Düller Memo Pad

Düller Memo Pad

An unexpected local find, the Düller Memo Pad.

An elongated notepad, the paper features a dotted grid. The cover is a very nice forest green.

Shown here with a Düller Dietrich Lubs fountain pen:

Düller Memo Pad and Düller Dietrich Lubs fountain pen

Stabilo bionic worker

Stabilo bionic worker

This is a pencil blog, not a marker blog, but I’m still happy that Quo Vadis Canada sent some samples of the Stabilo bionic worker this way. Well, I’m calling it a marker, but it is officially a “liquid ink roller ball”. And I’m not sure if it is the brand that was used by bionic public servant Steve Austin.

As well as representing Rhodia, QVC represents the famous pencil brand Stabilo in Canada. How interesting! (I wonder if they know that I like pencils?)

The bionic worker has two main special features – an ink window and a completely rubberized surface. The ink window doesn’t show me too much. To me, the grip is comfortable. And the all orange appearance can’t be ignored.

Stabilo bionic worker

I admit to not regularly using this type of product, but I think that could change. I’ve previously mentioned paper products that didn’t like graphite, and wondered if they might have another writing instrument as their ideal partner. One confirmed result: the Behance Dot Grid notebook and the Stabilo bionic worker are a fantastic combination. The colours are vibrant and vivid on this paper. I see no feathering, nor marks bleeding through to the paper’s reverse side.

Stabilo bionic worker

The only negative I can see is that I can’t find a place to buy more. These markers seem like a higher end product – not something one will see at most office supply stores.

My thanks to Quo Vadis Canada for sending these samples.

Caran d’Ache 45 multipen

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

This post continues on two other articles about vintage multipencils. (The Faber-Castell 33/78 four colour pencil and the Caran D’ache Tricolor.) I mentioned their quality construction, as well as the relative complexity of their mechanisms.

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

Well, I got further with them than I did with the Caran d’Ache 45. The 45 was advertised online as a multipencil, but when it arrived, it turned out to be a multipen – three ballpoints and a pencil in a classic looking barley pattern housing.

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

Octagonal shaped, each writing implement is selected by sliding a corresponding switch. The implement is retracted by clicking the cap.

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

So now the fun starts. First the obvious. I can’t find any way to advance or replace the pencil lead, and suspect it is all manual. That’s okay – at least it works.

Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

Now the ballpoints – they are dried up. Easy to replace, right? Unfortunately, no. There seems to be a standard mini-ballpoint format that is used by pocket pens and multipens, but it has two differences from the 45’s format. First, the modern format is longer – which can be remedied with a side-cutter. But, the 45 is a clutch leadholder on the inside, and it wants the format of the original. The 45 does not properly grip the new format.

The original, between modern examples:Caran d'Ache 45 multipen

So, I fear this potentially amazing writing instrument is a paperweight, unless someone out there has some ideas for finding a replacement ballpoint refill.

This post is also a cautionary tale about proprietary formats for writing implement refills – pen, pencil, or other.

Stationery Magazine

Stationery Magazine

I can’t read much of it, yet it seems to speak very well to many interests of mine.

Red and blue pencils, leadholders, quirky office accessories – they’re all here, and featured prominently.

The magazine is in Japanese, with about 150 glossy pages crammed full of photos of woodcase pencils, mechanical pencils, leadholders, erasers, sharpeners, staplers, hole punches, rulers, and much more.

Stationery Magazine

Yes, they have a page on Vernier calipers:

Stationery Magazine

Sharpeners also.

Stationery Magazine

Stationery Magazine

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

There may be hundreds of reviews of the Lamy Safari out on the net. I agree with their general sentiment: the Lamy Safari is an excellent pen in and of itself, and one of the best overall values in fountain pens today.

I have a Pelikano Junior that’s also doing extremely well, but it’s new so I won’t place it in the Lamy’s category just yet. (Nor is the Pelikano even close to the same design level.) I also have other fountain pens that require a regime of rinsing, cleaning, and choosing the right ink. That’s okay, but convenience has some merits. The Safari, though abuse would be unwise, doesn’t require any of that sort of pampering. For me, it always just works. It is a great pen for someone who may be curious about fountain pens, but doesn’t want to spend too much.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

The Safari comes in many colours, and Lamy released a white version last year. The set in the picture also includes a matching ballpoint pen.

The aesthetics of the Lamy are current and modern. I think it’s a great looking pen. The plastic box housing the pens is itself a great piece of design.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

Now let me mention a couple things that you might have to learn the hard way if you buy a pen like this somewhere other than in person at a specialty fountain pen shop (where they typically know their stuff).

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

It will come with a handy ink cartridge. That’s nice, but be aware that this is a proprietary Lamy-only size. If you want to use these cartridges in non-Lamy pens, or use “standard” cartridges, such as from famous ink manufacturer Herbin, you are out of luck. Lamy makes a few colours, and that’s where your choice ends.

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen/Ballpoint Pen set

The ballpoint, which is also quite stylish and usable, takes a proprietary Lamy M16 refill. For someone like myself in a small city – the problem is that the local big box office supply store doesn’t carry this item.

Lamy Safari Fountain pen cartridge: T10

For the fountain pen – there is a path to more choices which I recommend – the (again proprietary format) Lamy Z24 format converter allows the use of bottled ink. This is to me a defining merit of the fountain pen – there are hundreds if not thousands of ink varieties available, ranging not just in shade, but density, wetness, drying times, and many other factors. The converter sets you free to try whatever ink you choose.

Lamy Safari Ballpoint refill: M16

To review, the Lamy Safari Fountain pen and ballpoint pen use these refills:

Ballpoint refill: M16
Fountain pen cartridge: T10
Fountain pen converter: Z24

Overall, I think they are great writing implements, but I have just a bit of concern about the non-standard formats – the ballpoint in particular.

Draplin Design Co. Factory Floor Issue Longhand Set

Draplin Design Co.

I just received a Draplin Design Co. Factory Floor Issue Longhand Set. It’s like an early Hallowe’en loot bag for stationery/design lovers.

Draplin Design Co.

The shop floor never looked so good. The set included:

Field Notes ruler
Field Notes sharpener
Field Notes notebooks
Draplindustries carpenter pencils
Draplin round pencil
Draplindustries ballpont pen
Draplin Sharpie
Draplin Mini-Sharpie
Draplin Calendar
Draplin Anvil decal

Draplin Design Co.

This was much more than I ordered. They threw in a number of these items as extras.

I don’t know how they did it, but they’ve got the retro industrial look down pat. With many touches of whimsy.

Draplin Design Co.

The fun doesn’t end there. The envelope in which this was delivered was addressed “Canada, eh!”, which someone at the post office found the need to manually annotate as “CANADA”.

Draplin Design Co.

There is something that just feels great about a talented designer taking on these “ordinary” items. I will definitely keep an eye on Draplin for their future projects.

Draplin Design Co.