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New Pen Stories/ Advice?



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Hey guys! So after much consideration and saving up, I finally bit the bullet yesterday and got my first expensive pen- the Pilot Vanishing Point with an xf nib. I picked it up from my local B&M store, and they were great, really helpful. I love it, and I was just wondering if anyone has any stories or tidbits of advice for a first "nice" pen (my other pen, really my first, is a Lamy safari xf). So, tips? Stories? Horror stories, perhaps?

 

Thanks!

-Rumbleroar

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Patience is a virtue.

 

There's a story somewhere around here about how I ruined a TWSBI Vac 700. While not terribly expensive, it wasn't one of my finest moments. Essentially, I had some red ink staining and rather than being patient and cleaning it thoroughly, I tried to rush it by soaking it in a bleach solution. I left it overnight and when I went back the next morning, all of the rubber was ruined and the pen was rendered useless. I did salvage the nib and barrel (which I passed on to someone who needed one), but that was it.

 

So... My advice to you is to exercise a bit of patience. If you get some ink staining, go slow and steady to remove the stain. If you get a rough spot on your nib and decide to smooth it yourself, go slow and check your progress often.

 

Fountain pens are such amazing writing instruments. They'll last a lifetime if taken care of. I'm not old enough to have had a fountain pen very long (I've only been using them a couple of years), but having ruined an $80 pen, I learned my lesson in rushing things.

No, that's not blood. That's Noodler's Antietam.

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Ah, that first plunge into an expensive pen. Here's my story. My career duties required travel to England and Europe a few times every year. As a 30-something in the late 80's, I carried Cross or Parker ball points. I learned to write in cursive with an Esterbrook, but my generation eagerly adopted the new technology of ball points after Bic introduced the stick pen in the early 60's. But I digress. During a business trip to a trade show in what was then West Berlin I saw lots of advertising for Pelikans and Montblancs. I had also seen ads for Montblancs in U.S. magazines and thought often of getting a proper fountain pen. Somewhere on the K-strasse, the main shopping street, I happened upon a pen store. I walked out with a Montblanc Meisterstuck and a bottle of Montblanc blue-black ink, spending way more than I should have, due to the poor USD exchange rate against the Deutschmark. In a matter of hours it had become a favorite possession. I still own it, and it is still a favorite. My advice is, if you like the pen, hang on to it.

"It is the pen gives immortality to men." Maistre Wace, Canon of Bayeux, 1110-1174

 

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My advice is, if you like the pen, hang on to it.

This advice is so true. My first two pens were (in order) a Lamy Al Star and a Waterman Phileas that I bought roughly in the late 1990's. I didn't pay a lot for either one and to this day both have served me well.

 

When the threads on the section of the Al Star broke a few years ago, I found a source for the part - Lamy USA and bought a section and nib for $25. (to my knowledge the only source for this particular part, but nibs alone are available elsewhere though) Some might say why didn't you just buy a new pen? To be honest it didn't occur to me. I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $50, but right now I could pay $37 or so for the identical pen from Goulet Pens. I didn't find FPN until December 2012.

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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My advice here is very simple: enjoy your pen as much as possible. Try different inks, see how it works with different papers...

 

There are so many nice pens out there that it is easy to have both eyes on everything that you don't have (yet!), instead of enjoying what you have in your hands.

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My advice here is very simple: enjoy your pen as much as possible. Try different inks, see how it works with different papers...

 

There are so many nice pens out there that it is easy to have both eyes on everything that you don't have (yet!), instead of enjoying what you have in your hands.

 

Really wonderful advice here. I'm guilty of getting caught up in this. Step back and enjoy the pens you have and see where they take you. Get to know them. Figure out their nuances, subtle though they may be. It's a good thing. I need to do the same.

 

I'm on a buying freeze. You guys leave me alone! Quit posting your beautiful pens in the Classifieds.

No, that's not blood. That's Noodler's Antietam.

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