Dan R

Of writing and things

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The nature of my work requires me to write a lot. Itís not uncommon that after I talk with a client that I have three to six pages full of notes.

As a result, I am demanding of my writing utensils. Early on, I did not like ballpoints. There was always that flat spot on the ball and the ink blebbing. Rollerball was next up on the list. To some degree they were better. The flat spot on the ball could be less noticeable and the ink could be better depending on what you got.

At some point in time, I pulled out a Parker 75 I had and realized that a nib could be fun. There was a larger spectrum of colors to choose from. As well, if the nib was done up right, there was little one could complain about.

In all this the time that passed, I have fallen in love with four different fountain pens. One of them is a Parker vacumatic made during WWII. It holds a superb amount of ink and is a lot of fun to use. A second is a Parker 51 vacumatic. Made just after WWII, it is a fun writer and the hooded nib and classical style attracts attention.

Shifting to current styles, my Namiki Falcon is another fun writer. While the nib tends to imitate a flexible style, it is very smooth and an excellent writer. Lastly is my stealth fountain pen. The Pilot Vanishing Point. You can click it like a Bic. But it writes as well as anything I own. It garners a lot of attention.

Ink wise, I am all over the place. Most of my indelible inks are from Noodlers. My favorite colored inks are from the Netherlands, P.W. Akkerman.

What is your experience?

Don't have pics of most of my pens, but here is a stock of the Falcon.

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  1. Teeritz's Avatar
    Great post! I prefer to write some things by hand, in an effort to maintain my handwriting, and therefore have accumulated a dozen fountain pens over the years. Five or six of them are Pelikan. I love the look and writing feel of these. It took me some time, however, to realise that a fine or medium nib suits my handwriting best. My M800 with Broad Bold nib is therefore rarely used.
    I also have a few vintage, the circa 1945 Parker Vacumatic being my favourite, but the last time I tried to fill it, the ink would not draw into the reservoir, so it looks like this will need attending to. Problem is, the only decent pen repairer in Australia retired a couple of years ago, so it looks like this pen will have to go to John Mottishaw, Richard Binder or Greg Minuskin at some point.
    Aside from this Vacumatic, I have a mid-Fifties Mentmore 'Diploma' with a semi-broad nib which is a joy to use even though it throws down a lot of ink.
    Ink-wise, I tend to go for Noodlers, but they don't import it into Australia anymore. The Eel Green is fantastic. Aside from that, Waterman inks are nice. Their Havana Brown is great.
  2. mlcor's Avatar
    I started using fountain pens about a year ago. I like them because I don't need to put pressure on the page, and use them all the time now even though I'm left handed. I have a very small collection, a Lamy Al-Star (my first), an Edison Herald, a Namiki Metal Falcon (extra fine, used with red ink as my mark-up pen), an Aurora (given to me by my daughter and engraved by her, will never leave my house), and my newest, a Visconti Van Gogh Starry Night that my wife gave me for Christmas (with a hint from me ), that is beautiful. I mainly use Iroshizuku ink (Kon-Peki blue is a favorite).
  3. Dan R's Avatar
    @T: I feel for you on your Parker. We have so many choices here. As well, I know of at least one local that will do it as some folks like to specialize in one brand or another. I currently have my Vac (from 1942 I think) filled with orange PW Akkerman. Hard ink to get a hold of here unless you go in as a group and buy many bottles!

    @micor: I did sell my metal Falcon (fine only) as I was having issues getting it to feed properly. Maybe the inks I was using? I ended uup using the proceeds to buy a Paltinum with a real music nib. Now that is sweet. FWIW, I use a good deal of Kon-Peki myself!
  4. mlcor's Avatar
    Dan--it could have been the ink, or maybe the nib wasn't quite right. I have Diamine Poppy Red in my Falcon at the moment, and it's been perfect. I'm struggling a little with the Visconti, had to send it back to the distributor because it wasn't writing properly. They fixed it promptly, and it's working fine now, but the nib doesn't feel fine enough for my tastes. I knew that was a risk, since Visconti doesn't make an extra fine (which would be more like a Japanese fine). Wish there were a nibmeister near me to look at it. I absolutely love the feel and looks of the pen, but not the way it writes. If it wrote like my Aurora or my Edison, I'd be in heaven...
  5. Dan R's Avatar
    What happened with your Visconti is what happened with my metal Falcon. My plastic Falcon with a medium nib is just a dream writer. I have to write too much too quickly to go back to a fine nib. Which is a shame because I do like fine nibs. But I have not ordered a fine nib in eons. Then again, I do enjoy them daily!
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