Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nathan Sets the Record Straight about Noodler's Baystate Blue

Nathan Tardif from Noodler's never ceases to amaze me, and I'm sure most of you too! He posted a video tonight covering several rather epic topics. It's a 29 minute video (I watched the whole thing immediately!), and he covers a bunch of topics, so I broke them all down with a time marker for easier reference:




Link to YouTube for more viewing options.

Here are the topics he covers (with the time stamp for each topic):
  • 0:00- Baystate Blue, smacking down the naysayers, showing the pens that come with the 4.5 ounce version, water test, smear test, showcasing the ink in 3 different types of pens
  • 14:15- converting the Noodler's Ebonite pen to an eyedropper, demonstrating his flex nib
  • 18:25- special 3 ounce Baystate Blue bottles with labels worth $50 of Noodler's pens (like Willy Wonka's Golden Tickets!!!)
  • 19:45- detailed examination of the Noodler's rollerball pen, cleaning the rollerball tip, demonstrating the pen in use
A special thanks to Mike for sending me the link to this video. I subscribe to Nathan's videos, but Mike sent me the link before I got my subscription email! I was the 4th view, haha! ;) It's crazy, Nathan puts these videos up and doesn't even give a heads up to his retailers (not complaining, just stating a fact). He is a man who lives by his own accord, that's for sure!

I know there are several things going on in this video, what do you think?

32 comments:

  1. I have always been worried with BSB because of what I have read.

    But after seeing this you can see Nathan really loves this ink. A pretty good rule is to buy a product that a manufacturer really loves.

    Might have to get me a bottle soon.

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  2. In the right pen, Baystate Blue is a fantastic ink. I didn't realize how much Nathan loves it. Makes me like the ink even more.

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  3. I think it's pretty safe to say he loves this ink. Telling naysayers to more or less screw themselves because he'll make the ink until the day he dies is pretty straightforward.

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  4. The color looks pretty eye-popping in the swab shop. I think I'm pretty good on ink right now, but I'll have to keep this one in mind next time I'm looking for a blue.

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  5. "Ask the naysayers on a certain group what the hell they're smoking."

    I love it. I've got a hunch BSB might get voted into the March Ink Drop...

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  6. BSB is a great color, but I haven't ordered a bottle because I had trouble with it staining my sink and counter. Cleaned up eventually, but lots of hassle. But nothing else is like it.

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  7. That was fun.
    I was happy to hear more flex ebonites coming.
    The Fokker F.32 pictures as background(I think,could be wrong) were nice for an aviation history junkie like me.
    Keep up the good work at Noodler's.

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  8. Way to go Nathan, glad to see you told the critics to 'stuff it' in no uncertain terms. I've never had a problem with BSB "ruining" (aside from staining) any pen I've used it in, to include modern Lamy and Pelikans. OTOH, had to replace the hard plastic laundry room sink when I couldn't get rid of the blue tinge, even with multiple bleach applications and a lot of scrubbing. So now I flush BSB pens only in glass mixing bowls and am *very* careful where I pour out the water.

    And now I think I'm off to the FPN to watch the fun, I expect there's already a thread on Nathan's video. ;-)

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  9. It's all in the timing Mr. Goulet. I happened to check my e-mail seconds after the notification showed up in my inbox, that's how I scooped you.

    This video is another great example of the passion and dedication that Nathan has to the art of ink and pen making, it's not just a business.

    Instead of Oompa Loompas Nathan might have giant catfish, in little grim reaper robes, working in the "factory".

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  10. I want to buy the ink just because of his reference to Milton friedman....

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  11. Dear Lord, this is outstanding on several levels!!!

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  12. I generally agree with the previous comments, but it seems like he didn't address some of the issues that people are talking about on the forums. He talks tough and insults naysayers, but I would have like something like "here's a pen that's had BSB in it since I started making BSB" and then show the staining, if any, and if it has effected the feed, etc. I've seen some nasty pics online and this didn't really settle everything, IMHO.

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  13. I agree, definitely every issue is not addressed here. I don't think that was the point though. He doesn't claim this ink works great in every pen, I think he was more smacking down the naysayers as the ones who say that general statements like 'you shouldn't use BSB because it will ruin your pen', and there's plenty of statements like that floating around out there. The video I think was more like him saying, 'watch this ink work awesome on the cheapest paper and flawlessly in these pens, which I give you for free'.

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  14. Great demo!

    Toy pens included with the bottle, too! Now that's fun.

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  15. @Speedmaster "outstanding" on several levels. Well Brian, between the Bay state and the Ottoman, I might as well start drinking this stuff or have my R.N. wife do an intravenous infusion. This stuff is great!

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  16. I see Jim Baer (business partner of Richard Binder) wrote in the FPN thread that "Actually many inks perform better on cheap paper. It's the claire fontaine, Rhodia and other clay impregnated papers that usually give the slow dry times and other problems."

    I think there's validity to what Jim says. I've experienced slow drying times with several Noodler's inks...on premium papers. Good marketeer that he is, Nathan obviously chose a paper which proved his point. Note that he didn't voluntarily perform the same feathering and water submersion tests on a variety of premium papers like those carried by Goulet Pens.

    How about repeating that BSB test on your papers before the next Write Time broadcast, Brian. I'd like to see an independent verification of the results on the papers you carry. The slow drying times on inks like BSB, Zhivago and several others I have on the shelf haven't kept me away from buying/using Noodler's inks on premium papers but they sure don't dry as fast as they do on Nathan's ~$1.70/ream copy paper.

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  17. When it comes to dry time, you're always going to have more dry time on ink-resistant paper like Rhodia and Clairefontaine than you will on absorbent inkjet copy paper. The VAST majority of paper readily available in the US is this more absorbent paper, because that's what works best with inkjet printers and ballpoint/rollerball pens, which are the overwhelming majority of what this paper is used for in the US. I think Nathan has designed his inks with this in mind....highly saturated inks that are made for cheap paper. Rhodia and Clairefontaine are made to resist inks, to prevent feathering and bleedthrough with 'traditional' fountain pen inks like J. Herbin, Diamine, Sheaffer, Waterman, etc. that have been around for hundreds of years. I don't know what Nathan puts in his inks, but whatever it is, it's designed differently than the 'old world' fountain pen inks (at least some of his inks, others perform like 'regular' fountain pen inks).

    What Nathan is going is pushing the envelope in the writing world and causing everyone to rethink what they knew about fountain pen ink. The old blanked statements of 'this brand performs this way' doesn't apply to the Noodler's brand. I've found that each individual Noodler's ink has it's own characteristics, both good and bad, and must be view independently of one another. That's part of what makes it so exciting and so confusing!

    One thing is for sure, this is going to spark a lot of interest in Baystate Blue, and I'm sure experiments will be popping up all over FPN and the blogging world. I know I'm pumped to go ink up some BSB right now and give it a whirl!

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  18. It did spark some interest here, enough to disregard the defensive tone of the video. I shall see for myself.

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  19. The 4.5oz BSB is back in stock. Is this the batch with the 2 pens?

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  20. He'll keep making it until he dies... but then what? I hope he has his recipes and formulas backed up somewhere so that Noodler's doesn't disappear with his mortal self.

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  21. I wanted to drop a note to you all and let ya know about "long term" service of BSB (...my favorite blue...) in one of my esterbrook j's. This ink has been used in my pen for about one year with no ill effects other than the coloring of the section (...which i think is ebonite...) with a great iridescent sheen that i couldn't remove easily. I suspecct it will come right off if ya use bleach for cleanup per Nathan's instructions in the video(...i always use an ammonia solution -- usually 50/50...).
    The only complaint I have with BSB is sometimes it is a bit slow starting on the downstroke. I'm a left handed underwriter, maybee i dont get the nib square on the paper when i start the stroke.

    Hope this helps calm some of the "fears" RE: BSB. It is a great product.

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  22. @Speedmaster "outstanding" on several levels. Well Brian, between the Bay state and the Ottoman, I might as well start drinking this stuff or have my R.N. wife do an intravenous infusion. This stuff is great!

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  23. I generally agree with the previous comments, but it seems like he didn't address some of the issues that people are talking about on the forums. He talks tough and insults naysayers, but I would have like something like "here's a pen that's had BSB in it since I started making BSB" and then show the staining, if any, and if it has effected the feed, etc. I've seen some nasty pics online and this didn't really settle everything, IMHO.

    ReplyDelete
  24. When it comes to dry time, you're always going to have more dry time on ink-resistant paper like Rhodia and Clairefontaine than you will on absorbent inkjet copy paper. The VAST majority of paper readily available in the US is this more absorbent paper, because that's what works best with inkjet printers and ballpoint/rollerball pens, which are the overwhelming majority of what this paper is used for in the US. I think Nathan has designed his inks with this in mind....highly saturated inks that are made for cheap paper. Rhodia and Clairefontaine are made to resist inks, to prevent feathering and bleedthrough with 'traditional' fountain pen inks like J. Herbin, Diamine, Sheaffer, Waterman, etc. that have been around for hundreds of years. I don't know what Nathan puts in his inks, but whatever it is, it's designed differently than the 'old world' fountain pen inks (at least some of his inks, others perform like 'regular' fountain pen inks).

    What Nathan is going is pushing the envelope in the writing world and causing everyone to rethink what they knew about fountain pen ink. The old blanked statements of 'this brand performs this way' doesn't apply to the Noodler's brand. I've found that each individual Noodler's ink has it's own characteristics, both good and bad, and must be view independently of one another. That's part of what makes it so exciting and so confusing!

    One thing is for sure, this is going to spark a lot of interest in Baystate Blue, and I'm sure experiments will be popping up all over FPN and the blogging world. I know I'm pumped to go ink up some BSB right now and give it a whirl!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Way to go Nathan, glad to see you told the critics to 'stuff it' in no uncertain terms. I've never had a problem with BSB "ruining" (aside from staining) any pen I've used it in, to include modern Lamy and Pelikans. OTOH, had to replace the hard plastic laundry room sink when I couldn't get rid of the blue tinge, even with multiple bleach applications and a lot of scrubbing. So now I flush BSB pens only in glass mixing bowls and am *very* careful where I pour out the water.

    And now I think I'm off to the FPN to watch the fun, I expect there's already a thread on Nathan's video. ;-)

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  26. LisaWhistlerSmithMarch 3, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    I am a new 'Oldie' to fountain pens.  I grew up using them for everything!  Loved using them at school.  So, I decided to plunge back into using them again.  So many choices - makes it difficult to decide.  BSB is a fabulous ink!  I absolutely love the color, so vibrant!  I have it loaded in the free preppy pen and it is a good everyday pen.  I work in a school, and am an artist as well.  Definitely this is a color I will keep around and use quite a bit.  Ink has good behavior, is really easy to use, and is absolutely beautiful!
    Also, I wanted to say that Goulet is the 'best little pen & ink' store on earth!  You have gone the extra mile to make your customers feel welcome.  I feel like you make your customers part of this family!   Thank you for sharing your passion!

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  27. Yes, it will be for the foreseeable future.

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  28. Currently, he doesn't. A lot of it is actually in his head, not even written down! Trust me, he hears that he needs to write things down and hire help on a regular basis...

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  29. Thanks so much for all your input! BSB is a pretty cool ink, there's a reason it's talked about so much ;) 

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  30. Thank you so much for all of your compliments! We're trying to do some cool stuff ;)

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  31. Hi Joe. I also have an Esterbrook (SJ Fine), and when my left-handed friend uses it with one of my drier inks (like BSB), he also finds it's slow to start on the downstroke. This is also true of a couple of my other pens and some of his too, but since we both have Esterbrooks, he's since learned his way around it. I think it's just a function of the nib and how one is holding it. I find that he had started to hold the pen in a an almost opposite position (feed faced away from him) and that solves the problem, or moving his arm around the paper in such a way that he's redirecting his stroke. It's also a function of "pushing" the nib as a lefty writing in English (left to right) rather than "pulling" the nib as a righty writing English. When I was learning the Farsi letters, I discovered that as a problem for me as a righty pushing my nib.

    To everyone---Let me just say, BSB is my favorite ink. I have the fewest problems with it, as regards clogging the pen, dry to start writing, or feathering. I use it a lot in the accompanying Preppy pen, which is actually a great little instrument on the go. I started with a highly soluble organic ink in my Esterbrook SJ, but even if the BSB does stain the inside... I'm not sure how much I care. It comes out with proper cleaning and, honestly, it's the most beautiful blue I've ever seen and it works better than any other ink I've used. Period. Moreover, the thing comes with a disclaimer, working with fountain pens is by its very nature a rather messy business, it comes with a free pen just in case, and I do really feel that people ought to understand an ink's properties before putting it into an expensive or rare vintage pen. When you own it, the instrument is your responsibility, and these inks are all made with chemicals and have various properties, which means... things can go wrong. Fountain pens and inks are a kind of technology, and it behooves you to understand your devices and the materials they require to work properly.


    Granted, there is never going to a be a single ink that is ideal for all pens, or even for every one of your particular pens. I have a cheap Sailor pen that writes and refills too messily for BSB, but I would also never put my Electric Blue Noodler's ink in my Esterbrook. But that doesn't mean BSB is a bad ink--in fact it's my most versatile, useful, and really, my most reliable ink. Plus, it's beautiful, waterproof, quick-drying, easy-flowing, non-feathering, and basically everything I want from an ink.

    If there's ever a Baystate black, red, green or teal, I am so the first in line for a bottle.

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  32. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Tara. I think this is actually the kind of experience that most BSB users have, it's just that there are a few people who tend to sensationalize/exaggerate the properties of the ink that create a bad name for it. Don't get me wrong, it is a different ink than most, but it's not nearly what some make it out to be, and in fact, it's an amazingly popular ink that people use daily in all kinds of pens, with no ill effects.

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