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Fountain Pens

Any other old dinosaurs around here that still use fountain pens?

I'm looking for like minded folks to swap ideas on pens, ink, papers, etc.

Better through personal emails so we don't clog up this lovely forum with off topic subjects.


  • I use a fountain pen, although not as much as I used to. Still have a nice little collection of pens. I suggest you try the Fountain Pen Network forum for good discussion on all related topics.
  • I have to look for my calligraphy pens and put them into use . It's been decades
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • There was a chap called Richard Binder who was to fountain pen nibs what Nigel or Sir Johnny (or Chef Daniel) are to snuff. He was a genius at modifying nibs to make them italic or soft or however you wanted them. Don't know if he's still at it, I think he had health and age issues. I used to buy pens on eBay and get him to restore them. Excellent work!
  • Skell18Skell18 Moderator
    I still sign off all my letters in work with mine.
  • I remember penmanship. My 4th grade teacher used to come by every morning with a long-spouted copper pitcher to fill the ink wells in our desks and hand out new nibs to those of us who were to adventurous with our dip pens. Got a friend who's 11th grade son just learned how to write his name in script rather than print.... The school doesn't teach that any more.
  • I'm learning Spencerian Script right now. I have a very long way to go up a very steep hill with that beautiful piece of penmanship.
  • cool ^ You going to do the labels on your wares?
  • @Mouse Doubtful at the rate I'm going on the learning curve. It would be nice though.
  • I use fountain pens and most of time i write business writing. When i carry flexible nib fountain pen i write spencerian. At first it was difficult to write with the shoulder movement without using fingers but i used to.
  • LMBLMB Member
    I write with fountain pens every day. My daily drivers are a Lamy with a medium italic nib, and a fine point Hero. The Lamy is piston fill and the Hero uses the aerometric-style fill found on many of the old Parker 51s (and how I'd love to snag one of those...).
    I'm a big fan of Noodlers Inks. Currently using Noodlers Heart of Darkness, and J. Herbin's Perle Noire.
  • I'm using Noodler's La Reine Mauve from a few years back. A little thick for fountain pens w/o resorting to some distilled water and a drop of detergent but works great for dipping nibs.

    My old Mont Blanc beast has Noodler's Rattler Red from signing my IRS 1040 form and writing them a check.
  • Noodlers had some kind of indelible, water proof ink that I used to use a lot, but it took forever to dry unless you used blotting paper. But it was the blackest black ink I ever saw.
  • I use dip pens for all writing. I use homemade walnut ink.
  • @wanderingwoodsmith I use some dip pens depending on the project. I'd love to hear about your homemade ink.
  • edited April 2015 PM
    @chefdaniel the ink is rather simple but takes a while. I gather black walnut husks once they start to degrade, enough to fill a large stock pot nearly full. Do not use a stockpot that you wish to use again, as the walnuts can ruin certain metals. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the husks and bring to a simmer. I simmer mine for a couple hours, replacing the water as it evaporates.when in done extracting, I take the mixture and strain through an old cheese cloth. I toss the husks, return the dark liquid to the pot and simmer until it is reduced to a few ounces of gooey dark brown liquid. Since this type of ink is more of a suspended pigment ink it needs a good stir or gentle shake before using, and is the color of walnut brown. I have heard of people adding a drop of witch hazel or Iso alcohol to preserve it, but I just bottle mine and it ferments over time.
  • edited April 2015 PM
    Also try not to breath in the fumes while simmering, seems like I remember hearing the fumes might be bad for the lungs.
  • n9inchnailsn9inchnails Moderator
    edited April 2015 PM
    I never used walnut as ink but I suspect it will work rather good, I've gotten that stuff on my hands when gathering and dehusking black walnuts and it does not come off easily, that stuff stains your hands right good!
  • edited April 2015 PM
    @n9inchnails walnuts make excellent dyes aand inks. I prefer it because I try to be self sufficient as much as possible. And its free in unlimited amounts(in my area)
  • I exclusively use fountain pens, and I also collect vintage fountain pens.

    When I emigrated to the States in 2009, I had to sell a lot of my stuff.

    Unfortunately, this included most of my collection of vintage fountain pens, such as my mint-in-box green 1930's Duofold, all my Parker "51"'s, my pretty extensive collection of chased hard rubber lever fillers, and most of my Sheaffer Balances :(

    I really wish I had kept the Duofold and at least one of my "51"'s.

    I did keep seven pens, mostly Sheaffer's, which I left at my Mom's house.
    She's coming to visit in June, so I'll be reunited with them once again.

    My 'daily driver' right now is a Hero Jumbo/Doctor, which is a Chinese Parker "51" clone.
    It's no "51" to be sure, but they are nice pens once you tweak them right.

    I'm keeping my eyes open for a "51" desk set to use at work. One pen filled with the ink of the moment, and the other filled with Scrip red.

    I'm also contemplating a pen with a calligraphy nib (or maybe even a music nib) filled with Noodlers highlighter ink.
    I do a lot of highlighting at work, and it would be nice to use a fountain pen for that too.

    I'm also planning to try my hand at making fountain pens.
    The main obstacle to overcome is cutting the threads, or rather making the tools to cut the threads.
    You can buy the necessary taps and dies, but the custom sizes I need are hundreds of dollars each.

    I really should stop procrastinating and order some tool steel...
  • Hi there I would like to consider myself an amateur collector. I have been using fountain pens since 1998 when I was 11 years old. My only pen was a Parker Vector fountain pen. When I got my first job as a state prosecutor all hell broke loose. I have in my collection : Lamy, Parker, Sheaffer, Schneider, Pilot, Jinhao, Hero's. I am currently awaiting a Parker 51 and Parker super 21 in the mail I write with fountain pens on a daily basis now.
  • I've never used a fountain pen but there is a nice Sheaffer Prelude I have my eye on, does anyone have any experience with these it says the Preludes are good beginners pens
  • @n9inchnails I've got one around here somewhere that I carried everywhere when I was still working for a living. It's a black onyx, gold trim with a fine nib made of stainless steel. Writes very well right out of the box with no break in needed. Light weight, medium grip and uses cartridges and a converter. Great for beginners; nib is smooth and doesn't skip or jump around on most papers and has a shallow learning curve for newcomers. I use Noodler's Eel series inks in it when I'm capable of finding the damn thing...Eel has a nice lubricating quality to it and decent drying time. Best $100 I ever spent:
  • ^ that's the exact pen I have my eye on ;)
  • @n9inchnails:
    I had a Prelude, but I never really got along with it.

    In contrast to @chefdaniel's experience, mine had ink flow problems and was scratchy.

    I performed 'surgery' to correct the ink flow (I had to modify the feed) and corrected what turned out to be misaligned tines, and I got it writing smooth and wet.

    I still never warmed to the pen though.
    Maybe it was the fact that I didn't feel that I should have had to have done so much work to a pen in that price range.

    Just because I can adjust a fountain pen doesn't mean I'm ok with having to do it to a brand new pen before it will even write.

    I also had a Sheaffer Award, which is a budget school-type pen, and that wrote great out of the box. That made me feel resentful towards the Prelude, which cost something like 5 times more.

    I also didn't like the shape of the section, but that is very much a subjective thing.
    Another point is the lacquered metal barrel. I believe these to be a manufacturing cop-out, and not as durable as the traditional plastic materials (I include hard rubber in this category).

    The thing with fountain pens is that you can get a bad one at any price point, so it is probable that @chefdaniel's experience is more typical, and I just got a bad one.

    The trick is to try before you buy.
    I bought mine on the internet, and thus didn't get a chance to test it first.

    If you buy online, (any pen) just be sure to check the seller's return policy in case you don't get along with the pen.

    My personal recommendation to anyone considering a first pen is a Parker "51".
    You could probably get a user-grade one for the price of a Prelude, and the "51" is a beautifully engineered pen that will probably outlast you.
  • A Parker 51 is to pens what HDT is to snuff: simple, elegant, and straightforward
  • Daniel, you are a man after my own heart. I love fountain pens. I do have ideas on inks and pens so if you want I can talk to you via email.
  • howdydavehowdydave Member
    edited May 2015 PM
    When I was a kid, I don't think that they trusted us with fountain pens...
    They made us use cartridge pens for penmanship class.
    I used a Sheaffer.

    Do they still have penmanship class in school (teaching you how to hold it, what angle to hold it at, how hard to press, etc.?)
    We used yellow paper that would absorb the ink if you held the pen in one spot for too long.
  • @JakartaBoy I looked up the Fountain Pen Network & now i don't know whether to thank you or curse you! ;))
    It has rekindled my love for all things Fountain Pen related and my wallet is now slightly depleted. But seriously, thank you, as I never knew that place existed and I have been lurking there the last few days and it has helped me loads.

    @chefdaniel , Thanks to you I am looking into learning spencerian script. I knew what copperplate was, but had never delved much into calligraphy & scripts.
    I am now waiting for a Noodlers ahab flex pen and some interesting inks!
    Thanks Guys, snuffhouse is awesome! :-bd
    God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die.
    Bill Watterson
  • @LadySnuff The Ahab is a great flex pen. Let me know how you like yours. Noodler's inks are amazing. Until I saw theirs I didn't think I'd like a pink ink, now I have 3.

  • I used to dye my muskrat and fox traps in that walnut brew, wearing heavy rubber gloves.
    On a different note. did you know there used to be 27 letters in the alphabet? It was developed by Roman scribes who wrote in cursive; so when they wrote the Latin word et which means “and” they linked the e and t. Over time the combined letters came to signify the word “and” in English as well. I learned my ABC's reciting them, it always ends with XY&Z. [&] ampersand was removed and now it just a symbol.
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
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