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Beginner fountain pens

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Beginner fountain pens

Postby maskaggs » Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:09 pm

A few years ago, an SMFer sent me a Lamy Safari. I can't recall whether it was a PIF or a sale; in any case, it wrote wonderfully until it mysteriously snapped in half in my pocket a few weeks after receipt.

I'm on the market for another pen but don't know where to start. Suggestions? Go back to the Lamy, or look elsewhere?
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Mike
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby Squire » Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:08 pm

Buy the best you can afford because good ones last. I've got a Parker Duofold made 90 years ago (in 1924) that's still working .
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby kronos9 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:11 am

Another Lamy or Kaweco would work if you just want a "carry pen". In the $50 range, I'd recommend a Waterman Phileas. Midrange would be something like Pilot/Namiki. Or, you could just buy a Pelikan ($$$) and never need another pen. Have some spare time? Here's a great site for information along with purchaseables. No affiliation.
http://www.gouletpens.com/default.asp
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby Squire » Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:30 am

Also, as with razors, there are millions of vintage fountain pen out there that were made to last. Some brands such as Sheaffer carried a lifetime warranty.
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby Rufus » Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:00 am

My Lamy Safari has served me well for several years. Another brand I like is Taccia; good value especially the Imperial Portuguese. You should also consider a Pelikan 200 or a Pelikano. For about $50 you can pick up a vintage Esterbrook; a real work horse of a pen that despite its age will in all likelihood look brand new. The Esterbrook nibs are interchangeable.
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby SharpSpine » Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:21 am

TWSBI Vac700. Awesome vacuum filling mechanism with great ink capacity. Nib writes smoother than a custom nib I have.
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby Kyle76 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:15 am

A good vintage pen can be repaired by an expert. I've used Mike It Work for flow and nib adjustment. If you have an old pen in your family, as many do, consider having it repaired and putting it back to work.
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby drmoss_ca » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:25 am

My final pen, a Namiki Sweet Flag and Moon:

Image

Light, smooth writing and real maki-e. Interesting spring filler system too. Did you know the Japanese laquer tree—urushi— is a relative of poison ivy? Hence the urushiol oils that cause the dermatitis.

Chris
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby jww » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:49 pm

My handwriting is so atrocious, that I have always waffled on acquiring a good pen. Being left-handed, I was subjected in the 60s to the exercise of being forced to sit on my "bad" hand in 4th grade and only write with my right hand. The results over a week were so bad, that my teacher finally gave up and let me go back to my left hand. My handwriting never actually recovered after that.

On top of this trauma, my hands cramp up something awful if I write consecutively for longer than a few minutes .... and the discomfort is quite acute. I do not have arthritis (apparently from blood tests anyway).

But having said all this - I have to admit that sometimes there is nothing like taking a pen in hand and working with paper. I have a few Moleskine journals (pocket size to hard-cover large) and love the quality and build of them. I have often thought of getting a good rollerball pen. I pine to own a MontBlanc simply because they are so exquisite -- I know -- you are all scratching your heads at this point in the post. I had a fountain pen years ago in high school, but couldn't figure out a writing method that allowed me to write with some degree of legibility and not have ink all over the side of my left hand, and streaked characters on the page.

I tried calligraphy for a while, and loved it, but again, without a steady hand, and troubled with poor handwriting skills, I just didn't stick with it.

Fortunately, my ability to wet shave isn't affected by this. :wink:
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby Kyle76 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:19 am

Wendell, I can imagine that being a lefty is a real challenge for writing with a fountain pen. There are quick-drying inks that might offer a better option. While I wish I had better penmanship, a nice pen does inspire one to be a little more careful. Good stationery does, too. As for cramping, a short note to acknowledge something special shouldn't pose a problem and is something that really gets noticed in today's world of e-correspondence. It's a tradition that even in the South is slowly disappearing.
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby maskaggs » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:38 pm

jww wrote:My handwriting is so atrocious, that I have always waffled on acquiring a good pen. Being left-handed, I was subjected in the 60s to the exercise of being forced to sit on my "bad" hand in 4th grade and only write with my right hand. The results over a week were so bad, that my teacher finally gave up and let me go back to my left hand. My handwriting never actually recovered after that.

On top of this trauma, my hands cramp up something awful if I write consecutively for longer than a few minutes .... and the discomfort is quite acute. I do not have arthritis (apparently from blood tests anyway).

But having said all this - I have to admit that sometimes there is nothing like taking a pen in hand and working with paper. I have a few Moleskine journals (pocket size to hard-cover large) and love the quality and build of them. I have often thought of getting a good rollerball pen. I pine to own a MontBlanc simply because they are so exquisite -- I know -- you are all scratching your heads at this point in the post. I had a fountain pen years ago in high school, but couldn't figure out a writing method that allowed me to write with some degree of legibility and not have ink all over the side of my left hand, and streaked characters on the page.

I tried calligraphy for a while, and loved it, but again, without a steady hand, and troubled with poor handwriting skills, I just didn't stick with it.

Fortunately, my ability to wet shave isn't affected by this. :wink:


Wendell, the cramping became enough of a problem for me that I saw a doctor for it. He sent me to a neurologist, who ordered a (very expensive) MRI. The first doc's initial diagnosis was correct: focal dystonia in the forearm. No lasting problems aside from being a major pain in the a**.

Thanks one and all for the suggestions. One of the biggest problems in the fountain pen world is the sheer selection - there's just so much - so this help is appreciated.
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby SharpSpine » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:32 am

I'm a lefty and that made me hesitant to try fountain pens in general. I wish I had never let it hold me back at all. The ease with which I can write with a FP now makes my hand so much more comfortable. I did read a lot about lefties and fountain pens before I took the plunge. Here is a great site I found that talks about the different ways that lefties scribe and the associated issues with them...

http://www.nibs.com/Left-hand%20writers.htm

I have not purchased anything from this site and I have no relationship with them other than I found this page to be quite helpful and insightful to me. I also can spend hours looking at all the pens he has available. I've tried a semi-flex nib and hated it. It left way too much ink on the page. I stick with steel nibs and prefer the fine to extra-fine nib size. This allows me to write small which is my preference, but it also decreases the amount of ink on the page. The less ink means that it dries quicker. I'm an underwriter and I angle my paper slightly. I've also stopped trying to force the tilt of my letters to coincide with the right-handed world. So now when I write it is pretty obvious that I'm a lefty as my letters tend to slope backwards instead of forwards.
> Brian < Shave On & God Bless!!

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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby Squire » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:48 pm

That's an interesting site Brian, thanks.
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Re: Beginner fountain pens

Postby jww » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:06 am

When I look at the various styles that lefties employ with a fountain pen, I would love to waive this page under the nose of afore-mentioned, albeit well-meaning 4th grade teacher. Back in the 60s - if you didn't conform, you were labelled a problem student or a poor learner. In those days, getting saddled with that kind of title, essentially ruined the school experience for me until my final year of high school. Nonetheless, I am no worse off for the wear and tear in the long run. :D
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