Pens n Stuff

For friends of WYF:

I have a dozen or more of reasonably good Chinese fountain pens that I’m giving away. If you want one, ask. In person. I don’t do mailings.

They are knockoffs of more expensive pens; the Jinhao 599 replicates the Lamy Safari and the Hero 616 is based on the legendary Parker 51: these pens are not nearly as good as those pens, but the were really cheap, they work and they’re fun. If you’re writing enough that you get occasional writer’s cramp, consider a fountain pen because they just glide over the page.

Couple things: I also have some cartridges to ink the Jinhaos, but these pens come with a “cartridge converter” by which you can load your own ink from a bottle. The Heros (the Parker 51 ripoffs), don’t accept cartridges, but have a syphon system build into them. You unscrew the body of the pen from the nib and, lo, still attached to the nib is a compressible metal and silicon apparatus: it’s the syphon, and if you dip the nib into a bottle of ink, squeeze the bar four or five times, you will have sucked about a milliliter of ink (what a single cartridge holds) into the reservoir.

If any pen I give away doesn’t work, let me know. They can be adjusted or replaced. It’s easy. Fountain pens are fun because they are simple, durable and respond to your tinkering with smoother, wetter (or drier), or otherwise improved writing.

Maintenance: Every other time you fill your fountain pen, you’ll need to rinse dried ink out of the nib. Just hold it under running water for a sec; if you can, remove the ink reservoir, and force some water through. And it’ll be much cleaner and happier.  Do the same thing if the nib dries out because you haven’t used it in a week or left it uncapped. For the most part, these pens should write immediately every time you uncap them.

To purchase ink, there are lots of online stores and hundreds of colors. We have a coupon from PenChalet at the bottom of our webpage: click on it, and you’ll go their site. It also has a code for 10% off at check out.  I’ve had very good service from them. And they have very good products. Your best buy in ink is Noodlers or Diamine, but there are lots of other excellent brands, just as there are other excellent outlets, like Gouletpens, Anderson Pen, Jetpen, and many others. Some have brick and mortor stores, but most are online operations and get you an order in a day or two.

When shopping for inks, look for the “Color Swatches” button on page. You’ll be amazed at the colors. Notice the variation in shading!

I mention Penchalet because they have the best prices, a “price match” policy, and free shipping you spend over the minimum.

Amazon will also ship free if you have PRIME, but beware, rare will their search engine show you the best price on the first search.

For more advice, this nutjob has lots and lots of useful videos, pen reviews, pen maintenance, how to adjust nibs, inks, papers, etc. He’s my favorite, but there are also others. More discount codes on his page (he lives in the Netherlands, just btw).

My favorite ink colors include:

Noodlers: Apache Sunset, Navajo Turquoise, Black Swan in Australian Roses

Diamine: Apple Glory, Ancient Copper, Sapphire Blue, Florida Blue;

and the Mercedes brands of inks is:

Namiki Iroshizuku Bottled Ink Fountain Pen Ink; the one bottle I own is actually a legendary color (fountain pen geeks lower their voices in reverence when mentioning it): Cerulean Blue (Kon-peki)