Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sexy Black Sheaffer

Another little pen arrived at the post office for me yesterday - a very gorgeous Sheaffer 46 Special Short Ringtop. This is a black Radite pen with gold-filled cap band, ring, and lever.

The pen is from around 1925, and I was lucky enough to find it in superb condition, and with a newly fitted sac. The 46 Ringtop measures about 4.5" long capped, and posts to almost 6". I immediately liked this feel of this pen in the hand, and find the simple black and gold combination really striking.

The 14K yellow-gold 'Sheaffer's 46 Special' nib is quite large compared to the size of the pen, and features a heart-shaped vent hole. While the nibs were not marked, I believe this nib is a Extra Fine - an added bonus. When I received the pen, I loupe’d the nib, and found the tines were misaligned, so I carefully corrected them, and now this 46 is a wonderfully smooth writer. I’m really pleased with this pen, and so glad it caught my eye!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More Finds

The past week has been a good one for vintage pens. I picked up a small Sheaffer lever-filler which looked interesting - a black 46 Special Short Ringtop. A nice one for the small pens collection.

I found another Snorkel also, a Fiesta Red Clipper by all accounts! This is very exciting - it was such a bargain too... ;)

Still having very little luck locating Snorkels with EF nibs though...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Aurora Arrived!

This week has been an extremely good week, pen-wise. I went to the Post Office yesterday morning, and got a very pleasant surprise when I discovered that my Aurora Sole Minima from Oscar Braun had arrived - two days before it was expected!

After I opened the package, I set up a camera, took some photos and wrote a fairly comprehensive Review, which I have posted at the Fountain Pen Network. Lots of nice photos are included.

I'm very impressed with the Sole Mini, and very, very pleased that I bought it!

Some Small Pens: Orange Marble Montegrappa Micra, Green/Black Pelikan M300, Aurora Sole Minima LE.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Aurora Update

I had an e-mail from Huy this morning, he has received his Aurora Sole Minima! I raced over to FPN to look at his review, and I'm very pleased - the colour is great and the nib sounds excellent. Pam has confirmed that my Sole Minima has arrived in AU, and that I will have it on Friday!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Overview: Sailor 1911M (Colors)

In my continuing quest for fountain pens with truly extra-fine nibs, I put a Red Sailor 1911M on my wish list, having read many favourable things about 14K Sailor nibs. I purchased the 1911M from the Pear Tree Pen Company, in addition to a handy Write Fill kit. James was very helpful and pleasant to deal with, as well as happy to share his knowledge about fountain pens with fellow enthusiasts.

In the hand, the 1911M feel is comparable to my Pelikan 250, but the Sailor is heavier – a plus, as Pelikans always feel too light to me. I don’t think the 1911M feels cheap; indeed it feels no cheaper than the 250. I did notice that the threads on the Sailor grip feel smoother than the Pelikan grip threads - you don’t seem to notice them so much. The cap posts firmly, and the pen is the same length posted as a M400. Without the cap posted, the 1911M has a perfect balance for me and feels great.

One interesting thing which I don’t remember reading about, is that the conical end caps aren’t actually black, although they do look it – hold them up to the light and they are an incredibly dark, yet translucent red.

The 14K EF nib is the real star of the 1911M and definitely produces a fine line – this was the selling point for me, and it lived up to my expectations perfectly. I find the Sailor nib to be a little springier than the 14K EF nib on my M400. Upside down, the Sailor nib produces a line width almost identical to my Binder 0.2mm XXXF Needlepoint nib, but the Sailor line is marginally thicker, and the nib slightly smoother! Another plus!

The 1911M fills via a small piston-converter, which is included. This will be a downside for some, but I don’t mind – I go through the ink faster, and get to change colours way more often than with my Pelikan’s.

Overall I’m really happy with the 1911M, and would like to get a second one in Yellow. :)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Pen & Ink News

Yesterday I had the nicest presents waiting for me in my PO box - a beautiful Sailor 1911M and the long-awaited Levenger ink!

Sailor 1911M
I'm really pleased with the Sailor - it's nib puts my Pelikan nibs to shame. I've filled the Sailor with Levenger 'Fireball' ink, and it's a very nice combination! I'm going to take a few photographs of the Sailor tomorrow, and then I will add a more detailed overview about the pen here.

Levenger Inks
I really love the Levenger 'Slightly Wild' ink colours. To my surprise, I find 'Skies of Blue' to be a very pretty blue, and normally I don't care for blue ink. 'Pinkly' is a great hot-pink shade also.

Snorkel Dislikes Noodlers
On an interesting ink note, my new (to me) Sheaffer Snorkel started to write very poorly the other day. It was two days after I had filled it with Noodlers Saguaro Wine, and the pen had started to write so dry that I thought I must not have filled it with enough ink. I filled it again, and there was no change. Then I rinsed it and tried some different inks, again, no change. I then figured something had gotten in and clogged the snorkel tube.

I sent a little e-mail to Peter Ford, who serviced the Sheaffer after I bought it, and he advised me to flush the pen with a weak ammonia solution. Sure enough, after doing that several times, the pen wrote a lot better when I had re-filled it with Caran d'Ache Blue ink. I guess the Noodlers is just too saturated for my Snorkel, which is a pretty dry writer.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sailor Pens

I'm looking forward to getting my first Sailor fountain pen this week - a Red 1911M with an Extra-Fine nib. As my Pelikan EF nibs turned out to be rather wet writers, I started craving something truly fine to write with, and the 1911M seems as if it will do the job admirably.

At the time I bought my 1911M, I couldn't see any other Sailor pens which I wanted to own. That has now changed, after I did some looking around and discovered the Sailor Sapporo Mini. The Sapporo mini is an extra short version of the Sailor Sapporo, which is a slightly smaller pen than the 1911M. The capped / posted sizes are:

• 106mm/135mm - 4.1/5.3" (Sapporo Mini)
• 124mm/135mm - 4.8/5.3" (Sapporo)
• 135mm/150mm - 5.3/5.8" (1911M)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Aurora Sole Mini LE Ordered

Last week I ordered an Aurora Sole Minima Limited Edition fountain pen from Oscar Braun. It will be here in a couple of weeks!

Today I phoned a local pen store, and was told the Sole Mini wouldn't be in Australia until September. Also, they will be charging an incredible $900AU for it. *Jaw-drops* - I'll pay less than half of that amount by buying online.