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Five Bad Things That Happen With New Pens


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#101 Brien Crotty

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:19

A fantastic thread that should be reference material in the back pocket of every FP enthusiast!

Nicely done!

B

#102 quickdraw

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:44

I didn't have a loupe, only a childs magnifying glass. I couldn't quite remove all the scritch'n so I used a 4000 grit sanding stone and polished the nib with the edge of the stone. Worked like a charm. I made sure to use a side to side action with extremely small changes in the pen-to-stone angle so I didn't flatten the nib.

...After playing with this some more, I think I've got something nice...

I worked the nib on the stone as if I was writing with it, but in a small circle area half the diameter of a dime. Pretending to write, I could feel rough spots catch on the stone, probably because 4000 grit is a take-down grit. I'll have to look for a 10,000 or 15,000 cloth to finish it off, but it feels very very nice as it is!

And as a bonus, Amodex took all the ink off the stone!

Here is a video of what I did:

Edited by quickdraw, 11 January 2013 - 18:10.


#103 troglokev

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:23

I'm curious about using sandpaper to grind a nib.

No, I'm not talking 600 grit stuff you use to make your boards smooth.

I have 1000 and 2000 grit sandpaper used for lapping CPU heatsinks and wet sanding auto paint jobs.

The 2000 will actually put a high shine on copper.

Has anyone tried this?

I use 10,000 grit or better (in the form of nail buffers or lapping film). Lower grits will make the nib look shiny, but you'll notice a bit of drag as you write.

#104 FPaholic

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 14:32

Misaligned tines
Posted Image Through a loupe, the tipping looks like this.
The pen feels scratchy, and may skip in a particular direction.
The cure is to bring the tines into alignment (carefully!) using your fingers to (gently!) bend them.
Note that the misalignment may be due to the nib being off centre on the feed. Again, tweak the nib or feed (judiciously!) to bring it into alignment.

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.

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.

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.

Baby bottom
Posted Image The shape of the nib keeps the ink away from the paper.
Pen is a "hard starter". It writes well, but needs a bit of a push down on the nib to get it going. May skip a bit.
The cure is to grind away some of the tipping, to get a better shape. If you are at all unsure about doing this, seek a professional. I use a nail buffer, available for a small amount of money and a large sacrifice of dignity from the health and beauty section of the pharmacist. The finest grade buffer only!

Notes:
It is best to work out what your problem is, before trying to fix it. Many of the symptoms are similar, and fixing the wrong problem may damage your pen.

A 10x loupe is sufficent to see these problems, though some prefer to use magnifications as high as 20x.

A nail buffer is not an emery board. It is a thick thing with three or four grades of grit, the finest being gray, and smooth to the touch. Women apparently use it to bring their nails to a high degree of polish.

Grinding the nib is a last, not a first resort.

Further reading
It's also worth reading John Mottishaw's excellent article, Ludwig Tan's article on grinding italic nibs, and the articles in Richard Binder's reference page.
Arthur Twydle's article describes some of the more drastic measures taken in the past. I'm not a fan of spirit lamps and the like.

Edit: Added a notes section in response to some of the questions below


Fantastic. A must-read for all FP owners.

Cat C.
Posted Image

#105 Alberez

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 18:58

I'm curious about using sandpaper to grind a nib.

No, I'm not talking 600 grit stuff you use to make your boards smooth.

I have 1000 and 2000 grit sandpaper used for lapping CPU heatsinks and wet sanding auto paint jobs.

The 2000 will actually put a high shine on copper.

Has anyone tried this?

I use 10,000 grit or better (in the form of nail buffers or lapping film). Lower grits will make the nib look shiny, but you'll notice a bit of drag as you write.


Some time ago I posted in this same thread some links to a store that sells just what you need for your "grinding". It is the best sand paper I have seen around, since it is not rigid, like film sanding paper, which tends to create flat spots when you sand. This one has a "spongy" feel. I use mostly 8000 and 12000. Rougher than that is not recommendable, since you can ruin a nib in no time. Here are the links again:

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

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

Write on!
"In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act" - George Orwell, 1984

#106 SUNIL GARG

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 16:26

I too experienced scratchiness in my new H-B nib of Sailor PG-so unlike my other Sailor butter smooth nibs.

Drawing circles & long lines on the back of kraft
paper & persevering with the nib normally for a few weeks has bedded and broken the nib in, I suppose. Now it's Sailor
smooth as silk.

#107 Dclub

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 19:40

Yes this is great help. Thanks.

Tying to adjust my nib as it seems to be scratchy only when moving right across the paper. Also if I slightly roll the nib to the right no ink comes out moving right, however rolling to left ink flow is fine...


Under 10x lope the nib looks fairly alined.

#108 lcjison

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:17

good tips.learning..
freshman。。。

#109 Harsh108

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 19:42

Learn something new everyday.

Harsh

#110 Sasha Royale

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 21:05

1. Lost
2. Stolen
3. Crushed in the levi's pocket
4. Melted in a kiln
5. Snatched as a chew toy by the fox terrier

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn. 
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen: 
Verweile doch, du bist so schön ! 


#111 fotographik

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 14:50

1. Lost
2. Stolen
3. Crushed in the levi's pocket
4. Melted in a kiln
5. Snatched as a chew toy by the fox terrier


Yup...did #4!

François (Frank) P.

Currently inked: Parker 51/Quink Blue-Black; TWSBI 580 1.1mm/Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses.


#112 Sasha Royale

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 16:43

I didn't have a loupe, only a childs magnifying glass. I couldn't quite remove all the scritch'n so I used a 4000 grit sanding stone and polished the nib with the edge of the stone. Worked like a charm. I made sure to use a side to side action with extremely small changes in the pen-to-stone angle so I didn't flatten the nib.

...After playing with this some more, I think I've got something nice...

I worked the nib on the stone as if I was writing with it, but in a small circle area half the diameter of a dime. Pretending to write, I could feel rough spots catch on the stone, probably because 4000 grit is a take-down grit. I'll have to look for a 10,000 or 15,000 cloth to finish it off, but it feels very very nice as it is!

And as a bonus, Amodex took all the ink off the stone!

Here is a video of what I did:
http://youtu.be/uT75E363MsY


I am too much an insecure klutz to undertake nib smoothing.
However, I bought several of these cheap loupes. I carry
one in my pocket wherever I go. I was able to detect a
fake "MEISTERTUCK" embossing and a cracked nib.

http://www.ebay.com/...=item3f16a2e8a9

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn. 
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen: 
Verweile doch, du bist so schön ! 


#113 fryguy128

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 00:27

1. Lost
2. Stolen
3. Crushed in the levi's pocket
4. Melted in a kiln
5. Snatched as a chew toy by the fox terrier


The first two are likely, but you must have been having a bad day when 4 + 5 happened.

#114 Sketch and Doodle

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 20:03

I just purchased a brand new Montegrappa Miya EF and it had a corroded spot in the centre of the nib. I've returned the nib with front part of the pen and waiting for it to arrive in two weeks.
I can't wait to try it out.

#115 thewriteperson

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:47

Thanks a lot for this usefull information!

#116 huhjunn

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 02:21

Awesome tips thanks!

#117 proton007

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:26

Something else I thought I'd share. Its based on my experience.

 

Fountain pens generally are not unidirectional, meaning the nib works best when its flat on the surface, both the tines maintaining equal contact.

For those new to fountain pens, I've seen them hold the pen rotated towards them (especially when people need to borrow a pen). Do it for a while, and you have a nib that won't write well when held flat. 

It takes time to learn that a fountain pen is different from a ball point or a pencil.


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To leave my thoughts behind
I'll give back all the knowledge
And keep the wisdom precious in my mind


#118 suits123

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 23:06

Something else I thought I'd share. Its based on my experience.
 
Fountain pens generally are not unidirectional, meaning the nib works best when its flat on the surface, both the tines maintaining equal contact.
For those new to fountain pens, I've seen them hold the pen rotated towards them (especially when people need to borrow a pen). Do it for a while, and you have a nib that won't write well when held flat. 
It takes time to learn that a fountain pen is different from a ball point or a pencil.


It was so hard for me to stop rotating my pen in my hand when I wrote. Apparently I did it a lot lol

Captain Kirk is the man and I don't want to hear another word about it! borg.gif

 


#119 proton007

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 13:43

It was so hard for me to stop rotating my pen in my hand when I wrote. Apparently I did it a lot lol

 

Haha...Yeah, same for me, especially coming from pencils as a kid.

 

My grandfather, to help me correct this, made me use a "Qalam" for a few days (during my summer break), which basically is a pen made out of dried reed. Its cut to write like an flat or an italic nib, so it won't write any other way than flat.

In addition to that, it makes a loud screeching noise whenever its edges touch the paper, so you need to hold it flat.

A few days later I was holding my pen flat!


Soon I'll have the courage
To leave my thoughts behind
I'll give back all the knowledge
And keep the wisdom precious in my mind


#120 Luiz

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 13:47

Mr. Antique, thanks for sharing this great information!






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