4 Ways to Use Bottled Ink in a Kaweco Sport Pen

Kaweco CLASSIC Sport Fountain Pen - Bordeaux, Medium Nib
Kaweco CLASSIC Sport Fountain Pen – Bordeaux, Medium Nib

The Kaweco Sport Fountain Pen and Ink Roller are handy pocket-size pens that both use short standard universal fountain pen ink cartridges. The Kaweco Sport pen barrel is too short for a regular ink converter, so if you want to switch from ink cartridges to bottled ink how can this be done? We can think of 4 methods of doing this:

1) Refill your empty ink cartridges with a blunt-tip needle bottle. We’ve got some instructions on how to do this in a previous blog post: Refill Fountain Pen Ink Cartridges with a Blunt Tip Needle Bottle. The needle bottle method is the easiest in my opinion and is also my personal favorite.

Use a blunt tip needle bottle to refill an ink cartridge
Use a blunt tip needle bottle to refill an ink cartridge

2) Try a Monteverde Mini Standard Ink Converter. This method works pretty well for using bottled ink, but there are a couple of quirky things that should be mentioned. First of all, the Monteverde Mini Converter does not hold very much ink – in fact it holds less ink than a standard ink cartridge. Secondly, the bottom of the mini converter (near the end that attaches to the pen) may need to be wrapped once or twice with clear tape before you put it in your Kaweco so that it stays securely attached to the pen.

Monteverde Mini Converter & Kaweco Sport Ink Roller Pen
Monteverde Mini Converter & Kaweco Sport Ink Roller Pen

3) Use a Kaweco Squeeze Converter for Sport Series Fountain Pens. If you can get your hands on this Kaweco Squeeze Converter, you’ll find that it only works with newer versions of the Kaweco Sport Fountain Pen. It is NOT compatible with the current version (as of 03-10-15) of the Kaweco Ink Roller or some older models of the Kaweco Sport Fountain Pen. This converter works best when it is filled with a syringe or blunt-tip needle bottle.

Kaweco Squeeze Converter for Sport Series Fountain Pens
Kaweco Squeeze Converter for Sport Series Fountain Pens

4) Convert your Kaweco Sport into an eye-dropper fill pen. We’ve got instructions how to do this here: Pen Modification – Convert into Eyedropper Fill. Of any of the 4 methods of using bottled fountain pen ink that we discuss in this blog post, eye-dropper fill allows for the highest ink capacity. The eye-dropper fill method is only suitable for pens with plastic barrels, such as the Kaweco Sport Ice or Classic. (It is NOT suitable for pens with metal barrels such as the Kaweco AL Sport or pens with small holes anywhere in the barrel.) Before you try an eye-dropper conversion, we recommend reading Eyedropper Fountain Pen Pros and Cons.

Kaweco Sport Ink Roller converted to eyedropper fill
Kaweco Sport Ink Roller converted to eyedropper fill

What’s your favorite method of filling a Kaweco Sport Pen with bottled fountain pen ink?

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Which Gray Fountain Pen Ink Looks the Most Like a Pencil?

If you’d rather write with a fountain pen, but want your writing to look like it was done with a pencil, which gray fountain pen ink should you choose? Pencil lead varies in width and softness/hardness making your writing appear darker or lighter in color. Also the kind of paper you’re writing on and how hard you press down on the pencil can influence the appearance of the line that is produced. Fountain pen ink is similar – the results vary depending on the width of the fountain pen nib and the paper you are writing on.

Writing done with a variety of pencils
Writing done with a variety of pencils

The color of writing produced by pencil in our test turned out to be a warm shade of gray. Two fountain pen inks that are also warm shades of gray are Pilot Iroshizuku Fountain Pen Ink Kiri-same Autumn Shower/Scotch Mist and Noodler’s Ink Lexington Gray. Lexington Gray is a dark shade of warm gray and Scotch Mist is a medium shade.

Pilot Iroshizuku Scotch Mist Ink
Pilot Iroshizuku Scotch Mist Ink
Noodler's Ink Lexington Gray
Noodler’s Ink Lexington Gray

Three other gray inks that are cool shades of gray are: J. Herbin Gris NuageOMAS Gray Fountain Pen Ink and Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun Old Man Winter/Rigor of Winter. When placed right next to writing done in pencil these inks have more of a “silvery” appearance (they are not actually metallic) because graphite pencil lead produces a warmer color of writing. On their own, away from any actual pencil, these inks still do have a pencil-y appearance.

J. Herbin Gris Nuage Fountain Pen Ink
J. Herbin Gris Nuage Fountain Pen Ink
Omas Grey Fountain Pen Ink
Omas Grey Fountain Pen Ink
Pilot Iroshizuku Rigor of Winter Ink
Pilot Iroshizuku Rigor of Winter Ink

We’ve scanned some samples of writing done on Clairefontaine French ruled paper in both pencil and ink for you to compare. What do you think? Are there any of your favorite inks you’d like to add to this list?

Pencil & Ink Writing Comparison
Pencil & Ink Writing Comparison
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Vintage Pens Discovery!

Vintage Pens
Vintage Pens

While travelling this summer, I came across a stash of vintage pens that my grandparents used to write with. Mostly ballpoint pens, a five mechanical pencils and a three non-functioning fountain pens. Some of the more interesting items are: Eclipse Hooded Knight Pencil, Waterman Skywriter Pencil, International Harvester Company of Canada Parker Pencil, WA Sheaffer Fineliner ballpoint, “The Parker Mystery Shopper” ballpoint pen, Eversharp red plastic ballpoint pen and an Airway Motel Great Falls pen (still exists, but doesn’t exactly look five-star). The fountain pens include an Eclipse Hooded Knight and a couple of Waterman’s, one of which says “Made in Canada.”

Any ideas from you pen geeks or artists out there as to what to do with these nostalgic writing instruments? Could they be re-purposed into some kind of funky art sculpture? Made into an attractive display? Put into a shadow-box frame? Sold to fund my first multi-million dollar mansion (Ha! I wish)? Please feel free to share your creative ideas!

Vintage Pens
Vintage Pens
Vintage Pens
Vintage Pens
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5 Eco-Friendly Supplies for Back to School

1. Clairefontaine Notebooks

Clairefontaine has been making paper in France since 1858 and they are committed to controlling the environmental impact of their manufacturing process. They also happen to make notebooks in all sorts of formats that are great for school!

  • This paper is made from materials sourced from certified sustainable forests.
  • Clairefontaine recycles water, and when it leaves their paper mill this water is cleaner than when it arrived.
  • Their paper is chlorine-free.
  • Natural water-based vegetable oil pigment ink is used in printing.
  • Clairefontaine supplies 80% of their own energy needs.
  • They practice recycling and waste reduction.
Clairefontaine Notebooks
Clairefontaine Notebooks

2. Fountain Pen & Ink

Just how many disposable pens does one student use throughout their entire time spent in school? How about a multitude of students? It’s hard to even imagine the quantity of plastic pens tossed into the trash. Switch to a good fountain pen and you’ve got a pen that can last a lifetime! If you fill your fountain pen with bottled fountain pen ink, you’ll eliminate the need to throw away empty plastic ink cartridges refills. To use bottled ink you’ll want to be sure you have an ink converter or a piston-fill (or similar) fountain pen. Filling a fountain pen with bottled ink while you’re on the road or at school can be a little bit tricky, so I carry 2 fountain pens loaded with ink with me on those intense note-taking days.

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen & Ink
LAMY Safari Fountain Pen & Ink

3. Refillable Highlighters

Highlighters are another plastic writing tool that usually get tossed in the trash when they’re dried up. Take another step to help ease the strain on the environment by using refillable highlighters. There are many refillable highlighter options you’ve probably never thought of.

Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Highlighter
Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Highlighter

4. Book Darts

Book Darts are paper-thin metal line-markers that slide onto the page of a book and are used as place-finders for facts, quotes, key points and passages that you want to refer to later. They do not stain or damage paper and eliminate the need to highlight, underline, bend page corners or use paper clips or sticky notes. These light-weight metal darts can be reused over and over again for a lifetime. You don’t have to know all the answers, just where to find them!

Book Darts
Book Darts

5. Quo Vadis Academic Planner

What makes Quo Vadis academic planners different than other academic planners? They are full of earth-friendly Clairefontaine paper and most of them have covers that can be refilled every year with a new calendar insert. In addition, your fountain pen will write amazingly well on super-smooth 90g Clairefontaine paper. Academic planners are the must have tool to juggle a busy class schedule.

 

Quo Vadis Minister Academic Planner
Quo Vadis Minister Academic Planner

What environmentally friendly back to school supplies would you like to recommend?

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LAMY Pico – An Innovative Ballpoint Pen for Your Pocket

LAMY Pico Ballpoint Pen Imperial Blue
LAMY Pico Ballpoint Pen Imperial Blue

The LAMY Pico ballpoint pen is the ultimate handy travel companion if you like to carry a pocket-size pen. With one push on the top end of the pen, the sophisticated press mechanism smoothly extends the pen to a comfortable writing size. When closed the writing tip retracts neatly into the metal pen body. The small chrome LAMY logo on the side of the pen protrudes to keep the pen from rolling off your desk. The bottom end can be screwed off to easily refill it with LAMY M22 compact ballpoint refills. Designed by Franco Clivio, we’re not surprised that it won a Red Dot award for product design.

The LAMY Pico ballpoint pen is a compact pocket size when closed.
The LAMY Pico ballpoint pen is a compact pocket size when closed.

The LAMY Pico is approximately a compact 3.75″ when closed…

The LAMY Pico ballpoint pen opens to a comfortable full size for writing.
The LAMY Pico ballpoint pen opens to a comfortable full size for writing.

…and a comfortable 5″ when opened for writing.

LAMY Pico closed and pocket size compared to the Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen, Kaweco ICE Sport Ink Roller and Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen
LAMY Pico closed compared to the Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen, Kaweco ICE Sport Ink Roller and Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen

Here’s the LAMY Pico side-by-side with a few other well-known pocket-size Kaweco pens, from top to bottom: Kaweco AL Sport fountain pen, ICE Sport ink roller, Liliput fountain pen and the LAMY Pico ballpoint pen.

LAMY Pico open and ready for writing compared to the Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen, Kaweco ICE Sport Ink Roller and Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen
LAMY Pico open and ready for writing compared to the Kaweco AL Sport Fountain Pen, Kaweco ICE Sport Ink Roller and Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen

The metal body of the LAMY Pico pen is available in the following finishes:

Do you travel with a pen? What’s your favorite pocket-size ballpoint or fountain pen?

A Variety of LAMY Pico Ballpoint Pens
A Variety of LAMY Pico Ballpoint Pens
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