Yesterday, I started writing on a Rhodia 80gsm 5x5 quadrille mouse pad that was kindly PIFfed to me by mrtx2aggie. It is a 30 sheet pad of 9"x7.5" paper, gumbound on two sides. The backing is rather soft and flexible paperboard and has enough tack to prevent it from sliding about on my particle-board keyboard tray. Here, so far, are my impressions.
The squares are about half X-height for my hand, which is all well and good. Second, I got no feathering with any of the pens in current rotation:
Parker Vector Broad (2mm or so) Calligraphy Pen:Parker Quink blue cartridge
Pelikan M200 Fine:4/5 to 9/10 Red-Black (diluted to reduce smudging)
Sizzle Stix Oblique Stub (aka SSOS) :7/9 Diamine Damson
Parker "51" XF:MontBlanc-Simplo Black with SuperCleaner SC21 (aka Dad's "51")
Platinum Plaisir F:Widow Maker rehydrated with imprecision
Platinum Plaisir F:Sheaffer Skrip Turquoise (Slovenian)
Jinhao 250, Iro Ku-Jaku
Side strokes on the Vector are nicely crisp and fine, a bit more so than the Norcom Broad ruled 8x10.5 spiral notebooks I get from Wal-Mart for 10-17 cents each during Back to School. For whatever reason, the broad-ruled Norcom notebooks are much less feather-prone than the college ruled notebooks.
All of the inks shade to some degree. It's most evident with the Vector and the SSOS. As the MB-S is one of the least saturated blacks I've ever owned (it's only marginally darker than a black Fisher Space Pen cartridge), it too shades a little bit, even though Dad was a lefty and no doubt favored the "51" in part for its dry line.
There is no ghosting without some sort of backlighting, such as when a sheet from the pad is sitting on top of another piece of paper under a rather bright desk lamp -- except for the Parker calligraphy pen. Even that is entirely minimal and does not affect legibility. The same cannot be said for either my 20lb 88 brightness GP copy paper and Norcom broad-ruled spirals.
The paper is nicely smooth. It takes longer for ink to dry than my spirals or 20lb 88 brightness GP all-purpose cheapest printer paper I can get at Walmart. Sorry, no testing on this sheet.
The paper is gum-bound along the bottom and left edges. This makes it less than useful to me as a mouse pad, as I am most likely to drag the right edge with my sleeve.
In short, it is clearly much better than the paper I usually use, as paper. But its format makes it merely a scratch pad. And because I don't give that much space to mousing on my keyboard tray, it's a little tricky for me to use it even for that.
I am very grateful to mrtx2aggie for the gift, and I plan to use it to test inks for shading, something my usual paper inhibits.
Edited by Arkanabar, 25 January 2016 - 18:29.