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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Weekend Reads 3/2/12

We're into March now, and spring is fast approaching. It's feeling like it's already here in Tennessee, with some lovely 75+ degree weather. With all this beautiful weather, it's definitely time to get outside and do some outdoor work, for me anyway.

While it may not be the season to curl up by the fire anymore, its never a bad time to relax and talk about fountain pens! And that's what we intend to do here with the Weekend Reads 3/2/12.

Grab a chair outside (if your weather permits), a good media device, and enjoy. :)

First and foremost - the Weekend Reads Podcast is out again! Episode 3 is a bit longer than usual, as I take a few minutes at the start to share something that's been on my mind for a while.

Weekend Reads Podcast:


Let me know if I missed anything in the mentions!

Let's move on to the Links of the Week: top picks from my favorite blogs and forums.

#1: This week I was given the honor being called the Geek of the Week by the great folks at I was really surprised when I was contacted about this, but it was an extremely enjoyable interview. I got to know Eric very well, as we had some technical difficulties to work through. Eric is an amazing person, and I recommend you all subscribe to the FPGeeks blog for future updates. It's good stuff coming from them! :)

#2: Anyone seen the new Pelikan M600 white tortoise? It's gorgeous, and it's better sized than it's small cousin, the M400. Brian Goulet provides a lot of great details in his extensive post on it, and even includes a video!

#3: How about a great review of a gorgeous J. Herbin ink? Check this one out. The review alone makes me interested in the ink - it's a really good read.

#4: Lastly, we have another review of the Kaweco Sport. This is the black one, and I really like it! I'm almost considering buying a black one to replace my blue one.

Q&A Time!

Got some great questions this week, once again courtesy of Maja! Thank you!

But seriously, we can't have only one person asking me questions, now can we. :) You, and I do mean you need to think up of some good ones too. Give it a try - it's a lot of fun!

Q: What techniques do you employ for the final polishing of vintage pens? (ie. manual or machine or a combination?)

A: I prefer to polish my pens by hand, using Simichrome. I use a small flannel cloth to polish, and then I use a big fluffy piece of micro-fiber cloth to really put a shine on the pen. Always be careful when polishing to avoid the imprint on the the pen, and the threaded portions. If you have a hard rubber pen, or a pen with chasing, I would stay away from Simichrome and use something else.

The technique is really that easy. Just rub on Simichrome, and buff off. :) Eventually you'll be left with a gorgeous and shiny pen. Might take one of two passes to get it perfect, but trust me, you'll get there.

Another thing to consider is metal areas with plating and masking. Avoid masked nibs (two-tone nibs) if you can, and go easy on plated levers and clips. you don't want to wear down the plating, because then the clip will brass very badly. Unfortunately it can be hard to tell if you've gone to far with a clip, as the underlying brass looks a lot like the plating. Just be careful, and practice on non-plated pens first. Esterbrooks are great to practice on.

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 pens, 3 inks and 3 types of paper (journal/notebook/writing paper) would you want to have with you?

Q: Everyday carry (EDC) - What items do you carry in your pockets/in a small pack or attached to clothing? I was just curious what kind of stuff you carry with you, be it pen-related or not. 

A: Another fun question! I'm very into fine-tuning my EDC, so here's my current list as of March 2012:

Front left pocket: Always kept empty for my iPod Touch (my personal secretary :).
Front right pocket: Knife, keys, and 3 guitar picks in the coin pocket.

Back left pocket: Once again, reserved for the iPod Touch. I switch between the front and back left pockets depending on what I'm doing.

Back right pocket: My wallet, of course.

That's really it for me actual EDC. There are other items I like to carry around, but I only do so on a monthly (maybe weekly) basis. Not enough to qualify them as EDC.

Q: Ok, I gotta know: Is your accent from Tennessee or what? I've heard lots of folks who are from TN, but your accent sounds nothing like theirs. What gives?

A: Ah yes, my accent (or the nonexistence of it :). Well, I'm not originally from TN actually. I'm from Southern California! I grew up in San Diego, so if anything, you could say I have a CA accent. I'm not sure that I do, but I definitely don't have a Tennessee accent. Yet...

And now for the Blog Forecast:

  • J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie ink review.
  • Basildon Bond paper review. Thanks to Freddy for making this review possible, this is my first "nice paper" that I've ever used.
  • My newest homemade pen repair tool!
Now that we're in March, you can expect the updated review of the TWSBI 540 sometime very soon. I am looking forward to doing that one, and I think it'll be a nicer read than my six-part 530 review. :)

I will once again thank you all for joining for me yet another Weekend Reads! This is the tenth one now, and I think they're getting better and better each time. The questions this week were spectacular, and I had such a great time answering them.

Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought of this weekends Weekend Reads!

Lastly, by way of helping me out, please consider subscribing to the blog if you already haven't. The more subscribers I get, the more I am constantly encouraged to keep on blogging. It's nice to know that my hard work gets read. I really appreciate each and every one of you!

Have a great day everybody.

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