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Posts Tagged ‘Faber-Castell’

Posted by Dirck on 25 May, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 12 manuscript pages.†

†Apart from having to spend most of Monday prostrated before an effigy of Victoria, d.g. Reg., Def. Fid., Imp. Ind, as required by Canadian federal law and thus getting no writing done‡, I find that the air up here as I approach 60,000 words is getting damn thin.  I’ve sent a team of Sherpas back to the last supply cache to drag up a few extra cylinders of inspiration, but until they get back I’m moving fairly slowly.

‡In all honesty, I was mowing the lawn and pushing my son on the swings.  While it’s not getting the book finished, both are valid (and in the latter, important) uses of my time, so I thank Her Late Majesty for imposing a day off in the best part of the year upon me.

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Posted by Dirck on 11 August, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 8 August
  • 9 August
  • 10 August
  • 11 August
  • First draft of “Palindrome” and of “Screening Process.”
  • First draft of “Screening Process” finished.
  • Second draft of “Palindrome.”
  • More second draft.
  • Two and six manuscript pages, respectively.
  • Ten pages (thumps chest, Tarzan-wise).
  • 950 words typed
  • 868 words.
  • 60 min.
  • 60 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 50 min.*

*Some of today’s writing time was devoted to enjoying a large chocolate chip cookie, my prize to myself in the wake of what I will call a tentative acceptance of one of my stories.  I phrase it thus because until the actual publication, anything may go wrong; the acceptance is phrased in definite terms, but still… I’m trying to keep excitement down to a pitch where it doesn’t blow the ears right off of my head.

When the story appears, which I’m told will be before the end of September (and in a smooth-running world, a good deal sooner), I will certainly be festooning this place with links, so all may share in my glee.

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Posted by Dirck on 4 August, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 2 August
  • 3 August
  • 4 August
  • First draft of the “Palindrome.”
  • …in which I am attempting to be…
  • …clever possibly beyond my powers.
  • Seven manuscript pages.
  • Eight pages.
  • Eight more.
  • 60 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 50 min.

But what of Monday?  It was a long weekend; perhaps not true where you are (I know Newfoundland was business as usual, to add to its other small woes), but such was the case here.  Pens were not idle, the e-Motion and the final dregs in the now-resting OMAS going into long-delayed correspondence, but that’s extracurricular.

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Posted by Dirck on 28 July, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 25 July
  • 26 July
  • 27 July
  • 28 July
  • Second draft of the “Swimmer’s Build.”
  • Second draft concludes, just shy of blotting out the sun with its dimensions.
  • Second draft of “Final Girl.”
  • …which is much shorter.
  • 610 words typed, and the end is at last in sight!
  • 715 words, for a total of 9,983 (sorry, feedback readers!).
  • 881 words.
  • 907 words (at least 60% done).
  • 50 min.
  • 60 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 55 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 4 February, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 1 February
  • 2 February
  • 3 February
  • 4 February
  • Second draft of  “Final Resting Place”.
  • Ditto.
  • Second draft concluded.
  • Third draft work on “Harmonic Aliasing”.
  • 60 min.
  • 35 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 45 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 28 January, 2016

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 25 January
  • 27 January
  • 28 January
  • First draft of  “Final Resting Place”.
  • Second draft of  “Final Resting Place”.
  • Second draft proceeds.
  • Seven manuscript pages.
  • 893 words.
  • 1,025 words.
  • 40 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 50 min.

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Posted by Dirck on 21 January, 2016

If this current story will relax slightly in its powerful grip upon me, I may be able to tell you next week about the new pen I recently got.  Wouldn’t that be a treat?

Day What How Much Duration Pen Ink
  • 18 January
  • 19 January
  • 20 January
  • 21 January
  • First draft of  “Final Resting Place”.
  • More first draft.
  • This one is really working well, in fact.
  • …until today.  That’s not fair, though– I just got to a bit that needed more thinkin’ and less scratchin’.
  • Eight manuscript pages.
  • Ten pages (dances about, arms in air).
  • Nine pages.
  • Seven pages.
  • 50 min.
  • 55 min.
  • 50 min.
  • 55 min.

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Fun and Desperation

Posted by Dirck on 31 August, 2015

The great pen clinic when off very much as I could have hoped.  Plenty of people with plenty of pens, most of whom went away happy.  This time, I remembered to take pictures– heck, I was even annoying everyone on Facebook with live coverage of what was happening.  For those who look in here, let me re-create the effect without the long gasping pauses between entries.


Say… where’s my flushing bulbs?

There’s the tools all laid out and ready.  We were suffering somewhat from the smoke of the vast fires in Washington and Oregon, and I managed to forget a few things I have meant to bring.  Chief among these were the bulbs I use for flushing feeds in cartridge pens, but between most of those showing up with their converters in tow and the ultrasonic bath, the absence wasn’t disastrous.


A tiger?! Here?

Not quite the first appearance of the day was this Noodler’s Konrad with an after-marker stub point.  It was a little scratchy, of the sort that needed abrasives applied.  The deformity was so subtle it could only be felt in writing; even through my 45X (!) loupe, there was nothing to see.  Ahead of this patient were a Parker Sonnet (oddly clogged, sent home with a warning to check for moldy ink), a Pelikan M205 (also clogged, and with a strange late-onset tipping deformity) and the first Lamy Safari of the day (compressed slit).  These three came through before it occurred to me that the photo-journalism was even possible.


Cryptic notes, eh?

The Pelikan’s owner came back later with this Waterman Hemisphere which he described as writing too narrow– a fine point that was living up to its billing.  The problem was a result of having started out liking fine points, then trying something wider.  I gave it a quick dash over the abrasives to widen the contact point, which worked about as well as I thought it would (a very very little improvement), and suggested that a stubbing might be more to his taste.  The quartered acorn is a top-down view of the pen’s tipping, with a suggestion of what the proposed procedure would remove (the pointy part to the right).  I took this pen home from the clinic, and it’s now just about finished as a… 0.4 or 0.5 mm stub.  I’ll have to check that.  Not huge, but it gives extra weight to the writing in general.  The charge for the grind included a big fat discount because he brought it along to an even at which I was doing stuff for free; I expect he’ll be happy with the result, and he was certainly smiling when he left his pen with me.

Time presses, so one more story:


Faber-Castell Ambition. The ambition was to be a functional pen, alas.

This pen was bought a few minutes earlier, part of a first anniversary expedition by a pleasant young couple.  Since I was on hand, the Paper Umbrella’s proprietor  suggested they let me make some magical passes over it, and I’m very glad I did.  That little Pacman drawing is what I saw through the loupe, with the open side of the mouth being the one pointing at the paper.  That would have made for very scratchy writing, and hesitant in the bargain as the ink would have trouble reaching the paper.  It wasn’t a big deal to put right, just a couple of squeezes of the point’s shoulders, but it could have been a dreadful anniversary disappointment.  Happy I was indeed to help avert that outcome!

Time has fled, and I haven’t touched on the desperation aspect of the title.  I was commenting recently about troubles in the household economy, and an impending putting forth of pens.  Well, I’ve done so, in what is the most optimistic manner possible; a single lot with a big dumb starting price and an even bigger “buy-it-now” option.  I will freely admit to hoping for a couple of well-heeled and competitive bidders to take an interest.  If you know a well-heeled competitive person with a newly-kindled interest in fountain pens, suggest they have a look down the link.

Today’s pen: OMAS Arte Italiana (until I get a page finished, staring in amazement at it will have to suffice)
Today’s ink: Jentle blue-black

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Inspecting the Unexpected

Posted by Dirck on 21 July, 2015

Time for a pen repair yarn!  This story actually begins before the vacation; it extends into that period because if a wait for parts.  I got an email from a fellow who had a couple of his grandfather’s pens that wanted some attention before they’d do their thing.  One, a Parker Vacumatic, was helpfully labelled as such, and based on the symptoms described it sounded like a pretty standard diaphragm replacement.  The other only declared itself as a Sheaffer, and the filler just wasn’t right on it.

This sets me back a little.  I’m still not able to deal with the later versions of Sheaffer’s vacuum fillers, and so I asked if he could send some pictures along.  What I got put my mind somewhat at rest…

2015-06-08 09.43.29

…because that band is doesn’t appear on any of the daunting pens.  Looking at it, I was pretty confident that it was a Touchdown Admiral, and they’re darlings to fix.  However, a subsequent picture made me, as a favourite author puts it, stretch my eyes a little:

2015-06-08 10.03.56

This was no boating accident!

“I think I may have to charge for a replacement part,” I wrote back.  I was, alas, correct.  Let me show you the picture I took of the old part and its replacement:


We call this the filler tube, and it attaches by a screw to the blind cap (a look at the instructions will give a sense of it in operation).  At some point, as far as I can make out, the sac in the pen ruptured, and the pen was left alone long enough for the ink to cement the tube to the inside of the barrel.  How it managed this without also corroding the dickens out of the tube and the sac protector that lives inside the tube I cannot say, but the tube was pretty firmly stuck in the barrel when I got it.  Subsequently, someone tried to fill the pen, and after managing to unscrew the blind cap from the barrel, they yonked on it hard enough to tear away the end of the tube.

Savour that last phrase for a moment.  Conjure the scene in your imagination.  Now… how does this happen without any other damage to the pen?  How is it that the metal of the tube gives way before the more tenuous connection of screw threads to plastic strips away, or before the relatively weak adhesive of ink fails?  It’s baffling.  All the moreso because the tube, stuck in the barrel, let go with a very light tap.

Mystery aside, the pen presented no serious opposition.  The usual big struggle with this model, the removal of the elderly o-ring from its place in the barrel’s tail, was actually a little easier than average.  There was a little bit of smoothing wanted on the point, which is unusual in a Sheaffer of this age, but since it was an heirloom and had giving me a good story to tell, that was thrown in for free.  It and the Vacumatic are both home now, serving a new generation.  Hopefully, as an older pen, the Admiral is going to settle down and stop doing strange stunts.

Today’s young pen: Faber-Castell e-Motion
Today’s thrill-seeking ink: Diamine Sargasso Sea

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Propaganda Pictures

Posted by Dirck on 17 April, 2015

Another interesting little look at the past today; a film to help Sheaffer’s pen salesmen cope with the problems they’re facing in 1943.  If you’re not particularly interested in the war materiel excuse for having almost not pens to sell, skip about ten minutes in.  The whole thing supports something I mentioned some time ago about the reason decent fountain pens are (relatively) expensive.  You may find yourself, at the end of it, anxious to get your hands on a Sheaffer …for some reason.

And remember– in an airplane, a pen should always be opened in an upright position.  Words to live by.

Today’s pen: Faber-Castell e-motion
Today’s ink: Montblanc Royal Blue

PS– I wonder what the trademark owners of today’s ink would think of the policies Sheaffer pursued regarding their franchisees?  Mad liberal frivolity, no doubt.

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