Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wal-Mart pocket notebook find for fountain pens

I found these notebooks during a recent visit to Wal-Mart.  I think they were 97 cents for a shrink wrapped pack of 3.  Much more economical than others, and with these I do not care if I see what I wrote on the back of the page.  They do not bleed nor feather.  So for the price I do not mind only being able to use one side of the page.  Can't say the same for my Moleskine.

I only have pens with fine or medium nibs so I could not test a broad nib.
The paper is not a smooth as some of my other notebooks, but none of the nibs stubbed or scratched.  There is a bit of friction though with the paper in these books and that resistance can be felt while writing.  There were not tell-tale signs of ink on the next clean page.

Royal Custom-III

I have been searching for information on the Royal Custom-III I bought at a rummage sale yesterday.  I found 2 references to the Custom-III both with white fronts and nearly identical to the Safari, and I found one reference to a Safari with a black front (forgot to mark the link).   There are a few on Ebay shown as Safari Custom-II with black fronts of a slightly different style (of black front) even among the same model.

Model and serial number are not in the typewriter serial number database either.

Does anyone know the history of the Royal Custom-III?  Best I can find is that it is a 1970s something machine since it has the Litton Industries trademark on it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rummage sale find -- Royal Custom-III

This is a pica machine and the one fault I found is shown here.  The H type bar does not fully retract.  It did not cause a problem while typing a test.

Underside & workings are fairly clean.

Today's score:  Yard / Garage Sales 0    Thrift Stores 0   Rummage Sale 1

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fountain Pen Friendly Steno Pads

As many folks who use fountain pens also search for just the right notebook to use I have done the same.  Finding paper that is fountain pen friendly locally and at a reasonable price can be challenging.

I do not like the prices (and shipping costs) of Moleskines, Clairefontaine, Rhodia and some of the others.  I can get Moleskine notebooks locally at Target and I appreciate that Target has decided to carry a premium notebook.  I do carry and use the pocket notebooks.  I find Moleskine to be of good quality, but lacking when it comes to paper that does not prevent fountain pen ink feathering or bleed-through any better than the cheaper off-the-shelf pads at the local office supply store.

I have used Staple's own brand of steno pads with some good results with some inks and only with one or 2 of my pens.

I had an old Universal steno pad and it worked fine with most inks and pens I use.

I also had an old Ampad 25-274 steno pad that worked with most pens and inks and had bleed-through enough to be seen from the back of the written page, but not enough to leave the little tell-tale dots and such on the next blank page.

The local store was out of new ones so I purchased a Tops Docket.  This pad is about twice the price of a normal run-of-the-mill steno pad.  The paper is heavy, construction is good, the back is strong so it can be hand-held for use, and the paper does not feather or bleed through.

These are the scans of my tests.
The next set of scans is of my tests with the Ampad 25-274

And Moleskine:
So price-wise the 25-274 beats them all.  The reverse side of the written page of the Moleskine is no better or worse than the 25-274 pad using Quink or Scrip inks.  The advantage of the Moleskine is the size; it fits my pocket.

Ampad 25-274 $3.85, 80 pages made in U.S.A.
Docket Gold $6.59, 100 pages, made in U.S.A.
Moleskines 3.5 inch by 5.5 inch, $12.00, 192 pages, made in China

Paper and writing quality of the Docket is smooth and effortless.
The same can be said of the Ampad.
The Moleskine is a bit scratchy with my fine nib pens.

Everyone has their favorite.  For everyday note taking I prefer the Ampad.

I have many other notebooks and hope to post some reviews when I use them.  Maybe I will have more pens and some different inks when I do those.  Perhaps I will even find one that will not scribble.

ooops I am the cause of the scribbles.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Hermes 3000 is ready

I finally have my Hermes 3000 ready for use.  I have it a few weeks now and hope to start using it for some posts.

I found this machine online and the first thing I did was try my hand at removing and re-installing the platen.  Easy.  Thanks to Tom Furrier's post:
Next on the agenda find or make a replacement for the improperly repaired cracked right platen knob.  Thanks to Mr. Atwater-Kent (I also collect and restore antique radios) I found a radio frequency stage tweaking knob that fits almost perfectly.

Then I took the machine apart for an inspection (as if I know what I am really doing since I am not a typewriter technician) and cleaning.  I found the platen and all rubber rollers in great shape.  Dirty, but none were hard -- even the platen.

After putting it back together a few nights ago it was time for the big test.  Failure.  The platen would not advance on single space for an entire rotation of the platen.  So back to my shop it went to be taken apart the third time.  Since this is my first Hermes ever as well as my first attempt at repairing a type writer I retraced all my steps in the cleaning and all seemed fine.

I did find I did not like the way the platen re-fitted.  It just did not seem correct to me.  I also discovered the left pin assembly allowed normal single space if it was pushed in too far to attach the left hand knob.

To make a long story short I decided in a last ditch effort to remove, clean, lube, and re-install the ratchet platen advance assembly (my name for it).  It worked.  I now have a typewriter that works on all line feed settings.

More on this machine later and the post will be a typed one.  This Hermes is an elite and the print is nice and clean.

With that said I hope this is the end of computer generated posts (or at least severely limited)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Andy Rooney and his Underwood

I was not going to post today since I wanted to finish cleaning my Hermes 3000.  I looked through my email and I got a message with the following link.

As always with Andy Rooney, I could not have said it better.

My grandfather's old early 1900's Underwood is still being used by members of my family and since I bought my first PC in the mid 1990's I have replaced it at least 10 times; only not with Windows -- LINUX machines.

So my rant on the PC is a topic for a later post.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

This is what started it all, 3 old Waterman's

Over the Independence Day weekend while searching for a wooden box I stored in one of my file cabinets I found these 3 old Waterman USA fountain pens.   I have had a fascination about these and other dip and fountain pens from a very early age, perhaps pre elementary school.  Fountain pens are just plain neat!

Later (about the mid 1970s) I got to see some hand-written records in our fire department from the late 1800s to early 1900s -- all written with a fountain pen.  What neat penmanship those fellows had!

As best I can tell the two amber ones are Waterman 302 Flex pens.  One has a fine nib and the other has a medium nib.  I could not find any information on the pens on the Fountain Pen Network so I inked them and measured both the line and the nib width with a calipers.  One pen as shown later still has the label on the cap.  These two pens were inked and tested.  I used the fine nib pen until the ink ran dry.  The pen in the middle is a 100 Year pen, maroon barrel (missing the end jewel) and the gold star and stripes snap fit cap.  All are lever fill.

This is the cap with the label.  It is difficult to distinguish from the photo whether the first digit is a 3 or 8.  Examined under a stereo microscope shows it is a 3.

This is the barrel and the nib of the 100 Year Waterman pen.  This is a very smooth writing nib.  I believe it is a fine nib as measured with a calipers.  I wanted to use this pen as a regular on my rotation of pens, but the fill lever is broken so it is relegated to use as a dip pen at my desk.

Here is a photo of the nibs on the number 302 pens.
I did not notice the ink residue in my haste to take the photo to post.  These are the nibs of the 302's.  The fine nib is a smooth writer and the medium is a bit scratchy and ink flow is a bit difficult to start if the pen sits over night.  Both pens have a vent hole in the cap that does not help with restarting an inked pen.  Neither pen writes as smooth as the 100 Year pen.  Then I do not know how my sister and I may have tortured these pens as we played with them as toys when we were very very young. (ooooooh what a terrible thing to do with fountain pens)

My present pen collection is quite small and consists of about 15 pens; mostly Waterman from France, a few Shaeffer and a Parker.  I always thought; who needs more than one pen?  Then I got bitten by the collecting bug.