Do all red ripple vintage pens have matching ripple feeds? No they do not, sometimes they are black ebonite, but some truly spectacular specimens can be found with matching ripple feeds!
What type of paper is best for fountain pens? Steer clear of absorbent, fibrous, toothy type papers – these will clog your nib and suck all the ink out of your pen, not to mention feather and bleed through wildly! The paper weight doesn’t necessarily guarantee fountain pen friendliness, but papers like Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Life Stationery, Apica, Tomoe River, and G. Lalo are quite fountain pen friendly and enjoyable to use.
The converter in my pen is full but the pen is not writing. This could happen for a few reasons. The feed and nib may have machining oils left on them – a good cleaning will help this. It’s also possible a ball agitator could help break the surface tension of the ink inside the converter, allowing for ink/air exchange and thus, steady ink flow. Clean first!
When I write on my notepad, stuff gets stuck in my nib. I think it’s paper fibers? Why is this happening? Paper fibres can get caught in the tip of your nib if the paper is particularly toothy, absorbent, or if your tip is very sharp. Try a more fountain pen-friendly paper like Rhodia, Clairefontaine, or Tomoe River.
I am looking for my first vintage pen – which is better, Parker or Waterman? Both Parker and Waterman were big players in the vintage pen days, and in fact, they still are. Which you may prefer is entirely up to you, and depends on what kind of vintage pen you are looking for. Different nibs, models, sizes, and just general feel is available from both companies.
Is it bad to have too many pens? Tough question! That depends. If you are a collector, whether you have a focus or not, you are likely to have more pens than others who are not collectors. If you use your pens and enjoy them, and don’t stretch your budget excessively for them, it’s probably not bad. Some people like a variety of nibs and of course, you cannot find a variety of nibs …
How do I know if I can turn a pen into an eyedropper? The eyedropper system is so simple and is quite common in vintage pens. If you have a pen that is not an eyedropper-filler, there are ways you can “hack” them to eyedroppers. If there are metal parts inside the barrel or on the section threads, it’s not recommended as the exposure to ink can cause rusting. Ebonites and acrylics/plastics can often be eyedroppered …
I broke the barrel on my pen and I glued it back together. Can I still sell it? If this was a home repair, it’s a good idea to disclose the repair to any potential buyers. If you can, have a professional deal with any repairs.
Why do some nibs have breather holes and others don’t? The vent hole, or breather hole, is the space that allows for air exchange as ink flows out of the filling system. It may be that this is actually unnecessary, and the hole acts as a stopper for cracks, as many nibs are also available without vent holes and function well.
I have $1000 to buy a pen. What should I get? That is a tricky question! $1000 can buy you a special, unique pen, but so can $20, depending on what you are looking for in a pen and what you like. Unless you already have a few pens in mind, it’s worth doing some research. Perhaps you have a brand you like, or a style, perhaps you are looking for art on your pens, …