Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Don't You Hate It When Ink Gets There?

Fountain pen users often have various tools at their disposal, everything from knockout blocks to tweezers. One item that I have found handy is a can of compressed air. Compressed air is good at cleaning out the breather tube on a Noodler’s Ahab and the section on a Platinum Preppy.  With the latter, the compressed air doesn't clear out all of the inky water, but it clears out some. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

I Want More NoNonsense: The Sheaffer NoNonsense

From what I have seen in other forums, people love this pen; I love it, too. PenHero has a great history of the NoNonsense fountain pen with photos. As he explains, there are several variations (e.g., original, vintage, Old Timer). Some are easy to find used or New Old Stock (NOS); others are more challenging…and expensive. If there is a Sheaffer representative out there or someone who knows a Sheaffer rep, I have a friendly recommendation: Bring back the NoNonsense. Not the calligraphy pen with the rubber section and not the Jellies but the original NoNonsense fountain pen. I think these things would sell. As PenHero notes, “It's really too bad that Sheaffer has cut back on this pen because of its potential as a ‘five dollar ambassador’….Sheaffer is missing out.”

Sheaffer NoNonsense, Vintage, Blue Marbled 


Sunday, August 3, 2014

You Can’t Get More Frugal than a Noodler’s Nib Creaper

I recently discovered the blog The Frugal Fountain Pen. I appreciate its purpose and, on occasion, have taken the pledge myself: To “declare independence from overpriced fountain pens” (see Fountain Pen Revolution). In this spirit, I present the least expensive pen in my collection, the Noodler’s Nib Creaper eyedropper pen. These pens are free with certain 4.5 oz bottles of Noodler’s ink and they write well, in my experience. The only drawback for me -- and it has nothing to do with the quality or performance of the pen -- is that you need to fill up the pen completely to avoid burping. I’ll want to change the pen and/or ink before I even get close to using all the ink. For an assessment of the Nib Creaper, see the review at Peninkcillin.

Noodler's Nib Creaper

Friday, August 1, 2014

Remembering Your First (or Maybe Second or Third): The Rotring 400

When I was in college, I had a casual interest in fountain pens. At one point, I found myself in an unusual situation: I had some disposable income. At that time, the college bookstore had a Rotring 400 for sale. It looked somewhat odd but I bought it anyway. I loved the lightness of the pen and the gunmetal color. I eventually lost the pen but my later efforts to find a suitable replacement, among other things, brought me to the fountain pen hobby. In the process, I learned the difference between the 400 and the Esprit. The 400 is the original and the Esprit is the Sanford version (Sanford bought Rotring). Taking Note has nicely compared these pens but, IMHO, the 400 performs better. For me, the only drawback of the 400 is the red ring, which is a piece of plastic between the cap/section and the barrel. It will break eventually, leaving a little gap. Replacing it with a ring off of some other pen (the ring doesn’t have to be red) seems easy enough, but I have not yet found a replacement of the right size. Regardless, Taking Note’s post inspired me to get the 400 out of storage and ink it up, risk to the red ring be damned. I still love it.

Rotring 400 with Gunmetal Finish