Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Topics in this category pertain to planning. Discussions include how to prepare yourself, your family and your community for catastrophes and what you plan to do when they hit you.

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Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by FrostWatch » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:28 pm

So I was wondering what are some nice things to stockpile on, things that don't really expire and you are bound to use, and should a zombie apocalypse actually happen, would be next to impossible to make yourself. I thought of how important stationery in general would be in a post apocalyptic world. Writing things down would become very much needed to take inventory, record data, communicate, and even just pass the time with mindless doodling or writing. The good thing about stocking up on stationery is that paper and pens/pencils are fairly cheap, don't really expire, and don't take up much space. I'd imagine pens and paper would become a very sought after bartering item in a post apocalyptic world.

Currently I am trying to find out how to test certain pens to see which is objectively better. My current favourite is my trusty Sarasa 0.7mm pen from Zebra, one of those things got me through a full semester of university and it writes smooth and dark, no leaking or bleeding either, but I want to see if there are better ones out there.

Aside from quality, there is also the matter of how much each pen writes, unfortunately pens don't really have that information written on the packaging so I'll probably have to test it for myself by taking the pens I like, finding out how long a line I can draw with it (that sounds fun), and finding out the distance/money.

So. Anyone got any specifics? What stationery you planning on stocking up on? Any old pen good for you or you got a model in mind?

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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by raptor » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:27 pm

A mechanical pencil is the way to go. I have had several of these all my working life.

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The leads do not dry up or leak and the thick .7mm lead is easy to write and read.

http://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Mechanical ... B002XJX968" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Hi-Polymer ... d_sim_op_9" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by Pondo_Sinatra » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:51 am

raptor wrote:A mechanical pencil is the way to go. I have had several of these all my working life.
Not to mention a 12 pack of lead refill tubes will last you a loooooooong time. I still have a few of those plastic and paper lead tubes left over from when I was in school decades ago.

A box of good mechanical pencils, a decent supply of leads, and a box of erasers should set you up for quite some time.

(0.5mm is my favorite, currently carry a Zebra pencil in my take-to-work pack.)

Now, if you have your heart set on pens, a case of these should last a while.

I like "nice" pens, but I've been carrying those BIC "Cristal" pens for about forever, and have found them to be one of the most reliable writing instruments I have ever used, and they're pretty darn cheap to boot.

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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by Ableto » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:27 pm

raptor wrote:A mechanical pencil is the way to go. I have had several of these all my working life.

Image

The leads do not dry up or leak and the thick .7mm lead is easy to write and read.

http://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Mechanical ... B002XJX968" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Hi-Polymer ... d_sim_op_9" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I actually have that specific mechanical pencil but in black. Had it for years. Great for all the drawing i like to do.
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by BloodLust » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:50 am

dont forget permanent markers. I keep an extra dozen pack of assorted color Sharpies and another dozen of the black.
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by BullOnParade » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:13 pm

I buy sharpies by the dozen for use at work (writing on steel). I've learnt a few ways to revive them if they've started to dry out (often it's the tip, not a lack of ink behind it). There's a sharpie in all of my kits.

I just bought a stainless steel sharpie pen to test out, a little pricey, but refillable ink and a sharp looking pen, I figured it's pretty close to a tactical pen without the mark up of being marketed as tactical. Considering the stainless sharpie marker as well, just to have the matching set.

But my go to pen since high school has been Pentel EnerGels. The ink doesn't bleed through paper, writes smoothly, and they last forever. I remember packing one for my grade 12 english exam which I could see was running low, so I packed a backup for when the first ran out, the first pen not only lasted through a 9 page essay exam, but three other exams in the following week. I used to pick them up at Walmart, but I bought two dozen when I was in college and still have a couple left laying around.

Edit: I've always had trouble with the lead in mechanical pencils breaking and not wanting to feed properly. Is this fixed by purchasing higher quality pencils/lead?
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by BigDaddyTX » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:42 pm

BullOnParade wrote:I buy sharpies by the dozen for use at work (writing on steel). I've learnt a few ways to revive them if they've started to dry out (often it's the tip, not a lack of ink behind it). There's a sharpie in all of my kits.

I just bought a stainless steel sharpie pen to test out, a little pricey, but refillable ink and a sharp looking pen, I figured it's pretty close to a tactical pen without the mark up of being marketed as tactical. Considering the stainless sharpie marker as well, just to have the matching set.

But my go to pen since high school has been Pentel EnerGels. The ink doesn't bleed through paper, writes smoothly, and they last forever. I remember packing one for my grade 12 english exam which I could see was running low, so I packed a backup for when the first ran out, the first pen not only lasted through a 9 page essay exam, but three other exams in the following week. I used to pick them up at Walmart, but I bought two dozen when I was in college and still have a couple left laying around.

Edit: I've always had trouble with the lead in mechanical pencils breaking and not wanting to feed properly. Is this fixed by purchasing higher quality pencils/lead?
You'll want a good quality pencil like those linked above, not the cheapo disposables. I don't think there is any bad graphite out there per se, but a box of the marginally more expensive kind seems to be best IMO. The little diamond shaped box with the cap on it, I can't remember the name right now. (go amazon) http://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Hi-Polymer ... 298&sr=1-2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I also recommend a good gel pen. Usually name brand and whatever feels best in your hand. I like the Bic Pilot series. For easy to read, pen. For writing somewhere it might get wet, pencil. Both are useful. Of course keeping a carpenters pencil around might be plenty effective instead of an automatic pencil since you could conceivably shave wood off and use it to light a fire.

Thanks for the info on a SS Sharpie.. now I need one.
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by crypto » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:15 pm

Im my more arty high school days I used to get the thinnest mechanical pencils I could possibly find, usually 0.5 or 0.3mm. They broke lead all the time. The death knell for all of them was dropping them on the metal tip, which would invariably bend it just enough to break the lead as it fed through.

In my old age I have moved to thicker leads. I only buy 0.7mm pencils for general work, and I have 0.9mm and 1.1mm pencils in the basement for marking wood with. I like them much more than carpenters pencils and the leads very rarely break. They're far more durable.
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by crypto » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:26 pm

In direct response to this thread though, which is pens, I think we can all safely agree that modern ball-points will go the way of the dodo if the world ever ends.

Unfortunately, while its relatively easy to make ink, it wont even work reliably with modern fountain pens, which are every bit as picky about ink as a roller-ball or ballpoint.


Here's the basic recipe for ink:

1/2 tsp lamp black (getting this much lamp black is going to be a royal pain in the dick, and take a long time. Fortunately it will make a lot of ink.)
1 egg yolk
1 tsp gum arabic ( try egg white if gum arabic is unavailable)
1/2 cup honey

That should store in a sealed bottle almost forever. You'll need to dilute it with water to use it.

This wont do too well in a modern fountain pen. It will work fine in the nib itself, but will gum up the reservoir after a few days in it.

You really need to learn how to make and use quill pens, which fortunately only require a bird and a sharp knife and a heat source.


http://www.flick.com/~liralen/quills/quills.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by Arsenul » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:10 pm



Plus it comes in key chain size, and other sizes. I think this is really useful personally. Better than a pencil or pen that looses the ink or lead.
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by crypto » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:20 pm

Silverpoint is another ancient technique.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverpoint" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Everything old is new again :D

If you had a roll of 1/8" solid core lead solder and a drafting pencil lead holder, you could probably write for the rest of your life.

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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:31 pm

crypto wrote:Silverpoint is another ancient technique.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverpoint" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Everything old is new again :D

If you had a roll of 1/8" solid core lead solder and a drafting pencil lead holder, you could probably write for the rest of your life.

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Only mildly poisonous, right? That's a serious question. I know it sounds silly from someone who works in a lead-filled environment, but is there an increased risk of lead poisoning with using actual lead instead opf nontoxic ink or lead pencils?
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by crypto » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:03 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
crypto wrote:Silverpoint is another ancient technique.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverpoint" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Everything old is new again :D

If you had a roll of 1/8" solid core lead solder and a drafting pencil lead holder, you could probably write for the rest of your life.

Image
Only mildly poisonous, right? That's a serious question. I know it sounds silly from someone who works in a lead-filled environment, but is there an increased risk of lead poisoning with using actual lead instead opf nontoxic ink or lead pencils?
Well, the lead itself has chronic exposure hazards of course, but I dont think its a large problem for you.

Us lefties, however, would be considerably more at risk. That said, between that leadholder and the $30 inkless pen above, they represent a low lead risk due to the fact that you're not gripping the lead itself. the lead holder mitigates almost all of the contact exposure.
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:08 pm

crypto wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
crypto wrote:Silverpoint is another ancient technique.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverpoint" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Everything old is new again :D

If you had a roll of 1/8" solid core lead solder and a drafting pencil lead holder, you could probably write for the rest of your life.

Image
Only mildly poisonous, right? That's a serious question. I know it sounds silly from someone who works in a lead-filled environment, but is there an increased risk of lead poisoning with using actual lead instead opf nontoxic ink or lead pencils?
Well, the lead itself has chronic exposure hazards of course, but I dont think its a large problem for you.

Us lefties, however, would be considerably more at risk. That said, between that leadholder and the $30 inkless pen above, they represent a low lead risk due to the fact that you're not gripping the lead itself. the lead holder mitigates almost all of the contact exposure.
I may pick some of these up for the shop. RESEARCH, HO!
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by BullOnParade » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:15 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
crypto wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
crypto wrote:Silverpoint is another ancient technique.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverpoint" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Everything old is new again :D

If you had a roll of 1/8" solid core lead solder and a drafting pencil lead holder, you could probably write for the rest of your life.

Image
Only mildly poisonous, right? That's a serious question. I know it sounds silly from someone who works in a lead-filled environment, but is there an increased risk of lead poisoning with using actual lead instead opf nontoxic ink or lead pencils?
Well, the lead itself has chronic exposure hazards of course, but I dont think its a large problem for you.

Us lefties, however, would be considerably more at risk. That said, between that leadholder and the $30 inkless pen above, they represent a low lead risk due to the fact that you're not gripping the lead itself. the lead holder mitigates almost all of the contact exposure.
I may pick some of these up for the shop. RESEARCH, HO!
I could see it being useful for a PAW scenario, and in that case, lead poisoning is less of a concern compared to all the other things out there to kill you.
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:23 pm

BullOnParade wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote: I may pick some of these up for the shop. RESEARCH, HO!
I could see it being useful for a PAW scenario, and in that case, lead poisoning is less of a concern compared to all the other things out there to kill you.
I don't believe in the end of the world, but carpenter's pencils are a bitch and these may work better for me.
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by RecycledElectrons » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:26 pm

I've been saving pens and paper for decades, and can report:

Sharpies do eventually dry out, but they are great for large lettering. The Sharpie brand makrers do (greatly) outlast generics. Never trust a cheap permanent marker to last!

Space pens are my choice. They are on ebay. I use the gold-topped Apollo pens. Sharpie Pens are a close second. (I do mean pens, not tiny-tipped markers.)

Pencils do not dry out. There are some pencils called "World's Best Pencils" that really are. They are the ONLY ones I will buy. They are also called "Dixon Ticonderoga." Try writing then erasing with 5 different brands, and You will see why.

The best time to buy cheap paper is approaching: back to school sales.

Don't underestimate the value of large flip-pads for training and meetings.

There is such a thing as water-proof paper, but not at an affordable price.

The poor man's laminator is a roll of sealing tape.

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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by darius379 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:33 pm

Walmart has a pair of gel pens for 97 cents that are the best pens i have ever used. And taking notes in nursing school i go through a 1 sybject notbook almost every other chapter.
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by Fletch » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:39 pm

I've been playing with a bamboo dip pen I made recently, very very easy to make

Find something of an appropriate diameter, cut the end to a rough angle of your choosing,
I normally go about 40 degrees, and then just make a very fine slice up the center of your nib

They work fairly well, but do require some practice (any dip pen needs some practice)


Every day stuff is a parker rollerball, best combo of ball-point and wet ink everer!
Although the regular refills run out fairly quickly, the fine ones last a lot longer and
give you more bang for your buck.

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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by Rin » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:42 am

Just a quick note if someone decides to go the ultra-traditional quill route. Don't forget a rolling ink blotter and blotting paper. You're going to have to have something to prevent smears and it would suck to have to go back to the sand method of gathering up excess ink.

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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by tedbeau » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:59 pm

Good thread but I wonder why no one has mentioned paper!

I bought several "write anywhere" notepads. These are used by surveyors and such. The paper is water proof so the ink doesn't smudge or bleed. Also the paper does not fall apart when it gets wet.
Google Write Anywhere paper.

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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by crypto » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:40 am

Ive got a bunch of rite-in-the-rain pads, they're nice but hella expensive. All the treated papers are.
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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by Towanda » Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:17 am

Rhodia notebooks aren't treated, but the paper is pretty durable. I have a Rhodia pad that has survived a couple of dunkings while canoeing and has gotten wet but not soaked by rain. The paper dries out well enough to write on again. I have not tried writing in that notebook when it was wet.

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Re: Pens? Not even the apocalypse can kill paperwork!

Post by KentsOkay » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:48 am

I have a few packs of metal pen nibs I picked up from the thrift shop, I'd use these after the end of sharpies and ballpoints. I've made feather pens, and honestly, fuck that noise. After a page or so you have to recut the tip, and in maybe five pages you need a new feather.
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