges. Normally, I’m a huge fan of extra fine nibs. The finer, the better! However, the Kaweco Sport’s 1.1 mm stub sold me on the experience of using stubs! The extra fine nib is smooth for an extra fine, but does have a bit of feedback to it.

The ink flow is very well balanced, if not a little on the wetter side of the spectrum. The pen cap has an inner cap that does a pretty good job of slowing evaporation of ink when left unused. Since the pen lives in my jacket, I was rather worried about ink leaking from the pen. I tested how water tight the cap was by pouring some water into the cap of the pen then screwing in the body of the pen. For the most part, water did not escape the cap. If the pen was shaken extremely vigorously, then water trapped between the inner cap and the outer cap would leak. However, the level of force used to cause ink to escape the cap was really high, I don’t see myself experiencing that level of force short of being caught in a bad car accident.

The Recap

Pen Check – December 20th, 2013

Today’s pen check, brought to you by reddit.

Kaweco Sport demonstrator with 54th Massachusetts in the cartridge. I try not to dump out the ink that comes in cartridges, but the Kaweco blue ink that came with it was possibly the ugliest blue I laid eyes on. Strangely enough, my last cartridge of Kaweco blue was rather pleasant. Review of pen and ink to come soon!

Karas Kustoms’ INK Fountain Pen Now on Kickstarter

After teasing the pen on Instagram, Karas Kustoms has started their Kickstarter campaign for the new INK Fountain Pen. The pen is machined in the USA and starts at $60.00 USD for a silver aluminium build. Different colours and materials are available at a higher price point. The pen was designed with the assistance of Ed Jelley and sports a Schmidt nib.

Personally, it is a bit too curvy for my taste, but I wish them all the best on their Kickstarter campaign!