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Shipping Well On Its Way, And Some Pen Tips ....

Posted by wimg , in FPN Pens 16 December 2011 · 801 views

Dearest members of the digital fountain pen nut house,

It has been several weeks already since shipping started, and many of the FPN LE Passportos in Chrome trim and in Gold Coloured trim have been collected by DHL in the beautiful town of Florence in Italy and have found their way to their respective new owners. For a few pictures of these pens, you can check here: http://www.fountainp...to-on-the-road/, or obviously in the FPN Pens forum. The Modello-Ts and Etrurias are expected to start shipping this week.


A few useful, we hope, tips follow here, based on questions we received so far.


1. Removal/Exchange of Passaporto nibs.

We've had a few questions regarding exchanging the nib units on the Passaportos, as those proved rather hard to remove, and we now have nib exchange / removal instructions which work very well, thanks to inkspot and Maja, who simultaneously and independently discovered the way to do this!  

The nib itself can be removed and replaced quite easily, all you need is something to increase your grip, like a piece of flexible rubber matting, and if you have a good grip with your fingers, it may even be possible to do this just with one's bare hands. I gave it  a go with a thin, rubber, flexible mouse mat, and it worked like a charm!

Essentially, the trick is to grip the sides of the nib, by the shoulders, with the rubber mat in my case, and just pull. You may have to wriggle a little, but the nib will come out quite easily that way, leaving the feed in place. I didn't have to wriggle, BTW, I could just pull it out quite easily in a straight line.

Next pull the nib from the nib unit you'd like to install, and insert that nib by pushing it up over the feed, all the way as far as it will go, again using the rubber matting for increased grip (and to avoid ending up with a nib point in one's skin :D). Just check that it is seated properly, tight to the feed, and adjust if necessary.

That's all, easy-peasy. Took less than a minute to do. And because it is a tight fit, I reckon it is almost impossible to get it wrong. :D  


2. Shipping info and tracking numbers.

We send out emails with tracking numbers and a link to the DHL site in order to follow the shipping trail. Essentially, these emails contain a personalized note, with the tracking number for your order, and a url, and they are sent from info@fountainpennetwork.com, which is a no-reply email address created for exactly this type of message.

If messages from FPN end up in your regular mailbox, these should too, but if they don't, better check your spam folder.


3. Passaporto nib sizes.

The Passaporto F and M nibs tend to be a little on the narrow side compared to "regular" European nib sizes, more like Japanese nibs, maybe slightly bigger. Furthermore, as Etruria S.r.l. indicated when asked, there is some variation in nib width, as is the case with all nibs anyway. However, from all accounts they do write very, very smoothly, and quite impressively so based on comments received so far.

Having said this, the 1.1 italic nibs are true to size, they really lay down a 1.1 mm wide vertical stroke. This is typical for all Stipula italic nibs: the line laid down is indeed as wide as it says in the descriptive nib name :D.


4. Initial starting problems / rinsing and priming a nib and feed.

New pens, especially hand made ones like the Stipulas, may have some residual grease in the feed etc. when coming straight from the box, and as a result may start with difficulty initially.

The best thing to do obviously is to remove any residu, and this can be done quite easily, by rinsing the nib and feed with a soapy solution. A soapy solution is essentially a smallish glass filled with some water and one to two drops of a neutral dishwashing liquid, stirred, not shaken :D. A neutral dishwashing liquid is one without additives like perfumes and skin softeners etc. Generally, the cheapest available will do very nicely.

Rinsing the nib and feed can be done most easily when the pen is a piston filler, or in case of Passaporto or Modello-T, with a converter, international size. Just insert the converter in the pen, and in case of the Passaporto it doesn't matter that the size of the converter is too big to screw on the barrel, because we will not do that anyway. Next fill the pen through the nib with the soapy solution and squirt the solution out again, into the sink or into another glass. Repeat this a few (2-4) times, remove converter if appropriate, and dry the nid/feed/pen a little, with a soft cloth or tissue.

Now fill the pen with a few drops of a simple ink, which flows well and has good lubrication characteristics. The amount roughly contained in a single short international cartridge is ample for this purpose. A simple ink as described, is f.e. Waterman Blue Black, Waterman Florida Blue, or Waterman South Seas Blue. I use such an ink to, what I have called several years ago, "priming the feed", i.e., somehow get the ink channels and feed itself thoroughly soaked in a good ink, thereby "priming" it to be used with any other, potentially more complex ink thereafter. The big advantage is that an ink as mentioned will make the initial writing process a pleasant one, whereas a complex, heavily saturated ink will potentially make this an arduous task. Complex inks often take several fills to prime a nib, and during that period one may experience a lot of skipping and slow or bad starting. Based on my own tests this proved to be anything from 2 to 15 cartridges full of ink (that is without rinsing the nib and feed as well). Priming a feed with a well behaved, simple ink avoids this, and sets the pen up for a more complex ink thereafter.


5. Increasing ink flow / making the nibs write wetter.

The Passaporto nibs are medium wet writers, with rather tightly spaced tines, writing relatively thin lines as a result. Increasing ink flow is possible, but this needs to be done properly in order not to change nib geometry and potentially cause problems, like ink pooling.

The best way to increase ink flow, is to use a brass feeler gauge, thickness 0.002 " or 0.05 mm. By lack of this, a piece of a thin transparant overhead sheet may be used as well. Just wriggle this between the nib tines and tipping, if need be by carefully pushing one of the tines down or up a tiny bit with a finger nail, and slowly but carefully pulling the feeler gauge or piece of sheeting between the tines and tipping ends, essentially carefully flossing the nib if you like.

Repeat this process until ink flow is as expected. IOW between attempts you need to try if the result is satisfactory.  If it appears that the feeler gauge is too thin to achieve the desired effect, you may want to try a 0.004 " or 0.10 mm gauge.

In case you don't have or can't find a brass feeler gauge, you may try a stainless steel one, just be very careful, as stainless steel is much tougher and harder than brass, and may more easily damage nib tipping, or scratch the nib.


6. Reporting problems with your pen(s)

If e.g., skipping cannot be fixed by rinsing the pen, or anything else for that matter, do report this to undersigned, by means of a PM, or preferably an email (check my profile to send an email), and we will try to answer as quickly as possible, and/or follow this up with Etruria S.r.l. where and if needed.


So far this update, and a few tips. If you do have tips yourself, please do post them, they are always appreciated.

Warm regards, Wim
On behalf of the FPN Admin Team




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penspouse
Dec 16 2011 15:44
Very helpful. Thanks, Wim!
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LizWrites
Dec 16 2011 15:49
Thanks for this central location for helpful tips, Wim. Love my new Passie!
Thanks Wim. I apologize for this dumb question but just to confirm, the messages with the shipping details will be sent to our email address that FPN uses to communicate with us. Nothing is being sent by PM.

Very helpful. Thanks, Wim!

It'sa pleasure :D.

Thanks for this central location for helpful tips, Wim. Love my new Passie!

So do I, it is a little beauty, and amazingly sized correctly when posted :D.

Warm regards, Wim

Thanks Wim. I apologize for this dumb question but just to confirm, the messages with the shipping details will be sent to our email address that FPN uses to communicate with us. Nothing is being sent by PM.

Hi Mike,

Yes, you will receive an email directed at the address used in your billing info.

HTH, warm regards, Wim

If it appears that the feeler gauge is too thin to achieve the desired effect, you may want to try a 0.04 " or 0.10 mm gauge.


In the line above (3rd paragraph of part 5--"Increasing ink flow / making the nibs write wetter"), did you mean to write 0.004" instead of 0.04" ?

Sorry to nit-pick about an otherwise-excellent article, Wim. It has some really good tips for rinsing and priming that apply to pretty much all new fountain pens. I plan to use Waterman Florida Blue to prime my Passaporto :D

If it appears that the feeler gauge is too thin to achieve the desired effect, you may want to try a 0.04 " or 0.10 mm gauge.

In the line above (3rd paragraph of part 5--"Increasing ink flow / making the nibs write wetter"), did you mean to write 0.004" instead of 0.04" ?Sorry to nit-pick about an otherwise-excellent article, Wim. It has some really good tips for rinsing and priming that apply to pretty much all new fountain pens. I plan to use Waterman Florida Blue to prime my Passaporto :D



Looks correct to me.

1 inch being about 2.54 cm, or 1 cm about .4 inch


D.ick
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Bipedallou
Dec 20 2011 00:04
1. Removal/Exchange of Passaporto nibs.

The nib itself can be removed and replaced quite easily, all you need is something to increase your grip, like a piece of flexible rubber matting, and if you have a good grip with your fingers, it may even be possible to do this just with one's bare hands. I gave it a go with a thin, rubber, flexible mouse mat, and it worked like a charm!

Essentially, the trick is to grip the sides of the nib, by the shoulders, with the rubber mat in my case, and just pull. You may have to wriggle a little, but the nib will come out quite easily that way, leaving the feed in place. I didn't have to wriggle, BTW, I could just pull it out quite easily in a straight line.

Next pull the nib from the nib unit you'd like to install, and insert that nib by pushing it up over the feed, all the way as far as it will go, again using the rubber matting for increased grip (and to avoid ending up with a nib point in one's skin :D). Just check that it is seated properly, tight to the feed, and adjust if necessary.

That's all, easy-peasy. Took less than a minute to do. And because it is a tight fit, I reckon it is almost impossible to get it wrong. :D

Doesn't sound "easy-peasy" , and potentially nib damaging for those less mechanically adapt.

I am a bit confussed because I thought the nib was a screw-in nib/feed assembly. But here are you telling me, a) to pull the nib off the feed attached to the pen, B) pull the replacement(extra) nib off the feed it came attached to from Stipula, c) push the exchange nib onto the feed attached to the pen, and d) (not stated but probably best to do), attached the removed nib to the extra feed?

This begs the question: why did the 1.1 Italic nib I bought come attached to a feed that at least looks like it was meant to screw in? I thought nib exchange on the Passaporto was going to be just like the old (but excellent) Esterbrooks and the Pelikan Souveran pnes. Did I miss something?:embarrassed_smile:
Lou
Hi Lou,

That was indeed the case, and I am still waiting for a final reply from Etruria on this. Apparently the design of the Passaporto was changed, in order to make extra sure it wouldn't leak any ink at all. Unfortunately, this makes it very hard to unscrew the nib unit as a whole, once screwed in, and it looks like that is caused by the resistance from the extra O-ring between nib unit and section.

There may still be another way to do this, but I am waiting for a response from Etruria first.

BTW, pulling the nib this way is really not that difficult. As long as you only grab it by the shoulders, with something to increase your grip. I honestly wouldn't have said it was easy if it wasn't. I was surprised, actually, to see how easy it was, especially considering what I did try before I tried this method a day later. Damaging the nib by pulling it out that way is rather hard: you'd need a vice like grip, literally, in order to do so, and even then the feed will still protect it.

If you are really worried about this, I suggest pulling the nib from the separate nib unit first: this is the hardest to do, as the nib unit is a lot smaller than the section, and hence provides less grip. Maybe use a rubber mat or something for extra grip for the unit as well. That way you will have the experience first prior to tackling the nib in the pen itself.

HTH, warm regards, Wim
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Bipedallou
Dec 20 2011 19:58
Thanks for responding so quickly Wim. I'm still leery about pulling off the nib from the feed...but I'm probably just afraid of damaging my beautiful little Passaporto and having to send it to a knowledgeable and practiced pen repair person. Of course once I work up the nerve, and having convinced myself I'd really do want to try the Italic nib I purchased, I'll try to do it myself, (and probably laugh over how foolish my reluctance to do so was).
But in the mean time I'll wait a little longer for the answer from Stipula about how to utilize the screw out/ in method the nib/feed assembly seems to be designed with. However, I beginning to suspect that this may prove even more iffy than just replacing the nib, (certainly don't want to cause a leak to develop!).
Hoping to learn more soon,
Lou

Delivery of my Stipulas before Christmas is looking less and less likely. Oh well, on to Plan B.

Ram
Hi Ram,

They are busy preparing your package, I can see in the latest update we got. This means it will ship at the earliest by tomorrow, and possibly later, unfortunately.

Warm regards, Wim

Hi Ram,They are busy preparing your package, I can see in the latest update we got. This means it will ship at the earliest by tomorrow, and possibly later, unfortunately.Warm regards, Wim



Thanks, Wim, and Merry Christmas.
Thank you Ram, and Merry Christmas to you too. There are currently 189 items in the QC queue prior to shipping :D. Shipping will resume on Dec. 27 now.

Warm regards, Wim
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SamCapote
Dec 26 2011 05:11
Wim, do you know of an affordable set of feeler gauges that could be used for this, and for other pen nib slits?
Hi Sam,

The ones you can find in car parts/tools store to set valve clearances etc. should do fine, and you don't need an extensive set, as long as the smaller ones are in the set (0.001 " and 0.002 "). Those go for about 3 euros here, be it in metric (0.05 mm and 0.10 mm). They are the ones in a reactangular holder, held together with a turning knob at one end, and when turning it loose you can take one out similar in a way to a swiss army knife.

Something like this: Stainless steel gauges
Ideally a bronze one, like this I guess: Bronze gauges

HTH, warm regards, Wim
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MCosta77777
Dec 26 2011 18:15
Hi,

I just got my Modelo-T today.
Very fast shipping from Italy. Pen was well packed and is already inked.
Writes like a dream and is very nice. The titanium nib was a pleasent surprise as I have never used one before.
The pen is not solid blue. There are some light swirls on the cap that gives it some personality. I bet that the pens are all going to be slightly diferent. Mine is number 32/120. Looks and feels alot like my Sheaffer Balance II

Personaly, I wish to thank the whole team who worked so hard to get this project done.

Cheers from Portugal,
Miguel
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SamCapote
Dec 27 2011 02:40

Hi Sam,

The ones you can find in car parts/tools store to set valve clearances etc. should do fine, and you don't need an extensive set, as long as the smaller ones are in the set (0.001 " and 0.002 "). Those go for about 3 euros here, be it in metric (0.05 mm and 0.10 mm). They are the ones in a reactangular holder, held together with a turning knob at one end, and when turning it loose you can take one out similar in a way to a swiss army knife.

Something like this: Stainless steel gauges
Ideally a bronze one, like this I guess: Bronze gauges

HTH, warm regards, Wim



Thanks!

For others looking at this, I found a great deluxe set for $4.00 & free shipping from Amazon Prime at this link.
Just got my shipment notice for my Modello T and Passaporto. They are in NYC and headed towards the West Coast! Hooray! Thanks Wim - the notification worked really well and it was fun see the progress of the package - originating in one of most favorite cities of the world (Florence)!



Wow, you've got Wim speachless....

D.ick

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