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Need some feedback

Before I go to the Fountain Pen Network or a vendor, I wanted to get some polite feedback from B&B first.

I have been using a Lamy Safari (F) with Noodlers Bulletproof Black for about 3 years and a TWSBI 540 (F) with Noodlers Ottoman Azure for at least a year (I forget). I'm needing to order some fine paper and wanted to get some input on ink choices and to see if my observations are due to me, the ink, the pens, or the nib material.

My Lamy has been trouble-free since I got it. It writes smoothly and silently. According to the Goulet Pens video (Brian), the Noodlers ink takes a while to dry on the Clairefontaine Triomphe paper. I live in fear of smearing, non-dry ink, so this is a problem. Also, maybe it's the bulletproof addtions, but the ink just isn't a consistent black from edge to edge. So, if any of you are using the Clairefontaine paper, what ink do you use that dries quickly and gives the appearance of consistent color? If you are using the Lamy Safari as well, that would be even better.

Second, my TWSBI Diamond 540 sure is pretty and packaged beautifully, but it's not holding up well. There is a very fine crack (maybe 1/8" long) up the clear plastic starting just above the nib - just happened in the last couple of weeks. When writing, the nib is noticeably more noisy (scratchy sound) than the Lamy Safari nib. It's also not as smooth, but that may be due to using the Lamy for a longer period and I just didn't notice the noise before. So, is this scratchy sound typical for a nib of this design and I just need to get used to it, or is this not good? I know I could change to a Medium tip, but I like the look of the Fine better, and there's no guarantee that the scratchy sound won't occur with the Medium. Is a different nib material needed?



Dave I have some answers for you, but it also depends on what you want to use the paper for, G.Lalo for instance is fantastic stuff that I love greatly, but they are made to tear off each page and mail as letters, would not work well for Journals or note keeping as over time you may have the pages come loose,

However if Journals or note taking is what your after Clairefontaine is a great buy, fantastic quality again ive never had any bleed through or Nib edges catching on the sheet, they also make most of the paper for the Rhodia books (on the goulet website i believe they say which ones are from clairefontaine) if you prefer the look

again if you are looking for planners then the Rhodia Webplanners are nice but are often the subject of one complaint, there isnt enough space for note keeping within the planner, in which case others have found great success with other planners, but i dont use them so ill let them chip in if thats what you are after
The cracking on the TWSBI is a known issue. You can get it warrantied. As far as the scratchiness of the nib, is there a noticeable difference from when the crack started? Or has it been there from the beginning?
Thanks for the heads-up on the cracking issue. I noticed the scratchy noise on the TWSBI when I was doing tests of the pens and inks on different papers. I didn't know if it was a known characteristic of the TWSBI steel nibs because they're stiffer/harder or if the Lamy is just softer/more springy (maybe cheaper).
Some nibs are just louder than others. I have a Waterman medium that's pretty near silent and a slightly scratchy Pilot nib that's pretty loud. I enjoy both immensely, but noise when writing never bothered me.

The ink not being a consistent shade of black from edge to edge is called shading. Some inks shade a lot. Noodler's Apache Sunset shades from yellow to orange when used with a broad nib. Most black inks shade from gray to black. If you're looking for a really dark, consistently black ink, I've read that Aurora black fits the bill. Maybe someone else can confirm that.

Send the TWSBI back for a replacement. Request a new nib, as well.

I've used both of those pens on Rhodia webbies and it's great 90gr paper. I'm not a big fan of Noodlers ink but both the Burgundy and Black Swan in English Roses work ok on that paper as well.
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