Inktronics is participating in Fountain Pen Day with the giveaway of a Kaweco Art Sport. This elegant cousin of the Kaweco Sport is a now discontinued. You can still find them foe sale if you look around but it is getting more difficult. It is a lot more pricey than the Classic Sport too.

HOW TO ENTER

All you need to do is:
1. Follow this blog and
2. Comment on this entry, answer the question, “What are you doing to celebrate Fountain Pen Day?”.

WHEN WILL THE WINNER BE CHOSEN?

A winner will be chosen at random from the pool of commenters/followers ( you must follow the blog and comment), on November 7th, 2014.

Best of luck to all!

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Diamine Ancient Copper

Diamine Ancient Copper

Diamine Ancient Copper

 

A big thank you goes out to The Goulet Pen Company for providing this ink for review.

 

Ancient Copper has been on my “Want to Try” list for a long time. This one never seemed to make it to my shopping cart for one reason or another. This, as opposed to Red Dragon, I did know why. When I first heard of Ancient Copper, there was talk on the FPGeeks forum of possible ink issues because nibs were showing up with a “crusty” substance forming all over them. Some cases were slight others seemed to be a serious case of mold. As it turns out, this was not a case of contaminated ink, but a kind of oxidation when you used the ink in pens that did not have good cap sealing properties. The pen I have been using for the last two weeks has a fairly good seal but no inner cap. The crust just started to form on the nib slit. It is a very minor case and was quickly solved with a wipe with a paper towel. I have seen some extreme cases in pictures that look downright scary. Lesson to be learned is use this ink in a pen that is fairly air tight when capped.

Diamine Ancient Copper

Writing Samples with Diamine Ancient Copper

Diamine Ancient Copper

Ancient Copper Dry Times Are Not Bad Even on Coated Paper

 

 

As for the ink, it is a fiery red-brown that is very pleasing to the eye. I noticed that I can make the ink shade more if I print. Cursive seems to make the ink shade less and I have no idea why. HP laser paper mutes the fiery color and all shading is lost to a flat brown. The ink flows nicely but can take a bit to dry on coated papers. I noticed a dry time on Rhodia of about 15 – 20 seconds on this humid 90 F afternoon with 52% relative humidity. The color ranges from an old penny copper color to a slightly reddish yellow-brown hue that gives it the fiery look.

Diamine Ancient Copper

Lord Vader and Mini-Me Vader Approve Diamine Ancient Copper

 

Overall Diamine Ancient Copper is another very pleasing ink. I know that I will be buying a bottle when this one runs out!

 

Diamine Red Dragon

I have you now!

 

Thank you to the Goulet Pen Company for providing the bottle of Diamine Red Dragon for review.

 

Before I started sampling inks, I resisted trying red inks. I stuck mostly with different shades of blues. That led to green ink, then brown. I do not know why I skipped over the red end of the spectrum. Maybe it was some deep psychological fear of seeing red ink on the page. My mind drifts back to high school algebra class at this point

Diamine Red Dragon Goulet Pens

Not Algebra but it works.

Diamine Red Dragon does not have that same bright red ink that disgraced my old algebra homework. It is a deep, rich color, like what a nice accent wall should have. I love the richness it has, and if used in the right pen/nib combination you can get shading too. Best, is a slightly dry italic nib as the ink is somewhat wet and can take some time to dry on coated papers  like Rhodia or Clairefontaine. Some people have received letters from me and said that the ink was still wet. Absorbent paper will suck the life out of the ink and leave a flat red on the page that is still a pleasing shade.

Diamine Red Dragon Goulet Pens

HP Laser Paper Works Great With This Ink


Even with what some people would consider as faults, I enjoy the ink a great deal purely based on its color. Because of this, I recommend at least trying a sample of Diamine Red Dragon if you have not already.

Inktronics Kaweco Al-SportKaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink Vader Fountain Pen Sith Lord

Kaweco AL-Sport and Lord Vader

Kaweco AL Sport Black Fine Point Fountain Pen

1.1 mm italic nib, Conklin Black Cartridge

 

My AL-Sport originally came with a fine nib. I purchased a 1.1 mm italic nib through Goulet Pens some time ago and for my Classic Sport when the Goulet’s used to carry the nib units. It lived in my Classic Sport for all that time until I purchased this Al-Sport. The decision to transfer the nib to the Al-Sport was not a hard one to make. The 1.1 nib is silver-colored and the finials on the Al-Sport are silver-colored, on the Classic Sport they are gold. Something that irked me in a small way but I just tolerated it.

Kaweco Al-Sport Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

The Force is Strong With This One

 

The Kaweco Sport line is one that I feel you either like or dislike. There is no middle ground. Part of this is due to the somewhat odd-looking shape. Some people like that it is a very pocketable pen, that is meant to be used with the cap posted. The faceted cap bothers some as the pen rests in the crook of their hand. I do not find any of these points to be a negative and welcome them. Besides materials used in either pen, the Al-Sport is practically identical to its plastic brother. The length capped is 106.4 mm, un-capped 99.8 mm. The barrel diameter at the thinnest point is 9.4 mm. The cap diameter from flat face to flat face is 16.4 mm. The cap length is 70.1 mm. The section is a bit small so my fingers rest on the threads. I can feel the step but it is not sharp or uncomfortable.

Kaweco Al-Sport Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

The Shiny Boots Shot

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

AL-Sport Finial

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

It Is Made In Germany, In Case You Did Not Notice

The pen is made of anodized aluminum and while the finish is durable, it is not totally impervious to showing wear. Mine has started to show some wear just above the threads and appears to come from uncapping/capping the pen. The nib itself is a bit dry but has enough flow to write smooth with cartridge ink. While using the pen on longer writing sessions, I noticed that black ink starts to get a bit light. The feed recovers quickly to a very dark black after a couple of minutes capped and nib down. I have not had the nib totally dry out on me or skip. If you like Lamy italic nibs, I feel this nib is comparable in performance to the 1.1 mm italic nib.

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Kaweco AL-Sport Cap Finial

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Did I mention it is Made in Germany?

 

The solid feel of the aluminum barrel is a nice upgrade from the cheaper feel of the Classic Sport. This sturdier feel of the aluminum does not sacrifice a balanced feel in the hand.

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Kaweco AL-Sport Fountain Pen

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib aluminum anodized clip steel metal cartridge ink

Kaweco AL-Sport Fountain Pen Cross Your Fingers Edition

 

When I swapped my nib, I had to experiment with different feed positions as it leaked quite a bit initially. The Kaweco squeeze converter works with the pen, but I have read some comments saying that it fit a bit loose in some pens.

Kaweco Al-Sport nib 1.1 mm italic Germany

Kaweco 1.1 mm Italic Nib

Kaweco Al-Sport Germany fountain pen nib clip aluminum anodized

Kaweco AL-Sport, Cap Posted

 

I was able to purchase my pen for much less than the going price at isellpens.com when Todd was clearing them out. I have not seen them on the site since. :( I’m not sure if I would pay the full street price of between $75 and $80. If you can find it for under $60 I would say that is an excellent price.

 

Thank you,

 

Ivan

The Fountain Pen Sith Lord

 

Inktronics Blog, where the pen is mightier than the sword but a light saber?

*If you purchase from my Amazon links, you are helping to fund more reviews on inktronicsblog.com

 

One Man Made Wallet and Key Fob

One Man Made Wallet and Key Fob

One Man Made Leather Wallet

 

I want to thank One Man Made for providing this wallet. I won it via a giveaway that was hosted on Instagram.

One Man Made is, as suggested by the name, a one man operation out of Portland, Oregon run by Brent Schuller. His online shop can be found at onemanmade.com. I found a little bit on the man behind the company in an article that appeared in The Oregonian.

 

A natural horween leather smell that wafted from the cloth bag that it came in was impressive. The bi-fold wallet has six slots, three on each side and one large pocket for storing bills. I have used the wallet close to a month and it is wearing nicely. The stitching looks tight and professionally done.  All the outside edges have been burnished for a more finished look. I did notice that this particular version is not on his site but another version that has four slots (two per side) is currently on the site. I think I may know why. While the wallet can fit 6 cards, it gets a tad bit fat for front pocket carry. When I take 2 cards out, the thickness seems much more manageable. Overall a great looking wallet that should last for years to come. Despite not paying for this wallet, it is well worth the money Mr. Schuller is asking.

One Man Made Wallet, Portland, Oregon

One Man Made Wallet After About A Month of Wear

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Ivan

The Fountain Pen Sith Lord

Inktronicsblog.com, where the pen is mightier than the sword but a light saber?

 

Inktronics Reviews The Nock Co. Hightower Notebook and Pen Case.

Inktronics Reviews The Nock Co. Hightower Notebook and Pen Case.

Nock Co. Hightower

Pen/Notebook Storage

 

Nock Co. is the brainchild of Jeffery Bruckwicki and Brad Dowdy. I don’t remember exactly where I heard about Nock Co., I think it was an Instagram photo that started it for me. Later, I heard Brad talk about it on the Pen Addict Podcast. At that point, I did not have a Kickstarter account, but a few minutes later, I was signed up and waiting for the announcement that the Nock Co. campaign was live. A few months later, I had my Kickstarter Edition Hightower. I have been EDC’ing it ever since.

The Hightower in the Kickstarter Limited Edition Peacock Color Scheme.

The Hightower in the Kickstarter Limited Edition Peacock Color Scheme.

 

The Hightower is a bi-fold 3-pen case with storage for a notebook. At least that is how it is advertised. I have managed to carry two notebooks (Word and Clairefontaine Life.Unplugged) with three pens just fine. I have exchanged the Clairefontaine notebook for my HTC One with no issues but I am not totally comfortable with it since I feel the phone might slide out the pocket accidentally. More on that later.

 

All the seams and stitching have a professional look and feel. The pen side shows the bar tack stitching that we helped Nock Co. produce. You see, the Kickstarter project helped fund the bar tack machine that makes possible the reinforced stitching that looks like “bars” at the top of the pen storage area. There is a flap that covers your pens to provide some extra protection for the clips. The edges of all the seams have been melted to keep the material from fraying. A tasteful Nock Co tag is in the interior and on the notebook side. For as long as I have been using it, the Hightower looks like the day it arrived.

The Nock Co Hightower Interior View.

The Nock Co Hightower Interior View.

 

While reading up on Nock Co, I learned that the products are aimed at the low-end of the spectrum but very high quality and in that respect, Nock Co delivers in a big way. This is definitely high quality and affordable.

Pen Storage, Simple and Safe Storage

Pen Storage, Simple and Safe Storage

 

There is only one thing I would change about the Hightower. I would have made the notebook pocket vertical instead of horizontal. That way you could slip in a notebook and use it without having to remove the notebook from the case. It is more of a minor quibble than anything.

 

This is a quality product that is made in the USA and I am happy to support this homegrown product. Look for the Nock Co store to open soon!

 

Ivan

The Fountain Pen Sith Lord.

Where the pen is mightier than the sword but a light saber?

*This product was purchased with my own money and Nock Co. did not endorse nor approve this review. The views expressed are my own and do not reflect those of my employer.

What should I review next?

Posted: May 20, 2014 in Misc

I thought maybe a little reader participation might be nice. I have two items I want to review but maybe you can help me decide which item to review.

First off, I have the Nock Co. Hightower. For those not familiar with it, it is a notebook/pen case touted/produced/marketed by the Pen Addict himself, Brad Dowdy. This is the limited edition Kickstarter version in peacock with a dark navy blue interior.

Next I have the Kaweco Al-Sport. It is the metal version of the Kaweco Classic. Mine had been modified to hold a Kaweco 1.1 mm italic nib.

Let me know in the comments! What’s your choice?