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Thread: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Get thee to a pen show to help find your path. Wuddus, where are you located?
    I'm in the UK. I have located a show that I could get to, but the travelling costs and entry fee would be more than I'd be willing to spend when I there. I don't think that I or the exhibitors would benefit much from my attendance at the moment

    I already have two and three quarters of the three pens that I'm looking for, and want to spend some decent time with them before considering trying anything else. All I expect to get for the rest of this year, is a couple of spare 388s, maybe a couple of inks (although I already have enough to easily get me through 2018), and then possibly explore a couple of paper options.
    Wise approach, and I often wish it was the one I'd taken, rather than buying EVERYTHING. But on the other hand, it's been a fun, wild ride, and I made lots of people happy with my mistakes.
    Thank you

    I have spent obscene amounts of money on other interests in the past, and ultimately the extra expense didn't equate to extra happiness. If a sub-£10 pen writes well, I don't see the benefit of spending £100. I know other people may value pens differently, but I fail to see anything beyond "writing implement".

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  3. #42
    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    I think it will be interesting to hear your impressions as you become more familiar with your pens.

    I have been enjoying searching available pens on eBay and here and picking up one every so often.

    Funny thing though, I suddenly have almost no desire to get another pen. Maybe you have influenced my thinking

    As of a few days ago, more pens seems like a burden rather than a joy and I would rather spend time with the pens I have.

    Do I like or despise this unusual squishy-nibbed Sheaffer? I also want to finish my custom desk pen base for the 45 (or maybe just sell it), play with MI #17, see how I like my one functional Esterbrook, and attempt restoring a few Esterbrooks I got for a song.

    I feel like I have to sort of recalibrate how I write with each of my pens -- adapting to ink flow, nib flex and drag, inertia (as you mention), and other factors. Most offer a very different writing experience from the others.

    I agree there is a lot to be said for becoming very familiar with a particular tool. Whether, in my case, that is one's hunting rifle, one's off-road vehicle, one's microcontroller platform, or whatever else, to include pens.

    The former two I've found The One and stuck to it like glue for many years. Microcontrollers, not so much -- to the detriment of my productivity.

    I've yet to determine if any of my pens are The One, which likely means that none is. Or that, unlike Highlander, there can be more than one.

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    I'm looking forward to seeing if my opinions change too

    It's rarely a bad thing to pause a while, take stock of where you are now, and decide where (if anywhere) you should head next. If I have influenced your thinking, I hope ultimately it will be in a positive way for you.

    I'd finish the desk stand, and give the 45 a proper try for a while. You'll soon find out if it's a yay or nay, and whether it just needs a tweak, or to find a new home. As for the Sheaffer, I'd pop it aside for a while if you're unsure about it. There's nothing wrong with forgetting what it feels like before you give it another go. I've done that with a few things in the past, and after a month or two of not touching it, you'll often get an instant like or dislike the first time you pick it back up, and that's usually a good indicator as to whether it should stay or go.

    I totally agree with what you're saying about having to recalibrate. I think that might be why I've taken an instant shine to the OHTO Tasche and the Baoer 388, they just feel like a pen should, without having to make adjustments or fidgeting around trying to get "comfy" with it.

    That may well change though. I dare say that in a few months my priorities and preferences may have evolved somewhat. Another good reason to dwell a while, instead of carrying on accumulating. I might end up getting restless with something I currently like, or start developing more of a liking towards some characteristic of one of the pens that's been sidelined. Things might change when I add another ink or two, or maybe a different paper. My muscle memory is still biased towards a few decades of ballpoint pen use, so it'll take a while to adjust to the new (old) ways.

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    Senior Member Sailor Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    There was one pen...."I hate this. Kill it with fire."

    But before that could take place, I tried it with a different ink. Love at first sight.

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Ooh, I've not experienced that yet.

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Me neither, at least not to quite those extremes. Ink -- Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black, specifically -- definitely turned around a Hero P51 clone and made my Wahl shine.

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    The only two revelations that I've had in terms of ink performance, is firstly not to be shy of cheapo generic cartridges. In my experience they work perfectly fine. The colours may be a little unexciting, and they might not be filled to the brim, but I've had no performance problems from them. The only other performance revelation was how dry Diamine Teal writes, and how it really needs to be in a very wet pen to perform how I want it to.

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    To that point, I've been quite happy with cartridge inks from Pilot and Lamy, but not super crazy about Sheaffer at least in the one and only pen that can use it (lots of feathering on good paper; maybe the nib writes too wet for the ink).

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Very interesting read. I'm a fellow newbie and often enjoy your posts I've had only bad experience with cheap pens so far but I've a Chinese one in the draw I've yet to use so I'm keeping my mind open.

    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Quote Originally Posted by suzy01 View Post
    Very interesting read. I'm a fellow newbie and often enjoy your posts I've had only bad experience with cheap pens so far but I've a Chinese one in the draw I've yet to use so I'm keeping my mind open.

    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
    Thanks Suzy. Which pens have you tried, and what were the bad experiences? I hope whatever is lurking in the drawer is more successful for you.

    Unfortunately not everyone appears enthralled with this thread. I must have ruffled someone's feathers, as it seems I might have earned my first negative reputation point from somebody for my efforts here...

    I've got two reputation comments in my control panel, one of which is preceeded by a green symbol, and has a positive comment for a post I made in a different thread. The next has a grey symbol, and no comment, for a post I made in this thread. Does anyone know if that's a negative reputation point? If someone has done that for my posts in this thread, feel free to share why you feel I earned that.

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post
    To that point, I've been quite happy with cartridge inks from Pilot and Lamy, but not super crazy about Sheaffer at least in the one and only pen that can use it (lots of feathering on good paper; maybe the nib writes too wet for the ink).
    It's probably unfair of me, but I'm actively avoiding anything that needs non-standard cartridges now. I know they can be refilled with a syringe, and I do that with the Parker, but I don't like the idea of having to have different cartridges for different pens. I'd rather just have a few standard international cartridges kicking around, and a few bottles to fill everything up from. Having more systems means "stocking" more carts than I want to, and if I lose/break a pen, I'd have to get another of the same to use up the spare carts. Standard international and bottles is that little less "binding", and I do like that.

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    Senior Member ethernautrix's Avatar
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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    I hear you about not wanting shopping to be the hobby. When I dipped my toes in fountain pens (after most of my young life enthralled with pens in general), my favorite pen was the Pentel Ceramicron (anyone remember those?), but I dreamt of owning one beautiful fine pen. Just one. Not a grail (never heard that term 'til ten years ago, many years into my fountain pen journey), but more of a talisman, a functional, beautiful talisman.

    But I came of age, as it were, during Michael's Art & Drafting Supplies' 40%-Off Everything In the Store sales. Michael's (not today's Michael's craft store chain), on Sutter Street in San Francisco, had a section of fine writing instruments -- and I ended up spending a lot of time there. And money. Duh.

    Throughout these many years of my fountain pen interest (let's call it, cos I didn't and don't collect with any intention, only whim tempered by budget and super-ego's whispers), I struggled to manifest that one-pen dream I'd had before going a little crazy at Michael's (and ordering by catalogue from Fahrney's and Fountain Pen Hospital).

    I couldn't do it. I could manage to clean and put away all but three pens, but in a day or two, I'd inked another one - for the nib or another ink color. I almost managed it, carrying only one pen for (I don't remember how long -- a month? Six months? Three days?), but I still had all those other pens. Right? So... how is carrying only one pen the same as having only one pen?

    It isn't the same at all, and I have concluded, impossible for me. I don't even try now. I'm happy if I carry only four pens for monthly challenges (self-imposed, beginning this year). (Five this month. Was six for two days, but... five now.)

    And that was before I discovered "my people," my pen people, at FPN a little over ten years ago. I have to admit, I went a little crazy.

    Now... after having reduced the number of pens owned (which I've done all along, even before FPN), I'm much more satisfied with the pens I have and don't miss the pens I don't have anymore. Even the really nice ones, the ones that other people coveted, the ones I thought I would never sell, even the collectibles.

    My pen journey took me all over the price range. I used to "baby" my pens, not use my favorites, cos I didn't want to ding them up. So I'd use my Lamy Safari and Vista and TWSBI Minis (great pens!). I sold them, cos I wanted to force myself to get over the white-glove syndrome. My Nakaya Piccolo Kuro has fallen to the street in Krakůw and from my bicycle (!) in Zamość, and it got a little dinged up, and you know what? It's still a beautiful pen, still one of my favorites, still inked up and intended for everyday use forever. (BTW, kudos to the urushi that the Kuro didn't break! Other pens I've had had crumpled from less-severe falls.)

    Jeez. I just BoBo Olson'd all over your thread. Didn't mean to get so long-winded. (Łapa (dog) just alerted me that maybe I should feed her.) So, in summary, hahaha, your way is your way. I don't understand why anyone would feel the need to persuade you to buy more expensive pens or try piston-fillers or whatever. I mean, I understand that people want you to like what they like, but you sound like you know what you're doing. More power to you.

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Quote Originally Posted by ethernautrix View Post
    So, in summary, hahaha, your way is your way. I don't understand why anyone would feel the need to persuade you to buy more expensive pens or try piston-fillers or whatever. I mean, I understand that people want you to like what they like, but you sound like you know what you're doing. More power to you.
    I don't have a clue what I'm doing at all. I'm just feeling my way around, and making it up as I go.

    There are a few things that streamline my approach though. Firstly, I'm not easily influenced by others, and don't tend to get swept along with the crowd. Secondly, I have fallen foul of overshopping and overspending in the past, only to later realise that a few simpler items would probably have made me happier than the great swathes of expensive items did.

    Thirdly, I think I value things differently.

    To elaborate on that last point, I have occasionally clicked on a sales thread and seen some of the prices that pens go for. Several hundreds of pounds, and for a plastic pen which often looks uncomfortable to use, or has some other characteristic which my cheap pens have taught me that I'll probably not like. I don't see what the extra couple of hundred pounds is buying me. Some people do, some people don't. I'm one of the clueless ones.

    I like your comment about the white glove syndrome. That really sums up what I don't want from a pen. Or a watch. Or any other inanimate object for that matter. I have no problem with people collecting pocket jewellery, and I hope my ramblings don't offend those that do, but my purchases need to be life proof and functional. An exclusive name, pretty swirling pattern, small batch run, delicate plating, or high gloss finish, all have no merit for me. I need my pen to survive abuse and still function, to be enjoyable to use, without demanding undue care and attention. It will be dumped in a mug with other pens, tossed in a pocket with keys, and maybe even left in a pocket during a 40C wash cycle.

    I know my nibs won't write as smoothly as some of those luxury pens costing hundreds of pounds, which is why I bought some abrasives to refine them. I know my 3008s are probably likely to suffer cracking, so I've got a few spares in the drawer. Four pens for £5 makes sense to me. I've lost count of how many pens I've lost, dropped, broke, sat on, and anything over £50 had better be able to survive getting chewed by a dog, a three year old's tantrum, someone sitting on my jacket while my pen is on the pocket, and be able to find it's own way home when it drops out of my pocket in a carpark somewhere.

    So what value do I put in a pen? Well, to me a good pen should capture my thoughts, but not my awareness. It's beauty should be in what it does, not what it is. It should liberate the mind, not enslave it.

    I think this is the crux of the matter for me. It's important to me that my pen isn't too important. For the first time in my life, I'm actually enjoying using a fountain pen. I want that to continue. I don't want them to be precious, as I don't want it to cause frustration, or worry or sorrow. I don't want a pen to be more important than what I'm writing, or who I'm writing to, or where, or why. If the pen has importance, it's drawing my attention away from something else, and I want those other things to matter more.

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Quote Originally Posted by ethernautrix View Post
    My pen journey took me all over the price range. I used to "baby" my pens, not use my favorites, cos I didn't want to ding them up. So I'd use my Lamy Safari and Vista and TWSBI Minis (great pens!). I sold them, cos I wanted to force myself to get over the white-glove syndrome. My Nakaya Piccolo Kuro has fallen to the street in Krakůw and from my bicycle (!) in Zamość, and it got a little dinged up, and you know what? It's still a beautiful pen, still one of my favorites, still inked up and intended for everyday use forever. (BTW, kudos to the urushi that the Kuro didn't break! Other pens I've had had crumpled from less-severe falls.)
    I get by with half a dozen cheaper pens from about £10-30 and am careful with the nicer ones. I do see the appeal of being able to drop a nice pen on the pavement and brush it off with not much thought on the matter. But it would drive me insane. I've sold the one pen I owned which was above £100 because I was too worried about scratching it up or dropping it etc.
    Last edited by top pen; May 15th, 2018 at 12:36 PM.


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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Iím new to all this but, Iím a user, not a viewer. I like to use what I have, and I keep my pen collection to four (so far). I rotate them during the week and have a case I bring back and forth to work. Of course, I can appreciate those people that like to collect. Pens can be works of art and mean different things to different people.

    Just recently, my mom was going through her jewelry box. Take in mind that sheís 91, and sharp as a tack. She came across her Parker Vacumatic, that she used in college. I remember her using it, to pay bills, and other uses in the 70s. Knowing I cherished family things, she asked if I wanted it. And so began my fountain pen journey. Itís getting restored at the moment but, in the mean time, I was at a local Pen Show, on Long Island, and I picked-up the same style, but in emerald green. I couldnít resist. It called to me. Momís is either the blue or grey version. Not sure to be honest. It doesnít matter as itís valueless to me, and makes me wish I had more of a need to handwrite at the office. I love the green. Iíll use hers as soon as I get it back, and Iíll love using it even more!


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    Senior Member Sailor Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by suzy01 View Post
    Very interesting read. I'm a fellow newbie and often enjoy your posts I've had only bad experience with cheap pens so far but I've a Chinese one in the draw I've yet to use so I'm keeping my mind open.

    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
    Thanks Suzy. Which pens have you tried, and what were the bad experiences? I hope whatever is lurking in the drawer is more successful for you.

    Unfortunately not everyone appears enthralled with this thread. I must have ruffled someone's feathers, as it seems I might have earned my first negative reputation point from somebody for my efforts here...

    I've got two reputation comments in my control panel, one of which is preceeded by a green symbol, and has a positive comment for a post I made in a different thread. The next has a grey symbol, and no comment, for a post I made in this thread. Does anyone know if that's a negative reputation point? If someone has done that for my posts in this thread, feel free to share why you feel I earned that.
    I for one heart this thread!

    From the Main Forum, there's a Community thingie for Reputation Board that you can access. You might be able to read more about Reps from there.

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Thanks for the positive comments guys (you know who you are). That reputation board thing is weird. I just looked it up, and its the only place (that I've found) where you can see who the comments came from. And the "scoring" seems to be all over the map too. The grey one I received, had no comment, and had no plus or minus score...

    A very bizarre feature indeed.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Gah! Don't give any thought to that rep board stuff. Be who you are and do it with confidence. All you need to know about how things are going are the people who directly respond to you. Wuddus, you and I view our 'pen life' quite differently, but I celebrate that fact, not run from it. It is only a good thing that each of us finds their own way through all this and all we ask is that no one forces anyone else to behave in some prescribed manner.

    Your 'rep' is solid in your words. Clicking on some button by some anonymous person is meaningless. Keep going.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wuddus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by suzy01 View Post
    Very interesting read. I'm a fellow newbie and often enjoy your posts I've had only bad experience with cheap pens so far but I've a Chinese one in the draw I've yet to use so I'm keeping my mind open.

    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
    Thanks Suzy. Which pens have you tried, and what were the bad experiences? I hope whatever is lurking in the drawer is more successful for you.

    Unfortunately not everyone appears enthralled with this thread. I must have ruffled someone's feathers, as it seems I might have earned my first negative reputation point from somebody for my efforts here...

    I've got two reputation comments in my control panel, one of which is preceeded by a green symbol, and has a positive comment for a post I made in a different thread. The next has a grey symbol, and no comment, for a post I made in this thread. Does anyone know if that's a negative reputation point? If someone has done that for my posts in this thread, feel free to share why you feel I earned that.
    I for one heart this thread!

    From the Main Forum, there's a Community thingie for Reputation Board that you can access. You might be able to read more about Reps from there.
    I've really enjoyed it too.


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    Default Re: What I've Learned So Far - A Noobs Tale

    Quote Originally Posted by gbryal View Post
    [snip] ... With Pilot, I always feel like I could buy any pen in their line at any price point and get consistent quality but I don't feel that way with Parker/Sheaffer/Waterman today.
    I agree whole-hearted with you about Pilot. I have no idea how they can make such consistently excellent pens for so little. Of course, their higher end pens are up there in price, but unless I win the lottery I doubt that I'll ever buy one.

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