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Desiderata Woodglass Flex Pen: A Quick First Impression
Limner posted a topic in Fountain Pen ReviewsToday I received my new WoodGlass from Desiderata Pens, which Pierre described on his website as "the first wooden demonstrator pen". I like wood; I like demonstrators. But what I really like about the WoodGlass is that it's an eyedropper filler--the 'tank' goes all the way down into the wooden end of the barrel and holds 2.4 ml of ink. I use my flex pens for drawing, as opposed to writing, and use up ink pretty fast. If you're not familiar with Desiderata pens, the concept is simple: they're fountain pens designed to take super flexible dip pen nibs...that look and work great. The feed is designed to keep up the steady flow of ink needed to produce lines with extreme width variation. Here's a look at my WoodGlass: The design is simple and understated; the barrel isn't really glass, of course, it's acrylic. The walls are thick enough to help insulate the air inside from the heat of your hand, to help guard against the dreaded low-tank ink burp. The crossgrain gives the ends a bit of character. The pen came fitted with the standard chromed Zebra G-NIb, which I'll eventually change out for a titanium one; but I was too impatient for that and wanted to test it out right away. I flushed the nib and feed and greased the section threads as instructed in the included manual, then filled the tank and primed the feed with a De Atramentis Document homemix I dubbed "Blood Oath". I'm happy to report that everything is sealed perfectly, the pen doesn't leak at all; however... ...I've got to clean THIS up before anybody gets the wrong idea. Anyway. I then capped the pen and let it stand nib down long enough for it to, you know...become one with itself, man. After a couple of false starts--and a few shakes from me--it got its groove on, and I took it for a spin. I doodled all over an 11" x 14" sheet of Borden & Riley #234 Paris paper. The lettering is fairly large--much bigger than normal handwriting. I didn't feel I was working particularly slowly, and the ink flow kept up with all but my most extreme flexing, and even then I felt the problem was due to speed more than feed. I did experience some clogging due to the super sharp nib catching paper fibers between the tines, but that will happen with any untipped flex nib. Just pick the hairball out of the nib and you're good to go. Detail of above, showing the scale. If you're familiar with G-nibs, you know how they perform; if not, the widest 'swells' above measure between 2 and 3 mm. The nibs will flex wider than that, after a bit of breaking in, but I don't usually push them that far. And even after all that doodling, I still had 2/3 of a tank left! To sum it up, I feel this is going to be one of my favorite 'workhorse' pens. It does what it's supposed to; it's attractive, the nibs are easily (and inexpensively) replaced, and Pierre is easily approachable if you have any questions or concerns. The only real drawback I can foresee is that the section is a bit slim for my mutant grip--I'm most comfortable with plump pens. But that's not a dealbreaker. I'm looking forward to finding out how the WoodGlass compares to both my vintage flex and custom flex pens.