The main problem, is excuse me when I say this, 'typical noobie's' wish for super smoother than melted butter....that they have heard about.....That is not needed.
That is not good at all on slick papers. Often a well lubricated ink will give much of the smoothness needed.....I know a bit late....but just remember you have saved other nibs you will own.
I buy old used pens....vintage, and before micromesh became so cheap and readily available ...some 6-7 years before, the brown paper bag was used to remove drag. The brown paper bag is very pass`e.
So I learned how to smooth to good and smooth....because a brown paper bag will not take it to 'butter smooth.' It will not with out lots & lots of hard work done the wrong way ruin the nib, in all one was doing was removing drag caused by 'iridium rust'.
So I knew what to do when I finally went over to micro-mesh.
As little as possible.
Yes, I did make a couple of nibs butter smooth. 3-4 pens out of 50. The rest are that step under, 'good and smooth' that will not slide off of slick paper....Of course I have a couple of nibs that are toothy...one needs a couple of them too. Aurora, a famous Italian pen company is famous for it's 'toothy' nib, and many folks like it.
Richard gives you two dirt cheap pens to destroy as you learn when you buy his grinding&smoothing kit. For years I read how the search for butter smooth, was a bitter path.
I was glad I was too cheap to buy micro-mesh back when I was new.
There are many who go away from 'butter smooth' that they chased so hard when new to fountain pens, to pens with a tad of feeling, a bit of tooth, or even toothy=like writing with a pencil.
Paper....90g is so much better than regular 80g copy paper. Stay away from Ink Jet paper (it feathers and absorbs ink so fast, one can not use a shading ink on it.), buy Laser paper only.
Defiantly stay away from the fad paper, reground garbage, full of who knows what Ecology paper. If you want to put it in your printer fine, but why write on a second or third tier paper, hoping to get something more than a 'feel good' out of it, when you can buy first run paper that was best made, so it feels good to write on.
Was that lumpy...draggy feeling of your nib caused by second class 'socially correct' paper?
Fountain pen's 'footprint' is rather small, even using new dead trees, and or cotton and cotton mix. There is IMO no good reason to write on second rate Ecology paper.
You can get good advice on good economical Brazilian paper...perhaps at Staples. I live in Germany so don't know if there or some other Office supply type of store. Some one here from the States can tell you.
While I was in the States a while back. I did buy some good Southworth and a couple other papers...but I was looking for best, not best buy. (Sigh!!!! Some were laser & ink jet and I didn't take time to look......Having only Haaa finally good paper, in my mind. As my wife says, the world is easier if one knows how to read.) Over in the paper sections, there will be those who know more than me, on how good laser & ink jet paper actually is. I do know the pure ink jet is to be avoided.
A good slick paper defiantly will make a nib feel more buttery, with out doing anything at all.
Good to better paper costs only a couple cans of Coke or cups of Starbucks coffee more than the adequate. For me 80g is inadequate, 90/100/110 and up to the heavy paper is adequate. 90g would be good for budget even in laser printing paper. It shades.
Coke and bought coffee are bad for you....causing your wallet to strain it's opening joint from over use. Wasting money that can be used for nibs, good paper and nice inks.
I prefer a shading ink, seen better in a F or M western, or a M and B in Japanese. A M western will give you a smoother ride in the tipping is wider. Need good to better paper for shading inks. 90g, will shade where 80g (outside a Japanese paper and Rhoda) will not.
Noodlers makes some lubricated inks. I don't use them, in they are Expensive in Europe and they do make some good shading inks; but for lubricated inks, I use DA...more expensive than your price for Noodlers.
So see if you can find a good lubricated ink next.
After that with all the money you have saved by proper diet....the less burgers or only the small ones, the better, excess sugar in Coke, and seeing and being seen $$$tarbucks, your nibs, papers and inks are 'free'.
Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 25 December 2015 - 17:15.