Posted in Bags/Storage

RayMay Style Valley Leatherette Pencil Case – As posted on FPN

RayMay Style Valley Leatherette Pencil Case

A big thank you to Lily over at JetPens.com who so graciously provided this review sample.

The Review: A pencil case? Really? Sacrilege you say? Just give me a chance to explain. Now, as a fountain pen user, I don’t normally use a pencil case. I do own pencils but I decided to use this with some of my fountain pens I don’t mind being in the same compartment together. Normally I would use a pen case that allows the pens to individually slip into elastic bands and not touch each other while being transported. A lot of fountain pen enthusiasts will agree that this is the only way to transport larger quantities of fountain pens (more than 4). I will admit that before I started using fountain pens on a regular basis, I used to throw all my pens in a single pouch like case. Specifically, I would use the Kaddy case which does not seem to be carried by JetPens any longer. I decided that some of my fountain pens don’t really need that much pampering and used them with this case.

The case is light brown in color and is leather. It has a very pleasant leather smell. The zipper is brass and has a leather zipper pull that is riveted closed. The zipper has fine teeth and operates very smoothly. Because of the leather pull, I can’t tell if the zipper is of the YKK variety. It does feel like a good quality zipper. Embossed on one side are the words “Style valley”. The inside of the case is the raw leather side. It feels a little like rough suede but I don’t feel it can scratch pens.

I was able to fit 5 pens in the case without problems. This includes a Lamy Vista, Zebra V-301, Schrade Tactical Fountain Pen, Guanleming 2001 and a Guanleming 193. I don’t think I could fit any more in the case without straining the zipper.

The case runs $16.50 at JetPens.com and also comes in black. I like the case but will only carry pens I feel I can stand getting scratched from rubbing together inside. After a week of EDC, it looks like my pens have not suffered any scratches so far. The case looks classy and I would not hesitate taking it into a business meeting. Overall, I like the case and I feel the price is fair for a leather case. Pros It is leather Well constructed The smell! Classy design Cons No way to keep pens from rubbing together and the pictures…

RayMay Style Valley Case RayMay Style Valley Case RayMay Style Valley Case RayMay Style Valley Case

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Posted in Fountain Pen Review

Kaweco Liliput Review – Sponsored by JetPens

Kaweco Liliput With EF Nib Review

This review brought to you by Jetpens.com  with thanks to Lily for providing this pen.

I find portable pens cool and practical for when you need to travel light and still want to be able to carry a fountain pen with you. I had seen the Liliput on the Jetpens web site before and contemplated getting one. Jetpens does have a picture of one next to a penny to give you a size reference and you buy the pen knowing that it is going to be small. It is not until you actually get it that you realize how small it actually is. While I don’t have extremely large hands, I do have above average sized hands. I must make a note here that I own a Kaweco Classic Sport and the FPN LE Stipula Passaporto. This did not prepare me for the [George Bush Jr.]minusculosity[/George Bush Jr.] of this pen. The Kaweco Classic Sport is bigger. The Passaporto is bigger. I think I might have to start the “This pen is too damn small” political party. That is my first impression of the pen right out of the box.

Now that my first impression is out of the way. Let’s look at the pen closely. The body is all aluminum. A very nicely machined piece of aluminum. The Kaweco logo is laser engraved on the cap end. Right below that, more laser engraving with the Words “Kaweco” and below that, “Liliput Germany”. My sample has an EF nib. It is fitting with the size of the pen. Maybe a broad does not fit in the cap? (I kid). The nib has the Kaweco logo on it with the typical Kaweco scrolling and it also has the nib size “EF”.

When I started with fountain pens, I came from a background of super thin Asian gel pens. The nib on this pen is a perfect crossover pen because of its EF nib. A very nice controlled thin line is perfect for those that like thin line pens. The nib is very smooth for an EF as most Kaweco nibs are. I was using the included Kaweco Blue cartridge for my testing. That brings us back to the barrel and cap. The pen is constructed of aluminum, as already stated. It is available in Silver matte and black aluminum body. This will deter some that may eye the pen for eyedropper conversion. There is no way you are going to fit a mini Monte Verde converter in this pen either. This pen is not meant for that. There is roughly ¼ inch of space left in the barrel once the International Short Cartridge is installed. If you need extra ink, you carry extra cartridges with this pen. A bummer for some. I am indifferent about it because with the EF nib, you are not going to run out of ink that soon.

I used this pen over a course of a work week to see how it would handle the day to day mundane duty of task list writer, quick note taker, and just the rigors of day-to-day use. I don’t usually post my pens but the Liliput demands posting for my hand. It measures a scant 3.5 inches (89 mm) un-posted and 5 inches (126 mm) posted. Capped, the pen measures 3.75 inches (97 mm). Did I mention it is small? One thing that was apparent very rapidly is that the cap needs 5 twists to take it off. Then there is the issue of using it. The cap posts by screwing onto the end of the barrel. This takes another 5 twists. But wait, there is more! I found that since the cap is almost the same size as the barrel, I had to hunt for the threads to screw the cap in properly. This meant I screwed the cap backwards until I felt the threads drop in the groove then twist as normal (5 times) to secure the cap. By the time I had the whole thing ready to write, I had to ask for information to be repeated because I was not ready. :/ I found myself just holding the cap in place over the nib, so it would not dry out, then quickly post the cap when I needed to write. This made for awkward pen holding so I would be ready to write.

The barrel diameter is roughly 5/16 of an inch or about 8 mm. Once posted, I found the pen is actually comfortable to write with and is very usable. The construction of the pen feels very solid. There is no clip though. Transporting the pen in a pocket, I felt it was really easy to lose the pen if I was not careful. Overall, it is a nice pen in a slightly smaller than expected package. It feels like the little kid that gets to wear the big boy pants now. Long writing sessions were okay. The thinness of the barrel did tax my fingers a little and I found myself stopping to take a break often. At $55 USD, I think it is worth the money purely based on the construction of the pen. While I do not think I would use the pen for day-to-day tasks, I think it is a good alternative for the ultra light packing traveler that needs to pack the most amount of items in the least amount of space. I feel that the pen might benefit from a loop hole or some way to attach the pen to a key chain or similar hook in a back pack. Maybe a short stubby clip like those old Sheaffer military pens might even work with it.

Pro’s and Con’s

Pros

Small
Lightweight
Nice quality construction
Sleek design
Smooth nib

Cons

Small
Thin barrel may be uncomfortable for some.
No clip or attachment of any kind
Is Cartridges only
Lots of twisting of the cap to get the pen in a writing position

Kaweco Liliput Review

Kaweco Liliput Review

Kaweco Liliput Review

Kaweco Liliput Review

Kaweco Liliput Review

Kaweco Liliput Review

Kaweco Liliput Review

Kaweco Liliput Review

Kaweco Liliput Review

Posted in Fountain Pen Review

MonteVerde Artista Crystal – Hand Written Review

I have been wanting to do this for some time so please bear with me. I will be importing all my old reviews into this blog so some info will not be new to some. I will start off with the review of the Monteverde Artista Crystal as posted to FPN and FPGeeks forums.

First off, I want to apologize. I thought I had taken photos of the pen already and it turned out I did not.  I am trying a different camera setup so I am not totally comfortable with it yet. I messed up the focus on the nib shot but I lost my light for today. I’ll try again tomorrow. This also means that Darth will not be in the pictures.  That is my office setup and this is my home setup.  Darth is at the office and I won’t be in the office until Tuesday. 😀

Artista Crystal1

Artista Crystal2

Artista Crystal3

Monteverde Artista Crystal

Monteverde Artista Crystal

Monteverde Artista Crystal

Posted in Misc, News

Welcome To My New Blog

I finally bit the bullet and decided to open up a blog page. You will have to excuse me while I get the hang of this. I am learning the interface but it should be quick and painless. 

This is where I plan to post my reviews on different fountain pen related items icluding stationery, fountain pens themselves and related periphanalia. I am also into everything geeky, so there will be some of those posts sprinkled throughout the blog too. 

Thank you for reading and I hope that you will find my posts interesting and maybe you will learn something along the way. I know I will.