Saturday, 8 February 2020

Needing some sun in your life?

It's grey here.

Grey every day. Sometimes, I can hardly tell dawn from a slightly less intense version of night. Grey fields, bleached stumps of colza; grey skies, with grey clouds; grey roads, grey everything.

I need some sunshine in my life.

Cue two pens that have brought it over the past few weeks, alongside some fine joyful inks like Diamine Autumn Oak, Papier Plume House of the Rising Sun, Roher & Klingner Fernambuk, and Herbin Orange Indien.

Platinum 3776 special edition 'Apricot' (tarumi) demonstrator for Nagasawa pen shop of Kobe, Japan. I managed to secure this fine implement on eBay and it came with a crisp italic nib. A real delight.  The gold plated clip, cap ring and tail ring are exactly what's needed to pick up this gorgeous colour and make it glow.

Even nicer, it has a little rooster on the nib - Nagasawa's house symbol, the weathervane, and the date 1882 instead of the usual '3776' (height of Mount Fuji, a cheeky homage to another mountain and another penmaker).

I have a mini collection of 3776s. They're adorable pens, and until recently prices were eminently affordable. Unfortunately the price points for some of the special editions are now rather ambitious... but this one I had to have.

And here is the Edison/Goulet Nouveau Premiere Tequila Sunrise, with a glass of white rum since I didn't have any tequila in the house. It's actually a bit more orange than the picture shows, with more and less intense areas of colour and incredible chatoyance. It's just a bit more summery in feeling than my Edison Collier in Persimmon Swirl, another bright and happy feeling pen from the same stable.

I really adore Edison pens - it's a pity they're not well represented in the EU. Super pens, without bling, in really gorgeous acrylics (and sometimes ebonite). Every one a great little writer. I'm primarily a user, not a collector, and these are pens that I reach for time and again when I need to ink up and get writing.

And this one brought me a lovely dose of Vitamin D just when I needed it.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Mending some Bayards

I love Bayard fountain pens - but they used some very shrinkage-prone celluloids.

Yes, they're very colourful and characterful celluloids. But they shrink.

Quite often you'll find a little bump around the lever axle. That's not a problem.

What is a problem is that the lever won't actually close any more.

There are a few things that help.

  • First, take any rust or dirt off the sides of the lever. Micromesh or very fine (500+) sandpaper can help, but go very gently. Not recommended if you have a nice plated lever, but if it's brassed and rusty, do what it takes.
  • Secondly, with a fine pair of pliers, if the lever is still not fitting properly, close down the 'ears' at the top end a little. They have bumps on them to ensure the lever stays flat once engaged, and that may be what's stopping the lever lying fully flat.
  • If you still can't make the lever flatten nicely, it could be the other end that's the problem. You can generally work that out by just feeling where it's sticking, as you move it around gently. In that case, the lever slot needs to be a bit longer. Take a thin jeweller's file, or make a sanding stick by supergluing fine grit (300+) sandpaper to a cocktail stick / toothpick. Then file the 'nib end' of the lever slot till the lever fits positively.
I got all my Excelsiors working nicely. Hurrah!