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 Post subject: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:59 am 
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So I'm a total noob to pens. I'd like to get a fountain pen (very) cheaply. What would be my best bet?

Feel free to talk about whatever pens you have or would like to have.

Conor


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 12:26 pm 
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I would like this Lamy one, though admittedly I know nothing about pens, and it's based mostly on looks/price
http://europeanpaper.com/product/brand/ ... n-pla3063/
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Edit: how do I make it smaller? It's just a picture from the site that sells it


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 12:33 pm 
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I had a "I should buy a fountain pen" moment in college and picked up a Parker 45. It's a pretty classically American pen and I purchased mine (lightly used on eBay) for around $20.

I generally grab a ballpoint for daily use and my personal correspondence, but I guess it's nice to know that I have a decent pen in my reserves if I ever need to sign an important treaty someday.


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 12:43 pm 
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I had a Schaefer cartridge pen with a white dot on it, which I loved and used constantly til I lost it. The cartridge feature was great - no inky fingers. If I ever see another, I'm buying it. Years ago someone gave me a big fat Montblanc, which I never use because it's too big and fat. I would gladly trade it for the schaefer, though it was much more expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 1:10 pm 
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I like and use a vintage Parker 51.


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:59 pm 
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A few thoughts on buying a fountain pen taken from my own personal "Gee, I ought to own a fountain pen" experience a few years back.

1. Examine your current writing patterns. My guess is that if you need a fountain pen you'd own one already. It's very unlikely that you'll use it just because you have it.

2. You can never hand it to someone else to use - in my line of work this meant carrying an extra lending pen and awkward little moments where someone was denied the use of a special pen.

3. You have to hold it differently and adjust your writing. It's not as forgiving as a ball point or roller ball.

4. It's potentially messy. For me it was actually messy.

I bought a pretty expensive one that I haven't even thought of in years. On the other hand, I was given a pen for high school graduation (pictured below) and have used it every single day since. I am literally never without it. If you run into me hiking, I will have this pen on me. I write in soft-cover mini moleskines that can fit into a pants pocket and the "precious" nature of this pen evaporated over 10 years ago. It may as well be a Parker Jotter at this point. If I ever damage it, they'll fix it. If I ever lose it, I'll re-buy the exact same pen. I doubt I will. I've had it almost 15 years and have never even misplaced it. Which is odd for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Very good points Trip. My handwriting happens to be very messy already, so adding a fountain pen will probably complicate it even more. Or it might inspire me to neaten it up a bit. I know I wouldn't use it everyday, or carry it with me. I already have a pen I carry everywhere (this one: http://www.countycomm.com/stainlesspen.html and it's awesome).

I'll have to think about it. It's more the novelty I guess that's making me want one.

I like that pen you put up hook. Looks tough enough to carry around everyday.

Conor


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 5:28 pm 
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If you just want to test the waters of fountain pens on the cheap, get a Pilot Varsity (a disposable fountain pen).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00260 ... A2HW4EPVX2

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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:14 pm 
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Lots of great advice already.

I carried a fountain pen for a couple of years, lastly a decent Pelikan that has a nib tuned to my preferences. I did take more pains with my scrawl when writing with a fountain pen. But I have a habit of clipping my pen inside my shirt placket, a relic of my active duty days when my shirts always had flaps on the pocket. My pens habitually came separated from the caps and fell into my shirt, ruining way too many. I carry a Mont Blanc rollerball now. It never seems to come loose.

An aside on handwriting - back when I was into Civil War reenacting in a big way, I bought a home-school course that taught Spencerian handwriting. Very 1860s. I learned the cool capital letters, but not the neatness, spacing and consistency it takes to execute the technique properly. Like most worthwhile skills, it takes practice. I didn't work at it.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 11:46 am 
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redmanca wrote:
Very good points Trip. My handwriting happens to be very messy already, so adding a fountain pen will probably complicate it even more. Or it might inspire me to neaten it up a bit. I know I wouldn't use it everyday, or carry it with me. I already have a pen I carry everywhere (this one: http://www.countycomm.com/stainlesspen.html and it's awesome).

I'll have to think about it. It's more the novelty I guess that's making me want one.

I like that pen you put up hook. Looks tough enough to carry around everyday.

Conor
Conor, that is a wicked cool pen!


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 12:55 am 
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Thanks for that Top. Very helpful. I'll add one or two to my next Amazon order.

Thanks for the advice NG.

Thanks Trip. It really is an awesome pen.

Conor


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:38 pm 
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Topsider wrote:
If you just want to test the waters of fountain pens on the cheap, get a Pilot Varsity (a disposable fountain pen).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00260 ... A2HW4EPVX2
I bought a pack of these and am loving them so far. I think I'll eventually get the Lamy Safari, though these are pretty cool, and I like the color choices (for grading).

Conor


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:04 am 
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I've been using that Varsity a decent amount lately. I like the way it writes, but I'm not sure I can deal with the thick nib (right?)/bold print. It makes my already messy handwriting look worse.


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:31 am 
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I decided I needed a fountain pen a year or two after graduating law school. I really did not enjoy it at all. As Trip mentioned, you need to adjust your writing style. Also, I stained a few shirts. I went back to ballpoints and rollerballs.


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 Post subject: Re: Fountain Pens
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:37 pm 
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nerdykarim wrote:
I generally grab a ballpoint for daily use and my personal correspondence, but I guess it's nice to know that I have a decent pen in my reserves if I ever need to sign an important treaty someday.
This gave me a good laugh..

I have a vintage olive/industrial green Parker ballpoint pen that I enjoy using.

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