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I am interested in hearing from those who regularly use multiple pens. Some specific questions:

 

  1. How frequently do you move from one pen to another?
  2. What are the maintenance issues associated with the use of multiple pens?
  3. How do you motivate yourself to use pens that are not among your favorites?

I have, until recently, used only one pen. I now have a small number of pens, and I am concerned about how to properly take care of pens that I no longer use on a daily basis. I also find myself favoring some pens over others--espceially new pens that I have acquired. I am sure it is common that the novelty of having a new pen leads one to favor it.

 

There may be other issues to deal with when one begins to use an assortment of pens. I welcome comments on this topic, and I hope we may all benefit from sharing your approach to these issues.

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I also started with one pen in use, and now have 6 in rotation, with different nibs and inks in them. I use most of them every day, or at least have all of them on my desk, ready to be used. It really depends on the type of note I need to write, the paper used etc.

I usually replace pens in rotation when they are out of ink, unless they are my favorite ones, and they stay in rotation.

Those who are out of rotation get cleaned before joining all the other out of rotation pens. I rinse each pen and then flush it, using a converter. I first with flush with warm water with couple drops of mild dish detergent and then with clean water. After that I wipe all the part I can, and place the section, nib down, on a paper towel for 24 hours, to dry it.

I tend to use certain pens and ignore some others' although I would bring certain unwanted pens into rotation every once in a while, just to be reminded why I don't like them.

Dan

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I too started with one FP.

Now I have ten or so, in two categories: Pens I use, and pens that I 'hoard' to give away as future gifts (well, that's not true actually, there is one pen that is waiting for a nib, then it will join the users.

 

My user pens are dedicated to different functions and are kept in different places. I currently have a 'desk pen' in use (soon to be two), am 'EDC pocket pen' (not actually a pocket size pen) and a 'signature pen' (also for correcting and commenting on homework). In addition there will soon be a 'decoy pen' that I let laymen (especially children) try out so they will leave my serious pens be.

 

All these pens also have custom blended inks (the decoy pen will just have waterman harmonious (fun) green).

 

My hoarded pens are not expensive and thus require no special care. I try them out, normally by dipping, play with them for a while, adjust this and that maybe, then clean them with soapy water and put them to their stack.

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Surely I'm not the only person who keeps a dozen or more inked (different models, brands, inks) because otherwise it gets boring?? I am rediscovering items that sat stored away for years - it's like a brand new toy :) With others, there's that "oh, yeah, that's why I don't really use this one" factor :(

KEEP CALM AND BOOGIE ON!

 

SILENCE IS GOLDEN, BUT DUCT TAPE IS SILVER.

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______Zaphod_Beeblebrox

I keep all 14 fountain pens inked and ready to go.

 

I have them all in my display area.

 

When I am home a grab a few of them a do a few puzzles with them etc. If I run out of ink I try another pen.

The next day grab some other one and repeat.

 

If I am going out, I grab my pen case and put in 12 pens and take them with me.

 

Just keep using differnt pen each time.

 

I also keep on fountain pen in my jean pocket at all times.

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  1. How frequently do you move from one pen to another?
  2. What are the maintenance issues associated with the use of multiple pens?
  3. How do you motivate yourself to use pens that are not among your favorites?

 

 

!. 100 fountain pens, three or four at a time for 15 to 20 days.

2. Flush the reservoir until the outflow is very pale with tint. Flush the nib and feed

very well. Dry thoroughly before storage.

3. Your daughter is prettier than your son. Why do you even bother to feed him ?

It's love. It's fun.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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Countdown Rotation. Every hour I change pen. I start work at 7:30, 1st pen. Glance at clock, 8:30 next pen. Initially I used a countdown timer on my phone, you then get the habit of checking and changing. The beauty is that six pens ain't enough and you will have to get more pens, yay!

"One Ink-drop on a solitary thought hath moved the minds of millions" - P R Spencer

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I now have a big number of pens, but I only have 4 to 6 inked at the same time.

 

I have a list of all pens in Excel and the next pen to be used is random chose, using a Excel function.

 

In order to increase the rotation I never fill the pen completely wit ink, only about half. For the cartridge pens, I change the cartridge to the next pen as soon as it gets half full.

 

After using the pen I completely flush it in tap water until the water comes out colorless and left it overnight with a piece of kitchen paper wrapped around the nib to take all the liquid out. The exception are the pens with cork on the piston, where I store it with water inside, to prevent the cork to dry.

 

Then I store it in a box waiting for the next call.

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I keep handy 10 pens in a pen cubby I made and tend to write with them. I only have one pen in my collection of 89 I do not like, and it is a problem with the nib. All of the pens which are stored are flushed and ready for use. Though I have all of my pens listed on an Excel spreadsheet, I become a bit complacent, and reach for what is in front of me in the pen cubby. I decided in 2015 to go on a 6-month fountain pen purchasing sabbatical to provide me the opportunity to put the other 78 pens in regular rotation.

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Many thanks for your responses. Some follow up questions: What is the risk of deterioration do to infrequent use? And what indicates that deterioration is occuring?

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inkstainedruth

Don't have an answer to your followup questions, other to say that the pens not currently inked are kept in zippered cases out of direct sunlight.

As for the first set of questions, I currently have a dozen or so inked, plus a highlighter pen and 3 brush pens (which are, like the highlighter, filled with highlighter inks). I'm finding that number a bit unwieldy, especially since I have a pen that is being beta-tested this week, and that's the only pen I've been using today. Some of the pens got refilled with distilled water to keep the ink going longer until I really have time to flush them out, but I suspect that I'm going to be doing a lot of pen flushing really soon. Especially since I have a bunch of ink samples I haven't had a chance to try.

Maintenance issues: it doesn't really work to try and flush and soak several pens at once, so they tend to get done on successive days. As for the motivating factor, sometimes it's that I want to see if a specific nib works better, or that ink X is too dry for ink Y, so I need to try it in a wetter writer. And sometimes, I just forget what I have. Oh, and about a third of the stash need repairs.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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1. I normally move from one pen to another as the situation dictates (ex] extra fine nib for notes in the margin, pen with red ink for corrections etc...) I also change my main ink color depending on my mood. The happier I am, the more vibrant the color ^.^

2. Maintenance issues include making sure the ink does not dry out by making sure every pen is well capped when done, fully flushing when changing inks as well as when prepping the pen for storage/display case. Also, take note of which inks are usable in each pen to make sure you don't use an ink in a pen that would damage the pen.

3. If a pen doesn't write well, there is no purpose in keeping it, unless you are a collector then there is no need to use a pen that might not meet your criteria for usage, but it does have aesthetic appeal. Otherwise, if you have a collection of hundreds, organize them by type and have a schedule for rotating them out. In the margins, take not of their quirks so if you don't feel like dealing with a certain quirk, you can change your rotation.

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EncreSarcelle

I love this post! I enjoy learning how other fp users "rotate, use, & store." I keep 4-6 pens inked with differing colors & nib sizes for different applications. I'm a teacher, I teach three grade levels in Middle School. I use a different color ink for each grade level, per week. It's fun & my students enjoy seeing the different inks on their work. Several of them are fp users... "converts" 😉... & if they see an ink they particularly like they ask if they can have their pen filled. I gladly bring their pen home, flush it, fill, & return it to them. I'm glad to do it. Spreading fp love is gratifying!

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EncreSarcelle

Sorry I didn't answer your questions directly. I have several vintage pens that I don't typically keep inked full time & just pull them out for special uses. When not in use they stay in a cabinet, boxed, uninked & out of direct sunlight. My "at the ready" pens are always inked.

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I'm starting a rotation regimen where I've classified my pens into three categories:

 

Prestige pens: tend to be black or metallic, with a little bit of gold--my Montblancs, Parker 180s, decent Waterman

Vintage pens: mostly lever-filled Esterbrook Js, Sheaffers, and various other makers

Workhorse: recent no-fuss pens, like a Waterman Kultur, Lamy Safari, Noodler's Ahab

 

I have one of each inked up. The prestige ones are usually for use when with clients, the vintages for personal fun, and the workhorse ones are for quick tasks or when the others go dry.

 

It's not scientific, but I think it works, for now. I usually end up having another vintage inked up, making it four pens, but am trying to restrict myself from having too many inked up at any given time.

Edited by spaceink
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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm new to fountain pens but as my collection has grown I have started a pen rotation. I generally keep two pens inked at home for journaling and letter writing. These are either medium or broad nibs. When they run out of ink, I rotate another pen in. Currently have a Signum Orione and Schaeffer prelude in the rotation.

Since I'm retired, I don't really have need for a work pen. I usually carry a fine point pen for writing notes or ideas down in my Clairefontaine pocket notebook. This gets changed when the ink runs out. I'm currently carrying a waterman Kultur for this purpose.

I do have a dilemma regarding carrying more expensive pens outside. On the one hand, it is very nice to be able to use one of your more valued pens in your daily travels. When I do so, I am often able to convert a friend or acquaintance over to the joys of fountain pens. On the other hand, it is very easy for pens to get misplaced or lost. So far that hasn't happened to me but I have had some close calls. I do have a "man" bag and I carry a pen case so the pens are fairly secure. However, if I carry one in my pocket, there is a greater chance of loss. Curious as to what the rest of you are doing.

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I'm new to the Pen collecting also, and have jumped in with both feet, knowing that the water will soon be over my head. I now own approximately 12 fountain pens, and regularly use 4 of them. I keep them inked and rotate daily. I use them at work to take notes and write myself reminders. The other pens have all been flushed (with pen flush, then with water) and now rest in a cedar cigar box in pen trays. Once I know that a pen is coming out of rotation, I will de-ink it (usually by emptying it down the drain), then soak and flush until water comes out clear. If it's a more modern pen, that's a far easier task (i.e. a cartridge converter). What I don't like doing is throwing out ink cartridges after I've used 1/3 of the ink, because I pull a pen out of rotation :-( It doesn't happen often, thank goodness. Because I wear casual clothes to work, most pens are fine for carrying with me. I do like to put them in my chest pockets, and avoid those with TALL caps (i.e. the clip set low so the top of the pen sticks way out) because they seem to look silly. I've got a great Bexley 58 that I avoid simply because of that issue.

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[..snip.]

I do have a dilemma regarding carrying more expensive pens outside. On the one hand, it is very nice to be able to use one of your more valued pens in your daily travels. When I do so, I am often able to convert a friend or acquaintance over to the joys of fountain pens. On the other hand, it is very easy for pens to get misplaced or lost. So far that hasn't happened to me but I have had some close calls. I do have a "man" bag and I carry a pen case so the pens are fairly secure. However, if I carry one in my pocket, there is a greater chance of loss. Curious as to what the rest of you are doing.

 

I carry two pens daily in my pants' pocket (front left) one is a fountain pen, and one is a Mitsubishi Uni Pin with a .8 tip (because it's a really good pen that writes on absolutely everything). They are both clipped to the seem of the pocket. Of course here it matters to choose a pen that clip and holds well, both put in and while pulling out. The Uni has a steel clip, so that's good enough and the fountain pen is a Parker 51 Special, which clips well, no problems here.

In addition, inside my pocket, the two pens are in a cheap, little, open-top pouch together, that keeps the pens together, and everything else in the pocket (normally a notebook) separated from them.

 

So far I never have seen them dislodge and almost-fall out, they stay well in place.

It would probably be a problem with thinner, smoother dress pants though as opposed to regular street wear.

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lmarine0510

 

  1. How frequently do you move from one pen to another?
  2. What are the maintenance issues associated with the use of multiple pens?
  3. How do you motivate yourself to use pens that are not among your favorites?

1. Whenever I feel like changing up or get tired of the one I'm using (sometimes I'll use one for a day and sometimes I'll use one for the majority of my writing for a month.)

2. If you plan on setting one aside for a great length of time (>1 month), it is generally a good idea to empty it out and flush it thoroughly, then let it sit uncapped for a day or two so the water can dry out of it.

3. If I buy a pen and I don't like it, I either give it away or sell it on eBay to regain my losses; I don't waste my time and money owning pens that I don't enjoy writing with.

Parker 51 Aerometric (F), Sheaffer Snorkel Clipper (PdAg F), Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman (M), red striated Sheaffer Balance Jr. (XF), Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman desk set (M), Reform 1745 (F), Jinhao x450 (M), Parker Vector (F), Pilot 78g (F), Pilot Metropolitan (M), Esterbrook LJ (9555 F), Sheaffer No-Nonsense calligraphy set (F, M, B Italic), Sheaffer School Pen (M), Sheaffer Touchdown Cadet (M), Sheaffer Fineline (341 F), Baoer 388 (F), Wearever lever-filler (M).

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