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Five Bad Things That Happen With New Pens


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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.

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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:
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#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.

Blue

#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.

#41 dzahn215

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 17:24

Thank you for the information, that is very informative.

#42 troglokev

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 23:40

A further point to consider is that maybe the problem is not with the pen, but with the writer. A scratchy nib may well be the result of applying too much force on the pen. Try reducing your writing force before reaching for the abrasives.

The thing to remember is that writing pressure is not the same as writing force. Writing force is the force you apply to the page, but writing pressure is that force divided by the contact area. It's writing pressure that determines how much the pen digs into the paper.

The samples below were written with a range of pens, from extremely fine to a broad italic.

The Saibi Togi nib was particularly hard to get on with at first. It requires me to consciously reduce my writing force, but is quite smooth when I do.

The Sailor fine is a case in point. It's very smooth with my normal writing force, but if I bear down like a ballpoint user, the tines spread and the pen feels scratchy on cross strokes, as the inside edges catch on the paper. This is less of an issue with the Pilot and the Montblanc, both of which are stiffer nibs.

Once a nib is getting up to a western medium, (Graf von Faber Castell classic) the nib is quite smooth, even with ballpoint-user writing force.

At the other end of the scale, the Simpole pen is a broad italic, which brings up another issue of writing style that may affect smoothness with broader nibs. An italic has to be held so that the nib stays in full contact with the paper. Rotating the pen in your hand can bring the slit of the nib off the page, causing a skip.

Posted Image

#43 Justjcez

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 09:22

I was just staring at my pen this afternoon thinking that the tines were misaligned...How timely! Thanks for the post!

#44 hoche

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 17:21

great, very useful. thanks a lot.

#45 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 22:44

I find a 10 X loupe not quite strong enough. I read where some one said 20 X is too powerful. I think a 15 X loupe would be best.

If I was to run into some slow money. I'd buy a 15 X loupe and sell my 10 X.

Remember do not buy the cheap ones...there are coatings that go on good glass, that cheap ones don't have. Buy cheap get cheap...is not a good idea with a loupe...if you want it to really do it's work.

It's a once in a life time buy, and you can look at gold and silver hallmarks too.

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For that get a 'flexi' or a "flex" nib.

"

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#46 Markk

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 19:37

I find a 10 X loupe not quite strong enough. I read where some one said 20 X is too powerful. I think a 15 X loupe would be best.

If I was to run into some slow money. I'd buy a 15 X loupe and sell my 10 X.

Remember do not buy the cheap ones...there are coatings that go on good glass, that cheap ones don't have. Buy cheap get cheap...is not a good idea with a loupe...if you want it to really do it's work.

It's a once in a life time buy, and you can look at gold and silver hallmarks too.


True. Always go for the better quality on items like this and you'll never end up with regrets (at least with quality and durability)
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#47 Brian

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:42

This is a great post. Thanks for sharing.

#48 Brian

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:45

This is a great post. Thanks for sharing.

#49 mjchuang9

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 20:03

Hi troglokev,
I annoyed my Churchill about the misaligned tines for nearly a month. I do not have an idea of t he misalignment may be due to the nib being off centre on the feed. I screwed off the nib and slightly moved the feed to right side. It did work, now the tines are perfectly aligned. Thank you.Posted Image

#50 EMM

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 20:50

Great tips!
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#51 FloridaMike

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 23:33

This was an excellent and helpful post Thanks!
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#52 troglokev

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 09:14

Posted Image

#53 jslallar

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 22:12



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


1. Let your fingernails grow (you need nails to do this).

2. Pinch each tine between a pair of nails and pull or pinch accordingly, until the nib has been bent into the appropriate shape. Keep in mind that your WILL get ink on your hands. Sadly this is necessary. If you don't have ink in the pen, you'll never know if it writes smoothly when you test it. I've straightened out several nibs and it's not that hard. Frustrating and messy it may be, but it's not hard.



Hello all

Great post. Add my vote for pinning it.

Two things I do with my new 'scratchies' in addition to the above.

First I look them up with a loupe, and ONLY attempt a repair if the tines are bent down or up (single bend and smooth surface) . If there are more than one bends in the tines which appear like a wave (usually caused by attempts at pulling out the nib with a pair of pliers), or if the bend has a visible angle to it, you need an expert to set the nib right, both a steel nib as it is harder and less amenable to home tretament and the gold nibs simply due to thier cost if destroyed by amateur manipulations. Another way I detect a mishappen nib is by seeing the reflection of light (bulb eg) on the back suface, and at a certain angle you should be able to see the whole of the cut from the hole to the tip with one smooth shiny light reflection. Bent nibs would bend the light in different directoins and you wil never be able to see one straight line of reflection on them. This too with a loupe.

Second after setting the tines as best as I can I first move my index finger pulp gently over the back side (the side that we see, not the one in contact with the feed) tines especially feeling for the cut between the tines. If the tines are not aligned you will get a scratchy feel, whereas aligned tines will let your finger pass over them smoothly. As the pen is inked for the writing test which comes next it is even more messy, inking your hand more than the simple pocess of holding the tines and bending them to align, but saves me time and always gets me better results.

Edited by jslallar, 30 July 2011 - 22:14.

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#54 Phantomll

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 23:45

As someone who is new to fountain pens these tips are fantastic!
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#55 mizcutiepielivzi

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 17:33

so helpful! :))
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#56 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 06:56

good thread indeed :thumbup: Also with some brands like visconti, the finickyness of the filling system, bad ink flow or badly centered nib (also to be considered for other brands) can be a problem.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time
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#57 saketb

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 16:43

A very good topic in this forum. Well explained and very informative.

A must for people checking with problems prior to visiting a pen doctor.
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#58 Dimitrios_P

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 09:57

Very nice!

Thank you.
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#59 Dimitrios_P

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 00:01

Very useful.

Thank you!
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#60 krandallkraus

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 00:54

Hey everyone! Before you start Max Factoring your nibs to death, maybe take a breath and either Google or go to a local art supply store and look for some "Flex-i-Grit" Sanding Film. Made by K&S it's great micro sanding material. Comes in sheets. Each package has 1 sheet each of Chrome oxide .5 micron; Cerium Oxide 1.5 micron; Silicon Carbide 8 micron; Silicon Carbide 23 micron; Aluminum oxide 23 micron. This is the ONLY thing I would recommend you put to your nibs, ESPECIALLY those gold nibs you paid so much for. REALLY! This stuff has been a lifesaver for me because it allows you to start at the very lowest/safest roughness and then smooth it out gradually down to the smoothest polishing .5 micron texture.

Short of this, or if I find I can't make any headway, I send mine off to a nibmeister. These are my babies; I'm not going to put them in harm's way. I've heard way too many horror stories from folks trying to smooth their nibs only to eliminate the sweet spot all together and having to replace the entire nib or replace the sweet spot of iridium. Please take care.

Edited by krandallkraus, 14 September 2011 - 00:57.

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