Fountain Pens

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water
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Fountain Pens

Post by water »

A lot of the gents here seem to know a fair bit about fountain pens. I have never owned or even used one but am interested in starting.

Where is a good place to start? I do not want to spend more than $50 but do not want one that will leak every second.

I have to be honest that a big part of my desire to own one is the look of the thing. With that in mind, I would prefer one without any gold or gold trim. Stainless steel or silver is more to my liking.

Any suggestions?
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James
sal
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Post by sal »

check out www.fountainpennetwork.com

and be ready to get sucked in :wink: :wink:
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Rompin Donkey
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Post by Rompin Donkey »

If you enjoy writing, then fountain pens are the best tools. I always used one before the computer did my writing for me. Just one tip, always use a good quality writing paper - cheap paper will result in the ink "spreading".

With a fountain pen, the nib will actually "grip" on the paper, unlike ball point pens which just "slide" across the surface. Your handwriting, with time, will look really good.
Alan
Pete_T
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Post by Pete_T »

Dont get a vintage one off ebay unless it clearly states "restored" and the seller had good feedback, unless youre interested in learning about restoring fountain pens.

The marketplace on FPN is a good place to pick up a pen, much better than ebay. There are also a number of online vendors, too many to list really.

Besides the aesthetic side of things you mentioned, you may want to consider if you want a vintage or recent pen, and what type of nib you want. If you like big thick writing youd want a broad nib, if you like thin, a fine, ect.

Personally Id recommend spending a bit more and buying a user grade Parker 51, I got one in a trade and I love it. You should be able to get a restored one for 75-80 maybe. But for under 50 you still have a wide variety of options available to you. For example, Lamy currently makes some good cheap pens, and restored Esterbrooks run about 30$ and are very good vintage pens.
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Rompin Donkey
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Post by Rompin Donkey »

In fact, since making my last post, I have just routed out my fountain pen, cleaned it, filled it, and just jotted a few random sentences down on a piece of scrap paper.

I will certainly start using it again. I had forgotten the pleasure of feeling the nib bite into the paper.

I still have the bottle of Quink ink (made by Parker) that I bought must be 15 years ago. It was blue, but I added some black to get the colour that I preferred. I used to be an auditor, and spent most of my employed working life creating audit files. Not creative accounting :)

My pen is a Waterman - I think a French make. It has a gold nib and the casing is black plastic with various gold trimmings. I can't remember how much I paid for it all those years ago, but it wasn't cheap.

Just to ramble on a while longer, I am an old fashioned sort of bloke I think. I like non disposable products (like fountain pens). I smoke a pipe. And here I am, at 52 years of age, discovering the joys of a wet shave. The shaving takes time (compared to a quick run round with the electric shaver), but it is a relaxing time - it must be my feminine side coming out as they say these days...... I just enjoy the slow, steamy, nice smells, luxury of this wet shaving.

I am pleased that I found this group.

Here you are - www.waterman.com/
Alan
notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest »

James - I've sent you a PM regarding a possible trade (my $25 pen for ???)

David
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PaulSiegel
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Post by PaulSiegel »

http://www.levenger.com/PAGETEMPLATES/P ... 5|Link=Img

I recently picked one of these up and have been using it to journal and take notes in the past week. I have the kyoto color and the plastic looks very good with nuances of color that you can see when you rotate the pen. It is wider and a bit heavier in the hand then im used to but not inordinately so. It takes standard ink and comes with an adapter for bottled inks. I've bought Levenger things in the past and highly recommend them.
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BarryR
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Post by BarryR »

sal wrote:check out www.fountainpennetwork.com

and be ready to get sucked in :wink: :wink:
+1
I am a fountain pen user, not really collector, and stumbled into DE shaving because of mention of this forum at www.fountainpennetwork.com. As hard as it might be to believe, that site is as useful for FPs as this is for shaving! 50-$100 is a sweet spot where there are lots of excellent choices. I got a Parker 51 for $50 in good cosmetic condition and excellent functional condition. A new Pelikan (m200 or m215) is another great choice. For new pens (ltd brands) Pam Braun ( www.oscarbraunpens.com ) has some amazing prices, an excellent reputation and will advise you by email.
bbqncigars
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Post by bbqncigars »

James, while I echo the recommendation on the FPN marketplace forum, I can also give a thumbs-up to the Hero 329, 330 and 616 from here. All have been very nice, cheap writers. I do have some very fine writers (mostly vintage) that I paid from $30-$150 for, but there's no reason you have to buy an antique. Unless you want to experience the joy of a good Parker or Sheaffer, that is.


Wayne
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." A. Brilliant
notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest »

bbqncigars wrote:James, while I echo the recommendation on the FPN marketplace forum, I can also give a thumbs-up to the Hero 329, 330 and 616 from here. All have been very nice, cheap writers. I do have some very fine writers (mostly vintage) that I paid from $30-$150 for, but there's no reason you have to buy an antique. Unless you want to experience the joy of a good Parker or Sheaffer, that is.


Wayne
(And don't forget the Hero 100, which is what I just offered to James in trade.) :D
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GregPQ
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Post by GregPQ »

A good starter pen is the Waterman Phileas, around $30USD, sometimes on sale at Staples for under $20. It is a cartridge pen, which you may like for starters. However, you can also use bottle ink by installing a converter ($7).

The Phileas may be a little too 'retro' looking for you, not modern or minimalist looking. I have one, they are excellent writers.

Another good pen is the Pelikan M200, around $60. It is not a cartridge pen, and has pretty large capacity for bottle ink. Mine is black, with a little gold trim. More discreet than the Phileas.

The Waterman is made in France, the Pelikan in Germany.

Go nuts!

Greg
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tonyespo
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Post by tonyespo »

James, PM me your address and I will give you a fountain pen to get you started. I have decided to collect and write with Parker pens. I still have a good many other brands that I don't use. I will be happy to get you addicted, I mean started, in the fountain pen world.
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Furrball2
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Post by Furrball2 »

The Waterman Phileas is OK. If you're going to go for light weight -- Phileas -- maybe you should try Lamy pens. My day to day fountain pen is a Namiki (Pilot in the US) Vanishing point. It's a little more than $50, but with a retractable nib I use it every day.

dave
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Gareth
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Post by Gareth »

I always used to write with a fountain pen when I was at prep school. It taught me to write well and I'm glad that it was something that I was obligated to do when I was there.

Since I've been at University, I've fallen into the trap of picking up a cheap Biro and really would like to get back into using a fountain pen. I always used to use Parker pens which have been always been very good.

Should I pick up another Parker or go for something like a nice Waterman perhaps?
ksteryous
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Post by ksteryous »

Nothing beats a Pelikan in my opinion. Below is my Pelikan Grand Place...it is above your current price range, but the cheaper Pelikans can be just as nice in terms of writing quality. Also, someone mentioned that a fountain pen 'grips' the paper as opposed to the 'sliding' that takes place with a ball point. With a good quality nib, that is not the case. A good nib will actually glide effortlessly across the paper, and the gripping has more to do with the kind of paper being used. Certainly some nibs are 'scratchy', but others are silky smooth!

Good luck,
Kenton

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notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest »

Gareth Probert wrote:I always used to write with a fountain pen when I was at prep school. It taught me to write well and I'm glad that it was something that I was obligated to do when I was there.

Since I've been at University, I've fallen into the trap of picking up a cheap Biro and really would like to get back into using a fountain pen. I always used to use Parker pens which have been always been very good.

Should I pick up another Parker or go for something like a nice Waterman perhaps?
I've never been to England, so I know nothing of the travel convenience or distances. However, I do know that in Suffolk there is an excellent pen retailer. I have no connection with them except hearing all the good reports about them. The Writing Desk has an excellent selection of pens and ink.
Pete_T
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Post by Pete_T »

notthesharpest wrote:
Gareth Probert wrote:I always used to write with a fountain pen when I was at prep school. It taught me to write well and I'm glad that it was something that I was obligated to do when I was there.

Since I've been at University, I've fallen into the trap of picking up a cheap Biro and really would like to get back into using a fountain pen. I always used to use Parker pens which have been always been very good.

Should I pick up another Parker or go for something like a nice Waterman perhaps?
I've never been to England, so I know nothing of the travel convenience or distances. However, I do know that in Suffolk there is an excellent pen retailer. I have no connection with them except hearing all the good reports about them. The Writing Desk has an excellent selection of pens and ink.
Yeah, if you go to a nice pen shop theyll usually have a selection of pens for you to try and help you figure out what you want. The thing about Parkers is their new warranty isnt all that good. If I was going to get a new pen Id want a lifetime or at least ten+ year warranty. Those Parker 100s sure are tempting, though.
GollyMrScience
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Post by GollyMrScience »

I have been looking into the fountain pen forums for a bit and have really been considering how to break into my next obsession. I currently use a Waterman and it is ok but I would like to get my hands on a pen with an italics nib. I was thinking of trolling a razor trade as a means to get one but even though this forum has been mentioned in the pen forums I think I would be better off working this crowd. Any takers?
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Pete_T
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Post by Pete_T »

I checked out the market place on FPN this morning, and theres a really good deal.

http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum ... opic=38176

Id be all over it if the blue one was maroon, green or maybe even gray. These would be great for a FP newbie. I think this will go pretty fast, though. No association with the seller or anything like that.
Gareth
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Post by Gareth »

notthesharpest wrote:
Gareth Probert wrote:I always used to write with a fountain pen when I was at prep school. It taught me to write well and I'm glad that it was something that I was obligated to do when I was there.

Since I've been at University, I've fallen into the trap of picking up a cheap Biro and really would like to get back into using a fountain pen. I always used to use Parker pens which have been always been very good.

Should I pick up another Parker or go for something like a nice Waterman perhaps?
I've never been to England, so I know nothing of the travel convenience or distances. However, I do know that in Suffolk there is an excellent pen retailer. I have no connection with them except hearing all the good reports about them. The Writing Desk has an excellent selection of pens and ink.
NTS,

Thanks for that recommendation. I go to University not far from Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk so will drive up there one day when I go back in October.
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