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Thread: The Allure of Cheap pens

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    ...and the thought of carrying a celluloid pen doesn't sit well with me as they're extremely extremely flammable.
    Good grief - they don't burst into flames from spontaneous combustion, you know! I mean, ok with all your other caveats - pens are personal, and you should be able to choose what you like and don't like. There isn't any reason to believe in or propagate false information to avoid things. There are many objects in the world that, if subjected to flames, will burn. Celluloid is one of them, but I use cell pens nearly 100 years old all the time. You might not know what you are missing, though.
    "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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  3. #42
    Senior Member Detman101's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    The only thing I know of is "Cheap Pens". I'm actually thankful that all of these expensive pens are out of my range of desired items. I don't like cigar pens, I don't like pens that aren't metal or Ebonite (without substantial benefits to using acrylic) and the thought of carrying a celluloid pen doesn't sit well with me as they're extremely extremely flammable.
    I've also never held, written with or actually SEEN an expensive fountain pen so...I'm completely satisfied with my relatively low-cost modern pens.

    This time...Ignorance is bliss.
    You know that your "bliss" won't last long if you stay in this hobby

    Plus, there are plenty of *very* expensive pens made out of ebonite.
    I know I know...lol.
    I'm sure when I finally do meet/experience a pen that works the way I have heard so many talk about...I'll drop a ton of money on it.
    I believe they call it the "Holy Grail Pen" experience.
    I thought it would be a Pilot Metal Falcon...but I found out that has a converter in it...lol.
    Who knows...that FPR Ebonite Ultra-Flex JaipurV2 might wind up being my "Holy Grail" pen.

  4. #43
    Senior Member Detman101's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Detman101 View Post
    ...and the thought of carrying a celluloid pen doesn't sit well with me as they're extremely extremely flammable.
    Good grief - they don't burst into flames from spontaneous combustion, you know! I mean, ok with all your other caveats - pens are personal, and you should be able to choose what you like and don't like. There isn't any reason to believe in or propagate false information to avoid things. There are many objects in the world that, if subjected to flames, will burn. Celluloid is one of them, but I use cell pens nearly 100 years old all the time. You might not know what you are missing, though.
    Well, they're also out of my financial ability (wife wont' let me..lol) so there's that.
    I'll work my way up in the addiction...start with an FPR ebonite ultra-flex Jaipur V2 and see where the path leads me...

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    There's also thrift shops, garage sales, estate sales, and whatnot, where vintage pens sometimes show up that could be valuable and expensive if cleaned. Dropping money on something isn't the only way to get the good stuff.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Juul View Post
    There's also thrift shops, garage sales, estate sales, and whatnot, where vintage pens sometimes show up that could be valuable and expensive if cleaned. Dropping money on something isn't the only way to get the good stuff.
    Of course dropping money is not the only way.

    But your success rate at thrift shops, garage and estate sales really depends on where you live.
    I've been going to all of those for years now (not this year, thanks to the pandemic), and my success rate is about one okay pen-related find per year, if that. Forget *stellar* or *amazing* finds.

    Maybe I live in an area where people tend to keep up with the technology, so when ballpoints came along, out go the fountain pens. Who knows.

    So if I depended only on those for my restorations, I'd be restoring one pen per year
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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  9. #46
    Senior Member Detman101's Avatar
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    Angry Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    I live in a fairly rural area at the base of two mountain ranges. I won't be seeing any estate sales or auctions anytime soon. And even if there was one, the wife would give me hell for trying to attend a public event. (COVID-19 terror)

    I think if the penbbs-456 doesn't work out, the solution will be to buy an already worked on FPR Jaipur-V2 ultra flex pen.

    I think I am reaching my breaking point between experiment failures and waiting months on bs to arrive from China.

    Sent from my LG-M210 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Detman101; August 21st, 2020 at 12:10 PM.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    I used to live in a large city. It was probably 30 years ago when a friend showed me his very large vintage pen collection. I wasn't into it at the time, but I remember him bragging that he refused to pay more that $5 for a pen. So, I guess times have changed.

    I live in a rural area as well now and I'm in the same boat. No estate sales, although there's an excellent thrift shop. The problem though is that in this rural culture of quads and logging, nobody writes, so you're lucky even to find a pencil. In fact hardly anybody even reads. lol

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Juul View Post
    I used to live in a large city. It was probably 30 years ago when a friend showed me his very large vintage pen collection. I wasn't into it at the time, but I remember him bragging that he refused to pay more that $5 for a pen. So, I guess times have changed.

    I live in a rural area as well now and I'm in the same boat. No estate sales, although there's an excellent thrift shop. The problem though is that in this rural culture of quads and logging, nobody writes, so you're lucky even to find a pencil. In fact hardly anybody even reads. lol
    You’d be surprised if you took the time to get to know your neighbors.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    You’d be surprised if you took the time to get to know your neighbors.
    As it happens, I have taken a lot of time, and I do know everybody here and have been very active in the regional district as well. In fact I pride myself in being able to get along with a wide range of people - very much including the drunks and drug addicts. I hang with everybody.

    Yes, there a couple of people who read and write, even publish, but that's not the norm.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    I tend to buy inexpensive/cheap pens to make some sort of purchase minimum for free postage, a discount, a credit, or any other sort of promotion. Or I'll buy them as "traveling companions" for a more expensive pen. I know that's silly, but I don't want my pens to be lonely. Sometimes I'll bid on extremely inexpensive vintage pens on ebay because I feel sorry for them. If someone outbids me, I'm pleased, but I'm equally pleased if they come to me. And I'm always willing to consider something that is hugely discounted.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Juul View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    You’d be surprised if you took the time to get to know your neighbors.
    As it happens, I have taken a lot of time, and I do know everybody here and have been very active in the regional district as well. In fact I pride myself in being able to get along with a wide range of people - very much including the drunks and drug addicts. I hang with everybody.

    Yes, there a couple of people who read and write, even publish, but that's not the norm.
    Don't make it about you. Get to know your neighbors and loose the attitude.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Juul View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    You’d be surprised if you took the time to get to know your neighbors.
    As it happens, I have taken a lot of time, and I do know everybody here and have been very active in the regional district as well. In fact I pride myself in being able to get along with a wide range of people - very much including the drunks and drug addicts. I hang with everybody.

    Yes, there a couple of people who read and write, even publish, but that's not the norm.
    Don't make it about you. Get to know your neighbors and loose the attitude.
    Sheesh! What more do you want the guy to do?

    Some places never had a lot of people. For that simple reason, they’re never going to be great hunting grounds no matter how cozy you get with your neighbors. Other places might have been populated mostly after the ballpoint era. Again, there’s not going to be many fountain pens to be had.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Don't make it about you. Get to know your neighbors and loose the attitude.
    I'm somewhat flummoxed as to why you're saying this to me. I don't think there is anybody in this community who thinks I have an "attitude".

    I think you might be making a few assumptions about me. I find it a bit rude, though that may be a cultural difference.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    ...loose the attitude.
    You might consider following your own advice. Check your grammar while you are at it.
    "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: The Allure of Cheap pens

    If I thought that celluloid pens would spontaneously combust, I would have started buying them 50 years ago as a preteen. I don't avoid cellulose pens, but I don't tend to actively seek them out, either. I love stuff that burns and/or explodes, so I would already know about it if celluloid pens were that flammable. And no, I'm not irresponsible with things that burn or explode. Now nitrocellulose, that stuff is extremely unstable and flammable. Anyone wonder why one of my bachelor's degree is in chemistry?

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    '... carrying a celluloid pen doesn't sit well with me as they're extremely extremely flammable. ...'

    That they are 'extremely flammable' is a myth. I suspect it is a carryover from the early days of cinema when celluloid film was a feature of an occasional 'movie house' fire. I have a number of celluloid Conway Stewart pens, and can assure you they are excellent. In fact, I'm considering buying another.

    As for cheap pens, I have to admit that I rather like buying and using 'school pens' from some of the European (mostly German) makers. They are practical, inexpensive and provide a good line. There is no weeping and gnashing of teeth if they are lost or broken.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    I definitely enjoy buying the occasional cheap pen because once in a while it turns out to be a fountain pen that writes beautifully and feels good in the hand. But sometimes it shows up and is so bizarre like the Jinhao Defiant I just received that all you can do is smile.



    I had to put the standard cartridge in the photo just so you'd have a sense of scale. This thing is huge. I could use it as a handle for my car jack!

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Every new pen gives a kick. How they write matters. And cheap pens that write well are 'moonshine'

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Juul View Post
    There's also thrift shops, garage sales, estate sales, and whatnot, where vintage pens sometimes show up that could be valuable and expensive if cleaned. Dropping money on something isn't the only way to get the good stuff.
    Of course dropping money is not the only way.

    But your success rate at thrift shops, garage and estate sales really depends on where you live.
    I've been going to all of those for years now (not this year, thanks to the pandemic), and my success rate is about one okay pen-related find per year, if that. Forget *stellar* or *amazing* finds.

    Maybe I live in an area where people tend to keep up with the technology, so when ballpoints came along, out go the fountain pens. Who knows.

    So if I depended only on those for my restorations, I'd be restoring one pen per year
    Same here. I see one ok pen a year. A few more that are truly garbage. Like, broken pens being sold for top dollar.

    To the point of this thread, I think the allure of a cheap pen is the same allure of other "cheap" items: you can afford them and you get to play. Of course, there is the contingent of big-brains out there that think that because others spend more on [insert whatever item] that this frugal person has solved the game where those other folks are being cheated. I personally find this to almost never be the case, but it is a mentality I see across a number of discount items.

    Now, finding an expensive pen at a low price, into the realm of the Sumgai!, is a totally different matter. Finding a high-priced pen for pennies (figuratively) is a true thrill and lends a satisfaction far beyond the pen itself, imo.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Cheap pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Juul View Post
    To me the "allure" is not just the price, but the utilitarian aspect. A pen costing $200 or more may be beautiful, but it's just not practical. You have to treat it like jewellery and take special care of it. That's fine, but to me it takes the focus off plain writing.

    That said, I think a $40 pen is about right in price for practical purposes, but then why did I just buy 3 new $5 pens on Ebay? I have no idea!
    For Most of this year, I have carried around two pens with the combined value of around $1700. I stopped carrying them because you can't clean resins with alcohol (I have stopped using all fountain pens at work for that reason). I used those pens for a note-taking heavy class. No special care or treatment necessary other than what you should do for all pens: don't leave ink in them for so long it dries out, don't leave them somewhere, and don't drop them. Other than that, its just a pen. An expensive pen, but a pen nonetheless. If I am unwilling to lose them, I should not be willing to own them.

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