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#1 wvbeetlebug

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 18:25

Forgive me if this topic has already been discussed. I tried to search the forum and couldn't find what I was looking for.

I've been using a ballpoint pen or Uniball Signo 207 for check writing. I would like to use a fountain pen, but I am concerned about check washing.

Do you use a fountain pen to write checks and if so which ink are you using?

Edited by wvbeetlebug, 26 January 2008 - 18:27.

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#2 Paddler

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 18:39

I write all my checks with fountain pens. I have used many colors to write them: black, blue, blue black, green, brown, etc. (not red). If I wanted to write a check for somebody of dubious honesty, I would use a bulletproof ink like Legal Lapis. For writing checks in stores, for utility companies, and other businesses, why bother? After all, you have a receipt and your check register. If you catch them altering a check, you will probably be able to retire to your own island in Hawaii. For a plumber, building contractor, lawn service, political party, etc., yeah, use something bulletproof.

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#3 Ghost Plane

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 18:58

I use fountain pen ink all the time without problem [other than a stunned clerk in the doctor's office the other day who freaked out at my pen and had to try it].

#4 French

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 19:04

I also use fountain pen to write all my checks. I use one of the Noodler's bulletproof inks for check writing.

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#5 girlieg33k

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 19:09

This is one of those rare instances now where I'll use Diamine Registrar's ink. I don't generally carry a checkbook around with me, so the issue only comes up when I sit down every second-Sunday of the month to do my bill-paying. I load Diamine Registrar's ink in a pen with a 14K nib (preferably a dip pen, but sometimes I'll just load whatever hits my fancy at that moment) and write/sign checks with it. After, I'll flush out the pen completely.
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#6 kiavonne

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 19:11

QUOTE(wvbeetlebug @ Jan 26 2008, 11:25 AM)  
Forgive me if this topic has already been discussed. I tried to search the forum and couldn't find what I was looking for.

I've been using a ballpoint pen or Uniball Signo 207 for check writing. I would like to use a fountain pen, but I am concerned about check washing.

Do you use a fountain pen to write checks and if so which ink are you using?




Guess what? Ballpoint isn't all that safe. The 207 is good to go.

I now use fountain pens for just about everything, including check writing and receipt signatures.

For my checks, I use Luxury Blue ink (bulletproof, like the Legal Lapis). It dries quickly and won't wash out, and it flows smoothly. I've been using my Lamy Al-Star for thermal paper receipts, as the medium nib allows the ink to flow very well onto the paper. I'm not overly concerned about thermal paper receipts being altered, because the paper disintigrates pretty easily and it would be simple to know that it had been altered. I do still intend to put a bulletproof ink in the Lamy, eventually, though, because a lot of cartridge inks do just seem to wash away. I'll use Legal Lapis or Luxury Blue, probably.

For any contract I'd use bulletproof ink, as Paddler has said.

I went looking for it, but didn't find it right off. Someone here did a review with several different types of inks, including Noodler's bulletproof Luxury Blue, the UniBall 207, and a couple of other water resistant inks, ballpoint, sharpies, and non water resistant inks, and he did it on the back of a check. I think I'd be more concerned with writing a check with either ballpoint or non water resistant inks - they disappeared completely in his various tests, with little or no effort at all. The Luxury Blue and the UniBall 207 were the only inks to hold up in all of his tests.

It's also good to note that check paper and now some prescription papers have built-in tamper resistant features. I figure as long as I'm using bulletproof or near bulletproof inks on my checks, I will be pretty much be good to go.

Edited by kiavonne, 26 January 2008 - 19:19.

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#7 scribe75

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 19:12

I use a FP to write all of my checks. Who else does that? Forgers would have to know that about me in order to get away with stealing my checks. They'd also have to match the pen nib and the ink (I'm not telling, but let's just say it's a very saturated ink). It's one way to know I wrote the check. One of many "safety" features employed when I write a check.

#8 FrankB

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 19:30

Yes, I definitely use a FP and I use Noodler's Legal Lapis or Eternal Brown. I have found that Iraqi Indigo is much more bullet proof than I had thought, so I sometimes use it. I feel much safer using the bullet proof inks and I am so glad they are available.

#9 Chemyst

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 20:11

QUOTE(scribe75 @ Jan 26 2008, 02:12 PM)  
I use a FP to write all of my checks. Who else does that? Forgers would have to know that about me in order to get away with stealing my checks. They'd also have to match the pen nib and the ink (I'm not telling, but let's just say it's a very saturated ink). It's one way to know I wrote the check. One of many "safety" features employed when I write a check.

Or they could just write all of it in block print except for your signature or even easier, just use a printer to fill in all the applicable info just leaving your signature.

Only the most amateurish check washer is going to try to change your 10 to a 100 without changing the written amount on the line below it. Check washers go to a lot of trouble to alter your check and are most likely "go all the way" and not try to save a few seconds at the expense of detectability. They protect your signature and then wash the whole thing is their preferred solvent, usually isopropyl alchohol, and then fill in all the other lines. Done with a printer, this looks just like a check you let the merchant fill in for you and then signed.

You are much safer either printing your checks at home with a laser printer and signing them with any old pen OR filling out the whole thing in a bulletproof ink. Even safer of course is paying your bills electronically or paying with a debit card with a personal PIN you enter at every transaction.

Edited by Chemyst, 26 January 2008 - 20:18.


#10 captnemo

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 20:16

Gee, I hadn't made that little leap of thought. That's a great idea. I use FP and bulletproof ink (whatever color) to fill out checks. But what I should do is fill out the check in bulletproof ink and then sign it with PR American Blue. Haha. That gives the checkwasher the worst case scenario.

#11 Chemyst

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 20:21

QUOTE(captnemo @ Jan 26 2008, 03:16 PM)  
Gee, I hadn't made that little leap of thought. That's a great idea. I use FP and bulletproof ink (whatever color) to fill out checks. But what I should do is fill out the check in bulletproof ink and then sign it with PR American Blue. Haha. That gives the checkwasher the worst case scenario.

That would render the check the highest probability of being voided during any attempt to alter it. It is analogous to printing the amount on a laser printer and signing in ballpoint. You just want to make it harder to change the amount than it is to damage the the signature.

#12 Goodwhiskers

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 21:09

I try to use Noodler's standard Black or Eternal Luxury Blue in a fountain pen, a Sanford Uni-Ball/Signo/Vision/Eye rollerball (pigmented, non-gel ink) in black or blue, or a Pilot gel rollerball with black G2 unit. If I have no choice but to use a standard ballpoint, I use one with black ink.

On two-layer checks ("carbonless" paper under the check), a "manifold" nib (Esterbrook 9460 "medium" or 9461 "fine," but the smoother 9460 works better) will leave a record, a little fainter than a rollerball or ballpoint but still legible.

#13 Goodwhiskers

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 21:10

QUOTE(Chemyst @ Jan 26 2008, 08:21 PM)  
QUOTE(captnemo @ Jan 26 2008, 03:16 PM)  
Gee, I hadn't made that little leap of thought. That's a great idea. I use FP and bulletproof ink (whatever color) to fill out checks. But what I should do is fill out the check in bulletproof ink and then sign it with PR American Blue. Haha. That gives the checkwasher the worst case scenario.

That would render the check the highest probability of being voided during any attempt to alter it. It is analogous to printing the amount on a laser printer and signing in ballpoint. You just want to make it harder to change the amount than it is to damage the the signature.

Funny! biggrin.gif

#14 Deirdre

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 21:58

QUOTE(captnemo @ Jan 26 2008, 12:16 PM)  
Gee, I hadn't made that little leap of thought. That's a great idea. I use FP and bulletproof ink (whatever color) to fill out checks. But what I should do is fill out the check in bulletproof ink and then sign it with PR American Blue. Haha. That gives the checkwasher the worst case scenario.

Now that's evil. I like it!
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#15 Deirdre

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 22:02

I used to write checks with ballpoints, but then I read this thread. Since then, I've bought some Noodler's black, and have relegated the ballpoints to things that require multiple parts and things I don't care about permanence quite so much.
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#16 macthemaths

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 22:14

Completely OT, but I still find it amazing that cheque writing is still so common in the US!

Increasingly one can't use them in shops here, and for bills there is online banking. I sort of miss using them a bit, but it does save a little time. I wonder what the situation is in the rest of the EU? (Please don't answer - I should start a new topic.)

When I do write them, I use Noodler's Bulletproof Black or FPN Galileo Manuscript Brown.

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#17 Deirdre

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 01:35

There's only two checks I write on a regular basis: my acupuncturist and rent.
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#18 Chemyst

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 01:44

QUOTE(Deirdre @ Jan 26 2008, 08:35 PM)  
There's only two checks I write on a regular basis: my acupuncturist and rent.

I actually had to order checks about 2 yrs ago, because my landlord wouldn't accept electronic payments and was too confused by checks mailed from the bank.

#19 wvbeetlebug

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 01:53

Thanks for all of the replies. I guess I'll stick with the Uniball 207 for now. I did read the Torture Test thread. That's some very amazing stuff there.

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#20 punch

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 04:02

My main checkbook has carbons. For this I use a Lamy Studio Rollerball, or a Parker Jotter Ballpoint. My other two accounts use standard checks and I will write them with whatever pen that I have Montblanc or Lamy Blue Black loaded.
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#21 hari317

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 09:36

QUOTE(wvbeetlebug @ Jan 26 2008, 11:55 PM)  
Do you use a fountain pen to write checks and if so which ink are you using?


Nowadays I use only FPs for any writing that I do. For cheques I use my Sailor profit FP filled with a Sailor "very black" cart.

#22 Paladin

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 09:47

Ok this is a newbie question. Is Pelikan 4001 ink considered bulletproof? What about Parker Quink? Is is safe to use these inks?

Many thanks.

QUOTE(Paddler @ Jan 27 2008, 02:39 AM)  
I write all my checks with fountain pens. I have used many colors to write them: black, blue, blue black, green, brown, etc. (not red). If I wanted to write a check for somebody of dubious honesty, I would use a bulletproof ink like Legal Lapis. For writing checks in stores, for utility companies, and other businesses, why bother? After all, you have a receipt and your check register. If you catch them altering a check, you will probably be able to retire to your own island in Hawaii. For a plumber, building contractor, lawn service, political party, etc., yeah, use something bulletproof.

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#23 Deirdre

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 10:09

QUOTE(Paladin @ Jan 27 2008, 01:47 AM)  
Ok this is a newbie question. Is Pelikan 4001 ink considered bulletproof? What about Parker Quink? Is is safe to use these inks?

As a general rule, fountain pen inks are water soluable, thus they are not suitable for preventing things like checkwashing. The upside to this is that if you spill the ink on your clothing, it comes right out. (As a klutz, I admit this is one of the things I like about FPs.)

There's a few waterproof inks:

1) Inks that are iron gall based: Montblanc has at least two. I'm not sure if Diamine's Registrar's ink is iron gall.
2) Inks that are waterproof (there's a very few in this category).
3) Noodler's bulletproof, near-bulletproof inks. These come in more colors than you might think, and survive more than just water (including bleach, sulfuric acid, and other fun things).
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#24 Paladin

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 10:16

Thanks Deirdre.

What about Lamy Ink? I've read that are iron gall inks. I have a bottle of Lamy Turquois ink. Here's another newbie question ... Does it mean that bulletproof inks are not as good for fountain pens and that they'll have a tendency to clog?
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#25 graceaj

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 10:26


Only the Lamy blue-black is iron-gall, none of other colours are iron gall. I don't remember anyone ever saying that Noodler's clogged their pen. Less than preferred flow maybe for some inks, but it doesn't contain components that India ink and other potential cloggers do. My limited experience so far has been satisfactory. Of course I use cheap recycled writing pads so that may play a part. However, you may get a bit of a surprise at their higher prices in Singapore
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#26 hardyb

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 16:53

Check washing has been a problem for many years. Look below and see two of the old fashion solutions used: a colored band through the written check amount (usually red, black or blue) and a punch device on the numerical dollar amount ( usually embossed or pin punch) The check is from 1878>

Edited by hardyb, 27 January 2008 - 16:54.

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#27 DrPJM1

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 18:32

I use bulletproof black, legal lapis and FPN's Galileo Brown when writing checks. For those carbon-copy checks I use a vintage Sheaffer's Balance with a hard fine nib.
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#28 Chemyst

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 21:17

QUOTE(hardyb @ Jan 27 2008, 11:53 AM)  
Check washing has been a problem for many years. Look below and see two of the old fashion solutions used: a colored band through the written check amount (usually red, black or blue) and a punch device on the numerical dollar amount ( usually embossed or pin punch) The check is from 1878>

Some older FP had a security device in the cap which would punch small holes in your writing while simultaneously adding red dots. This was meant to act similarly to your line illustrated above.

#29 flashvictor

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 22:13

I use FP for check writing all the time. Never had any problems. Love the 1878 check. thumbup.gif

#30 KingJoe

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 04:12

207's or a Noodler's bulletproof offering only, REGARDLESS of receipient. I laugh when I hear things like "unless it's a trusted business, for those I use ballpoint or whatever's handy" because businesses, armored trucks, and even banks are robbed all the time. A deposit may be left in a vehicle overnight, a check can slip away when a till is counted, an armored car can crash on the highway and lose its load (it's happened), a bundle can be misplaced. A check (or other payment device) is not secure until it's been processed and imaged at the end of the line.
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