Saturday, March 13, 2010

My pen case & pens

Pen case, 11 March 2010

A fountain-pen-loving pen pal asked about my pen case, and wanted to see a photo of it with all my pens. I'm a little hesitant to do this because there's always turnover - it seems as soon as I take a photo, it's out of date. Indeed I took this photo two days ago, and I've already done some maintenance; the three blank slots are filled and a couple of pens now hold different ink. But oh well, the only constant in life is change, eh? Here are the pen models, nib sizes, and what ink they held when the photo was taken on March 11:

Top left, from left:
1. Waterman Phileas M / Noodler's Legal Lapis
2. Waterman Harley-Davidson M orange flames / Noodler's Red-Black
3. Waterman Harley-Davidson M blue flames / Noodler's Pinstripe Homage
4. Waterman Graduate M / Diamine Delamere Green
5. Esterbrook LJ black (Bell System Property) 9788 / Diamine Prussian Blue
6. Esterbrook SJ copper 9284 / Herbin Eclat de Saphir
7. Esterbrook J green 2048 / Noodler's V-Mail Midway Blue
8. Esterbrook LJ red 9048 / Diamine Monaco Red
9. Esterbrook SJ green 9556 / Noodler's Walnut
10. Esterbrook SJ blue 2550 / Diamine Majestic Purple
11. Pelikan M200 Binderized XXXF Needlepoint / Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku
12. Parker 51 EF / Waterman Black

Bottom left, from left:
1. Sheaffer cartridge pen (student pen or school pen? unsure) F / Iroshizuku Shin-Ryoku
2. Waterman Taperite F / Diamine Steel Blue
3. ---
4. Chelpark Moti / Diamine Teal
5. Sailor Ballerie XF / PR Blue Suede
6. Guanleming 706 EF / Noodler's Lexington Gray
7. Lamy Vista F / Diamine Imperial Purple
8. Lamy Safari F / Diamine Midnight
9. Lamy Al-Star EF / PR Ebony Blue
10. Sheaffer WWII-era vac-filler F / Waterman Black
11. ---
12. Sheaffer Agio F / Noodler's Hunter Green

Top right, from left:
1. Platinum Preppy F with converter / Noodler's Pinstripe Homage
2. Platinum Preppy F eyedropper / Noodler's Green Marine
3. Platinum Preppy F eyedropper / R&K Alt Bordeaux
4. Platinum Preppy F eyedropper / Diamine Marine
5. Platinum Preppy F with converter / PR Burgindy Mist
6. Platinum Preppy F with converter / PR Sherwood Green
7. Platinum Preppy M with converter / Noodler's Violet Vote
8. Platinum Preppy F with converter / Noodler's Legal Lapis
9. Pilot Varsity / Noodler's Heart of Darkness
10. Reform 1745 / PR Copper Burst
11. Dollar Student pen / Noodler's V-Mail North African Violet
12. Bic Easy Clic / Diamine Pumpkin

Bottom right, from left:
1. Pilot 78G F / PR Ebony Green
2. Pilot 78G M / Noodler's La Coleur Royale
3. Parker Vector F Sylvester / Noodler's Squeteague
4. Parker Vector M / Iroshizuku Syo-Ro
5. ---
6. Dollar 717 demonstrator / Diamine Violet
7. Autopoint Big Cat M / Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku
8. Sailor Desk Pen EF / Diamine Maroon
9. Sailor Recruit F / Sailor Kiwaguro Carbon Black
10. Sailor Ink Pen (aka School Pen?) / Herbin Eclat de Saphir
11. Pilot Plumix M / mix of Pilot Blue + Noodler's Forest Green
12. Hero 329 / Noodler's Tiananmen

Pen case, 11 March 2010 (with flash)

I like the version without the flash a little better, but here's the flash photo so you can get a different idea of color and such.

I got this pen case on eBay; it holds 48 pens. You can click on either of the photos for a way to get to them directly and maybe see more sizes, if you have a Flickr account.


  1. I love seeing your pens! Currently I keep my pens in a small case, because I've only got a few. I have a new set of Pilot Petit1 Mini Fountain Pens that I am enjoying very, very much and ordered a few more. I may end up getting a nice case just for those, even though they are very cheap pens :-)

  2. Thanks for the compliments! PostMuse, nothing wrong with cheap pens... as you can see, the Platinum Preppies rather dominate my collection, for good reason - I just love writing with them. (And it helps that I can easily afford them, too!)

  3. Oh wow I covet your pens they are awesome and wish I had that many LOL !!!

  4. Ummm. *gulp* That's a ton of pens! Thanks to this post I have a few more names of pens to look through and drool over. I still haven't made it to Ace to find some silicon grease for my Pilot Preppy, but I love the ink it's got anyway so I'm glad to leave it as it is for now. (Perfect bright yellow/orange!)

  5. Thanks for this posting, I love to see all your fountain pens!
    As I said, I'm not so familiar with fountain pens, but would be very interested to start to use them.
    When I started school 1967 we all got a Pelikan Pelikano student pen, so I can't say I have no experience. :) Then additionally about twenty years ago I got interested in learning calligraphy and because of that I have a couple of Rotring Art Pens each having a different size of flat nib and then a Sheaffer pen which has changeable flat nibs. Thin flat nibs can be used for normal writing also, and then one of these Rotring pens has a round nib, and then I have one with round nib also (which doesn't seem to have any name on it) so I could start with these I have.
    By changing the ink cartridge and keeping the pen under tap for a while I was able to get the nameless pen to work, but didn't succeed with the Rotrings. I remember that I had his problem with them already when they were new and I hadn't used them for a while. - You have so many pens that they all can't be in use all the time, do they then stop writing and you have to wake them up? How could I wake up my Rotrings?

  6. I want!! This is so awesome. My favourite pen in the whole world is a Pentel Energel 0.35mm needlepoint. There are only two serious flaws - 1) Everyone else in the office loves it too and keeps nicking my pens and 2) It shows right through paper so that you cannot write on both sides.

  7. Credo: #2 can be addressed by using better paper... but I know, I know, I'm a paper snob. Over at the Fountain Pen Network, we have endless discussions and fights about quality paper. Some folks believe a pen and ink should be able to write on any paper, no matter how crappy, and others of us prefer a higher grade of paper and feel it should suit the ink. There ARE papers out there that your Pentel won't bleed through, but your office may not spring for 'em.

    Sirpa: All the pens in this case are inked up and in use. (I actually have a few more that are not inked up and in use...) I've found this is pretty much the maximum that I can keep "in rotation," and I still get some ink drying issues when I neglect one particular pen. I try to rotate them all and use them all, and as they're filled with mostly different inks, that usually works. But the quality of the pen and the quality of the ink make a big difference; some are reluctant to write without a little moistening after a week or so, whereas others can go for many weeks or months and then write beautifully, immediately. Keeping the pens well exercised and maintained is the key, and fountain pens DO need to be maintained. It's part of the loving ritual, I guess, and the tradeoff for all those fancy ink colors.

    As for waking up your Rotrings, I don't know how that pen is designed but my first recommendation would be to soak the nib in a glass of water overnight. If you can unscrew the nib section, then do that (and there are other hints for cleaning, too, such as blowing through the nib section like on a whistle), but if it's attached to the pen in such a way that you can't easily remove it, then that's fine too. I actually have an ultrasonic cleaner (made for jewelry, but perfect for fountain pens) that's really good for getting out ink deposits, but soaking is just a slower way of loosening up that dried ink. Good luck! I bet, with your artistic talent, you can do some especially beautiful things with calligraphy nibs!

  8. Thank you for your answer Ilona!

    I will go to sauna for half an hour and my Rotrings to a bath for the night! :)

    By the way, is there ink to be used in fountain pens, which isn't water soluble? - May be not, because the pen could then easily get blocked, but this kind of ink could be used also when writing on the envelope.

  9. Sirpa, I think by water soluble you mean waterproof - and yes, there is waterproof fountain pen ink. That's what I use for addressing envelopes myself. Many different brands make it. Many of my inks listed above are waterproof or "water resistant" (meaning some will wash off in rain or such, but enough will remain to be legible).

  10. Oh, thanks a lot, that's good news! I for sure have to go to shop to see what they have!

  11. ur pens are lovely.something that i also have many of. my husband says i am obsessed with pens lol. may i ask where you got such a nice pen case from. i want one.

  12. I got my pen case from seller coastocoast on eBay. I love it, it serves its function and has held up well.

  13. OMG! That is one beautiful sight to see!! Thanks for sharing!

  14. I found an art shop that sells fountain pens and inks but all the Parkers they have are very expensive they tell me and besides which there is some problem with importing the ink cartridges so they recommend a Lamy pen. I see you have a few in your collection. Which do you think is suitable for an ignoramus such as myself? Thanks for all your help. ^_^

  15. Credo, I am hesitant to recommend a pen because so much depends on personal preference. I would advise that you purchase an inexpensive pen to begin with - DON'T buy something expensive in case you don't like it!

    A Lamy Safari is a good pen to start with. Many people like them. Not everyone likes them, because the grip on the section is designed for people who hold their pens "normally," and I do not - but I still like the pen. They retail for about $30 US, so not so terribly expensive for a nice pen.

  16. Lamy Safari was my first pen and I do love it. I think I have a fairly standard way of gripping pens, so the grip section works for me. I can see how it would not for many of my family members who have some of the most unique pen grips known to humankind.

    I would not recommend the disposable fountain pens for beginners. While I do like them for particular writing experiences, I think they are quite nasty on cheap paper and that could ruin the whole experience. But ... I'm still a beginner myself, so take my advise with a dollop of ink.