Pen Goulet: Filling Mechanisms

Pen Goulet

There are several filling mechanisms used in fountain pens today. Here I show you how to fill each of 4 types, as well as the pros/cons of each one

This is a great starting point if you are confused by the different fountain pen filling mechanism. I think it was here I started back in the day.

How to figure out what you need

The first step into pen & paper geekiness can be daunting. And it isn’t easy to find out what kind of stuff you are going to use.

Some people like fine pens, while other people like broad pens, and the first step should therefore be to find out what kind of writing experience you prefer. A pen with a fin tip use less ink, and you can fit more writing into a smaller space, while a broader nib have a smother writing experience. You can always start by getting a 0.7 and 0.5 Pilot G2 to find out what you prefer.

A good place to start is to get various “disposable” pens like the Pilot G2, Hi-tec-C or Uni-ball Signo. Buy various pens, with different tips, and find out what you like. It is much easier to go deeper when you have a basic understanding of what you like.

The next step is notebooks. And there are so many different shapes and sizes. But the thing almost everyone likes, is Field Notes. Start by getting a mixed three pack. And go from there.

Some people only need pocket sized notebooks, while others, like me, need larger notebooks for writing, notes and so on. There are many factors that are important when it comes to notebooks

  • Size. There are many different sizes out there, everything from very small, like for example Field Notes to the huge notebooks some of us really like. Some pick one, and stick with it, while others like me use different sizes for different tasks.
  • Book binding versus spiral bound. They are either spiral bound or more like a book, when you start looking at larger notebooks. There are good and bad things about both. Spiral bound is more comfortable to write in, but less durable, and doesn’t look as good.
  • Short dry time versus less feathering and bleed through. This is a very hot topic. My experience is that paper either have very short dry time or they have more desirable qualities when it comes to fountain pen use. This means that you either get something where the ink dries very fast, or you get something where the ink doesn’t bleed through the pages and so on. I always prefer short dry time.

The only way to find out what works for you, is to experiment. But don’t buy a bunch of stuff just to buy it. I think it is important to only have stuff that you use, stuff that works for you.

The paper triad.

I’m not an paper expert in any way or form, this is just some thoughts and experiences I have collected during the last 2-3 years.

There are three different things that you need to take into consideration when you are looking for a new notebook, and more specifically the paper in it. I usually look at it in the form of the following triad

  • Thin paper
  • Short dry time
  • Little bleed through

Pick two.

It isn’t hard to find thin paper with no bleed through, but it will take a while before the ink dries. And it isn’t hard to find thick paper with short dry time and little bleed through.

There are exceptions to the rule. But my experience is that You need to pick two of the three.

Tools and Toys: A Visit to the Field Notes Brand Headquarters

Mike Bates:

Visiting Field Notes Brand’s headquarters is a little odd at first, but also a little like what you might imagine the brand’s offices to be like. Located in Chicago’s meatpacking district a couple blocks out from Fulton Market, the largely unmarked building almost convinces you that you’ve got the wrong place. But you don’t.

What a fantastic photo essay. What is that very large Field Notes notebook? And who do I need to bribe in order to get one?

The Finer Point: Midori Travelers Notebook Review.

What a fantastic review. The MTN have always been in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t before I read this that I really started to consider getting one.

The Finer Point:

Brad once described the MTN on the Pen Addict podcast as the fountain pen of the paper world. This always stuck in my head and I think it’s completely true. Not only do you get a gorgeous leather case but you can modify the inside exactly to your liking. Simple or packed full of crafty goodness the choice is totally yours. What’s more you can pull this to pieces as many times as you like and change up how you use it. It’s an evolving system.

I think this is key. The great thing about the MTN is that you have a cover, that you can fill with what ever you want. Not unlike a fountain pen, you pick the nib type, material, size, and then the ink color, type and so on.

The Finer Point: TWSBI Diamond 580RB – EF Nib (Review)

The Finer Point:

I love this fountain pen. In my opinion it’s the best fountain pen in the market at around the £50 mark. The TWSBI 580 Diamond series of fountain pen receives praise from numerous other bloggers and fountain pen enthusiasts and I can see why.

I have been looking for another fountain pen for a very long time now. And I have considered many TWSBI pens including the Mini, the ECO and now the 580AL.

This pen has everything I’m looking for: it is a reliable & good writer and it holds a lot of ink.

I think I’ll be ordering one soon.

Nanami Paper Seven Seas Writer Review

Jeff Abbott, over at The Pen Addict:

Tomoe River paper took the world (well, a very small portion of the world) by storm a couple years ago for its phenomenal paper. Basically, the paper that Tomoe River produces is super thin, but handles fountain pen nibs and inks like nothing else. You’re hard pressed to find something that will bleed through or feather on its worst day. Brad wrote a bit about it back in 2013, and I’ve never had a bad thing to say about it. I love Tomoe River paper.
Dry time is incredibly fast, but you will smudge or mark up other pages if you close the book just after writing. Nanami was nice enough to include a perfectly-sized piece of blotter paper that you can use to keep that from happening, but I’m reckless and live a life a danger. The paper is thin, so there’s plenty of show-through on the backs of pages, but actual bleed-through is extremely rare, regardless of the pen/ink.

This notebook looks very interesting. I’m always on the look after the perfect notebook. I think Field Notes is the perfect(or perfect enough) notebook to have in your back pocket. But I haven’t found the perfect fit for all the other sizes. They are unfortunately out of stock, but I will get one to test it out as soon as I can.

The Tools and Toys Field Notes Color Subscription Review

Mike Bates:

At it’s most basic, the COLORS subscription is a way for Field Notes fans to pay once a year to have the latest COLORS releases shipped to them as soon as the editions are released. Guaranteed, once a season, four times a year.

I have considered the Color Subscription many times, but the reason I never go for it is that I prefer the regular Field Notes, and I never know how often I need more notebooks. But I think it is a fantastic product to get, if you are the kind of person that buys every single edition anyways.

Lamy Dialog 3 Fountain Pen – Fine Nib – Black Body

No Pen Intended:

What makes the Dialog 3 special is its twist retract/deploy mechanism. The nib deploys completely, a full and regular-sized Lamy two-tone gold nib, and when the nib deploys the clip draws close to the body of the pen, making it less obtrusive (especially when compared to the Vanishing Point clip).

What a fantastic pen. Take a look at the clip on this pen, compared to the Vanishing Point, that is the reason I think high end Lamy pens are the best.

Review of Leuchtturm A4+ notebook

Paper Pens Ink:

Then comes the table of contents. It’s got 30 lines per page and 3 pages, so 90 spaces to list the contents of 233 sheets (or more than 2.5 pages per index line). Maybe that will work out for me, but given the enormous size of each page, I’m not sure it will. I would have liked to have seen 4 pages of index rather than 3.

I haven’t used this one, but I have used the smaller version, and I loved it. And I think I will buy either one or two of these the next time I’m ordering from either JetPens or Goulet.