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Excessive Writing With Fountain Pens & Paper Under $100



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Dear Fountain Pen Network Friends,

 

I am new to The Fountain Pen Network website and admittedly, an amateur collector in the fountain pen world. Five years ago, the first fountain pen I ever purchased was through a Chinese merchant on eBay. I bought a Waterman Phileas, black, with a steel medium point nib; the sale included a plastic box with a velvet interior and an international ink cartridge, black. I spent around $26. Since then, my interest in fountain pens has become more than an obsessive hobby; it is an intense admiration of all antiquities. I continued purchasing pens through eBay--mostly vintage Sheaffar pens that needed repairing--and plain black and blue inks in cheaply made inkwells for the next two years. Presently, all of my recent fountain pen purchases have been through GouletPens.com.

 

After completing my four years in college as an undergraduate and as a student majoring in Philosophy while minoring in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing, I have decided to continue my education to become a graduate student with the prospects of earning a PhD in Continental Philosophy as well as a master's degree in Comparative Russian Literature--an ambitious attempt since the only other language I speak is Spanish, poorly, but enough to get me by. Knowing very well that my scholastic pursuits will lead me to a career where writing is as common as showering or brushing one's teeth, I began, at an early age, to keep a diary to train my hands in the art of writing (as a young rebellious-of-all-things-religious Catholic school student, I was forced to learn cursive writing; as an adult, my writing style is a hybrid of both print and cursive). In high school, I was a Graphic Arts student and knew that not all paper was made the same. Whenever I tried using my Waterman Phileas on recycled leaves of paper, it would bleed through the page and onto another--obviously I was writing as slow as a sloth.

 

I began searching for paper that could withstand the generous flow of ink from a fountain pen. I came across a leather diary by PaperChase. Bleeding was less of an issue with this diary, but still a problem.

 

To make this autobiographical account of my history with fountain pens and durable paper short, being that this is my first post on The Fountain Pen Network, I ask this: what are the best fountain pens a student can buy that are under $100? Moreover, it is important to note that pen and paper are, for lack of a better word, harmoniously symbiotic; therefore, what kind of paper can withstand the torturous swaying, swiping, and scratching of a nib? Furthermore, what would a fountain pen expert recommend when suggesting inks?--please, be playful with this one.

 

Currently, my daily drivers (or, the fountain pens I carry with me and use daily), in order of least favorable to favorable, are the Pilot Metropolitan, black, with a steel medium nib; the Reform 1745, green and black, with a gold plated (correct me if I am wrong) medium iridium point nib; and finally, a TWSBI Diamond 580, transparent (hence, the diamond) body, with a steel fine point nib. All pens are filled with Diamine's Red Dragon ink--a personal favorite which makes all writing feel like a tribute to William Blake. Finally, the diary I carry with me is a hardback 5 x 8.25 Moleskine Classic Notebook with plain pages only because, as Juan Ramon Jimenez wrote, "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way."

 

My Fountain Pen Network friends, I hope you can enlighten me on how best to pursue a lifestyle in purchasing the right pen, ink and paper, and I trust that your insight will not only direct me, but will also be of some use to others. Thank you.

 

Truly Yours,

 

G. L.

 

P. S. To keep within the limited amount of upload space I have been given, I will uploaded pictures of the nibs for the aforementioned fountain pens. I have also included a picture of the ink I primarily use.

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Edited by Glinzan
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Waski_the_Squirrel

If you're looking for an under $100 pen, I've been pleasantly surprised by the Monteverde brand. I also really like Noodler's pens, if you want to add something different to your collection. If the flex nib turns out not to be to your liking, Noodler's has pleasant non-flex nibs and Goulet Pens has non-flex nibs which will fit the Konrad. You'll still be under $100.

 

I think an acrylic Konrad, especially in one of the fun colors, might make a nifty addition.

Proud resident of the least visited state in the nation!

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My Fountain Pen Network friends, I hope you can enlighten me on how best to pursue a lifestyle in purchasing the right pen, ink and paper, and I trust that your insight will not only direct me, but will also be of some use to others. Thank you.

 

Truly Yours,

 

G. L.

 

My best advice is to keep doing what you're doing: buying pens, inks, and papers that your eyes are attracted to. As far as purchasing the "right" pen, paper, etc..... It doesn't exist. There is no "best" pen/ink/paper. The best is what is best for YOU!

 

I would recommend you try out a used Lamy 2000. It would be a great addition to your collection and is a wonderful workhorse pen.

 

I wish you good luck on your worthy endeavors! :thumbup:

Edited by logantrky
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To both Waski the Squirrel and Logantrky, thank you for the replies and suggestions. I appreciate it!

 

Waski the Squirrel, I have looked into the Monteverde brand, but always assumed they were expensive--I was probably confusing them with Montblanc. When it comes to flex nibs, I wanted to try the Noodler Ahab.

 

Logantrky, you are correct in stating that we all have our own preferences, but I enjoy reading about what others find appealing and would love to you know your favorite pen and ink. I have been looking into the Lamy 2000, but I'm hesitant at the modernist look of the pen. I like the nib to be revealed and never covered.

 

Again, thank you both!

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The Blue Knight

I guess first of all welcome!

 

You raise a good question, what is the best fountain pen under $100? From my experience if you want an excellent budget I'd say a Parker Frontier (that being low budget sub $30) my favorite EDC pen. However if you want a quality pen at the top end of that budget I'd suggest a Pelikan M200 as it looks the part and feels like quality pen that will last.

 

Regarding paper, I use and enjoy Oxford Optik 90 gsm paper, it's found in black and red books as well as Oxford Collage books. It's smooth paper which I've never had problems with and it doesn't cost as much as Rhodia Claire Fontaine paper

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...

 

Logantrky, you are correct in stating that we all have our own preferences, but I enjoy reading about what others find appealing and would love to you know your favorite pen and ink....

 

Again, thank you both!

 

My favorite pen/ink combo is a Montblanc 149 B nib with MB Midnight Blue ink. ;)

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alexander_k

As logantrky wrote, just enjoy the opportunities to experiment with various combinations. Even with a limited budget you can do a lot, especially if you focus on vintage pens. FPN is a great place for getting ideas, valid opinions and good second-hand stuff.

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Also look up videos by (1) The Pen Habit, and by (2) S. Bre Brown. Steven has a lot of videos and he discusses all kinds of pen. Plus, he is an academic too in real life, and he could answer specific questions you might have about his videos. Anyways, welcome to FPN!!!!!:

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You are all correct in stating that the collection of fountain pens, as well as the numerous types of inks and formidable kinds of paper, is a varied experience for each person and no one opinion can vouch for the greatest of all pens, inks, and paper. As a student and a married man, I trust everyone understands the constraints life places on any budget. I would love to purchase high end pens like the Sailor 1911 or a Pilot Falcon, but the procurement of these pens is stipulated by the availability of funds.

 

I checked out the Montblanc 149 and think it's beautiful. The fear of owning and writing with such a pen in a classroom setting makes me quiver just thinking about it--nevertheless, it is one lovely pen.

 

The Blue Knight suggested the Oxford Optik 90 GSM paper, which I tried searching for online, but could not find. Can you please provide a link to an online merchant?

 

For those of you interested, I did make two very recent purchases: the TWSBI Diamond Ink Bottle(plastic) and a Leuchtturm 1917 notebook, with plain pages, in a florescent orange. I have placed the pictures below.

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Edited by Glinzan
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Moshe ben David

I urge you to take a look at the Pelikan M2xx family. Depending on color, type of trim, and nib, these seem to available new for anywhere from just under $100 to about $150. This is not a large pen, nor is it heavy. What it is is a supremely reliable pen that is sturdy for carrying around; given that it is a piston fill it also carries a generous ink supply. Even though the nibs are stainless steel, many on these forums have described these pens as being somewhat springy. I have a couple as well as their big brother the M800. The Pelikans never seem to fail to start right up and as I said earlier are just totally reliable; to me also very smooth writers.

 

For paper I'd suggest a couple of options to look at. Both are easily sourced via Staples -- may not be in the store but you can arrange free drop ship to your neighborhood store.

 

  • HP 32 pound laserprint paper seems to be held in high regard;
  • looseleaf paper or even notebooks made from sugarcane fiber; usually labelled 'bagasse' paper. Often coming from Egypt or Brazil

Best,

Moshe ben David

 

"Behold, He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps!"

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The Blue Knight

 

The Blue Knight suggested the Oxford Optik 90 GSM paper, which I tried searching for online, but could not find. Can you please provide a link to an online merchant?

 

It seems that only the black and red books with the paper are distrusted to the US

 

Here are amazon and staples links to them

 

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=black+and+red&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ablack+and+red

 

http://www.staples.com/black+and+red/directory_black+and+red?fids=4214928994&rpp=18&pn=1&sr=true

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A few Pilot pens as available on e-bay right now at the $100 mark or under:

 

- Elite 95s - easy to carry in shirt pocket, has slip-on cap with no click - I'd say perfect for note taking.

- Custom 91 - a workhorse with screw-on cap and large ink capacity with CON-70 converter

- Stella 90s - a very pretty small pen. cap is snap-on (clicks)

- Grance - a very pretty larger pen. cap is snap-on (clicks)

 

All of the above come with a choice of nib sizes in 14k gold, exquisitely smooth.

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Paper. Ah paper. Rhodia pads with blank paper if you prefer the sharper feel of western paper. Or Tsubame blank notebooks if you prefer the softer japanese paper feel.

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Pilot Custom 74, Pilot Heritage 91, Platinum 3776 Century are all gold nib pens you can find for under $100 on ebay.

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OT but I highly recommend you not to use non-permanent inks for the sake of the security of your work. I use Sailor Blue-Black or Noodler's eternal inks.

One boring blue, one boring black 1mm thickness at most....

Then there are Fountain Pens with gorgeous permanent inks..

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For God's sake, before it's too late, forget about getting a Ph.D. if you want to make any money and be able to afford any decent fountain pens. ;)

http://i59.tinypic.com/ekfh5f.jpg

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Also look up videos by (1) The Pen Habit, and by (2) S. Bre Brown. Steven has a lot of videos and he discusses all kinds of pen. Plus, he is an academic too in real life, and he could answer specific questions you might have about his videos. Anyways, welcome to FPN!!!!!:

 

I've seen some of his videos. I'm a sucker for quality and usually find myself edging toward Bryan Goulet's videos.

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For God's sake, before it's too late, forget about getting a Ph.D. if you want to make any money and be able to afford any decent fountain pens. ;)

 

Ha, ha, ha! I wish I could overlook the PhD, but a philosopher will likely get no where without one. My academic future depends on it.

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OT but I highly recommend you not to use non-permanent inks for the sake of the security of your work. I use Sailor Blue-Black or Noodler's eternal inks.

 

I've wanted to try Noodler's Bulletproof Black Ink. I haven't purchased a bottle yet, but I will soon.

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A few Pilot pens as available on e-bay right now at the $100 mark or under:

 

- Elite 95s - easy to carry in shirt pocket, has slip-on cap with no click - I'd say perfect for note taking.

- Custom 91 - a workhorse with screw-on cap and large ink capacity with CON-70 converter

- Stella 90s - a very pretty small pen. cap is snap-on (clicks)

- Grance - a very pretty larger pen. cap is snap-on (clicks)

 

All of the above come with a choice of nib sizes in 14k gold, exquisitely smooth.

 

After reading your post, I began eyeing the Pilot 95S on JetPens.com. Reminds me of the Sheaffer Imperial series.

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