Ask The Desk: Refills, Reuse, Notebooks & KC Tourism


Mishelle is in search of:

Looked through the list and I didn’t see this cross gel ball point listed. I was wondering if you know if it would be an option for a render k. I currently have a fine liner in there now but I’d like purple something (like) Cross Selectip Gel Rollingball Pen Refill.

I went to the knowledge source of all things refill, Tom at Goldspot Pens (AKA Refill Finder) and here’s what he recommended:
“The great thing about the Render K (especially the G2 version), is that they adapt to be able to use so many types of refills, and even include a spacer you can size down to fit your refill of choice. The Cross Selectip measures at 4.375” in length, which is about the same size as the international rollerball at 4.39″ They do make a rollerball in purple ink.
Cross also offers selectip porous-point refills, which is the same as saying felt tip. However, colors in the felt tip type are limited to blue or black. No purple there! I went through the Schmidt and Monteverde catalog to find a felt-tip that had purple ink, but no luck there either. If purple must absolutely be had, I’d go with the purple G2 or the Cross Selectip Purple.

Sharpie Pen Retractable

Michelle asks:

I have faux-chrome and black push button versions of the Sharpie retractable pen. When they inevitably run out of ink, I am loathe to discard them–especially the nicer ones which are becoming harder for me to find locally. I know they are not refillable, but have you heard of any way to reuse/hack/upcycle the bodies?

It turns out that I lose the retractable Sharpie pens before they ever actually dry out so I’ve never gotten to the point where I could actually test whether I could disassemble them. So, I went out today and bought another 3-pack in  the name of science and short of actual destruction, I couldn’t figure out any way to disassemble the barrel.

Does anyone else have any idea of a way to reuse or recycle the Sharpie retractables?

Leuchtturm 1917 Neon Green Notebook

Gentry asks:

Out of all of the notebooks, what is your favorite to write in. I am on the quest to find the best notebook. I am currently trying out a Piccadilly, Leuchtturm1917, and a Moleskine and am looking into the Baron Fig Confidant currently. Any suggestions on better notebooks would be awesome.

Notebooks are such a personal preference as it comes down to a balance between cost, form, paper, ruling (or not) and any added features (do pockets, elastics, etc make or break a notebook for you) that what I favor may not, in the end, be what you favor.

Of the notebooks you listed, Gentry, for value, I really like the Piccadilly. Its not the most durable but it has reasonably good paper and overall quality for under $10 and that’s hard to beat. However, with regular wear and tear, the binding will often give out, as will the elastic which can make the notebook look as cheap as it is.

So, if you’re looking for a “buy once, cry once” product, the best in category of the ones you’ve listed is definitely the Leuchtturm1917. While the build quality of the Baron Fig is excellent, if you’re inclined to use wet rollerballs or fountain pens, you will not love the paper.

If you like using fountain pens, you may also want to consider the Rhodia Webnotebooks or the QuoVadis Habana which features Clairefontaine paper which is so conducive to fountain pens.

Image via wikipedia
(Image via wikipedia)

Jonathan is coming to Kansas City:

My wife and I will be attending PlannerCon in September and were wanting to know what places we cannot miss in KC while we are there.

First, congratulations on getting tickets to the Midwest PlannerCon. It looks like its shaping up to be a good event. As for places to visit in Kansas City, I assume you are looking for pen-and-paper related stops? So, I recommend Maker Goods in Westpost with a stop at Char Bar if you want to partake in some fine BBQ cuisine in a casual environment. Or grab some bagels from Mesuggah Bagels on 39th St. or donuts from the local institution Lamars Donuts.

At Crown Center, there is the only pen shop in town, The Pen Place, but you can also grab a slice from Spin Pizza while you’re there or a concrete from Sheridan’s Frozen Custard. Its near Union Station and the KC Aquarium which both offer touristy activities should you be looking to entertain yourself for an afternoon.

In the Crossroads, near Crown Center is Hammerpress which creates letterpress cards and also sells an assortment of stationery goods. Its not far from the Up/Down arcade, the Roasterie and Boulevard Brewery which both host tours.

And in the Country Club Plaza area is Paper Source along with lots of standard shopping, eating and drinking fare. Its close to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art which is a diverse museum with a fabulous gift shop. Their courtyard restaurant is also a nice place to hang out as is the  wide front lawn with the epic (and iconic) shuttlecocks.

Written by

7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. For Jonathan: Ana does a great job but had lots to type. The first location she mentioned is Westport. Easy to see some crazy autocorrect of Westpost.

    If you and your wife enjoy history, then you can see the nation’s official World War I Museum located near Union Station and Crown Center.

    It is free to roam around Union Station, but Science City and any movies or planetarium shows have fees. It also costs to park there.

    The Country Club Plaza has free parking, both street and garage. It’s a shopping district that has the look of Seville, Spain.

    The Pen Place is on the lower level of Crown Center, near the food court area, near the center of the lower level.

    1. I recommended Char Bar as an alternate option to Oklahoma Joe’s since its the original grillmaster from Joe’s new venture and its not quite as long a line to get a table. Have you had their muffins? Amazing! But Joe’s is a BBQ legend in KC and definitely worth the wait.

  2. with regards to the first question: considering the parker refill tends to be a standard with most pens (yuck) does that mean from the answer you received (from goldspot) i can replace the horrible ball pen with a G2 fine point refill? i’m sorry if this is repetitive – but i’m hoping you respond and the response will be in the positive because then whoo hoo so many terrible pens can become awesome! thanking you in advance…

    1. The G2 refill is a bit longer than a standard Parker refill but since the G2 is a plastic refill it can be trimmed down to potentially fit. I say potentially because depending on the shaped of the pen, this may or may not work. Mike Rohde of Sketchnote fame has used this “hack” to fit G2 refills into his Retro 51s. There’s a photo and link to his hack on the Refill Guide page. Its a $2 gamble. You might attempt it with an old or empty refill to see if it fits first before investing in new ones. Best of luck.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.