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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Weekend Reads 5/5/12

It's been way to long since I've done a Weekend Reads on the blog!

Hopefully you've all had a great week so far. Mine was pretty busy, but that just makes the weekend all the better, right? :)

Relax and enjoy the reads!

Links of the week: Top picks from my favorite blogs and forums:

#1: The TWSBI Vac700 has been in the spotlight all week. While I have yet to see any reviews surface, FPGeeks has made a great video overview of the pen. Check it out here! I know a lot of folks are waiting for the initial reviews before diving in and purchasing. Lucky for you, I'll have a review up by the end of the month, so all of you "safe" buyers can make a more well-informed choice. :)

#2: This is a big, big notebook! Quo Vadis has rolled out an A4, blank Habana. It's huge, and it looks great. They are quite expensive notebooks, but then you get a lot of paper for the price. Not sure how practical these would be for anything but drawing though. Check out Brian Goulet's great video overview.

#3: A great review of a very unique pocket pen - The Bexley "Jitterbug". I was rather interested int his pen, mostly it's production. Apparently the entire pen was basically designed for the clip. As a side note, I can't help but notice the beautiful Kaweco Sport in the comparison photos. :)

#4: Here is a very interesting and ongoing discussion on FPN, among us repair folk. David Nishimura asked a very good question on silicone pen sacs, and if they really are silicone. We've yet to come to a conclusion, so if anyone has input or advice, please share!

That concludes the links of week! I hope you enjoyed them.

And now for some Q&A Time!

Q: "Out of the modern pens which do you always recommend for a beginner?"

A: An excellent question. The answer to this one changes every so often, as new pens get manufactured, but as of 2012, here's my top list of pen for new beginners:

As always, I am obliged to say the following: I am in no way affiliated with the companies who sell these pens. I just like the good folks who run the companies. :)

  1. The Lamy Safari. This is a longstanding favorite. It's very sturdy, inexpensive, reliable, popular, easily obtainable, and replacement parts are plentiful. 
  2. The TWSBI Diamond 540. A little more expensive than the Lamy Safari, but well worth it in my opinion. The TWSBI has a better filling system, is great looking, and the customer service of the company is top-notch. The 540 also have interchangeable nibs, so you can have multiple sizes for one pen.
It's pretty much just those two these days. There are plenty more excellent pens, but these are the best of the best if you ask me. :)

Q: "I've read on some blog that you can get rust on a nib or nib rings in fact the older pelikans call it a rust ring where after dipping into ink for over years it will rust. Is this true? Should I always wipe down a nib so that the nib doesn't rust?"

A: Depends on the nib material. Any nib that is made of gold - 14k, 18k, 21k, etc., will never rust. Gold cannot rust. It may tarnish, but tarnish can be easily wiped off, and does no damage to the pen or nib.

A steel nib is very different. A steel nib can rust, though most modern steel nibs are made to be extremely resistant to rust. Honestly, it's not something I'd ever worry about on a nib. I've never seen a modern steel pen with a rusty nib, unless inks has been left to dry in it for a very long time. So long as you keep your pens clean, you'll be good.

Now the metal rings around the front end of the pen - those do bother me a little bit. Those can and do rust, and there's not a whole lot you can do about it. Particularly on the Pelikans, it's a bit of a design flaw. The metal ring is always in contact with ink, and thus it eventually gets corroded. But I think if you wipe your nib down every so often, and clean the pen well when changing inks, you will generally avoid any corrosion.

And for the Blog Forecast:

  • An ink review or two. :) I finally got to try some Waterman Havana Brown, and I definitely need to do a review of it. 
  • Paper reviews - I've got a bunch of great notebooks that need reviews.
Sometime this month, expect to see a review of the TWSBI Vac700. I am excited to get reviewing it, but I still need to use the pen a bit more before I go and say too much about it. :)

That's all I've got planned for now.

That's it for this weeks Weekend Reads! I apologize that there is no accompanying podcast. I am re-considering doing the podcast for the Weekend Reads right now. I love having it up on Saturdays, but Saturday being my one day off makes doing a podcast a bit difficult. If any of you have suggestions for when a good time for the podcast would be, please let me know in the comments. I still would love to run a podcast, but I am just considering a different time.

I hope you enjoyed the reads. Please drop me a comment and let me know what you think!

Have a great weekend everyone.

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