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Five Bad Things That Happen With New Pens


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#21 troglokev

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 11:16

Thanks for pointing that out. I'll make a change.

#22 pelman

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 13:50

Echoing others - excellent. Simple and easy to follow. Thank you.

#23 wimg

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 22:14

Misaligned tines
Posted Image Through a loupe, the tipping looks like this.
Pen feels scratchy, may skip in a particular direction.
The cure is to bring the tines into alignment (carefully!)


How do u exactly align the tines?
How powerful of a loupe do you need to fix a pelikan m600?
My nib got scratchy and I still dont know how to align

The procedure for fixing this goes by the very scientific term of "nib twanging" :D.

Check post 2 in this topic, or post 2 in this one.

You can also check here, where I also explain an alternative method to a feeler gauge for increasign ink flow, as a feeler may actually damage the nib or nib tipping relatively easily if you are not very careful.

Warm regards, Wim

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#24 wimg

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 22:27

Interesting, I was under the impression that some crazy high grit count from Home Depot was better.
I have heard of 14,000 grit count... but a normal nail buffer will do?

The nail buffers that I'm referring to have a 12,000 grit count on the grey side.

Are you really sure about that?

The finest ones I know don't have a listed grit count at all, and they seem very similar to my 3000 grit mylar, maybe slightly finer, say 4000 grit. Due to the softness of the padding it may appear they are of finer grit because they are less abrasive as a result than a sheet of mylar of the same grit.

It is very easy to check if it is (much) finer than 3000 or 4000 grit, because although 4000 grit may be fine enough to polish jet plane cockpits for maximum transparancy, it will make the tipping of a pen look grey, like dull gun metal. It has to look polished, i.e., very smooth and shiny, which means you need about 10000 grit or more.

For more information on nib smoothing, and my rather early experiences, and a bit of information on mylar and grit sizes, check this article.

You can also look here for further references: repair references.

Warm regards, Wim

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#25 wimg

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 22:49

If you don't mind too much, a few comments to parts which haven't been commented on a lot yet :D.

Poor gap set
Tines are squeezed together or too far apart. Pen has poor ink flow (too little, too much), may skip if the tines are too far apart.
The cure for too narrow a gap is to spread the tines of the nib. (see point 5 in John Mottishaw's excellent article).
Passing a thin (10 micron) brass shim between the tines can help with this problem.
Narrowing the gap requires removing the nib from the pen, squeezing the tines past each other so that they spring back to the correct position, and re-adjusting the alignment. Professional help is preferable, here.

You can also use thin transparancy film, see here.

Badly set feed
Posted Image There is a gap between nib and feed.
Pen alternately skips and floods.
Cure is to reset the feed. Feeds are made of thermoplastics or hard rubber, and become flexible with gentle heat. Use hot water to soften the feed and set it up against the nib.

In this picture it looks as if the nib is straight, and the feed inserted skew. However, this is always the other way around, as the feed only can be seated straight and inline with the section, unless the feed is bent or the section broken. So, if you want to be precise, the nib should be lifting up from the horizontal through the length axis of the feed and section :D.

Manufacturing gunk in the ink system
Pen skips or doesn't flow at all because oil in the ink channels in the feed or in the slit of the nib prevents the flow of water.
I always assume this is there, and flush a new pen with water before use. Sometimes standing the pen in ink overnight helps.

I have written many a post on this in the post - plain water generally isn't good enough, unless the pen has been cleaned and written with in the factory, liek happens with Waterman pens, and presumably with Parkers too.
Furthermore, you may want to do what I call "priming a feed" first, with a new pen.
Both points are addressed here: flushing a pen and priming a feed, also here, a bit more extensively.
More on priming a feed, and even more here, when answering a question on an Etruria :D.

That's it from me for now :D.

Warm regards, Wim

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#26 troglokev

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 23:42

Keep 'em coming Wim. It's all good information for new people.

Posted Image
is how the feed in my Rotring 600 was when I first got it (though I drew a generic open nib). It was NOS, and the feed had warped in a shop window, I suspect.

I agree that priming the feed is important (even more so with the modern plastic feeds). The surface is not very wettable straight from the factory floor, and needs to be in contact with something that will clean the surface for a while before it really gets going. I fill a pen and stand it in ink, for this, if it seems I need to. The old-style acid inks seem to work best. A bit of a sledgehammer approach, I know, but it works for me.

Can you add those references to the list in the original post for me? My edit window has expired.

Edited by troglokev, 06 March 2011 - 00:01.


#27 wimg

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 03:30

Can you maybe do a MultiQuote reply post, with all the posts from which you want to incorporate information, get rid of the quote blocks, the text you don't want , add anything else you want to add, and then post that reply? I'll copy it next to the main post for you - I don't particularly like the idea of editing a good post, and this way we'd prevent going backwards and forwards on what you'd really want in the text as well :).

To MultiQuote: select all the posts you want in one new reply post, including your topic starter (mark the tick boxes at the top right of each individual post you want included), go to the bottom of the topic, and click Add Reply underneath the topic, and then edit the post. After editing it is Add Reply again :D.

Warm regards, Wim

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#28 Lince

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:19

When you are seting the feed, do you do it mounted on the section with the nib, Or everything apart?

#29 wimg

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 14:55

When you are seting the feed, do you do it mounted on the section with the nib, Or everything apart?

Setting the feed should really be done with everything taken apart. Setting only the nib can be done without taking out feed and nib, provided it isn't too bad - you shouldn't apply too much force because you could wack the nib out of alignment. Personally, I most often pull nib and feed and reinsert them, once I align the nib properly on the feed.

In the case of a bent feed, like trogoklev had, you need to slightly warm it up and bend it straight again, if that is possible. Best is to replace it with a new one, however.

Warm regards, Wim

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#30 PenFan95

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 19:01

Uhh...shouldn't problems like 'Baby Bottom' that require grinding be sent to an experienced nib technician like Richard Binder, just to be safe?

Nice guide BTW. :thumbup: It helped me align my cheapo Vector's tines!
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#31 wimg

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 20:06

If you do have exprerience with nib smoothing, the next step would be to fix a baby bottom.

Essentially, one could say that a baby bottom nib a nib is with oversmoohed inner tine edges. They need some smoothing, in order to make sure the pen doesn't hook on the paper, but if the slit is too far from the paper due to excessive rounding, the pen will skip or not write at all.

BTW, just to complicate matters: the baby bottom can be partial, i.e., under a certain angle it will write, and under another it will skip - the latter due to spots where too much tipping has been removed from the inner slit sides, whereas in other places it still is ok :D. First time I discovered that I had been going through quite a bit of frustration :D.

Warm regards, Wim .

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#32 troglokev

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 08:45

Uhh...shouldn't problems like 'Baby Bottom' that require grinding be sent to an experienced nib technician like Richard Binder, just to be safe?


I believe I suggested that :)

Sooner or later, people like to give these things a try, though. Fixing baby bottom is quite tricky, because you can make the problem worse if you press too hard.

Posted Image
You are trying to remove material from the tipping, and to preserve the general shape of the contact, which means grinding the outside of the nib.

Posted Image
If you press too hard, the tines slide against each other, and you end up taking material from the inside of the tine. :doh:

Nice guide BTW. :thumbup: It helped me align my cheapo Vector's tines!

I'm glad it was useful to you. Nib alignment is a simple thing to fix, but it makes a big difference.

Edited by troglokev, 07 March 2011 - 08:46.


#33 michelim

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 10:11

Great reference topic!! :thumbup:
Posted Image

#34 PenFan95

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 23:33

Uhh...shouldn't problems like 'Baby Bottom' that require grinding be sent to an experienced nib technician like Richard Binder, just to be safe?


I believe I suggested that :)

Sooner or later, people like to give these things a try, though. Fixing baby bottom is quite tricky, because you can make the problem worse if you press too hard.

Posted Image
You are trying to remove material from the tipping, and to preserve the general shape of the contact, which means grinding the outside of the nib.

Posted Image
If you press too hard, the tines slide against each other, and you end up taking material from the inside of the tine. :doh:

Nice guide BTW. :thumbup: It helped me align my cheapo Vector's tines!

I'm glad it was useful to you. Nib alignment is a simple thing to fix, but it makes a big difference.


Oops, my bad :embarrassed_smile: I've tried once...I ground the whole tip off of that Hero.

About the nib alignment, too true...had to align a new Hero's tines which was writing like it was a sharp nail...now, it's still a nail, but a blunt one :roflmho:

Heroes are good pens for experimenting...but not much else, I think. Unless the nib is ground, of course... :eureka:

Edited by PenFan95, 09 March 2011 - 23:35.

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#35 mizcutiepielivzi

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 16:57

:thumbup:I is thanking you! lol
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#36 Phormula

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:37

Many thanks for the excellent advice. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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#37 Alberez

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 22:22

I've done my own research, looking for the appropriate sanding paper, and found this store where they sell tools and implements for micro toys repair. Here are a couple of links for sanding files and paper:

http://www.micromark...-of-2,7354.html

http://www.micromark...Sheet,7605.html

http://www.micromark...Sheet,7606.html

http://www.micromark...Sheet,7607.html

I have used them and they are excellent. They have a cushioned cloth backing. I use them on top of a spongy old style mouse pad, for extra cushioning.
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#38 BlueHeaven

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 01:15

Oh, thank you! Very useful info - Things don't sound quite so scary.

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#39 daaceking

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 18:27

What is the elastic region and plastic region of steel? I wouldn't have thought they nib would be easily reshaped

#40 troglokev

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:35

What is the elastic region and plastic region of steel? I wouldn't have thought they nib would be easily reshaped

You generally don't want to reshape the nib more than a very small amount. Remember, this is something you can only really see with the aid of a loupe! I've never had any trouble with either steel or gold. Titanium might be another matter.

Also, remember that (as Wim pointed out) misalignment can be due to the nib not being lined up with the feed correctly. If you fix that, you may well find that the misalignment is much reduced.




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