Posts filed under AskPA

AskPA: Let It Go

AskPA is a somewhat regular post where I collect questions from Twitter followers using the hashtag #AskPA. Just drop #AskPA in your tweet to @dowdyism and I'll collect and answer them as often as possible.

@DwayneLively: @dowdyism What is the pen you swore you'd never get rid of that you're now thinking about getting rid of (or have gotten rid of)? #AskPA

I have a hard time letting go to be perfectly honest. I've traded some pens - my Pelikan M205 Yellow Highlighter for a Franklin-Christoph Model 40 Pocket Fire for example - but I don't think I have ever sold a pen. I think that is going to change soon because I want to make room and have funds for new purchases. But, as I stare at my pen storage cigar boxes, I am having a difficult time deciding what, if anything, I should sell. This is likely just the beginning of this conversation.

@y2bd: @dowdyism #AskPA Are there any ink colors that you just can't get into?

Red. Almost any red. I like the thought of a very bright, true red, but none ever stick. The closest I've come to having a red that I use frequently is the unfairly impossible to get Sailor Jentle Limited Edition Autumn 2010 Oku Yama Maroon (see above). I'm surprised I like the maroon shade of the ink but it is the only one that has stuck over the past couple of years.

@DanielleMBena: @dowdyism Do you have any recommendations for left handed people? Example:I enjoy using Pilot V5 on Rhodia notebook but still smudge #askpa

The Uni-ball Jetstream is one of the most popular suggestions for lefties due to it's smudge free properties. I also think drawing pens like the Sakura Pigma Micron do a decent job of quick-drying. Check out episode #62 of the podcast for more left-handed goodness.

@ModernStationer: @dowdyism Have you found a FP nib/ink combo that sucks least on Field Notes paper, embrace the bleed, or stick with non-FPs with FN? #AskPA

Not really. I stick with gel ink pens in Field Notes almost exclusively. I do have a modified Pelikan M405 with an XXXF nib and Pelikan blue black ink that works well, but overall this is a short list. Embrace the bleed!

@Lord_Reynardine: @pen_addict I read you prefer a fine nib, but use a stub nib for letters: why the difference? General rule or personal preference? #AskPA

I like to show off the properties of the ink when writing letters, so the stub nib works well for that. I use inks that the recipient is not likely to have seen before, and most of the time they end up replying back about how cool the letter looked.

Posted on February 12, 2015 and filed under AskPA.

AskPA: Punting On The Prera

@chiroho: @dowdyism What sort of cloth do you wipe your fountain pens with when inking them? Do you use something different when cleaning them? #AskPA

If I am doing a cleaning session where I have myself set up at the sink and going to town on a bunch of pens I use a plain paper towel. I generally have it damp, but I really take no other precautions than that, and it works well for me.

@chiroho: @dowdyism You said ink like J Herbin Stormy Grey is best used for dipping. What calligraphy dip pens/nibs would you recommend? #AskPA

I use a Morriset (no relation to Morrissey) glass dip nib. I have two: One screws into a handle made for me by Shawn Newton, the other, possibly more useful one, fits most old Esterbrook pens. They aren't impossible to find, and when you do they run under $10 from what I have seen. Definitely worth hunting down.

Pilot Custom 74 Orange Barrel

Pilot Custom 74 Orange Barrel

@elpmike: @dowdyism #AskPA Fave sub-$250 FP with a F/EF gold nib? And, fave ≤0.5 rollerball/gel pen that comes in more than 6 colors? Thanks!

The sub-$250 gold nib fountain pen could go so many different directions. Lamy 2000 is the easy answer, but I have been using my Pilots - the 74, 91, 92, and 912 - a ton recently. All easily fit in that price range, with my orange Custom 74 and blue Custom 92 getting the most action.

Fave sub-0.5 mm gel ink pen with great than six colors available is easy: Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm (aka the DX).

@Sketchscape: @dowdyism If you could only ink up three fountain pens for the next six months, what would they be? #askPA

I love this type of question! Number one is easy: Nakaya Portable Ao-Tamenuri with Fine cursive italic nib. It's much tougher after that, but the Pilot Custom Heritage 912 PO nib would be second, and a relatively new to me Lamy 2000 with a Bold cursive italic nib that I am having a ton of fun with. Interestingly, all three are black barrel pens.

@mattbrictson: @dowdyism What are your thoughts these days on the Pilot Prera? You spoke very highly of it back in episode 2 (“My Favorite Pens”) #AskPA

Follow up! The nib on the Prera is fantastic, but overall there are better options these days. The Pilot Metropolitan has usurped it by having a metal barrel and the same nib at less than half the price. I'd even go TWSBI 580 over it for ~$15 more. The Prera has fallen behind and could use an overhaul.

@Nic_v5: @dowdyism Are you an early bird or just a night owl? I'm up because I'm stuck in the office all night with IBM support. Your excuse? #askpa

I'm an early bird stuck working 3rd shift for the past few years. That doesn't work out too well for me.

That's all for this week! I have plenty more to get to, and if you want to add your question to the list be sure to use the hashtag #AskPA on Twitter.

Posted on January 29, 2015 and filed under AskPA.

AskPA: What pen has been discontinued that you wish you could bring back?

@tascavision: @Pen_Addict @dowdyism what pen has been discontinued that you wish you could bring back? #AskPA

I’m still working out the posting format for answering the #AskPA questions but this is one I wanted to get to quickly because it is something I think about all the time.

We all have those long lost loves, even in the stationery realm. For me, it is the Pilot Explorer. Long time readers have heard me go on and on about this pen. During the time it was on the market it was a pen I always had with me. The barrel was such a unique design, the knock and the clip worked flawlessly, and the extra fine rollerball ink cartridge was one of the best writing pens I owned.

Sometime in the early 2000’s the Pilot Explorer became scarce. It may have been sooner than that actually - I had moved on to a few other pens and wasn’t totally paying attention. I just know that when I wanted to buy more they had all but vanished.

I’ve had a few readers reach out since I started The Pen Addict and send me a few for my stash, even a full box of blue fine tip Explorer’s from a treasure trove in Denmark.

The reason I want to bring back the Pilot Explorer so much is that I think it would do well in today’s market without changing a thing about the original. It was a pen ahead of its time, and if Pilot could find a way to resurrect it I think it would be a hit.

Thanks for the question @tascavision! I plan on answering larger batches of #AskPA questions as we move forward, so be sure to use that hashtag on Twitter, or send me a message via the Contact Page.

Posted on January 15, 2015 and filed under AskPA.