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  1. Hello again to all my FPN friends, I just purchased a leather A6 6-ring planner (same size as Filofax Personal or Daytimer #3) that I'm going to use for a project that needs to have somewhat archival paper (basically, the pages and what's on them need to do their job for at least the next 50 years amidst daily use). The paper that the planner came with feels like writing on sandpaper, so I desperately need something else. So far the best paper I've come across seems to be Life Noble and DaVinci (which uses 52gms Tomoe River paper). For my project, the planner refill paper needs these three qualities, in order of importance: 1. Fountain pen friendly - Minimal-to-no bleed through or feathering with a fine or medium nib and waterproof inks like Sailor Sei-boku, Platinum Carbon Black, and De Atramentis Document inks. 2. Durability - Pages need to be able to withstand regular thumbing through over decades without curling up (discoloration is to be expected) 3. Opacity - As much as is possible, I would like to be able to read both sides of the paper in various lighting without the text on the other side of the page getting in the way. Given those considerations, can anyone who has used the aforementioned filler papers let me know how they fare? Here are the two options I'm looking at: Additionally, I'm totally open to any other suggestions for fountain pen friendly planner refills. I'd rather not make my own. Many thanks for any assistance!
  2. Some of you like to match specific inks to specific pens. And I do that myself, sometimes. But do any of you try to match specific inks to specific papers? I really love Kaweco Paradise Blue but recently discovered that the strokes of ink form a weird greasy-looking halo, plus bleed-through, apparently only on cream-colored Rhodia paper after several months. I checked back in my Leuchtturm 1917 notebook where I had used the ink about a year or two ago with no such problems showing up (just a tiny bit of bleed-through). And some inks look dulled on off-white paper, while others look richer. Right now I am trying to find a good A5 notebook match for J. Herbin Cacao Du Brésil, my all time favorite ink. I was using it in my Bullet Journals but the color visually made the dot grid on my journal pages look extremely prominent, causing each page to look like a crazy Svengali hypnotic pattern (i.e. hard to read)! I’ve been trying lighter dot-grids than what is in the Rhodia “goalbook,” but I may have to move to a lined or blank journal if I want to use my favorite ink. What inks and papers do you like to use together?
  3. Greetings: I made the mistake of going into a new Michaels in Bedford, Nova Scotia. Wandering past the discounted/clearance section I came across some pads. The brand is Kelly Creates. I purchased four dotted pads of 100 pages figuring if it's lousy paper, I can still use it for non-fp writing/notes. The paper is wonderful. I used my second wettest pen and had no bleedthrough and no feathering. The paper is very smooth and came in dotted or plain for less than $3.50 cdn a pad. That would have been a nice price for mediocre paper, but this stuff is as good as my Rhodia pad.
  4. I've seen with one of my wing sung 3008 pens that there's always hard starts on cheaper paper. If i press hard on the nib, the flow resumes but is a bit too wet. It does not write with it's own weight. This led me to think it had baby's bottom since the tines appeared aligned. However, when I use Tomoe River paper, it writes the first time every time. It also delivers a wet line, not a faint one. So is it a feed issue? I've never had this kind of a problem before. There's no issues with the feed keeping up with Tomoe River. I'm willing to experiment on this pen as well and would love any advice!
  5. I got five notebooks from Massdrop this week, just as I needed to start a new one. The "1951" notebook is a revival of an older product, with a sort of composition book styling only more sophisticated. I like the monochrome cover with an overall fishnet-stocking pattern and a blank cartouche for a title. They're book-bound, with Clairfontaine's brilliant 90-gram paper. I have the A5 size, which I've come to like a lot. The paper is wonderful: very smooth, substantial, with no bleed-through whatsover. I use slightly desaturated inks, so your experience may be different but it works a treat for me. It's right on the edge between absorbent and resistant, so I don't have to blot everything. i also like the purple color of the ruled sheets. The cloth binding is very high-quality, but it prevents the notebook from lying flat, which is an inconvenience to a left-handed writer. Otherwise it's one of the best notebooks I've ever used, and I'm glad I have multiples.
  6. Hello everyone! Today I’d like to share with you a very big book I made last month. The style chosen was German Springback. It had to be A4 size and 4 cm of thickness of the paper. My first thought was: “oh my, this is going to be heavy!”. The paper chosen was Fedrigoni. This was the stack of paper I used, after cutting it to A3 size to fold it. The sheets were folded and sewn. Glue on the spine and some trimming done, it was rounded. Then I applied some backing cloth to reinforce the spine. I finished the spine by applying a couple of bookmarks, some headbands I sew off the book and two layers of paper for further reinforcement. Then I proceeded to make a thin cover which would be the basis for the springback structure. I applied some layers of 1.5 mm board on the spine to thicken it. On the spine, I glued four fake ribs made of leather. Then I glued two boards (a 2 mm plus a 2.5 mm) and put in on the cover, with the four sides bevelled. The structure finished, it was time to prepare the leather. It was a huge piece of leather! I used paste to attach the leather to the book. The folder is for size reference. Once it was dried, it was time to decorate! And the book was finished! The weight was about 2,5 kg, quite heavy! Thank you very much for reading up to here hehe. I enjoy sharing with you guys and I hadn't done it in way too long, so it was time to solve that. Best, Anna
  7. Hey everyone! I've been checking the F-C website every once-in-a-while to see if the Model 40 Panther has come into stock yet. No luck on that yet. However, it seems that F-C has released a new color, orange, of their pocket sized notebook in a limited production run. Only 75 pieces have been made so if you're interested give it a look! http://www.franklin-christoph.com/the-stock-room.html It seems that the price is the same as the regular pocket sized leather notebooks. Notebook alone is $25.00, $31.25 with shipping in the US. Orders over $50 get free shipping so if you want to stock up on paper you can save on shipping. I'm not paid by F-C nor do I get a kickback from any sales related to this post. Just trying to do my due diligence.
  8. Curious about this because I've been wanting to know whether I'm missing out on anything by not using Tomoe River or Rhodia. I've felt (not written on) Rhodia paper and it feels about the same as JK Cedar. Of course, Rhodia being imported it's expensive (at Makoba Chennai, 1 Rhodia notebook is Rs. 1060). By the way, I haven't written on TNPL Platinum or Excel Bond but I've heard those are FP-friendly so I wrote those as well.
  9. Pen folks, I apologize for posting this question again in a different sub-forum. In January there were only a couple of people who had no concrete suggestions for a suitable paper for both digital image printing *and* handwritten fountain pen messages. I'm a photographer and want to mail reproductions of my own photographic images to friends, clients, and prospects. Most of the demand print world of today is accomplished with fused toner and turns out poorly calibrated, odd-looking color. Small batches pose high cost and I lose the spontaneity of printing my own images right in my office for targeted communication. When I started in the business we sought careful separations in CMYK with careful grey component replacement. Black magic, really. OK, current day. I now use dye inks (in a high-end 13x19 printer.) Strathmore makes a folding "digital printing card" and matching envelope that ends up folded to 5x7 on an uncoated paper - pretty good for the photographic image but terrible for fountain pen inks. I have experimented with a fair number of inks and nibs. Some are better than others but there is usually way too much feathering. I have written several paper manufacturers for samples to consider buying the paper loose and either going to a converter for custom envelopes... several have not even answered my letters. You see the issue... We fountain pen users are a tiny, specialized, platoon in a big army. I tried an iron gall, Mandarin from KWZ. That feathered badly. The best ink in my limited experience is Noodler's Bay State Blue for its fast drying. This ink allows me to safely write on the slimy back of a Canon 4x6 glossy stock if I give it just a bit of time before throwing it into a mailbox as a 35-cent postcard. I considered the idea of printing on an 8.5x11 photo paper and folding it but usually the emulsion side cracks in a goofy way, and it's clearly a print... needs to be stationery. I admit that there are many inks I have not tried. I found some smooth 100-lb cover card stock that's very good with my pens. But the smooth papers I find, like this cover stock, do NOT take color ink with enough "punch" for professional-level photography presentation. I also want a paper that either can be or is already made into matching envelopes. OK, enough telling why I have NOT been successful. Please pass on any suggestions of card stock that works for both printer and pen. Doesn't have to fold. It's nicest if there's a matching envelope. In fact that's kind of the point of my request for help. A true stationery/personal letter experience. Thanks in advance, everyone. Jonathan www.jonathanrawle.com
  10. Hi, so I've recently started using fountain pens and want to take notes for school. I've decided to buy clairefontaine or Rhodia for my notes, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Does anyone know where to buy it anymore without importing it? All the threads I've seen aren't updated and thus may be inaccurate. I've checked most stationary stores, department stores but none of them have the notebooks I'm looking for. I've found Rhodia paper in Chung Nam but not the notebooks. One place I know of is called Parentheses which is a French bookstore They stock clairefontaine and Rhodia but they aren't quite 'right' as the Rhodias are in A4 and I prefer the Webnotebooks. The Clairefontaines aren't also quite nice as I've seen the lines seem to too overpowering (as shown below) and I prefer the ones for taking notes that are either dotted grids or single lines. w Does anyone know of places that stock the notebooks of the mentioned brands that aren't wayyy too expensive? Thanks! http://reviews.shopwritersbloc.com//wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Clairefontaine-Side-Staple-French-Ruled-Notebooks.jpg
  11. Hi all, For those of you just tuning in, I just got back into fountain pens after a long layoff. Among other things, I am studying for IT certifications (Security+, RHCE, passed the CCNA two months ago) and it is well-documented in the scientific literature that taking handwritten notes (see, e.g., https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-learning-secret-don-t-take-notes-with-a-laptop) improves retention dramatically. So, I figured if I am going to be writing a lot, why not pick up some tools that make the job nicer and easier? The first "nice" notebook that I got, which I use for my RHCE studies, was a Moleskine. The hard cover and ribbon place markers are both very nice, but I quickly discovered that the paper quality left a lot to be desired. More specifically, I got awful shadowing and bleed-through even when using well-behaved inks that usually do not have those issues. Truth be told, I was very disappointed, especially given that I forked over nearly thirty bucks for the thing. Disappointed as I was with the Moleskine, and after watching numerous ink review videos that mentioned Rhodia and Leuchtturm1917, among others, I decided to take the plunge. Previously, my only experience with "fine" paper was the bond lawyer letterhead/pleading paper that my boss at my last job insisted upon continuing to purchase and use. My first foray into this new world was a Leuchtturm1917 Master A4+ notebook, which I now use for my bullet journal. From the moment I took the plastic off, I knew I had scored something extraordinary. The pages in that thing feel like what you would find in a wedding guest book or something else reserved for similarly formal occasions. It was/is magical, otherworldly, nothing like the bond paper I mentioned, and certainly nothing at all like the reams upon reams of copier paper I had grown accustomed to at my last job. I also could not believe how well the nibs of my pens glided across that paper, as opposed to the constant skipping and feathering I experience with my Moleskine. Also, I love love love dot grid paper as it allows me to keep my outline format notes straight. It's like nothing I have ever experienced before. After my Great Awakening with Leuchtturm1917, I ordered some Rhodia spiral pads, also in dot grid. Admittedly, I was loath to spend close to US$35 on notebooks that I had grown accustomed to getting for 1/10th the price. I used them in class tonight and, well... same thing. Magical. I just... I can't even. I'm hooked. I love the stuff. I can't get enough of it. It is amazing to me how much of a difference a few small luxuries like nice paper, ink, and pens make what would seem like a mundane everyday activity like writing something truly special and extraordinary. I'm not a snob and I loathe conspicuous consumption, hence a distaste for Mont Blanc. I am a practical guy and I am loath to spend big bucks on innocuous things like paper. And I constantly hear the voice of my dearly departed grandmother who lived through the Great Depression: "It costs ten times as much, is it ten times as good?" Well, in the case of this paper that is expensive as all get out, yes it is. Moleskine? Pfft. What I really feel now is best not repeated in polite company. Trouble is, I have half of my RHCE notes in it, so pitching it is not an option. Once again, experience is a cruel teacher that gives the test before the lesson. I also find that, when I hand-write study notes, daily plans, thought logs, agendas for meetings, or whatever, it is much easier for me to get into a state of "flow" than when using the computer. Why, I'm not sure, maybe it's because I spend more time putting thoughts to paper than constantly having to fight M$ Word as it does its best to botch up even the simplest of documents. One more thing: I can't help but wonder how much of the cost of these fine papers is import duties and taxes. Are they cheaper in other countries?
  12. I do not know how 100% cotton paper will work. I am looking for something with a ivory color so I could make my own journal. Anyways I found this but I do not know if it will work well. Hopefully it should work with watermen black, noodler's xfeather and De Atramentis archival ink. Do you guys think it would work. I didn't really get straight forward answers for cotton paper, and I have no idea what resume paper is. Ive also heard things about noodlers not working with cotton. https://www.staples.ca/en/Southworth-100-Cotton-Resume-Paper-24-lb-8-1-2-x-11-Ivory-100-Pack/product_365513_1-CA_1_20001
  13. Hi everyone, Does anybody know of a brand of not too expensive paper (for a student) that is FP friendly and that comes in notebooks and/or loose leaf and/or pads that is easy to find in Canada (through places like Amazon or Staples). So far I have had to resort to buying Hilroy notebooks but they are very inconsistent so I'm looking to upgrade to something better for my everyday writing without breaking the bank on something like Rhodia or Clairefontaine. Thank you all very much in advance!
  14. This is Part 7 of my Mega Monster Review series on Pocket Notebooks. Here's my review for the Rosetta Notes pocket notebooks along with a few pictures. Below are links to the full review, the main Mega Monster page, and the master spreadsheet (still very light as I ramp up on this project). As this is a work in progress that will likely take me a couple months to complete (I'm not that fast), I'd love any feedback you have that could help me make these reviews more useful. Thanks & enjoy! Full Review Mega Monster Review - Pocket NotebooksSpreadsheet of specs & results Introduction & About the Company: Rosetta is the house brand of the fine folks over at iPenStore. Although currently an online-only stationery dealer, iPenStore is a fourth-generation family business that first opened in Chicago in 1932 as the Evers Office Supply Company. Over the past several years, iPenStore has released a number of products under their Rosetta name, including pens (fountain, rollerball, and ballpoint), pencils & leadholders, andpocket notebooks. iPenStore seems to fly under the radar a bit. I've bought from them several times, and I had the opportunity to meet Jim Evers at the 2017 Ohio Pen Show (nice guy!). They carry a pretty wide selection of products, and they offer a curated, monthly subscription service called iPenBox that includes a fountain pen, some paper, ink samples, and other goodies. Description: Rosetta Notes notebooks are pretty nondescript at first glance. They are typical 3.5 in x 5.5 in notebooks with two staples on the spine and rounded side corners. The front covers are only adorned with the Rosetta logo stamped in a dark gold ink and the back covers have some info about the company and notebooks in the same gold color. Rosetta Notes are available in Blank, DotGrid, Graph, and Lined paper, and each ruling comes in one or two different cover colors (Blank comes in Chocolate and Orange Fizz, DotGrid comes in Wine, Graph comes in Plain White, and Ruled comes in Black and Turquoise). You can get three-packs of any one notebook style, and they do have a mixed pack that comes with one each of the Blank (Chocolate), DotGrid (Wine), and Ruled (Black) books. That was the one I bought. All three cover colors are dark, rich, and muted. Overall, they have a really classy look, but it's a quiet sort of classy...they don't jump out and scream "Look at me!" The Paper: Rosetta Notes are billed as having "Fountain Pen Friendly" paper. They use 70# (105 gsm) Smart White text paper from a family-owned Michigan company called French Paper Co. (if French Paper sounds familiar, it's probably because they've supplied paper for some other notebooks, including some of the Field Notes releases). The paper is bright white and silky smooth to the touch. Is the paper fountain pen friendly? In a word: Heck yeah! Or...like...two words. The ruling for both the DotGrid and Graph is 5 mm. I don't have a sample of the graph, but the DotGrid uses a fairly light gray, and I find the dots to be pretty large. I'd like to see smaller dots. The ruled version uses a darker gray ink, but the lines are super thin and spaced about 6.4 mm apart. With my small handwriting, I love the tight ruling (most notebooks are in the 7 to 8 mm range). Pencil Results: I have yet to find a paper that pencils don't like. Rosetta Notes fall in line with everybody else. Palomino Blackwing: This is kind of a strange combination. It FEELS incredibly smooth, but it SOUNDS a little crunchy...like something I'd expect with more rough or textured paper. The graphite left behind also looks more uneven under a loupe, like I'd expect with rough/textured paper. I've also found that the graphite on the pencil seems to wear down a little quicker than I expected. Erasing had a stubborn start (took several passes before the graphite started to come away), and it left behind a fair amount of color.Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil (0.5): Super, super smooth writing experience. Feels like I'm writing on air. The line is consistent and pretty dark—very comparable to the Blackwing. Erasing still leaves behind too much graphite for my taste, but it's a little more complete than the Blackwing. Ballpoint Results: They pretty much still work everywhere. Uniball Jetstream (0.7): Very smooth, and the line comes out much finer than I expected. It seems closer to 0.5 mm than 0.7 mm. Excellent performance.Fisher Space Pen (0.7): The Space Pen ink has a slick, oily feeling to it, but not in a bad way. Writing is very smooth and the line is nice and dark. Gel Results: You really can't go wrong with gel pens, and mine all work great on the Rosetta Notes. Uniball Signo 207 Ultra Micro (0.38): Dark and flawless, baby! It's super freaking smooth on this paper. It doesn't come out completely black, but it's comes out darker than it does on several other papers. I think this is the perfect paper for this pen.Pilot G2 (0.5): Wicked smooth. It's doesn't put down as crisp a line as I expected, though. Under a loupe I can see a tiny bit of spread. Otherwise, the line is dark and consistent. Zebra Sarasa (0.7): Sloppy as always, but the paper handles it really well. There's some noticeable spread, but it's not awful. It is extremely smooth, though. Liquid Ink Rollerball Results: Someday when I'm president, I'm going to pass an Executive Order banning rollerball pens. Pilot Precise V5 RT (0.5): It's smooth and dark, but I'm getting some feathering and spread. It doesn't look too bad, but it's definitely visible without a loupe. Look at the capital F, G, and J in the alphabet. Overall, it's a mushy experience, but serviceable.Uniball Vision Elite (0.8): Very sloppy experience. Lots of spread & a little feathering. As with other papers, this ink dries a dark gray rather than black. Fountain Pen Results: I don't want to spoil anything too early, but this paper is magnificent for fountain pens. There were a couple tiny places that didn't dry within 10 seconds, but performance was otherwise flawless. (EF) Platinum Preppy with Noodlers Midnight Blue ink: Very smooth. the line comes out super fine. There are some tiny areas of spread, but you can't see them without a loupe.(F) Lamy Safari with Lamy Petrol ink: Zero spread or feathering and super smooth. In the dry test, the scribble didn't smear at all, but a couple spots in the preceding letters did. (M) Platinum Cool with Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo ink: Excellent performance with minimal spread and a few random tendrils (have to use a loupe to see it). My Cool is a really wet pen, and it needed a few extra seconds to completely dry. (0.6) Nemosine Singularity with KWZ Standard Turquoise ink: Very good performance. No spread or feathering (although I do see a few random "artifacts" at the tops of some letters, but I think that's a product of the nib more than anything). Completely dried within 10 seconds, and shows off some really nice shading with this ink. (1.1) Conklin Duragraph with Robert Oster Midnight Sapphire ink: Excellent performance! The lines aren'e especially crisp, but there isn't any spread or feathering at all. More awesome shading, too. Except for the colon after the word "Test," it rocked the dry time test. Conclusion Rosetta Notes are phenomenal little notebooks. Every writing instrument I used wrote smoothly, and most of them behaved well. I got some really awesome shading with a few pen/ink combinations, which is always a nice surprise for paper with fast dry times. I experienced some spread with my wettest pens, but none of them could be considered unusable. The ghosting was minimal and there were ZERO instances of bleed-through. Not a speck. Not an iota. None. So you can easily use the back side of every page. Like I mentioned earlier, the only thing I'd like to see is smaller dots on the DotGrid version. In the struggle to find pocket notebooks that can handle fountain pens and still offer acceptable dry times, Rosetta Notes nails it. And for everything you get out of these notebooks, the $7.99 price tag is an insanely great price.
  15. Hi everyone, After watching too many movies and TV shows about a group of people surviving the apocalyspe (be it zombie or otherwise) I thought this thread would be a bit of fun. So what is your plan for getting and using writing supplies (paper, pens, ink, converters, etc) after the apocalypse? Are you going to scavenge them as you go or are you already planning ahead and stockpiling them? Would you even be writing in that situation or would you just be kicking butt all day? Maybe you'll use a flighter pen as weapon for hunting or self-defense, who knows? Feel free to answer seriously or with humor! Edit: Changed some words for better ones, nothing important.
  16. I live in the Twin Cities MN area and need to get some new envelopes. I'm currently using generic business envelopes which really suck with fountain pens at least the ones I have lol. I've had real good luck finding smaller envelopes since there seems to be more out there, however, the selection of No. 10 sizes seems to be smaller. I know I can order some online through most of the pen sites since some of those sites have good paper selections. Anyone in the Twin Cities have any suggestions? also, would love to hear in general envelope brands people like. I'm open to go to target, walmart, staples, michaels, etc... but honestly, don't want to buy some from those stores and find out they also suck with fountain pens. I figured many of you have some knowledge in this are and I would like to lean on your personal experiences.
  17. Does anyone own or has anyone owned these hole punchers. I just bought the Staples Arc punch. I have heard that the Levenger Circa punch punches a bigger hole, so it is easier to turn the pages when installed. Is it true that it punches a bigger hole than the Staples brand Arc puncher, or is the hole the same size? Price is not an issue. I will get whichever one functions better. Will the Levenger last a long time, or is it just an expensive piece of junk? With the Levenger Circa Leverage punch, I estimate I can fit about 10 pages to punch at once (I will use 32 lb bond / 120 gsm). With the Staples Arc punch, I can only fit about 7 pages to punch at once, and most of the pages have come out slanted. I may have gotten a defective one. The slanted-ness may have been affecting the ease of page-turning and making it tougher, maybe even more so than the small holes. Should I be exchanging or returning?
  18. Hey, I really hate to open another topic on Baystate Blue. But I really don't know how to find ALL the BSB threads that are available, and check whether this has already been comented on (For what is worth, I have searched as best I could via Google, here and elsewhere, but I couldn't find an appropriate thread about this). So then, I thought I might ask everybody a question: Does YOUR (sample of) Baystate Blue turn purple on plain, white, copy paper (80-90 gsm), and predominantly on such paper? I don't mean a hint or a tinge of purple - rather bright, saturated, vibrant ... purple. To put a bit more context into it, I must say I just received my 3 oz. bottle of THE ink (ordered on Amazon, shipped by the manufacturer) a few days ago. I made sure to clean the pen extra well (flushed until water ran clear, THEN flushed with minor concentration dish-soap solution and left it in for 24hrs., THEN flushed until water ran clear of bubbles, and left another 24 hrs. with clean water in it, AND finally flushed dry, and left another 24hrs. to ... well, dry out, with nib resting on absorbent tissue paper - so, I guess the pen was .. clean), then loaded it with THE stuff. In case anybody is wondering, the pen is a black HERO 616 mini version with an M nib - I had well researched this ink beforehand (but apparently, still not well enough), so I knew well enough to choose a cheap pen. So far (3 days after) the pen behaves perfectly (with no melted plastic/feeder, or flow modification; it actually behaves better than with Diamine Blue Velvet in it; I do expect the rubber sac of the aerometric filler to be stained, but I couldn't care less; we'll see about the rest). And then I tried it on for size. First, on a glossy paper notebook - white (don't know what paper the supplier used, because the notebook is internal stationery at the HR firm I work at). And it came out ... purple. I felt my throat going dry. Secondly, on plain/cheap A4, 75gsm, ECF (Elementary Chlorine Free), Unpunched, Ecolabel copy paper - obviously, white (generic brand, nothing to do with printer manufacturers). And it came out ... purple. I was gutted. Not far from crying (not really, but still...), considering how many inconvenient properties and risks I am ready to put up with, just for this color. As in this BLUE color, not purple color! Then I needed to scribble something really quick, and the first paper that came to hand was the back of a store receipt (so thin, thermal paper, I would say, and also white), and the closest instrument at hand was the BSB pen. And what do you know - it came out as the perfect, pure, intense and bright cobalt blue I had thought I was buying. Exactly that! Amazed at my discovery, I started scribbling "Test Color" on every paper I had at hand - which means that now I have quite a few books and book covers scribbled on their last page in BSB. And the color stayed blue (albeit with some hints of purple in some cases, but which are BARELY discernible). Also, I checked ALL my results the following day, in plain daylight (on a beautiful sunny day, around noon). And they were unchanged: my (sample of) ink is purple on some papers, and the proper blue on others. And some papers are white, others are cream, and others plain yellow. Thus, it seems that my BSB reacts with the paper and changes hue, for I can think of no other explanations. Now, I know what many will say: Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Tomoe River, etc. And that's all fine - to each his own, but I am not really a fountain pen afficionado, nor do I plan on becoming one (I have only 3 inks, and ... let's see, erm... 7 fountain pens, and I really want to stay at this level). I really place practicality above tastes, and I consider it dandy enough to be using a fountain pen (in spite of the extinct-species/wolly-mammoth looks I get from some...), that I most certainly won't carry Tomoe River pads with me to the meeting room. Nothing wrong with those that will, as I was saying above. My point, however, to anybody reading this, is that performance on plain copy paper is THE deal breaker for ME, as I won't change paper except entirely accidentally. So it doesn't really help me to know how the ink performs on those FP dedicated papers (actually, I already do considering how much research I put into this color), and/or that I should change stationery. And the color is the deal-breaker part of the performance - as I was saying previously, I will put up with many things, but not with a different hue/color, because that makes it a different ink, actually. I have also read about reports that Noodler's inks have some relatively looser Q.C.s (i.e.quality controls), in that performance can vary from one batch to the another, within the same product line (for instance, different batches of BSB might behave differently). So then, I am well aware this could be a batch-related rather than a product-related problem. Being thus aware if that as well, I dare (after a mammoth post) phrase my question anew: Does YOUR (sample of) Baystate Blue turn purple on plain, white, copy paper (80-90 gsm), and predominantly on such paper? N.B.: for those who don't know/don't remember, would you be so kind as to test it a bit on some copy paper, if possible? I know it doesn't really do much for you, but I would really appreciate it, and it would mean A LOT to me to know whether I could still like this ink (that otherwise, I have to confess it, I would love in spite of all its other shortcomings... eh, true love i guess they call it, lol)
  19. I have tried several systems for making ink samples and after a few trial starts, I have decided on a version I think will suit my needs. I will need 2 different types of paper. I am planning on: 1) Making half page writing samples on normal letter/print paper. 2) Making my own sample cards about the size of a baseball card for swabs. So I am looking for both regular paper for writing samples as well as a heavier card stock type paper for the baseball cards. I look forward to your suggestions and expertise in starting with the right paper. Thanks, Cabbie
  20. I've been lax in posting these reviews back to FPN. Sorry for the delay. This is Part 4 of my Mega Monster Review series on Pocket Notebooks. Here's the review for the Fabriano EcoQua pocket notebooks along with a few pictures. Below are links to the full review, the main Mega Monster page, and the master spreadsheet (still very light as I ramp up on this project). As this is a work in progress that will likely take me a couple months to complete (I'm not that fast), I'd love any feedback you have that could help me make these reviews more useful. Thanks & enjoy! Full Review Mega Monster Review - Pocket NotebooksSpreadsheet of specs & results Introduction: Despite the dearth of decent options available in most US office supply & big-box stores, there are actually a ton of companies out there producing interesting, high-quality paper products in a range of shapes and sizes. Some companies are very prominent and well known (Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Leuchtturm), while others fly under the radar. One of these lesser-known gems is Italian stationery wizard Fabriano. Fabriano has a pretty nice range of art and stationery supplies, but you might never know about them because they don't get much press or recognition. Plus, for some reason, a lot of common retailers don't carry them. I've been using several A5 and pocket-sized notebooks from their EcoQua line, and I'm extremely impressed with them. Description: Intended to be 100% environmentally friendly, Fabriano's EcoQua line is, at first look, unassuming and minimalist. There are two things that immediately jumped out at me about their design. First, where most saddle-stitched pocket notebooks are bound by three staples, these use only two. Second, the covers are almost completely blank. There is a small logo printed at the bottom of the back cover that reads "FABRIANO Made in Italy" That's it. There's no other printing, embossing, stamping, or letterpressing. While I'm sure this leads to a better carbon footprint, I think an obvious side-effect is a pretty big reduction in production costs from the unused staples and ink. Fabriano turned around and invested some of that savings back to the notebooks: Very high-quality cover and paper stock64 pages per book (most others have 32 or 48)FOUR books per pack (I haven't seen anyone else do this)Back half of the pages are perforated for easy removal Speaking of the covers, these are fantastic. They're made from 290 gsm, scratch-resistant stock. They're very firm and durable. The texture feels great and the stock is stiff enough so you can write in the book while holding it in your hand. The Fabriano EcoQua pocket notebooks come in four-packs of warm colors (red, orange, yellow, green) or cool colors (blue, wine, black, gray), and you can choose either dot grid ruling or blank pages. Pencil Results: As with all the notebooks I've already covered and (probably) all the ones I will, pencils were perfect. Practically no ghosting from the pencils. Palomino Blackwing: Very smooth, with a soft swishing sound. I do have to rotate the pencil more often than usual, as the paper seems to wear down the graphite quickly. Strange issue with erasing: The first few swipes of the eraser did nothing. Eventually, the graphite started coming away, but it never completely erased.Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil (0.5): Smooth yet feedbacky. Very fine, crisp line. It's nice and dark, too. I can write very tiny, which is great given the 4 mm ruling width. Ballpoint Results: Pretty much flawless performance and minimal ghosting. Uniball Jetstream (0.7): Dark and consistent line. It feels smooth when writing, but there's this underlying "crunchy" feedback feeling that I'm not finding with other papers.Fisher Space Pen (0.7): Nothing special, but solid performance. Smoother (less crunch) than the Jetstream. Gel Results: Typically excellent, although the Sarasa was almost too much for it to handle. Uniball Signo 207 Ultra Micro (0.38): Typical performance. Very dark, which is nice. Super fine line. Gives some feedback from the paper's texture, but still very smooth.Pilot G2 (0.5): Perfect. Like there was any doubt.Zebra Sarasa (0.7): Not quite as sloppy as it is on most other papers. It gives a bit more control, although it was the only pen I used that bled through the paper (not really enough to notice, just a pinprick here and there). Feels slicky-smooth when writing. Does give a little bit of spread that you can see under a loupe. Liquid Ink Rollerball Results: For as much as I hate rollerballs, both of these pens yielded excellent results on the Fabriano paper. Pilot Precise V5 RT (0.5): Excellent performance. Very smooth. Crips, clean line with no spread or feathering.Uniball Vision Elite (0.8): Surprisingly solid. It actually resembles black ink on this paper. The line seems fine with the naked eye, but under a loupe, you can see a little spread and feathering. Fountain Pen Results: The fountain pen results are so mixed. On one hand, pen and ink performance were beautiful. Easily the best so far. But it comes at a price: dry times. It ain't good. (EF) Platinum Preppy with Noodlers Midnight Blue ink: Completely perfect. Up until the dry test. It smudged! I couldn't believe it. Surely not the EF Preppy!? Could this be true? It's true. No spread, feathering, or bleed. Minimal ghosting. Slightly scratchy with the paper texture.(F) Lamy Safari with Lamy Petrol ink: As close to perfect as it got. The Safari was my only fountain pen to pass the 10-second dry test, but it did show a tiny bit of spread under a loupe.(M) Platinum Cool with Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo ink: Perfect up until...you guessed it...the dry test. Quite a bit of smearing. Even though this is a really wet medium nib, I could still feel the paper's texture as I wrote.(0.6) Nemosine Singularity with KWZ Standard Turquoise ink: Another perfect performance...right up until the dry test (it's like a trend or something). Although, this pen/ink combination wasn't that bad for drying time. Another couple seconds would have probably been enough. Gives a very crisp line with no feathering or spread.(1.1) Conklin Duragraph with Robert Oster Midnight Sapphire ink: This paper handled the sloppy, wet stub nib exceptionally well. There were a few random spots of spread, but not feathering and no bleed. Dry test? Failed miserably. Conclusion Fabriano obviously took the "bang for your buck" approach with these notebooks. They shaved off some expenses that you see in other brands, and in return you get really nice cover stock, 64 pages per book, and four books per pack. Plus, the paper is fountain pen friendly and half the sheets are perforated. They pack a lot into this little $10 product. The paper in these Fabriano EcoQua notebooks is probably the most fountain pen friendly paper I've seen in any pocket notebook that I've used so far. The downside to that is dry time. Of the five pens I tested, only the Fine Safari fully dried within 10 seconds. If a fast dry time is critical to your needs, either stick with dry pens or find another notebook. The only other potential downside (for some people) is the ghosting. The paper is relatively thin, so you can see most writing on the backside of the page. There's no bleedthrough at all (except for one or two pinpricks from my juicy 0.7mm Sarasa), but you can see where the writing is. I'd put it on par with Leuchtturm paper. If you're comfortable with the ghosting from a Leuchtturm notebook, then the EcoQua won't bother you. I consider the back side of the page completely usable, but others might find the ghosting too much. Bottom line: If fountain pen dry time is not a concern and you can handle the ghosting, you really can't beat these notebooks. You get a lot of high-quality paper for $10 (and I'm even seeing these go for under $9 in some places). But if you need a true grab-and-go EDC choice and you insist on using fountain pens, then I probably wouldn't recommend these for you.
  21. The subject comes up regularly, which is normal since not everyone has access to good paper, or is willing to splurge; and yet it might not be splurging but part of a good experience. In any case after using only Clairefontaine, Rhodia, Tomoe River, Fabriano and HP 32 lbs for the past few years, I finally tried all my pens on regular, no name copy paper, and here are the results: On decent paper all my pens write well or very smoothly, the more expensive Sailor Pro Gear, Pelikan m600, Parker Sonnet and a Lamy Studio are particularly nice; on copy paper the results were surprising to me: Smoothest: Pilot Metropolitan medium nib.Platinum Cool medium nib.It's particularly impressive that these two pens, one cheap and the other not that expensive, do better than much more expensive pens. Decently smooth: Sailor Professional Gear medium nib.Parker Sonnet fine nib.Pelikan m600 fine nib.Muji aluminium fine nib (x4).Lamy Studio fine nib.Waterman Le Man 100 fine nib.Faber Castell Ambition extra fine nib.Kaweco Sport fine nib.It's particularly impressive of the cheap Mujis, and the extra fine Faber Castell. The Le Man 100 is my most expensive pen by far, and only does ok on good or regular paper: c'est la vie! Smooth but nothing out of this world: Lamy Vista fine and medium nibs (x7).Parker Sonnet fine nib. Barely usable: Pilot Penmanship extra fine nib.This nib is so fine you can feel every single bit of texture on the paper. My conclusion is that it's easy to miss the point of fountain pens with certain pen and paper combinations, and that you should give yourself the chance to try better paper, even HP LaserJet 32 lbs paper can make a big difference, and you can use it at work to print special documents or presentations. If you can't or won't you can still have a good experience for not much money with a Pilot Metropolitan, which is amazing value, the Platinum Cool would be if of my two didn't refuse to start. There are even cheaper pens but I value reliability too much to try them, although you might enjoy tinkering. There is a second point, which is how ink looks on cheaper paper, and how much it feathers, which doesn't happen on good paper, although it does dry faster.
  22. KateGladstone

    Some Handwriting Help Products ...

    A product of mine is now carried by major distributor Therapro ... http://www.therapro.com/Browse-Category/New-Products/TriOn-Pencil-Grip.html A second, much older, product of mine has been produced by them for years, and is still carried by them: http://www.therapro.com/Browse-Category/Stage-Write-Raised-Line-Progressive-Writing-Series_2/Stage-Write-Raised-Line-Paper.html Another, though smaller, distributor carries three of my products and makes them searchable under my name: https://www.nationalautismresources.com/search.php?search_query=Kate+Gladstone&Search= Note that one of my products there is a (gasp) ball-point with a pull-out sheet of handwriting help info. Id like to reach anyone at FPN who could help me make a fountain pen version of this,
  23. This is Part 6 of my Mega Monster Review series on Pocket Notebooks. Here's the review for the Scout Books pocket notebook along with a few pictures. Below are links to the full review, the main Mega Monster page, and the master spreadsheet (still very light as I ramp up on this project). As this is a work in progress that will likely take me a couple months to complete (I'm not that fast), I'd love any feedback you have that could help me make these reviews more useful. Thanks & enjoy! Full Review Mega Monster Review - Pocket NotebooksSpreadsheet of specs & results Introduction: This series is all about the collision between the Fountain Pen and EDC worlds, and finding the notebooks that are most appropriate for fountain pen users who want to write on the go. The perfect pocket notebook handles ink well, never feathers or spreads, showcases shading and sheen, dries immediately, and is durable. That notebook is hanging out in Imaginary Land with Sasquatch and Nessie. Generally speaking, "handles ink well" and "dries fast" don't go hand-in-hand. Most notebooks fall somewhere in between, leaving us to weigh which side of the spectrum is more important to us (and honestly, that probably changes, too, depending on the situation we're in at the time). About Scout Books: It took a while for me to get my hands on some Scout Books notebooks. I've seen the brand name a lot over the last few years when I search the Googles, but I've never run across them in any physical store or online shops I frequent. Typically, with pocket notebooks, I toss a pack or two in my cart when I'm buying other things. But with Scout Books, I had to intentionally go and find/buy them. Although Scout Books sell a few "stock" notebooks for retail (including occasional collaborations with artists), their bread and butter is in printing customized notebooks. They consider themselves a "tool for sharing your own story or brand through custom designs." You can see some pretty spectacular examples on their site. They also sell some with completely blank craft covers that you can customize yourself with markers, ink, paint, stickers, or whatever else you fancy. One of the hallmarks of the company is sustainability: Description: I have to admit, I went into this excursion somewhat skeptical that their recycled paper would work well with fountain pens. I've often found recycled paper to be porous and not very uniform, leading to some pretty brutal feathering and spread. But the paper used in Scout Books notebooks is pretty hearty and surprisingly kind to liquid inks, as long as they're not too wet. The paper they use feels thicker and stiffer than Clairefontaine, but not as thick (or as smooth) as the paper used in the Story Supply Pocket Staple Edition 407. In these reviews, I'm using three pens that seriously put paper to the test: Uniball Vision Elite 0.8 (a feather monster), Platinum Cool in medium (juuuuuuuuuicy), and the Conklin Duragraph with a 1.1mm stub (lays down a lot of ink). All three pens suffered some spread, yielding lumpy lines on the Scout Books paper, but honestly, they all performed better than I expected. I still wouldn't pair those pens up with this notebook (especially the Cool), but they didn't really make a mess, either. In addition to being recycled, the paper in the Scout Books notebooks doesn't appear to have any sizing/coating, so it's pretty absorbent. The downside to that is that fountain pen ink doesn't get much of a chance to show off it's goods. But this paper really shines on the other end of the spectrum: dry times. I had one tiny speck of wet ink from my Safari (fine), but everything else was completely dry within 10 seconds. A big win for those "write it and run" type of people. One surprise is that it shows a little shading.Shading typically gets lost with absorbent paper, but I got a bit from my Nemosine Singularity and KWZ Turquoise. It's not what you'd see from Tomoe River, but it was a nice surprise, nonetheless. In addition to shading, that last image also shows the bumpy/mushy spread from the Platinum Cool (top of the image). There's too much spread for me to use this pen with this paper, but feathering is minimal and the dry time is excellent. Specifications In typical pocket notebook fashion, Scout Books pocket notebooks are folded in half and staple-bound with rounded outside corners and hearty cardstock covers. The off-the-shelf offerings come in a few colors/patterns and you can get them in blank, ruled, or DotGrid versions. Typical pocket notebook size is 3.5 x 5.5 inches (9 by 14 cm). Scout Books pocket notebooks are a little shorter at 3.5 x 5.0 inches (9 x 12.7 cm). I'm not sure that makes any real difference in usage; however, if you're the type of person who hates it when a sliver of notebook peeks out of your shirt pocket, then this more compact size may be right up your alley. There is very little branding on these notebooks. In fact, the only branding on the outside covers is a tiny, nondescript logo on the bottom of the back cover, although you'll find another logo and a little more info inside the back cover. The one area where Scout Books pocket notebooks really fall short is in their number of pages. While most pocket notebooks include 48 pages, Scout Books only have 32. If you're looking at buying a three-pack, that works out to 48 fewer pages per pack than most of their competitors. If you're someone who blows through pocket notebooks fast, this is a significant difference. Pencil Results: Pencils work well on the Scout Books paper. The paper is a bit toothy, though, so the soft graphite in my Blackwing did wear down a little quicker than with smoother papers.Palomino Blackwing: Works just fine. As I just mentioned, the toothy paper wore down the graphite, making my lines a little fuzzy (you probably wouldn't notice if you have larger handwriting). The line is dark, though. Erasing took a few swipes to get going and some graphite was still left behind.Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil (0.5): Perfect. Nice and dark; slightly less so than the Blackwing. It's definitely a crisper line, though. The graphite erases faster and more fully with the Kuru Toga. Ballpoint Results: I often joke that ballpoint pens should be outlawed. But seriously, as unenjoyable as they are, they really do work just about everywhere. Can't argue with their success.Uniball Jetstream (0.7): Works great. Dark and consistent. No complaints.Fisher Space Pen (0.7): Surprisingly smoother than the Jetstream, but also a bit "sludgier" in that the pasty ink causes some drag on the paper. Works fine, if unremarkable. Gel Results: I expected the gel pens to perform perfectly. My expectations were largely met, although the wet-ass Sarasa caused some spread.Uniball Signo 207 Ultra Micro (0.38): Wonderful, as expected. Fine and consistent line. And for as fine as the line is, it comes out really dark, especially against the bright white paper.Pilot G2 (0.5): Solid. Very dark. I'm finding that some of my tighter loopy letters are filling in, which I haven't seen on other papers. Otherwise it's excellent.Zebra Sarasa (0.7): Does okay. Very dark black. I am seeing some spread, even without a loupe. But it is a super wet pen, so I'm not surprised. With a loupe, I can see a bit of short, blobby feathering. Liquid Ink Rollerball Results: I had super low hopes for how the rollerball pens would perform on this recycled paper, but they were better than I expected.Pilot Precise V5 RT (0.5): Very good. There's a minimal amount of spread and a few random feathers, but you have to look under a loupe to see them. Very smooth writing experience.Uniball Vision Elite (0.8): Not quite as good as the Precise, but still better than I expected. There's some spread and a bit of tiny feathering, but it performs about as well as the Sarasa gel. And although it's not as black as the Sarasa, it's still dries darker than it usually does. Fountain Pen Results: I really anticipated that this paper wouldn't like fountain pens. The paper is recycled and not coated. I was pretty surprised, though. Fine/dry pens worked well, and the dry times for all pens were beautiful.(EF) Platinum Preppy with Noodlers Midnight Blue ink: Lots of feedback on this paper. Although not consistently scratchy, the nib caught on the paper once or twice. With a loupe, I can see some very minor feathering around all my letters, and I can see some spread around the starting and stopping points of my lines. It's not enough to notice during normal reading, though. No bleed-through.(F) Lamy Safari with Lamy Petrol ink: Way smoother than the Preppy. Can still feel the texture of the paper, but it's negligible. Some spread is visible, along with a few tiny feathers. But again, it's better than I thought it would be. One or two specks still wet during the dry test.(M) Platinum Cool with Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo ink: Quite a bit of spread and feathering. Strangely enough, though, it does retain a bit of shading...but just a bit. This is one of the wettest pens I have, and the dry test was flawless. Significant bleed-through to the other side of the paper.(0.6) Nemosine Singularity with KWZ Standard Turquoise ink: Tiny bit of spread that you can see with the naked eye, and a tiny amount of feathering. The ends of strokes are especially rough. Dry test was perfect and I even got some nice shading with this combo. Small amount of bleed-through, but nothing that would prevent you from using the other side of the paper.(1.1) Conklin Duragraph with Robert Oster Midnight Sapphire ink: Lots of noticeable spread, feathering, and bleed-through. There were a few random tendrils extending out from the letters, but you have to look hard to see them. There is some shading, but the edges of my letters are pretty mushy. Interestingly enough, the dry test was again perfect...a big surprise for as wet as this pen is. Conclusion As I was unwrapping these notebooks, I was pretty sure they wouldn't like my fountain pens. While liquid inks do creep a bit on this absorbent paper (especially with very wet pens), the dry times are fantastic. Even if you use a sloppy, wet stub nib, you can write and go without having to decipher a Rorschach Test the next time you open your notebook. If you mostly use fine/dry fountain pens and you need a durable notebook with fast dry times—or if you're in the market for custom notebooks made with your own designs—then you should definitely check out Scout Books.
  24. Catching up...This is Part 5 of my Mega Monster Review series on Pocket Notebooks. Here's the review for the Kokuyo A6 Systemic Refill notebook along with a few pictures. Below are links to the full review, the main Mega Monster page, and the master spreadsheet (still very light as I ramp up on this project). As this is a work in progress that will likely take me a couple months to complete (I'm not that fast), I'd love any feedback you have that could help me make these reviews more useful. Thanks & enjoy! Full Review Mega Monster Review - Pocket NotebooksSpreadsheet of specs & results Introduction: I know, I know. I've already heard from some of you that A6 shouldn't be considered a "pocket notebook." I have pretty average-sized pockets, and an A6 fits in almost all of them. The only ones it won't fit into are the shirt pockets with a built-in, stitched pen pocket...but Field Notes doesn't fit in there, either, so I say A6 is fair game. And that's a good thing, because this unassuming little notebook is quite the gem. About the Company: Kokuyo is a Japanese company on a mission "to enrich the world through our products. We are constantly looking for ways to make people more creative through careful observation of their lives and work." As such, they deal in two main types of products: stationery and office furniture. I can't attest to any of their furniture, but I've used several of their notebooks, and I've never been disappointed. Probably most well known for their Campus line of notebooks, Kokuyo got their start by supplying businesses with accounting ledgers, and moved into all sorts of other stationery and art supplies. Although headquartered in Osaka, Japan, they have operations in many other countries, such as China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and India (where they acquired the company Camlin in 2011). Description: This notebook is actually intended to be a refill for their Systemic line of notebook covers. They're kind of reminiscent of the Filofax system, where there are about a million inserts and items that you can put into it to customize your EDC experience. I've never used any of their Systemic covers, but there were two things that caught my eye on these refills: the price and the number of pages. Clocking in at a mere $2.35, this notebook is less than half the price of the industry-leading pocket notebooks ($12.95 for 3 = $4.32 each). Of course, these are regular production books and have no fancy design changes every quarter, so that helps keep manufacturing costs down. But the real kicker is that they cram 96 pages between the covers. That's twice as many as a standard pocket notebook. The Systemic refill cover doesn't sport any real design elements. The front and back covers are just plain black, although the company logo, model number, and UPC code appear on the back. It uses a really simple glue binding with a textured black tape around the spine. I've been bending this notebook all over the place to see if it would lay flat (it does) and then go back to sit closed (it sits open a little, but not as much as I expected). So far, the binding seems durable, with no pages separating from the glue and no cracking in the spine itself. The paper is a very light ivory color. Not dark enough to be considered cream, but definitely not white, either. Unfortunately, this refill notebook only comes in one configuration: black cover + lined ruling. I'm not a big fan of lined paper, but at least the rules reasonably spaced at 6mm and printed in a VERY fine and very light gray line, so they're fairly easy to ignore if you so desire. The top and bottom rules are darker and thicker than the rest, and they have these cool little spacers printed below them. They consist of alternating dots and vertical dashes and include a small triangle to indicate the centerpoint of the page. I guess these are intended to help keep consistent indentation, or even help in writing out tabular data. They're nice to have if you're looking for help with page structure, but easy to ignore if you don't need them. It's a nice touch. Now I know some of you will get heartburn over me calling an A6 notebook a "pocket notebook." But I have yet to find a garment that will accept a 3.5" x 5.5" notebook but not an A6. And although this notebook has 96 pages, it's not really that much thicker than a standard pocket notebook. And really, it's only like a half-inch wider and a quarter-inch taller, so it's not really that big a difference. The only point of contention for me is that the corners are all square. Rounded corners are better because they won't catch on the fabric. I'm sure if you put the Kokuyo Systemic refill in your pocket every day, the corners would undoubtedly get beat up. Pencil Results: Perhaps you prefer pencils to pens. Pencils perform perfectly on this paper. Probably not a peculiar proclamation, given the propensity for pencils to perform impeccably by putting down a plethora of prose and poetry on practically all pages of pulp. Palomino Blackwing: Creamy & Dreamy! The paper is really smooth, and the pencil tip stays relatively sharp while still putting down a dark and surprisingly crisp & consistent line. Erasing had a really stubborn start, but once it kicked in, a good amount of the pencil came away. And if I do say, writing on this paper with the Blackwing produced a lovely swishing sound that I found quite enjoyable.Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil (0.5): Precision writing going on with the Kuru Toga. The line is super fine and super crisp, although a little lighter than I'd like it to be (still plenty dark enough against the light ivory color of the paper, though). Erases nicely. Ballpoint Results: They pretty much work everywhere. Uniball Jetstream (0.7): Such a smooth writing experience. It's like writing on butter! The line comes out really thin on this paper, and the ink is nice and dark. Despite it being a ballpoint, the Jetstream gave a pleasurable writing experience.Fisher Space Pen (0.7): Also smooth, but gives bit of resistance on this paper. The line comes out very dark...actually looks like black on this paper, where it's usually more of a very dark gray. Gel Results: Much like ballpoints, gel pens tend to work spiffily on most papers. Uniball Signo 207 Ultra Micro (0.38): The ink comes out a little light, but it otherwise performs flawlessly. Very smooth, even with the Ultra Micro 0.38 mm tip on it.Pilot G2 (0.5): I don't even know what to write here. It's perfect, like it usually is. It puts down a dark and very crisp line. Excellent.Zebra Sarasa (0.7): The American version of the Sarasa is a pretty gushy 0.7 mm gel pen. Once in a while it gets pretty sloppy, but not on the Kokuyo paper. It's actually a really good match. Despite a tiny bit of spread that you can see under a loupe, the line remains relatively crisp. Liquid Ink Rollerball Results: The more I use rollerball pens, the less I like them. Had mixed results with these two pens on the Kokuyo paper. Pilot Precise V5 RT (0.5): Another winning combination. The V5 glides effortlessly across the paper and puts down a crisp and consistent line. It performs every bit as well as a gel pen. No spread or feathering at all, although it does lighten up a bit and looks dark gray instead of black.Uniball Vision Elite (0.8): I've come to the conclusion that the Vision Elite is just plain awful. It feathers everywhere. EVERYWHERE. No other pen feathered on the Kokuyo paper...but the Vision Elite did. Performance isn't horrific, but it's not great either. There's a fair amount of spread and feathering, and the ink dries to a flat, ugly gray. The pen is serviceable, but if you're annoyed by any amount of feathering, you'll probably want to avoid this pen & paper combo. Fountain Pen Results: Other than a not-so-great 10-second dry test, this paper works amazingly with fountain pens. I wasn't sure how good it would be at 70 gsm, but the paper must be coated/sized because it handles fountain pen inks beautifully, providing clean, crisp lines and excellent shading. (EF) Platinum Preppy with Noodlers Midnight Blue ink: Excellent. The EF nib will catch on rougher papers, but it's smooth as silk on the Kokuyo paper. There's zero spread or feathering. The ink does seem a little light on this paper compared to other papers I've used.(F) Lamy Safari with Lamy Petrol ink: Excellent writing experience. No trace of any feathering or spread. Super smooth. It's an excellent match for this paper. Almost passed the dry test, with just a tiny drop that didn't dry.(M) Platinum Cool with Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo ink: I got amazing shading out of this combination. No feathering or spread with a super crisp line. Didn't do so hot in the 10-second dry test.(0.6) Nemosine Singularity with KWZ Standard Turquoise ink: The edges of the letters are so incredibly crisp: No spread or feathering at all. And this is another combo that produced some excellent shading. The dry test was actually pretty close, but still didn't completely dry.(1.1) Conklin Duragraph with Robert Oster Midnight Sapphire ink: Awesome shading! Wicked crisp lines, with absolutely no spread or feathering. Strangely enough, this combination sailed through the dry test (although my wife was asking me a bunch of questions, so I may have been distracted and let a few extra seconds slip by). Conclusion While this notebook was intended for use with a larger organizer system, it works beautifully as an EDC pocket notebook, too. It's got a whopping 96 pages of excellent, fountain pen-friendly paper, and it's way affordable. It only comes in ruled, and it only comes in one color: black. So it's not going to win any beauty contests. But it's not hideous, either, and there's a lot to love about it. Dry times are an issue, though. If you use fountain pens, and you often need to write something down quickly and Get out of Dodge, you might end up with some smeared ink where you expected to find notes. But if you can afford a few extra seconds to let the ink dry, the smoothness and shading are well worth it. Other than fairly slow dry times, every writing instrument I used was smooth on this paper. It seems to love just about every pen...even the Vision Elite somewhat behaved. And with fountain pens, I got all crisp edges and lots of gorgeous shading. I will say that at 70 gsm, the paper does allow a fair bit of ghosting with all the pens. But there was no bleed-through at all and the back side of the page was very usable with even the wettest pens.
  25. In seeking out archival inks... and scouring various web sites and reading about all sorts of things I'm still left feeling a bit befuddled - as googling can often do to a person. I think the three main issues are: Waterproofness, light fastness (UV resistant), and ph neutrality. What I've realized is that a lot of fountain pen people seem really worried about these things as they relate to their pens. As in ruining their pens with the pigments in waterproof inks, worried about a highly basic or acidic ink ruining their pens. I'm not so concerned about that. I like my pens but more importantly I am concerned about the paper and how long the image will last on the paper. As an artist, I have always been taught to try and make everything archival, and I like the idea that generations from now our creations as a society are still around for others to learn about us etc. Also I think it would be cool if my family had drawings or art work that my great great great grandfather did or something, I would want to check them out. And so I would want my great great great grand kids to be able to see things that I did if they wanted to (which they may not lol). I was originally determined to only buy inks that fit this bill to make sure they were around as long as possible and so that I could paint and use mixed media / ink washes etc.. if I wanted to. So I have some waterproof inks that I'm happy with and can use for this but really I was thinking about it. They don't all need to be waterproof if I'm just drawing. What are the chances my sketchbooks and papers etc.. are going to be submerged in water? I guess my basement could flood - that's a slight concern. The UV resistance is definitely an issue as an image hung on the wall in a house is exposed to light. If in a shop window trying to sell your work, it is exposed to a serious amount of light. So that leaves the 'ph'. It seems that it is pretty important to know the ph of the ink because ink that is say below a ph of 6 and higher than 8, is going to be problematic long term (not for the pen - I don't care so much about the pen). But for the integrity of the image/ drawing/ words/ text etc... on the paper. Is this true ? Also regarding ph. Noodlers and J. Herbin advertise their inks as ph neutral (with some exceptions) but looking at individual ph testing done on this site by members, and on various other websites... It seems the results are inconsistent with the advertising and even with each other sometimes. Sometimes radically different from each other. Ex. Herbin's Bleu Myosotis is reported as ph neutral on their website. But other (well respected in the fountain pen world) independent testers report it at 2.31. There's lots of other differences between other independent testing as well. So, almost done, I figured I could be a bit lengthy in my question on a site dedicated to people who like to write - I assume they don't mind reading a bit either... So what's the deal! What's someone to do ? Who do you believe ? How important is the ph of an ink if you're writing, drawing etc.. on an 'acid free' paper already ? Any thoughts on the ph issue specifically, but feel free to respond to anything else I've mentioned I guess.

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