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Vintage Flex Nibs - Noisy?


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#1 nik911sc

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:19

In my quest to expand my collection having been a single FP pen user (a Classique 144) for the last 20 years, I decided to get a nice restored 50's vintage 144 (refer avatar) . Although its an amazing and stunning pen, I find that the nib which is more flexible than the modern 144's is actually a little noisy i.e. flexing metal noisy

My question to those of you with 50's MB's is, are your nibs a little noisy also or do you think there may be something wrong with the nib and or feed?

Thanks in advance.

p.s. I had one FP in 20 years and now I have 5 since joining this forum 3 months ago. I think I have been bitten by the pen bug.

Edited by nik911sc, 01 February 2011 - 14:32.


#2 handwriter

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:42

There can be several reasons why it is noisy. It can be just scratchy as a result of tine misalignment, a problem relatively easy to correct. Or because the tip is just too small and sharp and catches paper in the upstrokes; the noise will be similar to what you would hear if you scratch the paper with a needle. Or maybe your nib is "singing", in which case the noise will be different. See Richard Binder's glossary (http://www.richardsp.../glossary/S.htm), in particular "singing". In general, Richard's site is a wealth of great info.
IMHO the writing style must change a bit from what one is used to when beginning to use a flexible nib, making sure to press only in the downstrokes. Plenty of info about it here at FPN.
Good luck.
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#3 Fuddlestack

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:43

If the flexing noise involves clicking suspect cracks, probably radiating from the breather hole, which is where flexing stress is highest. Distributing the stress is why there's a hole there on most pens, it's not necessarily a vent. A careful peek with the 10x handlens should show them up.

Edited by Fuddlestack, 01 February 2011 - 12:45.

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#4 Richard

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 13:30

In my quest to expand my collection having been a single FP pen user (a Classique 144) for the last 20 years, I decided to get a nice restored 50's vintage 144 (refer avatar) . Although its an amazing and stunning pen, I find that the nib which is more flexible than the modern 144's is actually a little noisy i.e. flexing metal noisy

I'm not sure what that kind of noisy means, unless it's clicks. Clicks can happen because the nib is misaligned or because the tip is worn so that sharp edges on the tip catch over each other. These are both remediable problems.

The other noise that I find many vintage nibs to make is "talking." From my glossary:

talking: A scratchy sound made by a nib that is actually smooth, not scratchy. (A nib that is perfectly tuned can still be talky.) Nibs that talk appear to cause the paper under them to vibrate rather than vibrating themselves as do nibs that sing, and the result is a sound reminiscent of the scratchiness of old dip nibs. See also singing.


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#5 CS388

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 14:52

My old 149 has an 18C tri-coloured nib, quite flexy. It has a delightful squeak (singing?) when moving from right to left on the page.

It's an excellent writer (courtesy of John Sorowka, who did some repair work on it), so I've left the squeak alone. On longer writing sessions, it can seem like (slow) morse code. Maybe it's trying to tell me something!

Personally, I'm quite fond of the squeak and would miss it if it disappeared.

#6 nik911sc

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 11:56

I'm not sure what that kind of noisy means, unless it's clicks. Clicks can happen because the nib is misaligned or because the tip is worn so that sharp edges on the tip catch over each other. These are both remediable problems.

The other noise that I find many vintage nibs to make is "talking." From my glossary:


Thanks for all the advice. I have taken your comments onboard and have a done a thorough investigation and confirm Richard was on the money. The nibs are misaligned and causing it to 'click'.

I will drop Richard a line to discuss remediation.

Thanks again for all your input.

#7 Richard

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 18:36

This thread has convinced me to add "clicking" to my glossary:

clicking: A sound made by a nib whose tines are misaligned such that the tips touch; when there are sharp corners or burrs on the inside edges of the tipping material, one tine can catch above or below the other, and the nib will click as the caught tine is released when the writer presses down slightly to begin a stroke. See also singing, talking.


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