The Hunt for a Rollerball Compatible with Fountain Pen Ink

So lately, I have been looking around for the perfect fountain pen ink compatible refillable rollerball pen. No, I have not been brainwashed or kidnapped and forced to write the previous sentence. I usually rely on three or four pens when I write notes for school, one handling the bulk of the writing and the others to emphasize certain parts. The other pens usually don’t get much use and are usually filled with some eye popping colours, so drying out is a serious concern as they may lay filled for over a month or more. As much as I love fountain pens, leaving them filled for as long as I do should be avoided.

Although I have an excellent Platinum #3776 Century that handles being left filled for extended periods of time, I was hoping for a solution that would allow me to leave the pen uncapped and sitting on my desk for ten minutes at a time. The best tool for the job here is an ink rollerball, so much to the horror of some of my fountain pen wielding friends, my search begins.

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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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Noodler’s #41 Brown Cheap Paper Review

Noodler's #41 Brown Cheap Paper Review

Noodler’s #41 Brown Cheap Paper Review

Let’s start this review with a Japanese EF nib in the form of the Pilot Penmanship. It is a bit light, but almost no feathering. I’m unsure if I would use this ink regularly in such a fine nib.

Let’s move up to an F to M nib found on Fountain Pen Revolution’s flex nibs. Some minor featuring if you look very close.

Now a Lamy Safari Medium. Actually very close to the FPR flex nib, but a touch drier. Still very minimal feathering. However, #41’s shading is a bit more obvious here.

Pardon the poor flex writing.

So would I recommend using Noodler’s #41 Brown with cheap paper? Yes! Even with a wet FM nib, there is barely any feathering. Ghosting is bad enough that you won’t use both sides of hte paper, but few inks can pull that off on paper this cheap. The bleedthrough is minimal until I broke out the flex.

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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!

TWSBI VAC 700 Fountain Pen Review

The TWSBI Vac 700 ‘s introduction a few years ago was met with both excitement and frustration. I remember Fountain Pen Network being extremely excited by the prospect of a value priced vacuum filler, but the initial release had problems with the nib and feed resulting in many Vac 700s writing extremely dry. The clear demonstrator Vac 700 was delayed for several months while TWSBI worked out the kinks. I finally got around to purchasing the Vac 700 after the major price drop last year.

TWSBI Vac 700

The Vac 700 boasts a vacuum filler system and a monstrous ink capacity of 1.5 ml. The pen is available in clear, smoke, sapphire, and amber plastics with black accents. The nibs are German made nibs from JoWo and are available from Western EF up to 1.5mm stub. The nib size is a standard #6.

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Platinum #3776 Century Fountain Pen Review

One of the boring things about university life is the fact exams should be written in blue, blue-black, or black ink. For a fountain pen geek who enjoys the full rainbow of colours, the choice is either keep a school ready colour in constant rotation at all times or partially fill a pen each time a test or exam rolls around. There’s a third option, find a pen that can be left inked and unused for long periods of time!

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Platinum’s #3776 line of fountain pens are made from plastic with a classic style. The old #3776 pens were replaced with the slightly more expensive #3776 Century model, which feature the “Slip ‘n Seal” cap system. The system will be familiar to those who have used Platinum’s disposable Preppy pens. The inner cap is spring loaded, creating an air tight seal that dramatically slows evaporation. According to Platinum, such a seal with a snap type cap is not a difficult task; however, creating a screw on cap with the same seal system, on the other hand, was apparently a small feat of industrial engineering.

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Davis Leatherworks Simple Notebook Cover Review

Davis Leatherwork Simple Notebook Cover Closed
Chris Davis at Davis Leatherworks creates lovely handmade leather items. He does card holders, belts, and wallets, but he’s probably best known around the stationery circles for his Simple Notebook Covers. Anyone who has seen the Midori Traveller’s Notebook has probably experienced the following steps:

Step 1 – Have the Midori Traveller’s Notebook  catch your eye at your local stationery store
Step 2 – Pick up the Midori, feel in awe of the lovely leather and fall in love
Step 3 – Turn over the Midori, spot the insanely high price tag, immediately fall out of love as quickly as you fell in love

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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.

Sailor Jentle Sky High Review

Unfortunately I can’t seem to get a really great photo that shows off the incredible red sheen this ink has. It’s absolutely addictive!

Sailor Jentle Sky High Review

Sailor Jentle Sky High
Paper: Clairefontaine 90g
Pen: Century 3776 EF/TWSBI Vac 700 w/ Knox 1.1mm Stub
Flow: Slightly Wet
Shading: SomeBleedthrough: None
Feathering: None
Dry Times: (Long)

Cheap Paper Notes
Sky High fares well on cheap paer with minimum feathering and bleedthrough. However, cheap paer usually misses out on the best part of the ink. SHEEN!

Notes
Sailor’s Jentle Sky high is a vibrant shade of blue. Some recommend it as a cheaper alternative to Kon-Peki, but it deserves to stand on its own right due to its good behaviour, lovely colour, and amazing read sheen. Too bad the bottle makes filling larger nibbed pens impossible.

Sailor Jentle Sky High @ Amazon (Affiliate) or Amazon (Generic)

Tech Force Pens Achieves Goal on Kickstarter

Kickstarter is home to some of the coolest new stationery ideas. CNC pens are all the rage there and Josh Wilson is venturing into the fray with his Tech Force Pen and ruler concept. The Tech Force Pen consists of a triangular ruler with metric and imperial markings along with a pen that accepts Pilot Hi Tec C refills. When not in use, the pen stores in the ruler with a little help from pneumatic pressure.

The Tech Force Pen will be manufactured in the United States. The brushed aluminum finish is available for $50 and the black anodized finish will cost $75. Shipping within the US will be free, international shipping is $5. Each pledge will come with 3 Hi Tec C refills in different sizes: 0.4mm, 0.3mm, and .25mm. No word on what colour ink will be available. The pledges are scheduled to ship out in May 2014.

Josh has hit his funding goal, so this project is a go. There are 19 days left in the project and no word yet on the post-Kickstarter plans. The current price is very reasonable at $50, but I doubt the $50 price point will be around for long considering similar products that were also Kickstarted are now sold for $150.

Tech Force Pen