Post Olympic wet Wednesday Sale

August 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Over at Cult Pens they are having what they call a “post-Olympic wet Wednesday” sale.  Means for today only you will get 10% off!  Be sure to enter the Coupon code: POWW to get your 10% off.

This was lifted from my twitter feed.


Uni-Ball Signo DX 0.28mm in Black

August 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

This was a pen that had been recommended to me by the Pen Addict aka Mr Brad Dowdy.  My requirements were for a gel pen that produced a consistent thin writing experience.  Fast forward via a $2.50 purchase from JetPens and I now have had a Signo DX in my possession for nearly three months.

The body itself is nothing startling.  The standard plastic barrel with a rubber grip area.  This grip area is good for keeping a firm grip on the pen whilst writing.  The pen is also nice, light and durable enough to cope with everyday life. One subtle difference in the Signo DX is that the tip of the pen and, I suppose what you would call the head of the pen, are both made from a metal.  This makes the Signo DX look like a higher quality pen within the range it is competing with.  I have this in the black ink version but they do sell this pen in a wide range of colours which can be purchased from JetPens if you are in the US and CultPens if you are in the UK.

The one potential problem I thought I might come up against is that at 0.28mm the pen nip is very thin and I thought this could have caused a scratching effect whilst using the Signo DX. This wasn’t the case at all.  It runs smoothly over the page.  The ink flow is very consistent and during all this use, the ink flow hasn’t stopped once.  The quality of the line width is nice and thin which I love.

For me there are two requirements for the daily pens I use.  They must be light and produce a quality thin line and the Signo DX ticks both of those boxes for me.  I plan to buy more of these in the future and I would recommend that you give this pen a try.

Cross Fountain Pen Ink Bottle Conversion – Part 2

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

After receiving my wonderful delivery of ink from CultPens the fun could really begin.  Time to carefully transfer the bottled ink to my primed and ready empty cross cartridge.

I started off by making sure that my 2ml syringe was clean and dry.  Then I opened the Diamine Blue Sapphire bottle and dipped the needle of the syringe in to the ink.  Pulling on the plunger brought ink up in to the syringe.  From this part on I needed my glasses as I wanted to ensure that I actually was putting the needle of the syringe in to the empty cartridge and not about to cover me or my table in Blue Sapphire ink!  I pushed the plunger just until I saw that the cartridge was nearly full.  I then clicked the filled cartridge into the cross fountain pen and proceed to screw all the parts back together too.

Taking out my trusted Spiderman notebook I began testing the Cross pen to have it produce the ink correctly.  It took a few minutes until it started to produce a watery pale blue ink though this may be because I may not have let the Cross Fountain pen dry out properly. After a few more writing attempts, the watery pale blue was replaced my a much stronger blue until it was producing the correct Blue Sapphire colour.

Overall I found this experience to be very enjoyable.  I think a big factor to attempting this is to just be patience.  Everyone should give this ago at least once and now that I feel comfortable doing this I can’t wait to buy some more wonderful ink colours for my Cross which has received a new lease of life!

Coming to a blog near you….

August 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Cross Fountain Pen Ink Bottle Conversion – Part 1

August 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Lets start at the beginning.  Approximately four years ago my then fiancé now wife bought me a Cross fountain pen for Christmas. During this time, I have loved using this pen but there has always been a slight issue with it – the quality of the ink that is used for the cross branded cartridges. I find the ink quality to be inconsistant and it seems to cause blank spots in my writing.

I thought that I would just have to put up with this without any solution or work around, until a few months ago. I was listening The Pen Addict podcast and their resident expert (Mr Brad Dowdy) was talking about a recent purchase of his (A pilot Vanishing Point). He had discussed that there were people who had been using used cartridges that they refilled with bottle ink using a syringe.

This got me thinking, could I do the same with my Cross branded cartridges? Well I thought I should at least try! A visit to my favourite site ( presented me with a wealth of brands and colours of bottled ink.  After getting a second opinion from my wife, I settled and ordered the following two bottles of ink – Diamine Raw Sienna and Sapphire Blue 80ml bottles.  I knew I would use the Sapphire Blue for this test.  Now that they had been ordered it was time to clean the Cross fountain pen and two used cartridges I had saved.

To clean the cartridges I used luke-warm water and a 2ml syringe but as I got started I noticed that both cartridges had what I can only describe as “Ink Grit” in them.  This could explain why the fountain pen seemed to randomly stop writing.  While cleaning and flushing the ink out, I also notice more of this “Ink Grit” coming out of the fountain pen.  It took roughly 20-30 minutes to clean the pen and cartridges and allowed to dry naturally in the airing cupboard. Now the stage was set for the arrival of the new bottled ink.

This concludes part one of this two part series.  The next update will explain how I faired with transferring the ink from the bottle to the empty cartridge. Wish me luck!

Lamy Safari Charcoal Black with Extra Fine Nib

August 6, 2012 § Leave a comment


This was a pen that I purchased from a company called JetPens for $26.  While I had this pen in my shopping basket, I also threw in a box of Black Lamy Cartridges and a Cartridge Converter for when I started to feel adventurous. This is classed as a “Entry” level fountain pen that consists of a plastic barrel as well as a plastic cap that has a metal clip.  The use of these materials makes this a fountain pen that feels light in the hand which is great if you are writing for extended periods.  The groove design for holding the pen makes the pen comfortable to hold.  It feels vey natural in the hand while writing.  One thing I have noticed is that whilst I have been using the Lamy, if I have the cap posted, the pen actually feels heavier to hold which over time makes the Lamy feel less comfortable in the hand.

After a period of using the Safari with the black Lamy Cartridges, I started to notice that the ink went down on the page as a dark black but actually dried in to a dull grey colour.  This prompted me in to considering to buy a bottle of ink.  While on a city holiday with my wife in Dublin, using the art of a quick “Maps” app search on my iPhone I found a pen store called “The Pen Corner”.  A visit there presented me with a wealth of choices for bottled ink.  The problem with this is that all of this is very new to me so I just took a stab in the dark.  A bottle of Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black (30ml) to be exact!  Via a quick search on youtube I found out how to fill the safari using the ink converter.  I have only been using this ink for roughly a week but the results are better.  When the ink dries it stays a darker shade than that of the Lamy ink (in my opinion).

Overall I have be using the Lamy Safari for a few months now and I have found it to be a very enjoyable experience.  As soon as you take the cap off, the Lamy is ready to write and the ink flow is consistent.  The EF nib hasn’t felt scratchy at all no matter what make or style of notebook I have been using.  This is a great starter pen that I would happily recommend.

PS: For people living in the UK there is a great website called CultPens who sell this pen plus more.  I have been using them for a while now and would recommend them for all your pen needs.

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