2016

A short note on where I spent my space credits this past year. It has been a year of firsts with some great new additions and two items on their way out.

Source links to manufactures where available, vendors otherwise. Reviews will follow at some point.

Pens

Edison Glenmont LE Group Buy 2016 – STEALTH [link]

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My very first Edison pen and available with a good discount as part of their annual group buy. I had heard many great things about Edison, both the pens and the company, and I was not disappointed. The pen had an EF nib but I felt this was too wide, I have since bought an EEF nib ground by Brian Gray himself. Currently the number one pen in my rotation. I have only had the pen a month now but I am confident it will have a firm place in my everyday rotation for some time to come.

Franklin-Christoph Model XLV IPO [link]

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Another first, this time a Franklin-Christoph, picked up as part of their IPO launch of this model. A great price for what turned out to be a terrific pen. It’s small, a perfect pocket pen. It is just long enough to use unposted but I tend not to, posting makes the pen comfortable for longer periods of writing. I have a Masuyama Needlepoint nib in this pen which is great (same nib as in my Karas Kustoms INK). In another first, I have eye-droppered the pen. Despite the small size, the ink capacity when used as an eye-dropper is great.

 Tactile Turn Gist [link]

The long anticipated fountain pen from Will Hodges, launched via Kickstarter in 2015. With this I got two nibs, a titanium EF and a 1.1 stub, and also two sections, macrolon and titanium. I found the Ti nib to be too wide and wet so I sent it, and the stub, to Mark Bacas for modification. The EF is now an EEF and writing very well. The 1.1 stub, which Mark adjusted to be smoother, is terrific to write with and is now almost permanently in the Gist. The pen overall is on the short side, nice and light and so perfect for long periods of writing.

The Tactile Turn family: Glider, Al Shaker, Ti Mover, Gist
The Tactile Turn family: Glider, Al Shaker, Ti Mover, Gist

Tactile Turn Glider – Brass [link]

I had decided before to never again buy a non-fountain pen. But when a pen from Will appeared on Kickstarter and I had to give it a go. The bolt-action mechanism on this pen is fantastic; for a fidget such as myself it gives immense pleasure in boring meetings. To write with it’s quite similar to my titanium Tactile Turn Mover with the Pilot G2 putting down a nice line. The brass gives a great weight to the pen.

Parker Sonnet Chiselled Carbon [link]

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A Parker?! Surely not, they’re pens for the plebs… I bought this pen as a match for a rollerball I was given some years back. I love the look of that rollerball so when this became available at a good price I jumped on it. Bought with a medium nib, it was like writing with a paint brush at first. I have since swapped in a Parker EF nib and it is so much better. This is the widest nib I use regularly, it is quite fine for a western manufactured nib. It’s very smooth and its classy looks can’t hurt.

Inks

I picked up some new inks this year, including a batch of samples. I’ve not explored the samples too heavily, I’ll resume my testing and post on those in the new year. The following are the bottles of ink I have acquired in 2016.

Fancy inks: Pelikan Edelstein Ruby, Montblanc Miles Davis Jazz Blue, Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao
Fancy inks: Pelikan Edelstein Ruby, Montblanc Miles Davis Jazz Blue, Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao

Montblanc Miles Davis Jazz Blue (limited edition) [link]

I’ve seen this described as a dusty blue. It’s definitely for use in wider nibs, when used in a very fine nib I can barely see my writing. For anyone that enjoys shading this would be a candidate ink but it is pricey. There will be better value alternatives out there. The packaging is excellent, as should be the case with this brand. As a gift I think it would be well received.

Diamine Silver Fox [link]

Disappointed with this. I’ve wanted a grey ink for some time but found that this desire was unwarranted. Perhaps it is just this ink. It’s referred to by some as a good shading ink, but I find my writing looks like I used a pencil. Currently sitting in a bottle making me feel guilty about not using it. I’ll try again at some point with a wider nib to see if that improves my feelings about this ink. This is one of Diamine’s anniversary inks, the bottle is a great shape (at least it was until I broke the lid and had to transfer the ink to another bottle).

Pelikan Edelstein Ruby [link]

I got this via an ink swap. It’s a nice red though a little on the dull side. Currently not in use but it deserves further exploration. The bottle is fantastic, another example of a good gift for the discerning pen addict.

Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao [link]

The most expensive bottle of ink I own, picked up in the last few weeks of the year so only learning about this ink’s properties. So far I like the colour; lighter than Waterman Serenity Blue but still very rich. Again, excellent packaging, which should be the case given the cost. A perfect gift for the pen addict you really want to impress.

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Taking care not to contaminate this expensive ink, pen disassembled for thorough cleaning.

Bubbles in the converter. Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao.

A post shared by K McD (@kurleymcd) on

Paper

wp-1482233459615.jpgRhodia Rhodiarama Softcover Notebook A5 [link]

Decided to switch from the hardcover webnotebook to this softcover book due to range of available colours. Just started with this as my primary notebook. The previous webnotebook lasted 13 months, I expect this to be near finished this time next year. Review by Ian at Pens! Paper! Pencils!

Calepino No2 Papier Quadrillé squared [link]

Came as an additional gift from with the Nock Co Sinclair case I bought , see below. I have never really used this size of notebook before but it has shown its utility already, being used to capture non-work notes and events. The paper is not the best but does work well enough with fountain pens. I have noticed that some inks do not behave well when they hit the page ruling, the ink not binding to the ruling. I will keep using this book but I am unlikely to buy more.

Rhodia Classic Staple Bound notebook [link]

A tiny notebook, smaller than the Calepino above but similar in function. Typical Rhodia, the paper is excellent, far better than the Calepino, and may become the default notebook in my Sinclair.

Rhodia Unlimited Pocket notebook [link]

Picked up two of these. Had intended to get the 5×5 grid version but wasn’t paying attention and ended up with the lined version. Bought mid-December so haven’t explored very much. The paper, again, is excellent. The cover has a soft, almost rubbery feel and the band to close it keeps it neat. As can be seen in the following image, the other two do not lie flat when closed while this will. Another strong contender for default notebook for the Sinclair.

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All the little notebooks

Other

Nock Co Sinclair [link]

Picked this up via the Pen Addict Slack. I was never very interested in this case but when offered at a good discount I thought I’d give it a go. I am surprisingly happy with is, carry it everywhere with me. My everyday pens are in this for use at home and at work. The extra space for a notebook is in use and I have also inserted my work mobile phone. It has become my ‘out-of-office office.’

Nib work

I sent two pens (three nibs) to Mark Bacas for work this year. The Tactile Turn Gist nibs mentioned above and my Lamy 2000. As described elsewhere, it was a tough year for the Lamy 2000 but it’s now firmly back in the rotation writing with a tight, juicy line. I’ll write more on that soon. With regard to Mark Bacas, his service is excellent and I would highly recommend him.

Blade Turk Grind on Ti Nib – Before Polish Process

A post shared by Mark Bacas (@nibgrinder) on

The negative

Some pens have completed their journey with me this year. Not because they are bad, rather they have been superseded by subsequent purchases. The two in question are:

  • Pilot Custom 74 – a pen I lusted after then enjoyed for quite some time.
  • Sailor 1911 Standard – a pen with which I had an initial struggle but reached a strong position in my daily line up.

For both pens the Platinum 3776, with its UEF nib, was the cause of their demise. Their nibs, while Japanese fines, are now just too wide for me. Other pens which I could not part with had to go for nib work as mentioned above. These two, while they are great pens, just don’t hold the same level of affection and so I will look to dispose of these. I am a natural hoarder however so I probably will still have them for some time yet. Who knows, I may change my mind.

On to 2017…

I’ve not posted much in 2016 but not because I stopped writing these posts. At the date of publication, there are 29 drafts at various states of completion. I plan to finish out what I have written, kill any rubbish items and then resume posting. The aim of this blog is to improve my writing so if you have any comments do get in touch.

As for future pen purchases, I have no firm plans. Lots of things I want however. I have greatly enjoyed the Edison Glenmont and their double ended pens have piqued my interest, I may take a look.

So that’s it. On to 2017!

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