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Sunday, October 07, 2007
Just finished an interesting morning at Parker Pen. Very helpful folks there; everyone wanted to get a look at the pen in Fred's pocket. As these were the same people who repair all the Parker pens they were very helpful. The consensus was that the pen is a "Vacumatic" (apparently spelled several ways) and I will prepare a report on the models of pens available at that time, as well as the measurements. Look for it next week.

I am about to fly out to Europe for a while and am bringing some pens with me (of course) . I know that most ink rollerballs and fountain pens like to leak but do felt tip pens? I'd like to do some drawing during the flights and it would suck if my pens started getting all drooly.

Yes, gel pens work fine. Smile My Micron pens were just fine on a plane trip, too.

Actually, I haven't had a pen leak on me on a plane yet, but I haven't brought any fountain pens on board, since those are known to drool.

Keeping the pen empty is an obvious way to avoid leaking; keeping it full is because most people say air pressure won't act as harshly on the ink as it will in the air. But when a fountain pen leaks on the plane, it's because the increased pressure in the reservoir is forcing the ink out of the pen. This means that even a completely full fountain pen can flood if there's a sharp increase in air pressure/turbulence, so it's best to leave it empty if you have the choice.

If I have to travel with my fountain pens full, I usually put them in a tissue and then in a ziplog bag to put inside my bag just in case. I've been lucky enough not to have anything leak on me, even if it was only half-full. But it has nothing to do with the quality, I've heard the chances of a very good pen leaking are as great as a cheaper fountain pen.

That's about the long and short of it. I fly a lot and have only had one pen consistently leak-- a vintage Parker 51... oddly, that was the one pen everyone said I would have no problem with.

With fountain pens, you have to either fill the pen completely or leave it totally empty to make sure pressure changes won't cause the pen to leak.

Also, you should always keep your pens facing up. And take caps off of suspect pens that might be susceptible to air pressure changes.

I just got the Petit fountain pens from Parker writing company! I'm just wondering, what is the correct way to write with them? Is the metal part supposed to face up, sideways, or down? I tried writing all these different ways and each has a different effect.

If I write with the metal side facing down, it is more scratchy, but also makes a finer point. If I write with metal side facing up, then it's smoother, but also a bolder line. I LOVE these pens! I don't want to write wrong and break them.

The "proper way" is metal side facing up (for the smoother writing). I don't know if it harms the nib or not, but I've seen even fountain pen gurus use them upside down for a different effect.

Generally, the correct way to write with a fountain pen is with the metal part of the nib up. But some pens will write when flipped over- some are even designed to do that so that you can in effect get two nibs in one. There are also some Japanese nibs that vary widely depending onthe angle. I had a great little Japanese "fun pen" that I have since lost which went from xtra-fine to VERY broad depending on the angle.

I have many pens, and I don't really use all of them every month, especially old ones. Some of them strangely spoil when I do a pen test once every two months...

Once I had this New Pastel set and they all sort of dried up at the same time.

Then I had this Pilot V-Pen and the nib sort of clogged up after not using it for about 3 weeks. How should I store these pens properly, and how to increase their 'Life'?

Don't store them upright. Also, a touch of rubbing alcohol rubbed on the point with a q-tip will often free up the flow again.

I've had very little problems of regular pens spoiling. Only some markers dry up after time, but that's a very long time since I've had those markers.

I just store my pens flat in a plastic shoe box or some pencil bag. They don't require any very special care at all. Just don't expose them to direct sunlight or heat which might dry them I guess.