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The Fpr "dilli"


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#1 Seele

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:40

We all know that Kevin who runs Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR) has not only been making Indian-made pens available to enthusiasts internationally, but he also works hard to promote the development of new products. The FPR flex nib of his own design came first, and now after a considerable gestation period, the FPR "Dilli" pen is available, at attractive prices.

Kevin told me that when he was developing his own pen, he drew up a list of performance specifications, and then found that one of the manufacturers has a discontinued model which was very close to his list. Using that as a basis, he developed it further and it became the first pen under the FPR label.

One might say that, by using a pre-existing design it is less than an original product. But on the other hand, Jaguar started their car business by modifying Standard cars, MG did so by modifying Morris cars, and one still gives kudos to Carroll Shelby even though he never designed a production car from scratch.

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Made in four see-through colours and with four nib options, the Dilli is a smaller pen which is easy to get on with. Made almost entirely of plastics, except the clip, cap band, and nib, it has a simple elegance that I find appealing.

On further examination of the details, the feeling of deja vu is not entirely unexpected: the clip and the feed seem to be the same - or at least similar - to some other pens that I can think of. Just like my car analogy above, this is a realistic way to do it: better use proven components than to make entirely new - and unproven ones.

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I specified a medium nib for this, but the nib fitted was a fine nib made by the Indian nib maker Ambitious. Fearing that Kevin made a mistake I gave it a quick try, and indeed it is definitely a medium, if not leaning towards the fine side; I am perfectly happy with that. By the way, I feel that Ambitious is the firm who made the FPR flex nib to Kevin's own design.

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It is interesting to see that the cap jewel and piston knob are both in opaque black. This is a nice look, and when looking at the piston knob closely, you can see the end against the end of the barrel has a ring of serration. It is of course possible to make them totally flush, but the use of different materials, with different shrinkage factors after molding, would make it quite a bit harder to achieve. By using these serration it is making a visual statement that it is not even meant to be flush, in design terms it is very realistic, and it also adds visual interest too.

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When I manipulated the piston mechanism, I found it to be quite smooth and easy to work. What surprised me somewhat was the limited piston travel: it is usually assumed that a piston pen accommodates more ink than, say, one with a rubber sac, or using a cartridge or converter. This assumes that the piston has a long enough travel, but as I measure the piston travel of this pen, I was quite surprised to see that it's only 15mm. I grabbed another inexpensive Indian piston pen, the Romus demonstrator, to have a measure: both pens are of comparable size, but the Romus piston has a travel of 26mm, which means it stores much more ink than the Dilli. There again, these days we write a bit less than we did a few decades ago, so this is actually less of a problem: if you need a huge ink reserve, an eyedropper would be a better choice nonetheless.

In terms of performance, I like it. Like a lot of Indian-made nibs, this one has an almost spherical tipping, which makes for very smooth writing as long as it is correctly adjusted; this one is certainly so, and it lays down a luscious wet line when loaded with blue Quink. In fact it might be a tad too wet for some, a switch to something like Pelikan should go some way to help.

All in all, I would recommend this pen, and a thumbs up to Kevin who did a great job on his first pen. Hopefully, in the future, he might bring us other affordable and appealing pens of his own designs too.
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#2 hari317

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 04:56

It is a lot of hardwork and effort to get your own design pen made, a custom stamped nib made and put the product on the market. Kudos to Kevin and wishing that his new product does well. :thumbup:

#3 Drone

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 05:09

Hello Seele, Thanks for the review...

You say the pen is "Made in four see-through colours...", I don't think the black version exists on the market yet. Do you if the the black version is see-through or opaque plastic?

You mention, "...the Dilli is a smaller pen...", how small? Yours is the first review of this pen here, will you please provide the dimensions capped, uncapped, and posted?

What about the nib flexibility? I thought this pen was supposed to have some sort of flex/semi-flex nib.

Please provide a link to this pen on FPR, so others reading this review can take a look at the sales page.

You said, "...the clip and the feed seem to be the same - or at least similar - to some other pens that I can think of." What pens does this remind you of? You seem reluctant to say. Is there a reason for that?

Thank You... David

#4 Seele

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:27

Hello Seele, Thanks for the review...

You say the pen is "Made in four see-through colours...", I don't think the black version exists on the market yet. Do you if the the black version is see-through or opaque plastic?

You mention, "...the Dilli is a smaller pen...", how small? Yours is the first review of this pen here, will you please provide the dimensions capped, uncapped, and posted?

What about the nib flexibility? I thought this pen was supposed to have some sort of flex/semi-flex nib.

Please provide a link to this pen on FPR, so others reading this review can take a look at the sales page.

You said, "...the clip and the feed seem to be the same - or at least similar - to some other pens that I can think of." What pens does this remind you of? You seem reluctant to say. Is there a reason for that?

Thank You... David


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#5 cedargirl

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:15

When I manipulated the piston mechanism, I found it to be quite smooth and easy to work. What surprised me somewhat was the limited piston travel: it is usually assumed that a piston pen accommodates more ink than, say, one with a rubber sac, or using a cartridge or converter. This assumes that the piston has a long enough travel, but as I measure the piston travel of this pen, I was quite surprised to see that it's only 15mm. I grabbed another inexpensive Indian piston pen, the Romus demonstrator, to have a measure: both pens are of comparable size, but the Romus piston has a travel of 26mm, which means it stores much more ink than the Dilli. There again, these days we write a bit less than we did a few decades ago, so this is actually less of a problem: if you need a huge ink reserve, an eyedropper would be a better choice nonetheless.


Hi Seele
I agree the piston travel is short. The only other clear piston filler I have is a Konrad and it has 25mm piston travel. And the Konrad is a tad wider than the Dilli. However, I was able to get 20mm of ink into the barrel of the Dilli by doing a couple of plunges with the piston. The piston doesn't seem to reach all the way to the bottom of the chamber, but you can fill it easily.
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#6 madzaxmax

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 11:41

I grabbed another inexpensive Indian piston pen, the Romus demonstrator, to have a measure


Ah... the Romus strikes again. I spoke to the manufacturer of those clear demonstrators. "Romus" is not the name of the pen model. They did a production run for a company who was promoting the Romus brand (or something of the sort. Guess what? They are available for about a buck apiece.

The catch? Minimum order is 100 pens. They will even print your logo or design on the pen.

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#7 Drone

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:21

http://www.fountainpenrevolution.com/fpr_collection.html

Thanks for the link...

I see all colors are available now. It's a little hard to tell from the picture, but I think the black is translucent like the other colors, not opaque.

The full set of dimensions are listed on the sales page you linked. Capped it is the same length as the Ahab. Posted it is almost a full inch shorter than the Ahab - and a lot thinner. At 5.8" long posted I wouldn't call it a short pen though.

Thanks, David

#8 Seele

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 13:12


I grabbed another inexpensive Indian piston pen, the Romus demonstrator, to have a measure


Ah... the Romus strikes again. I spoke to the manufacturer of those clear demonstrators. "Romus" is not the name of the pen model. They did a production run for a company who was promoting the Romus brand (or something of the sort. Guess what? They are available for about a buck apiece.

The catch? Minimum order is 100 pens. They will even print your logo or design on the pen.

**An idea takes birth... :eureka:


Without knowing the firm who actually made them, "Romus" is the best I can do to refer to them! I know of a German pen firm called Romus too but they make pens in the Stypen style. That said, these pens are very decent, it's just that the actual manufacture could have been a bit better: the thread tapping for the cap jewel screw at the end of the cap, for example, was not really well finished, with the burr hanging down the inside of the cap, if they bothered to clean that up the pen would look a whole lot better. A 100-unit minimum order is quite decent; Dollar told me that their minimum order is 900 units :blink:

Still, we can sit back and enjoy the Dilli, that'd do me for now :vbg:

Edited by Seele, 21 March 2013 - 13:13.

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#9 cjabbott

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 02:37

My Dilli recently arrived as well. I absolutely love it! Surprisingly elegant pen for such a price. Mine has the standard fine nib, which writes surprisingly wide and wet.

I was a bit confused by the whole German vs. Indian Romus thing. Are the ones on eBay from India actually made in India? By whom? They look like Fellowship to me.
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#10 Seele

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 02:58

My Dilli recently arrived as well. I absolutely love it! Surprisingly elegant pen for such a price. Mine has the standard fine nib, which writes surprisingly wide and wet.

I was a bit confused by the whole German vs. Indian Romus thing. Are the ones on eBay from India actually made in India? By whom? They look like Fellowship to me.


I do not know what brand of fine nib Kevin specifies for the Dilli, is that branded Ambitious as well?

As madzaxmax pointed out, the "Romus" demonstrator should not be called as such: it's like a Cross pen branded for Ford is not a pen by Ford, the fact that a German pen manufacturer called Romus also exists is just a coincidence, I believe. While I do not have a Fellowship demonstrator - or any Fellowship pen for that matter, their designs are very different indeed. pretty much the only thing in common is that they are both in clear plastics.
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#11 cjabbott

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:18

Yeah, I actually just went and really compared the two pens with no time gap in between. I hadn't done that previously.

It's amazing just how wrong I was about those two pens!

Oh, BTW...the Dilli fine nibs are inscribed "FPR".

Edited by cjabbott, 22 March 2013 - 04:18.

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#12 pienaar

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 05:37

I love the looks of the pen, The name is totally got a ring to it too. I would like to see it along side the Ahab.
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#13 Scribble Monboddo

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 20:45

I'm rather fond of the Dilli, which I use alongside an Ahab, as it happens.  I've posted a hand-written review here: http://scribbledemon...dilli-2013.html



#14 Loeschpapier

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 17:01

Just ordered a green Dilli (and a Camlin) myself! Last night I noticed that a clear demonstrator Dilli was added!
Can't wait to see it in the mailbox!


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#15 harrietthespy

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 21:14

I just received a Dilli medium flex and....I love it. It writes beautifully...I filled it with Diamine Dragons Blood and it flows wet and smooth and I wish I had 3 or 4 more of these pens. Oh, mine is the blue one and I like the color. Might need to order a demonstrator or a red one to match the red ink.



#16 pandabirdy1

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:04

What a beautifully written review! Stunning!

How did you find the Dilli flex nib performance?

( I have a serwex flex nib which needs quite a bit of pressure to get any line variation.)

 

(Oops, haven't used the 'new' quote function yet, sorry. Try again.)


Edited by pandabirdy1, 02 June 2013 - 01:07.


#17 pandabirdy1

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:05

I'm rather fond of the Dilli, which I use alongside an Ahab, as it happens.  I've posted a hand-written review here: http://scribbledemon...dilli-2013.html

 

 

What a beautifully written review! Stunning!

How did you find the Dilli flex nib performance?

( I have a serwex flex nib which needs quite a bit of pressure to get any line variation.)



#18 Scribble Monboddo

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 14:20

 

 

What a beautifully written review! Stunning!

How did you find the Dilli flex nib performance?

( I have a serwex flex nib which needs quite a bit of pressure to get any line variation.)

 

Hi Pandabirdy, and thanks for your very kind comments!  The Dilli nib is basically a Serwex flex.  They may vary a little in actual flexibility, but they are very cheap - so my tip would be to order a spare or two from Kevin next time you're buying anything from FPR, and experiment a little.  My Dilli flexes fairly willingly, and the only difficulty I sometimes encounter is that the feed doesn't always keep up and the flow dries up for a moment - but that's a reminder to write slower, which is a good idea when flexing anyway.



#19 Dickkooty2

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 20:59

http://s271.photobuc...t]=1&sort=1&o=0

 

Johnny-come-lately comments on the Dilli from a guy who knows Jack.

 

1.    I like the style of the pen. It looks like a classic from the 50's. I also bought the Konrad because it is looks like a classic from the 50's but more squared off rather than rounded. The Dilli is also about 1/2 inch longer. Nice contrast of black with the green transparent body and a silver-color ring. Feels nice. The clip looks like a Pelikan but the Dilli is much longer than 50s models

 

2.    It doesn't hold much ink for a piston pen. It looks like half of the barrel is empty with something that blocks the transparency. Could it. be the mechanism?

 

3.    Seems to me it is a better flex than the Konrad, but I am just eye-balling my own efforts. The sample shows the ample amount of Jack in my estimate.

 

4.    I am getting some scratch … a call for a Safeway bag. And some railroading. I am only familiar with the Pennsylvania, Reading, B&O, and Shortline RRs because I have received advance tokens. Beyond that I am lost.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack S.


Edited by Dickkooty2, 16 April 2014 - 21:02.


#20 Dickkooty2

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 20:04

This is going to be a strange follow-up, but here goes.

 

Since I wrote my review above, I have been on a trip and returned a few days ago. Today I thought I'd try out my dilli flex.

 

The siphon mechanism wouldn't work at al … well maybe 1/2 a turn. It seems to be stuck with about an 1/8th of an inch gap between the barrel and the black twist cap at the top.

 

I have taken the pen apart and soaked the barrel, but no result. I have a feeling that dried ink is not the problem, but maybe something has broken/separated  i the helix mechanism itself.

 

http://s271.photobuc...html?sort=3&o=1

 

 

 

This is no great disaster as the Dilli doesn't hold much ink to begin with, and I see from other reviews that the nib as supplied is not on the pasta side flexibility.

 

Any thoughts/similar experiences?

 

By the way, I found a nice little  notebook sketch kit was a Fend Super Norma 4 color pencil, a Prlikan hooded P-10 from the 50's (no airplane worries) and a selection of six Copic dual-end markers in soft shades.



#21 dietrich64

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:43

This is going to be a strange follow-up, but here goes.

 

Since I wrote my review above, I have been on a trip and returned a few days ago. Today I thought I'd try out my dilli flex.

 

The siphon mechanism wouldn't work at al … well maybe 1/2 a turn. It seems to be stuck with about an 1/8th of an inch gap between the barrel and the black twist cap at the top.

 

I have taken the pen apart and soaked the barrel, but no result. I have a feeling that dried ink is not the problem, but maybe something has broken/separated  i the helix mechanism itself.

 

http://s271.photobuc...html?sort=3&o=1

 

 

 

This is no great disaster as the Dilli doesn't hold much ink to begin with, and I see from other reviews that the nib as supplied is not on the pasta side flexibility.

 

Any thoughts/similar experiences?

 

By the way, I found a nice little  notebook sketch kit was a Fend Super Norma 4 color pencil, a Prlikan hooded P-10 from the 50's (no airplane worries) and a selection of six Copic dual-end markers in soft shades.

 

 

Did you try lubricating the piston with silicone grease? I've read reviews at amazon.com, where the pen is also available for $10USD ($15USD for the clear Demonstrator) about people having the same problem and a couple of readers suggested that as a possible remedy. I'd like to order one but am not sure whether the problem with the piston is a matter of a few lemons, a piston in need of lubrication, or a major design or manufacturing problem. I'm on a fixed income so I have to be a bit cautious on how much I spend to support my pen addition, but I also love supporting members of the FPN community (*waves to Kevin*). I hope I can do both with the purchase of my first (and hopefully not my last) Dilli.


Edited by dietrich64, 29 July 2014 - 02:48.


#22 Jamerelbe

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:07

 

 

Did you try lubricating the piston with silicone grease? I've read reviews at amazon.com, where the pen is also available for $10USD ($15USD for the clear Demonstrator) about people having the same problem and a couple of readers suggested that as a possible remedy. I'd like to order one but am not sure whether the problem with the piston is a matter of a few lemons, a piston in need of lubrication, or a major design or manufacturing problem. I'm on a fixed income so I have to be a bit cautious on how much I spend to support my pen addition, but I also love supporting members of the FPN community (*waves to Kevin*). I hope I can do both with the purchase of my first (and hopefully not my last) Dilli.

 

The problem with the Dilli is that you can't remove the piston to regrease it - though I've seen a post *somewhere* on this site about how to get the piston out, but it involves breaking a seal then regluing - which, personally, I can live without!  There is, though, an alternative: though it only comes in clear demonstrator or solid colours, and isn't quite as 'pretty', I think the FPR Guru is a better pen - made under consignment for Kevin of Fountain Pen Revolution (so the same supplier), I think by Serwex.  Oh, and it comes with an ebonite feed (which has some advantages)... AND, its regular retail price is a bit cheaper!



#23 dietrich64

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:18

 

The problem with the Dilli is that you can't remove the piston to regrease it - though I've seen a post *somewhere* on this site about how to get the piston out, but it involves breaking a seal then regluing - which, personally, I can live without!  There is, though, an alternative: though it only comes in clear demonstrator or solid colours, and isn't quite as 'pretty', I think the FPR Guru is a better pen - made under consignment for Kevin of Fountain Pen Revolution (so the same supplier), I think by Serwex.  Oh, and it comes with an ebonite feed (which has some advantages)... AND, its regular retail price is a bit cheaper!

 

 

 

Ah leave it to our esteemed colleague, Stephen RBE Brown, to find a way...just found this video on his channel:

 

 

I would try buying some liquid silicone grease and using one of my ink syringes to try injecting the silicone into the barrel rather than pouring it in and then cleaning up with a Q Tip as Stephen did.


Edited by dietrich64, 29 July 2014 - 03:22.


#24 mhguda

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 13:57

I have heard good things about filling a few times with Noodler's eel inks; these are supposed to do the lubrication of the piston where you cannot bring silicone grease. I have not tried it with my Dillis - both of them worked fine from day one and it's been about a year for the demonstrator, longer for the blue one - but I have tried it with a Reform 1745 that had a very stiff piston. I filled it with Turquoise eel - once so far - and I can already feel a difference. I've also tried putting a little silicone grease on the cap threads (where you operate the piston) and that also seemed to have a mild effect. On the whole, the ink has had more result, and I'm about to do a repeat fill.

If you try it, please let us know how it works out...


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#25 PDW

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 11:07

For those of us who wouldn't generally use an eel ink, can somebody specify a lubricating solution/mix that would do an equivalent job? A clear liquid that could be drawn into the pen to lubricate its innards without the need for disassembly would be a useful addition to my toolkit.



#26 Jamerelbe

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 11:47

For those of us who wouldn't generally use an eel ink, can somebody specify a lubricating solution/mix that would do an equivalent job? A clear liquid that could be drawn into the pen to lubricate its innards without the need for disassembly would be a useful addition to my toolkit.

 

That's a good question!  In his Youtube 'tutorial', Steve "SBRE" Brown used the liquid silicone that TWBI supply with their pens - but that's only useful if you've purchased something from TWSBI... Anyone know where you can purchase the stuff commercially?



#27 Algester

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 15:09

 

That's a good question!  In his Youtube 'tutorial', Steve "SBRE" Brown used the liquid silicone that TWBI supply with their pens - but that's only useful if you've purchased something from TWSBI... Anyone know where you can purchase the stuff commercially?

uhh,,, somehow random searching for liquid silicon grease... I ended up... with... lube... for those bed moments... I guess your nearest adult goods shop?

there's also Threadmill silicone grease


Edited by Algester, 06 October 2014 - 15:20.


#28 Hallel

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 15:46

Lol! That's probably not a good thing to put in a pen. Lots of hobby shops and some craft stores might have. You need to look for a pretty pure product though, the less additives the better.
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#29 Algester

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 01:05

Lol! That's probably not a good thing to put in a pen. Lots of hobby shops and some craft stores might have. You need to look for a pretty pure product though, the less additives the better.

according to a video comment on stephen brown's video also said it is pure... and comes in quite a large bottle... so...