Reflections of a Left Handed Writer

Platinum Preppy Fountain Pens

Platinum Preppy Fountain Pens

The 10 year anniversary of Writer’s Bloc has got me reminiscing about my first fountain pen purchase way back in 2008. It was an inexpensive blue-black Platinum Preppy with a fine nib. At that time, as a left-handed writer who was constantly having issues with messy smeared ink, I was a little hesitant to try a fountain pen. Several years later my collection of fountain pens has grown to include a quirky variety and I’m still using that same Preppy fountain pen! Needless to say, my experiments with fountain pens were a resounding success and now I rarely ever pick up a ball point pen. I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of the classic fountain pen as a writing tool.

If you’re a lefty that’s considering whether or not to try a fountain pen, possibly you can relate to my past experiences recorded on this blog:

Lime Green LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

Lime Green LAMY Safari Fountain Pen

In 2008, the same year I purchased my first LAMY Safari fountain pen, we were helping writers learn how to swap the steel nibs on their own LAMY fountain pens. This is such a great thing to know if you like to experiment or end up damaging a nib or have a nib that you just don’t care for. It’s a lot cheaper to just replace the nib on a LAMY pen that you already own than to buy a whole new pen (although buying new pens is fun too). Here are the instructions from our first lesson:

Other experiments we were busy with in 2008 included converting cartridge fill fountain pens into eye dropper fill fountain pens. If you’re not familiar with eye dropper fill pens, their advantage is that the entire barrel of the pen becomes an ink reservoir! Kaweco Sport Classic or Ice fountain pens are ideal for this purpose. Check out our Pen Mods eye dropper fill edition and a tip from Noodler’s Ink:

Were you writing with fountain pens a decade ago? If so, what were you writing with? Over the years a good fountain pen often becomes like a good friend to those of us who love to write.

Kaweco Sport Classic Fountain Pens

Kaweco Sport Classic Fountain Pens

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Congratulations 2015 Graduates!

All the years of hard work have finally paid off: a new round of students are about to experience the victory of graduation! If you’d like to share in the celebration by presenting your favorite graduate with a gift, we would heartily recommend the timeless writing instrument the fountain pen. Many modern students have never used a fountain pen but once they experience it, it becomes a writing tool that they treasure for a lifetime. As your graduate begins their career a fountain pen can add a touch of style and sophistication to their professional or creative image.

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen, Charcoal with a Black Nib

LAMY Safari Fountain Pen, Charcoal with a Black Nib

Popular & Fun-Loving: The LAMY Safari fountain pen is a best friend of writers the world over. It’s easy to use, has a good variety of nib options and is made of rugged ABS plastic so it’s light weight yet durable.

Accessorize with: LAMY T10 Fountain Pen Refills and an Aston Leather Single Pen Slip Case.

Budget: The Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen comes with everything you need to get started at a low price, with a quality comparable to that of a more expensive pen.

Accessorize with: Pilot Namiki Fountain Pen Ink Cartridges and an Aston Leather Single Pen Slip Case.

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen, Blue

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen, Blue

Writing Enthusiast: If know your Grad will be writing profusely on a daily basis, a Pilot Custom 74 fountain pen is definitely worth the investment. Its 14k rhodium nib will keep their hand gliding effortlessly across each page.

Accessorize with: A bottle of Noodler’s Ink and an Aston Leather Triple Pen Case (after all, if they write frequently they’ll definitely carry more than one pen!).

Modern: The Bauhaus design of the LAMY 2000 fountain pen has a modern and stylish simplicity. It is made of a fiberglass resin called Makrolon that is resistant to impact and weathering.

Accessorize with: A bottle of LAMY fountain pen ink and an Aston Leather Single Pen Hard Case.

Pocket-Size: A compact Kaweco Sport ICE or Classic fountain pen fits in your pocket or purse when capped, and posts at the perfect length for writing.

Accessorize with: J. Herbin standard international ink cartridges, a Kaweco Pen Clip and a Kaweco Pen Case.

What kind of fountain pen would you like to give to your graduate?

 

 

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4 Ways to Use Bottled Ink in a Kaweco Sport Pen

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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Is it safe to take a fountain pen on an airplane?

Fountain pen users love to travel just as much as everyone else, so why not travel with your fountain pen even when you fly! There is the possibility that a fountain pen will leak in-flight when the air pressure in the plane cabin drops and the higher air pressure inside the pen forces ink out of the nib. However, there are some simple steps that can be taken to reduce or eliminate this risk.

First of all, it can help to travel with your fountain pen either completely full of ink (the air expands, not the ink) or completely empty (no ink, no leaks). Using cartridges with your pen is practical because you can travel with a new cartridge and an empty pen and insert the cartridge after you land.

It is best if you bring your fountain pens in your carry-on baggage instead of putting them inside your checked bags. For extra safety, put them inside ziploc bags and store them with the nib pointing up.

I’ve flown with both LAMY and Preppy fountain pens with varying amounts of ink in the cartridges and not had any problems other than a tiny bit of extra ink appearing on the LAMY nib. Alan has flown with a Kaweco Sport fountain pen containing a full cartridge as well as LAMY pens with only partially full cartridges and not had any leaks. The only problem Alan has encountered was with an eyedropper fill Kaweco pen that was not completely full of ink. This pen leaked small beads of ink during the flight. Do any of you have a flying with fountain pen experience that you would like to share with us?

 

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