Welcome To My Thoughts On Pens And Pencils

I will respect your right to disagree with what I have to say about Pens and Pencils as long as you respect the fact that I am an Old Geezer.

My Obsession

My Obsession
A Beauty Every One... And There's More At Home!

All Jammed Up?

If you need detailed instructions on how to clear a lead jam from a mechanical pencil then click this link, "All Jammed Up?" or the link in the pages header.


Please enjoy your stay at my humble blog. Please feel free to leave a comment about any article that you read
. Also please notice that there are four reactions at the bottom of each article. If you find any article funny, interesting, cool or helpful please so indicate. Thank you for visiting my blog.

The Old Geezer
Please Excuse My Absence

I have not blogged since July of 2015 due to the fact that my Lovely Wife was diagnosed with 2 types of cancer. A new case of breast cancer which has metastasized and gone to her bones, mainly her back. She had a mastectomy of her left breast which showed the type of cancer that was in her bones. She has been taking an oral med. every day and she has a port under her skin to receive a liquid med. She has gone through one round of radiation treatments to stop some pain in her back. That gave her GERD and the med for that was nasty tasting. The bone cancer has caused the vertebra in her lower back to pinch her left sciatic nerve causing her pain, numbness and foot drag. She also has skin cancer that has only been partly addressed.

I have been busy taking care of her as the treatments have left her weak and sickly. She can not drive so I have to drive her to her appointments and treatments. I also have to do all the cooking and most of what cleaning we do. So I do not have a lot of time for blogging. However the installment of the review of the Schaeffer Ultrafine 0.3mm pencil marks what I hope will be a new review every month. However some of my future reviews may seem familiar as they may be a review of a pencil or pen that I have reviewed before just in another size due to my limited collection of writing instruments and the economic state of our nation.

I am grateful to George Fox for wanting me to do a review of another one of his pencils. I think that as a reader of my humble blog, may fine of interest as the Schaeffer Ultra Fine is a very unusual pencil.

So please excuse my absence and as a reader of my humble blog I hope that you enjoy the review of this unique pencil.

Coming Soon...

Thank you,

The Old Geezer.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tommy And The Platinum Pro-Use 03 MSD-1000A

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, it's Tommy Turquoise! What have you got there, Tommy!?

"Thank you, Geezer! I have your Platinum Pro-Use 03 MSD-1000A Drafting Pencil! It's time that you reviewed it"

You are so right, Tommy! Thanks for the reminder!

"You're welcome, Geezer!"

The Platinum Pro-Use 03 MSD-1000A is a pencil that I have been looking at for a long time. I own 2 other Platinum 0.3 mm pencils, the Pro-Use MSD-300A , and the Pro-Use MSD-500A. I like both of these pencils a lot but they are either plastic or partially plastic on the exterior. The MSD-1000A is an all metal pencil on the exterior. I find that I have come to like all metal pencils. I'm not sure if it's the silver color that they usually come in or the weight that an all metal pencil has or the feel of the metal surface or a combination of all 3! Maybe it's the luxury of having a more expensive pencil in my hand. Even though most companies, like Platinum, put as much quality into their less expensive pencils as they do their higher end pencils, an all metal pencil just speaks to me of quality and luxury!

The Pro-Use MSD-1000A is a quality pencil. It's designed and built by the Japanese so the engineering and manufacturing are superb. The shape of the 1000A is a little unusual in that it suddenly flares out at the grip, emerging from a slender cylinder. The grip has 9 evenly spaced grooves, concentric the the body of the pencil, giving rise to 7 evenly spaced ridges and 2 unevenly spaced ones. The end cap, which contains the lead sleeve, is flat where it meets the grip but quickly rounds over instead of being angular. It inverse curves to a short straight shaft before tapering to the lead sleeve. The color is a stain chrome. Behind the grip, in line with the body, is the lead grade indicator. The sleeve is a bright chrome with a rectangular window. The characters are silver upon a black background. The straight shaft of the body, like the grip, is a silvery gray with the words "PRO-USE" in hollow, gray outlined, backward slanting letters, the numerals "03" in solid gray and the words "PLATINUM JAPAN" in thin gray letters. The satin silver pocket clip is unadorned but the blade is slightly curved downward at the hilt then again at the end. The push button is of the over-the-shaft mushroom type that is reflective in shape to the grip only with 2 evenly spaced groves. Atop the broad top of the push button is the lead size in the same gray characters as on the side of the pencil. All in all a very lovely pencil to look at.

And now for the stats: The pencil is 143.3 mm long, 9.4 mm in diameter at the grip, weighs 16.1 grams and has a balance point 69.3 mm from the tip of the pencil, making it 2.3 mm top heavy, but you won't notice it! The 1000A feels perfectly balanced in the hand. The lead reservoir is cavernous enough to hold a couple of dozen leads but the eraser does not have a clean out rod, which is typical of Platinum pencils. It only takes two clicks to produce adequate lead to write or draw with. This is very nice in helping to eliminate lead breakage. The 1000A is a ratcheting style pencil with an all brass chuck and chuck ring. Being all metal the end cap is secured from accidental loosening by a rubber O-ring. In order to adjust the lead grade indicator it is necessary to loosen the grip from the body just a tad.

While the pencil body is thin the grip is robust enough to grip comfortably. The satin finish on the grip combined with the grooves make for a nice gripping surface. It's very easy to hold onto and to write with. It feels balanced in the hand and easy to control. The broad head of the push button makes the ratcheting mechanism feel softer than it really is. The ratcheting mechanism has a metallic sound to it but it's quieter than one might expect from an all metal pencil. The lack of a clean out rod is typical of the Platinum pencils. This is a little disturbing. The average person who would buy this pencil may never need the missing clean out rod, but when the need arises, the average person is stuck with a broken pencil as 0.35 mm wire is not a common household item! With the other lead sizes common items can be found that will act as clean out rods.

The bottom line, despite the lack of a clean out rod, Platinum has a winner in the Platinum Pro-Use 03 MSD-1000A. It not only is it an attractive pencil (now tell me, does anyone really want an ugly pencil?) it is an easy pencil to use. Disassembly, should it become necessary, is easy and straight forward, as is reassembly. It is well designed and built pencil, a true quality instrument. If you are on the hunt for a quality 0.3 mm pencil then you should definitely consider the Platinum Pro-Use 03 MSD-1000A.

The Platinum Pro-Use 03 MSD-1000A can be purchased from our friends at JetPens.

I'd like thank the Platinum Pen Co. of Japan, and the Customer Service Department, for the pencil reviewed in this article.

Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper

It’s time for something new! Introducing the Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper, which will kick off here at Notebook Stories on Tuesday, August 4th. Future editions will be hosted by The Pen Addict on September 8th , Office Supply Geek on October 6th, and other blogs yet to be determined.

If you are a blogger and want to submit a post for the inaugural edition, the deadline is Sunday, August 2nd at 5pm Eastern time. Read below for all the details.

What is the Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper? Will there be cotton candy and rides?

The Carnival is a monthly collection of the best blog posts about notebooks, journals, pens, pencils, paper products and other related topics, appearing at a different blog the first Tuesday of every month. Any unhealthy foods and unnatural G-force levels will be purely virtual.

How can I get one of my posts into the Carnival? How are the posts selected?

Any blogger can submit a post by filling out a simple form at this link. The carnival host will then be responsible for selecting submissions to be included at his or her discretion. One post per submitting blog per carnival. Spam, off-topic posts and inappropriate material will be rejected.

What is the best kind of post to submit?

Please submit a recent post (within the past week or two). Posts should be your own original content. The most interesting posts reflect the point of view of the writer, such as a review of a pen, or an explanation of your paper-based organization system, or examples of artwork from your sketchbook with some commentary. Photos of gorgeous notebooks and pens are always a big plus!

Are there any other requirements for bloggers submitting posts?

Bloggers whose posts are selected should write a post linking back to that edition of the carnival after it is published, as well as the carnival home page. Tweets and Facebook updates are also appreciated. Toot your own horn a bit!

How can I host a future edition of the carnival?

Contact the organizer to apply. Hosts are expected to weed out spam and post the carnival by 9am the first Tuesday of the month in order to ensure maximum exposure for all participants. It’s also preferred that the host select a few “editor’s choice” posts to highlight. The host should help publicize the carnival by posting, tweeting, etc. The organizer reserves the right to limit hosting to established, active, on-topic blogs.

What is the point of all this? Why should I want to participate?

If you like reading about notebooks, pens, etc., the carnival is a great way to discover new bloggers and make sure you haven’t missed some of the best recent posts from blogs you may already know.
If you are a blogger who writes about notebooks and pens, either as a main topic or just occasionally in relation to other topics such as writing, organization, art, creativity, etc, then the carnival is a chance to showcase your work, find new readers, and gain more incoming links to your blog.
We hope all notebook, pen and pencil fans will find this a fun way to learn more about and interact with a large and growing community of like-minded souls! Please pass the word!--

Follow me on Twitter: @notebookstories

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Staedtler Liquid Point 7: A Second Look

If you live long enough sooner or later you will have to eat the most distasteful of meals, Crow, followed by a generous helping of Humble Pie for desert. Such is the case with me and the Staedtler Liquid point 7 rollerball pens. Some months ago I had written about the Liquid Point 7 where I had given it a mediocre review. It was one of my earlier reviews and in my defense I can say that I was honestly looking for a 0.3 mm pen when I came across the Liquid Point 7 at my local Staples. What follows is a more in depth, more objective review of the Staedtler Liquid Point 7 Liquid Ink Pen, aka a Rollerball.

From the Staedtler website:

STAEDTLER® liquid point 7
* Rollerball with visible ink level
* High-tech needle tip for effortless writing
* Suitable for carbon copies
* Ink feed system
* With metal clip
* PP barrel guarantees long service life
* 4 colours
* Line width approx. 0.30 mm

Perfect writing performance

Perfect writing performance
  • The liquid point's high-tech needle point guarantees high performance and fluent writing.
  • Even when under pressure, the line width remains constant, keeping lettering clear and legible.
  • In addition, the tip is ideal for use on carbon paper.

Ink feed system

Ink feed system
  • The ingenious ink feed system ensures that the ink flow remains constant from the first right down to the last drop.
  • This ink feed system impresses the user with a consistent, precise, pleasant and smooth writing experience.

Steadtler claims that the Liquid Point 7 produces a 0.3 mm line. And in deed it does produce a 0.3 mm wide line as measured by my Peak 10x Scale Lupe with a metric reticle. When I first came across the Liquid Point 7 rollerball I was expecting a 0.3 mm ball in the tip of the pen which would have produced a sub 0.3 mm line. That was my mistake and the main cause for the lackluster initial review.

The Liquid Point 7 stats: The pen weighs 9.7 grams. It is 137.5 mm long, capped.It is 151.1 mm long posted. It is 128.2 mm unposted. It is 9.3 mm in diameter in the body. It's balance point from the tip of the pen is 76.8 mm, posted and 69.9 mm unposted, making it a little bottom heavy either way. The look is attractive being 3 shades of metallic grey (Silver) with the ink color being reflected in a colored insert on, or rather in the top of the pen under the pocket clip which starts in the back of the pen and curves over the top then back earthward in order to form the pocket clip, which is chromed steel with the Staedtler logo embossed on the end. The cap is a dark metallic gray, the body a more silvery metallic grey studded evenly with rows of grey dots. There is a silver band around the body just under the cap with the words "MADE IN GERMANY" in grey letters. Opposite each other are 2 windows which allow you to see the ink supply. On one window the words "STAEDTLER" Liquid Point 7 in silver, which is a nice contrast to the darkness of the window. On the opposite side are 5 ink level indicators. The window is actually useful as one can actually see the ink supply. A color coded button seals the back of the pen.

The Liquid Point 7 is a needle point pen. This means it can easily be used with drawing or drafting equipment such as triangles and templates.

The grip is made from polypropylene and is clear. The grip itself is smooth but surprisingly affords the user an excellent gripping surface. It also allows the user to see the ink feed system, which unlike many of it's type does not fill with ink. This gives the Liquid Point 7 a cleaner, fresher look than other pens of it's type.

The Liquid point 7 is a smooth writing pen due in part because it's a liquid ink pen and in part because it's a 0.7 mm ball sized pen. The ink flows smoothly and the colors are bold, not washed out. I ran my usual tests, a writing test,a bleed through test, a smudge proof test and a waterproof test. The writing test consisted of writing a single like of text to check for smoothness and blobs of ink. The Liquid Point 7 passed this test with great marks. The bleed through test consists of me holding the tip of the pen to the paper for 10 seconds using normal writing pressure. All four pens bled through at least to the second page, a couple bled through 3 sheets and one bled through to the 4th page. The smudge test was where I wrote a short line of a word or two and quickly ran a finger across the ink in an effort to get it ti smudge. The Liquid Point 7 is difficult to smudge. The waterproof test consisted of 4 lines, one from each color, sprayed with tap water from a small spray bottle then left to dry. The ink ran and feathered.

Despite the feathering and bleed through the Liquid Point 7's wrote smoothly and without blotching. The slender bodies are not too slender for someone with larger hands! I personally find them easy to hold and control. I like the clear grip which I find easy to hold onto despite the smoothness of the grips. The pens make nice carry pens for general purpose use such as making notes and writing letters and such.

All in all a second look at the Staedtler Liquid Point 7 Liquid ink Pens proved enlightening. They are an elegant looking, easily controlled, smooth writing rollerball available in four colors, Black, Red, Green and Blue.

Bottom line, if you like smooth writing rollerballs in bright, solid colors that are elegant to look at, easy to handle, and write well then pick up a four pack of Staedtler Liquid point 7 Liquid Ink Pens today!

Many thanks to the STAEDTLER Mars GmbH & Co. KG, Customer Service Department for the consideration of the pens reviewed in this review.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

rotring 600 0.35 mm drafting pencil in silver

Zed! What are you doing here!? And where’s Tommy!?
“I told him to take the night off. I wanted to surprise you and tell you that I’ve moved myself and my entire family to Earth!”
You have!? Wow! That’s great Zed! I guess we’ll be seeing a good deal more of each other then!?
“That’s right, Geezer!”
Well then, is that my Rotring 600 you’ve got there?
“Sure is, Geezer! Time to give it a review!”
You’re right, Zed! So…
I have been wanting a rotring for some time now. It was a toss up between the 500 and the 600, 0.35 mm. I like the silver over the black, and I like all metal pencils, so I took the plunge recently, cracked open the piggy bank and splurged on the 600 model!  I Did not get it on eBay, instead I found it and the Staedtler REG 925 85 03 Regulator at Smartimports.com. Their selection of pencils just happened to be almost completely limited to the very 2 pencils that I wanted that day! As for the500 model, well it’s only 2/3rds the price of the 600and it only comes in black, but maybe I can get one soonish, we’ll see!
The rotring 600 0.35 mm…
“Eh, Geezer? Don’t you mean 0.3 mm?
No, Zed, I mean 0.35 mm! You see 0.35 mm is much closer to the actual diameter of the lead than 0.3 mm is. So the wily Germans decided to confuse everyone and correct, or nearly so, a misconception that has been perpetrated on the entire world for decades!
“That’s confusing, Geezer!”
Welcome to Earth, Zed! Ain’t ‘cha glad ya moved here!?… As I was saying, the rotring 600 0.35 mm drafting pencil is an almost entirely metal pencil, as is the entire 600 series of pencils and pens. The 500 series has a plastic body with a metal grip, pocket clip and a few other parts. The section holding the 3-jawed chuck is of a tough white colored plastic of some sort while the clear connecting tube that connects the white support to the metal lead reservoir is of another. Other than the eraser and the strip the lead grade indications are printed on the pencil is entirely made of brass and steel. The various parts have been surface treated in such a way as to give the smooth areas a uniform satin finish once chromed. Same goes for the knurled portion of the grip and the lead grade indicator. The color makes the pencil look hard chromed. The obround window in the lead grade indicator reveals the the lead grade indications are gloss white upon a gloss background. Ad to this the red numerals, “0.35” on the left side of the pencil and the ”rot ring” around the Lead grade indicator and you have one very beautiful pencil! The only other adornments visible are the manufactures name on the pocket clip and the lead size on top of the push button, both embossed.

Now oddly enough there is one other marking on the pencil. It’s hidden from view and I might have gone on for years without knowing it was there if it wasn’t for the fact that I take my pencils apart. In so doing I just happened to notice what I thought was a couple of dings in an unusual place (blame it on aging eyes). Just above the threads on the upper body are the initials “K Q” in capitals. The area where they are stamped is normally hidden by the grip. Just whose initials they are is a deep, dark mystery!… Well maybe not so deep or dark! They could be the initials of the person who made the pencil, of the person who inspected it, of the name of the factory the pencil was made in or any number of other names. Signing ones work used to be a matter of pride in a factory. Is it still?

The rotring breaks down into 6 major parts/components. They are the grip, which is very nicely knurled and which is an integral part of the end cap/lead sleeve. Next is the integral 3-jawed chuck, chuck holder and metal lead reservoir. Then comes the body, a beautifully made hexagon tube with a removable pocket clip. The lead grade indicator is atop the body and is also nicely knurled. It is also the first pen of it’s ilk where the lead grade indicator sleeve has enough tension/friction to not only stay put when set but is actually hard to move! Plugging up the lead reservoir is the eraser. rotring did not include a clean out rod with the pencil though the eraser holder was clearly designed for one. Since this is my first rotring I don’t know if this is accidental or by design. Lastly comes the straight tube-like push button. To me the rotring (btw if you didn’t catch it earlier “rot ring” in German means “red ring”) 500/600 series of pencils are very beautiful. I have always liked the shape ever since I was introduced to the design many moons ago when I bought my first Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic 5633, though having a plastic barrel the Koh-I-Noor is more akin to the 500 series. At one point in time rotring owned Koh-I-Noor (or was it the other way around? The web can be so confusing!) hence the similarities in the pencils exterior design.

The fit and finish on the 600 is impeccable! It clearly shows it’s German engineering and Japanese manufacturing heritage! The finish is flawless through out the pencil, even where it doesn’t have to be, like the threads! The fit is nice and tight with no gaps where the grip meets the body as well as where the lead grade indicator ring meets the body. The pocket clip though “removable” is fitted so tightly that I dare not remove it in fear of scratching the finish! Besides it would spoil the look! One slightly odd bit of engineering is the threads on the white plastic tube that supports the chuck. The part screws into the grip ahead of the body. When the grip is removed from the body the entire innards of pencil follow and exit the body tube. The grip must then be unscrewed from the chuck support tube in order to get to the chuck. I can see the purpose in this design in that it is probably one reason why the pencil feels so solid.
“Stats, Geezer! Stats!”
I was just getting to them, Zed!
The Stats: The rotring is140 mm long over all. It is 8 mm across the flats. It’s balance point is 69.8 mm from the tip of the pencil (I thought I’d get in line with other bloggers on that point as I used to measure from the other end!) and it weighs 23.4 grams making it a heavyweight. But you don’t get featherweights when you make ‘em outta metal! The knurled part of the grip/end cap/lead sleeve is 30.4 mm long offering the user plenty of room with which to grip the pencil. The diamond cut knurling on the grip and lead grade indicator ring are superbly done and has a nice feel, being slip resistant without being biting. The lead reservoir is cavernous enough for quite a bit of lead but like any other automatic pencil over filling the reservoir can cause the pencil not to feed. Three clicks is enough to produce adequate lead with which to write or draw with. The ratcheting mechanism is smooth and solid even if a bit metallic (hey, metal, duh!) with normal resistance. By the way, the rotring is the only automatic pencil I’ve seen that an extra grip/end cap/lead sleeve can be bought!

I like the feel of the rotring. It feels solid, well made. A weighty object, especially one so small, always seems to convey to our brains the sense of quality, solidity and wealth (Wealth? Yes, wealth. After all gold is heavy, right? I think that I’ve made my point). The rotring conveys all this and more when I pick it up to write with. Since it’s almost perfectly balanced in the middle of the pencil it feels almost neutral in my hand belying it’s true weight. This could be another reason for the white plastic chuck support in that it helps keep weight off of the writing end of the pencil. It’s balance is another good sign of quality design and engineering. Beauty, quality craftsmanship, a luxury feel, what more could a a pencilaholic ask for?
“How does it write, Geezer?”
Write?… Oh, yea, write! Because of it’s balance and feel the rotring is a pleasant writing experience. The lead has almost imperceptible lead wobble within the lead sleeve (yet another sign of quality) so lead breakage is held to a minimum. It feels like writing with a lighter pencil in that the weight seems to play less of a factor than in metal pencils not as well balanced. The knurling on then grip provides an excellent griping surface so keeping the pencil in the hand is easy. If you are a draftsperson or like to dabble in mechanical drawing or if you just like to use triangles and templates when you draw then the 4 mm fixed lead sleeve provides plenty of clearance to maneuver.
Bottom line – The rotring 600 0.3 mm drafting pencil is one of the finest examples of an automatic pencil I have ever owned. It is beautiful to both look at and to hold. It is elegant in design and superb in quality and operation. It is easy to use and should provide the user with a lifetimes worth of use and still be able to pass it down to your grandchildren! So if you want art or functionality or both then consider purchasing a rotring 600 series drafting pencil.
Author’s note: It is my understanding that the 600 style of pencil has been discontinued for many years now and availability is limited to whatever stock vendors have or can find. As availability goes down prices go up and I’ve seen the pencil go for more than double what I paid for mine. So if you are interested in a rotring 300, 400, 500 or 600 then I suggest that you not delay your purchase much longer. – JH
Well, Zed, how was that?
“Great, Geezer! You do have a way with words!”
Thanks, Zed!… So you’ve moved to Earth, hey?…

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pilot Plumix And Penmanship

Pair Plus 4 I first read about the Pilot Plumix while reading an article on “unposted”. I was intrigued to say the least. I used to do calligraphy some years back but I set it aside and have yet to pick it back up. So I appreciate elegant writing and I knew the minute that I saw the nib on the Plumix just what it was supposed to do. It has a broad faced medium wide nib very similar to a calligraphy nib but unlike a calligraphy nib the nib on the Plumix is designed to be pushed! A true calligraphy nib can not be pushed, only pulled, or else it chatters and spits ink! I knew that the Plumix was designed for the average person to use in their daily writing and I knew how to use it! At the time Target was about the only place the Plumix could be found, (it is now carried by JetPens), so as soon as I could I headed out to my local Target store and picked up one in Turquoise Blue.

The Plumix comes carded with PPlum Nib onea single Pilot Blue ink cartridge. But there are no instructions on how to use the pen! If you are not familiar with broad tipped calligraphy pens then the Plumix may be a strange beast to you! The body of the pen is also different than other fountain pens. Made entirely of plastic the Plumix has 3 body sections, the cap, the grip or midsection and the tail or upper body. The cap is bullet shaped, has 2 wings to aid the user in removing the cap, which screws on. The grip is ergonomically made, the bottom being rounded and the 2 sides slop upward and are curved inward. Thus the grip offers only one way to hold the pen, the correct way. The upper body screws onto the grip and meets the grip at a specific point. The belly of the body slops downward to start then back up then tapers to a blunt end. It sort of looks like a guppy! All in all I find the shape pleasing to the eye as well as to the hand. The pens are two tone with the cap and body being of one color while the grip another. Currently the Plumix is offered in Transparent Black, Turquoise Blue and Purple, with a clear grip.

Some stats…The Plumix weighs 10.6 grams with a full ink cartridge. It is 150.8 mm long capped, 151.1 mm long posted and 144.1 mm long unposted. It is 12.1 mm in diameter at the joint between body and grip. The balance point, from the nib, is 71.4 mm posted and 61.9 mm unposted. The pen is top heavy either way but it has a better balance posted. The nib is 1 mm wide.

To use the Plumix first unscrew the body from the grip and insert the ink cartridge into the grip. The cartridge has to be manually forced onto the feeding tube. Squeezing the ink cartridge a little helps aid in getting the ink through the baffles and to the nib. Reattach the body and remove the cap. I like to post, you may not. Next grip the pen as you would any other pen but using the grips shape as a guide. Tilt the paper as you would normally, as we were taught in school. When the pen nib is touching the paper it should be at a 30 to 45 degree angle to the long side of the paper. When a stroke is made for an upper case “T” it should be a very thin stroke and be at the prescribed angle. The downward stroke should be normally slanted but bold. Subsequent letters should have this thin/thick appearance. Simple, hey!? By adding a little flair you can make your handwriting come alive!

Plumix The Penmanship is a horse of a different color compared to the Plumix. While superficially the 2 pens may look very similar they are really 2 different pens. The only thing that they share in common is the fact that the caps are interchangeable as are the nibs and baffles. The grip is shaped the same only the upper body of the Penmanship does not have a belly like a guppy instead it tapers normally like any other pen. The threads on the grip are different on the Penmanship so the bodies are not interchangeable. The shape of the cap on the Penmanship is blunter and the wings are rectangular, not angular fins as on the Plumix. They are also much thicker. The Penmanship comes in two colors only, Clear and Black with red wings on the cap! Now who’s idea were the red wings?… Any way the nib on the Penmanship is an Extra Fine writing nib! This wonderful nib produces a line only 0.3 mm wide!

PPen Nib two Penmanship

Some stats… The Penmanship weighs 10.1 grams with a full cartridge. It is 148.3 mm long, capped, 150.3 mm long posted and 146.9 mm long unposted. It is 11.8 mm in diameter at the joint between the grip and body. The balance point, from the nib, is 71.4 mm posted and 61.9 mm unposted. This makes the Penmanship top heavy but the better balance is with the pen posted. The nib is an EF that measures 0.432 mm wide!

This is the first EF nibbed fountain pen I’ve ever owned! In fact up until a few months ago I had only one fountain pen, a soft plastic Black and Turquoise Niji. This pen was made some 30 plus years ago, at least that’s as long as I’ve had it. It seems to have a fine nib though it’s not marked with it’s width. Then a few months a go a nice young lady by the name of Nasferatuia gave me a Pilot Petit 1 and a Pilot Varsirty disposable fountain pen. Then a short while later Nrepose over at unposted did an review of the pilot Plumix where he also mentioned the pilot Penmanship. Shortly thereafter I went to my local Target and bought a Turquoise Blue Pilot Plumix. The next thing you know I have all 3 Plumix! Then I find myself ordering fountain pens and ink from JetPens and fountain pens from J.Stationary and buying fountain pens from Staples! I have gone from owing one fountain pen and an old bottle of Black ink to now owning 17 fountain pens and 6 bottles of ink! Oh, when will the madness end!?

Back to sanity! I am torn between the 2 pens. I like the calligraphic nature of the Plumix with it’s interplay of thin and thick lines. The calligraphic hand looks so elegant! But I also like the very thinness of the Penmanship. I like the ability to write small and the Penmanship allows me to do just that! Both pens feel good in my hand. I like the ergonomically shaped grips. They leave no question as to where I should put my fingers and how to grip the pens. Both pens write first time every time but this may be in part to the Noodler’s ink that I’m using in all my pens. The Plumix is certainly the smoothest writing of the 2 pens but the sound of the Penmanship’s nib as it moves across the paper puts me in mind of a scribe toiling away late into the night in order to finish some manuscript. But if I write light, as neither pen requires a heavy hand, the Penmanship can barely be heard despite it’s needle like nib. And none but the finest nibbed gel pens and rollerballs can compare to the thinness of the Penmanship’s nib!

It’s a good thing that we live in a world where we have choices yet don’t have to choose! If I had to pick one pen over the other I would be in a mental dilemma of mammoth proportions! I can now understand the fondness fountain pen users have for their pens! For me it’s like rediscovering a fondness that you didn’t know that you had lost, or ever had in the first place, like the awaking of a buried desire, a very pleasant desire, that now has bloomed into a full blown obsession!!!… No, wait, I was already obsessed with pens! Fountain pens are only an extension of that obsession!… Oh, when will the madness end!?

Sorry for that little outburst!… So if you are in the mood to try something different then I suggest that you pick up a Pilot Plumix and get ready to produce some elegant writing. Or if you like things thin then pick up a Pilot Penmanship and tell the fat pens to step aside! Or, if you are like me (Heaven forbid!) then why not just pick up both! Both are available from our friends at JetPens!… Oh, when will the madness end!?

08/03/2009 Update: There has been some confusion among others as to the "M" designation on the Plumix nib and the "Fine" designation on the package. The confusion is, is it a "fine" nib or a "Medium" nib. Well while looking at some Platinum pens I ran across a nib chart. That's where I saw the "M" designation defined and suddenly all was clear! The Plumix pen nib is a "Music" nib! The original use for such a nib was to write sheet music! It is not, as I has assumed, a calligraphy-type nib used to write with, at least not originally. But a music nib lends itself to the writer as a pen that will produce an elegant hand, much like a calligraphic pen. Only a "Music" nib can be pushed when tuned correctly, a calligraphy nib can not. The "Fine" designation is probably correct for a calligraphy nib in that the width of the Plumix nib is 1 mm.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Staedtler REG 925 85 03 Regulator or Zedragon Checks In

(Buzz!... Buzz!... Buzz!...) Oh, I think that I've got a call on the ole Intergalactic View Screen!...

Ladies and Gentlemen... I do believe that we are getting an image...

Yes! We are definitely getting an image!... And it looks like!... Yes, it is!...

It's Zedragon the Zefoid from the planet Zetta 1! Welcome, Zed! What brings you to my humble Intergalactic View Screen?

"Gerrtery humnnbdyyei burjueeerg..."

Oh, wait! I forgot to turn on the Intergalactic Translator!... (click)... There, now! As you were saying, Zed!

"I was just saying, Geezer, that the reason I've called is to share with your readers my review of the Staedtler REG 925 85 03 Regulator Drafting Pencil".

Oh, cool, Zed!... Eh, I didn't know that you could get Earth made items on Zetta 1, considering the vast distance involved!

"Oh, well, the delivery service is a little slow! That's why I came to Earth last week and bought one myself!".

You came to Earth and you didn't stop in and say 'Hello'!? Zed, I'm crushed!

"Sorry, Geezer, but I was on a tight schedule! I had the wife and little Zefoids along! It was a side trip! We were on a weekend trip to the Outer Rim and really didn't have the time for a social visit! Maybe next time?".

Well, in that case... Why don't you share your review with us, Zed! I'm dying to hear all about it!

"Well, alright then, Geezer, I will!".

"When I first saw the Staedtler REG 925 85 03 Regulator I wanted one! Not only is it an attractive pencil with an interstellar look to it it's a well designed and made pencil. It is also one of the few pencils out there that offers the user a way to regulate the amount of lead projected with each push of the push button. This is a feature that I really like as too many pencils nowadays project either too much lead or too little. It's nice to have the ability to set the amount of lead you want projected".

"The amount of lead projected is controlled by the Adjustment Wheel located just below the push button. Turning the wheel to the right, or clockwise as viewed from the top of the pencil, will reduce the amount of lead projected while turning it to the left, or counter clockwise, will increase the amount of lead projected. The user can see the setting via a window on the side of the pencil just below the pocket clip".

"The statistics of the pencil are thus: It is 140.3 mm long minimum to 141.9 mm maximum depending on how you have the lead projection set. The grip measures 9.1 mm in diameter while the body measures 8.9 mm in diameter. The balance point will vary from 74.6 mm from the push button to 76.2 mm. This makes the REG slightly top heavy. The pencil weighs a whopping 22.5 grams making it a heavyweight! This is due to it being made almost entirely of metal. Something we Zefoids appreciate. The lead reservoir is large enough for several containers of lead and still have room to operate. And just in case you get a lead jam there is a clean out rod beneath the eraser. Two thumbs up for Staedtler for including a clean out rod with the REG!".

"The REG is one of those complex pencils that requires special tools and/or knowledge to be able to break it down any further than what is required to refill the lead reservoir, adjust the lead grade indicator or to clear a lead jam. To fill the lead reservoir first remove the push button then the eraser. After filling the lead reservoir replace the eraser then the push button".

"The push button is also the lead grade indicator and is composed of 3 parts. The first part is the end cap/nut which has a sticker insert with the lead size printed on it. Next is the lead grade indicator ring. Lastly is the the bottom of the push button which incorporates the lead grade indications in light gray on a silver background. To my eyes, all six of them, the markings are much too light for the silver background. They would be much easier to see if they had been darker or had the background been darker. To set the lead grade indicator all that is necessary is to loosen the top of the push button, move the indicator ring window to the appropriate setting, then tighten the nut once more".

"Should it become necessary to clear a lead jam the end cap/lead sleeve will have to be removed. To do this first use the regulating wheel to set the lead projection to it's fullest. This will ease the tension on the coil spring that is under the end cap! The spring helps keep the lead projection setting in place. Slowly unscrew the end cap and remove it. Be careful not to lose the coil spring! Either leave it in place or secure it safely away before proceeding. Next remove the push button then the eraser and clean out rod and then replace the push button so as not to loose the lead in the reservoir. Using the eraser as a handle guide the clean out rod to the tip of the lead sleeve and push it into the lead sleeve as far as it will go. This will dislodge the jammed lead piece. Remove the clean out rod and reassemble the pencil".

The Staedtler REG 925 85 03 Regulator is a stylishly good looking pencil. It's weight is due to the fact that it's made almost entirely of metal, brass, aluminum and steel. The lead sleeve is stainless steel while the tapered end cap is satin chromed brass. The finely knurled grip appears to be satin chromed brass as well. There is a black metal ring between the grip and satin finished upper aluminum body. On the side of the body in dark pigment is the Staedtler logo then the Staedtler name, in all caps, then in italic dot matrix style letters are the letters "REG" followed by the pencils designation. Below the regulator window is the word "regulator". The stylish pocket clip appears to be satin finished steel with the Staedtler logo embossed on the front of it, near the open end. On the side of the clip is the country of manufacturer, "JAPAN". Above the pocket clip and end of the upper body is the satin finished brass regulator wheel. Above that is the mushroom style 3 piece brass and aluminum push button/lead indicator. In this reviewers mind the REG is a very good looking pencil".

"The REG is also a very nice writing pencil. The weight of the pencil feels good in my hand. It feels solid and of great value, substantial and well made. In fact the REG is very well designed and made. This is where German engineering meets Japanese manufacturing! An almost unbeatable combination! The balance of the pencil does not feel top heavy in the least when in use. In fact it feels very well balanced despite it's slight top heaviness! The pencil almost writes itself. It's weight is no hindrance to a smooth writing experience and in fact may aid in the pencils movements. A definite aid to controlling the pencil is the finely cut grip. It feels smooth while at the same time offering the user a solid grip surface. The ratcheting mechanism is modestly loud but less metallic than it could be due to being dampened by the plastic lead reservoir".

"So, considering all things together I give the Staedtler REG 925 85 03 Regulator 0.3 mm Drafting Pencil 5 Super Novas out of 5".

Well, Zed, thank you for that very inspiring review! Just remember, next time you're on Earth, stop by for a visit!

"Will do, Geezer! Well, the wife and little Zefoids are waiting for me to take them all out for a glimus cone so this is Zedragon signing off!". (click)

Well, that was unexpected! But I'm always happy to see ole Zed! Especially when he has such nice toys to share with us. So if you want an elegant writing or drawing instrument or just a piece of German engineering/Japanese art then pick up a Steadtler REG 925 85 03 Regulator. You don't have to travel across the universe to find one, just surf the Internet!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pen And Pencils July Giveaway

Hello, Tommy!

"Hello, Geezer!"

Hey, everybody! It's Tommy Turquoise!... Say, Tommy, what have you got there?

"It's a Pentel EnerGel 0.7 mm Needle Point Liquid Gel Ink Pen."

Oh, one of the ones I reviewed recently.

"Not exactly, Geezer. It's the unused pen that was in the package, remember? They came two to a pack and you only used one in the review."

Sure, I remember. What are you doing with that one?

"Well, I thought that it might be a good candidate for the Pen And Pencils July Giveaway, Geezer."

That's a great idea, Tommy! Why don't you tell the folks how to enter the giveaway.

"Gladly, Geezer! To enter this months giveaway and have a chance to win a brand new Pentel EnerGel 0.7 mm Needle Point Liquid Gel Ink Pen all you have to do is is leave a comment to this post, please, one comment per person, telling us what you think of me, Tommy Turquoise! The contest will stay open until midnight on July 5th when it will be closed. Between midnight and 1:00 AM on July 6th The Old Geezer will use the Random Integer Generator to generate a random integer between one and the total number of comments made, inclusive. The winner will be announced in the comments section to this post after 1:00 AM on July 6th so be sure to check back then."

"The rules are simple, just one entry per person. Duplicate comments by the same person will be ignored. If you sign in anonymously, please leave either a screen name that you use elsewhere or an email address (one that you don't mind the public seeing) so if you are the winner you can be identified! The prize can't be sent to an unknown person. Once a winner has been chosen they will have 3 days in which to contact The Old Geezer via email at theoldgeezer@live.com with a name and mailing address. If the first round winner has not contacted Geezer by midnight, July 8th then the count will be reduced by one and another winner will be chosen."

Thanks, Tommy, that was great!.. So hurry up and post your comment! Times a wastin'!

Bic Triumph 537R 0.5 mm Rollerball or The Tommy Turquoise Show

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, friends and foes, it is my pleasure to introduce to you Tommy Turquoise! What do you have for us today, Tommy?

"Thank you, Geezer, for that rousing introduction! Well, Geezer, today we have the BIC Triumph 537R 0.5 mm Rollerball!"

Of course, Tommy, you have reviewed the Triumph so why don't you tell us all about it!?

"Certainly, Geezer, I'd be happy too! A short time ago a gentleman by the name of Kirk sent The Old Geezer a request to for a review of one of the new BIC Triumphs. Unfortunately before I could get around to the review Kirk bought his own BIC Triumph! But since Geezer already had the pen, I decided to do a review of it anyway!"

"There are 4 versions of the Triumph the 730R and the 537R both in 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm. Geezer was able to find the 537R 0.5 mm Triumph at a local 24 hour CVS Pharmacy, the only version they sell, but Staples is supposed to carry all 4, but Geezer was unable to find any at his local Staples recently. The major difference between the 537R and the 730R is the outside case. As the pens are refillable they use the same core which incorporates the ink reservoir, grip, baffles and needle point. The 537 features a chromed metal clip and a metallic wrapped barrel. The 730R features a Zinc Cobalt clip and metal accents. It also has a more tapered end to the barrel but a more squared off end to the cap."

"The 537R is an attractive pen being made of gray, black translucent and white plastic as well as a chromed metal pocket clip and silver metallic foil wrap on the barrel. The lower body has a window that is designed to allow you to see the ink reserve but since there is no window on the opposite side of the barrel it may be difficult to see the status of the ink reserve without shinning a flashlight directly into the window. The upper body of the refill has a translucent clear plastic grip covering the baffles which has a slightly roughened surface. The needle point is approximately 3.5 mm long making is adequately long enough to maneuver around drawing equipment such as templates and triangles."

"Now, as The Old Geezer is fond of writing, for the stats! The 537R is 137.8 mm long capped, 127 mm uncapped and 165 mm posted. The balanced point is 53 mm from the tail end of the pen when unposted and 73mm from the end of the cap when posted. So unposted the pen is bottom heavy, posted, top heavy. The barrel is 11.2 mm in diameter and the pen weighs 10 grams. When compared to most other rollerballs it appears to have a large ink supply. The stated point size is 0.5 mm but the measured line width is 0.4 mm. The ink, which in this example is black, is nice and opaque, not at all watery or thin. BTW the Triumph is available in Black, Red and Blue ink."

"Posted or unposted the BIC Triumph is a pleasure to write with. The pen writes very smoothly especially for a 0.5 mm tip, which is unusual. There is only a hint of the usual scratchiness associated with 0.5 mm pens. The plastic grip, with it's light texturing, is well designed and easily held for long periods of writing or drawing. When the Triumph is refilled not only do you get a fresh new ink supply and a new tip but you also get a new grip as well as all three are an intergal part of the same unit."

"The pen test is Geezers usual: On a standard 7" x 5" lined note pad (AMP brand "efficiency" pad) a line of text was written followed by a drawn line which is used for the waterproof test. A single drop of water is placed on the line to see if the ink will run. Following the line is the bleed through test. This is where the pen tip is held to the paper, using normal writing pressure, for a period of 10 seconds. Just added is the smudge test. A word or two is written and as quickly as possible the finger is run across the ink to see if it smudges (oops, I guess The Old Geezer can't spell!)" Hey, watch it there, Tommy! It could have happened to anyone! " Eh, yea, sure Geezer, anything you say!... The results of the test were that the pen wrote smoothly, almost effortlessly. The ink is not waterproof as the ink ran and feathered when a drop of water was placed on it. The ink bled through 3 sheets of the paper, the top sheet plus 2 more. The ink dries fast enough to make it sufficiently smudge-proof. Good news for left handers."

"The BIC Triumph appears to be the non-refillable Z4+ in a nice new refillable package. The Triumph writes the same as my BIC Z4+ only it's packaged in a nicer, more sophisticated form. The BIC Triumph 537R gets 5 out of 5 stars for it's good looks, good feel, refillability and smoothness of writing. I'm deducting a half point for the ink not being weatherproof and another half point for bleed through. All in all a good quality rollerball packaged in an attractive dressing. My rating, 4 out of 5 stars."

Well thank you, Tommy for that in depth review! Tommy Turquoise, everybody! That's it for the Tommy Turquoise Show! Tune in next time for another exciting review!

Staedtler Maxum Gel Pens

While visiting a dollar type store one day I ran across these Staedtler Maxum Gel Pens. I'm not a fan of 0.8 mm pems but I wasn't expecting to see a Staedtler product in a dollar store so I was intrigued. Steadtler is a name that I have come to associate with fine drafting and drawing instruments, not gliter gel pens, so I bought a set.

Once I got them home I tried them out. Right off the bat I had trouble getting the Green pen to write! I was finally able to get it to write but when I looked at the refill I noticed that the ink had run up the refill and the refill was about 1/3 used up!

Not a condition that one wishes to find ones new pens in! Well, on the back of the package it states,"Guarantee: If your STAEDTLER product fails to perform to your satisfaction simply send it for replacement to:" and gives a mailing address. Well I didn't want to sent it to Staedtler so I just went on the Staedtler USA web site and contacted Customer Service and requested a Green refill. What I received were 3 Green pens! Five stars for Staedtler USA's Customer Service!

Once I had the replacement pen I did some sample writing to get a feel of the pens. The first thing I noticed was that the pens were very smooth! They flowed quite well leaving a bold line of glittering color! The rubber grip is soft without being squishy and is quite comfortable. The colors are bold and dry with a metallic glimmer to them. The ink did not appear to blob up at anytime not even in the tops and bottoms of loops! The pens are light weight and are quite comfortable to write with being slightly bottom heavy. The pens are made of transparent plastic in the color of the ink. The caps snap on as well as snapping onto the back of the pen when posted. I did find that 2 of the pens had problems with staying capped. Investigation showed that this was due to the cap being slightly oversized. I heated up the caps at the mouth and deformed them slightly and they snapped on just fine thereafter. Minus a star for fit but add back a 1/2 star for looks.

Now for the stats! The pens average 17 grams in weight. They are 150.6 mm long and have a balance point 86 mm from the rear of the pen, making them slightly bottom heavy, which is better in this reviewers mind than the opposite. The buldge in the grip is 11.3 mm in diameter with the flare being slightly greater. The pen body is 9.1 mm in diameter. Over all a nice size for a gel pen. The pens are refillable via access from the tip, which is chromed metal. The colors are bold and metallic and come in Green, Blue, Purple, Red, Pink, Bronze, Gold and Silver. My personal faves are the Blue and Red. The stated point size is 0.8 mm "Medium". Measuring a straight drawn line with my Peak 10x scale loup showed the written line to be 0.5 mm.

The writing test consisted of writing a line with each pen, a smear test and a waterproof teat. No bleed test was done as gels do not normally bleed due to the nature of the ink. The results were that altough the claim is that the ink is "smear-proof" and "quick drying", if I was quick I could smear the ink before it dried. After the ink dried it was pemanent, as claimed. The waterproof test confirmed this, but as the ink may be waterproof the glitter is not! When sprayed from a spray bottle to wet the paper, the glitter floated away! Minus a 1/2 star for the flighty glitter.

After all is said (written) and done the Staedtler USA Maxum Gel Pens are a very nice set of metallic gel pens that would be quite useful for any craft or design project. They would be perfect of use in greeting card making or simply signing greeting cards. They would also be great for leaving colorful notes for family and friends. They also make a great gift for the youngster who loves to draw in nice shimmering glitter colors. I'll give the Staedtler Maxum Gel Pens 4 out of 5 stars. Way to go Staedtler USA!