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Stub Nib vs. Cursive Italic


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#1 MarkVA1968

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 15:24

I am on the verge of purchasing the new Omas Paragon from John Mottishaw. Since I am interested in adding a little character to my handwriting, I've been contemplating either a stub nib or a cursive italic nib. I say "contemplating" because I have not had the opportunity to write with either type of nib.

I am a left-handed "underwriter" who has found that the ideal nib size in an Omas would probably fall somewhere between a medium and a fine. I like a medium to heavy ink flow, and scratchy nibs really irritate me. wallbash.gif

Based on this, do any of you have any suggestions/comments regarding either a stub nib or a cursive italic? What are the primary differences between the two? Does one tend to write smoother than the other? Should I, as a lefty, avoid one or both? That sort of thing.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

Mark

#2 kissing

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 15:33

Here is a link to Richard Binder's (a respectable pen expert) website that may give you some help:

http://www.richardsp.../nib_primer.htm

On this page, you will be able to find some descriptions of the different nib types.

Generally speaking, I think for a left hander, a Stub nib is better suited than a cursive italic. I think cursive italics are usually oblique to suit right handers (unless you get specifically get one customised for you). A stub nib, on the other hand, can usually be used comfortably by both left and right handers.

A stub is generally thought to be smoother and easier to write with than a cursive italic, due to the rounder edges. However, cursive italics have more line variation than stubs. (Stubs are said to have 2:1 line width variation)


I hope some of this helps..

#3 rroossinck

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 15:36

I'm in a similar situation, and I'll be interested to see how this works out for you. I've been toying with the idea of putting a stub in my VP and I'm a lefty overwriter...I'd like to hear a little more input on this, too.
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#4 MarkVA1968

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 15:45

kissing,

Many thanks for the input and the link to the Binder site. Very useful information.

Mark

#5 Bill

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 18:35

Mark,

I'm a lefty underwriter who uses a wide variety of nibs to include stubs and italics. A stub would seem the logical choice; however, I have cursive italics that I like, too. It somewhat depends on the intended use of the pen. My preferences have gradually changed as I use more speciality nibs and have come to enjoy the ones that are a bit wider and more dramatic because they enhance my mediocre writing as well as show off beautiful inks better. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince, so to speak. I don't know if your idea of a medium-fine is the same as mind, but you might start out with something around a 0.6mm stub for general use. A pen show is a great place to compare different nibs. Richard Binder (and others?) has a setup where you can test out the different nibs and see which work the best for you.

Bill

Edited by Bill, 11 January 2007 - 18:38.


#6 peapicker

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 18:45

QUOTE(kissing @ Jan 11 2007, 03:33 PM)
Generally speaking, I think for a left hander, a Stub nib is better suited than a cursive italic. I think cursive italics are usually oblique to suit right handers (unless you get specifically get one customised for you). A stub nib, on the other hand, can usually be used comfortably by both left and right handers.

Wow, my first post here after lurking a few weeks!

Mr Binder's page indicates that neither a stub nor cursive italic has any oblique properties (suitedness for right or left handers). I've been researching both and have a new Waterman Expert II en route that I plan to have ground, probably, into a stub or cursive italic. While I haven't talked with Mr. Binder, it would be nice if he could confirm this.

From the pictures on his site, the stub look like it has a slightly narrower tip than the cursive italics, while both have rounding to make them fast pens.

Edited by peapicker, 11 January 2007 - 20:12.

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#7 lefty928

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 18:50

Speaking as a lefthanded underwriter for whom 30 degree left oblique cursive italics work better than my one stub (could be the pen), I think Bill's advice is excellent. Lots of lefthanders here love stubs; it seems to be writer-specific. Love my Pendemonium cursive italics...

If you are anywhere near an upcoming pen show, the opportunity to try out several specialty nibs and consult with the experts in person would be the optimum way to go.
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#8 Richard

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 20:06

QUOTE(peapicker @ Jan 11 2007, 01:45 PM)
Mr Binder's page indicates that neither a stub nor cursive italic has any oblique properties (suitedness for right or left handers)...  While I haven't talked with Mr. Binder, it would be nice if he could confirm this.

Consider what you have cited to be confirmed.

The "rule" is that righties like me need a left-foot oblique, if we need any obliquity at all. Well, gosh, boss, that doesn't work for me unless I think about it. My natural hand wants a 4° right-foot oblique nib.

The fact is that any specific obliquity does not makes any nib, not not now and not ever, generically suitable for left- or right-handed writers. Left-foot obliquity makes a nib suitable for a specific writer, who may be left- or right-handed. Right-foot obliquity makes a nib suitable for a different specific writer, who may be left- or right-handed.

The other half of it is that the vast majority of people, regardless of whether they are left- or right-handed, require no obliquity at all.

Use what works for you, and forget the "rules."
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#9 rroossinck

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 20:13

This is great information...any word from the lefty over-writer crowd? Mr. Binder, any trends you've found with us?
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#10 Richard

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 22:02

QUOTE(rroossinck @ Jan 11 2007, 03:13 PM)
This is great information...any word from the lefty over-writer crowd?  Mr. Binder, any trends you've found with us?

I'm married to a lefty overwriter, and my daughter is also married to one. Neither of the lefties uses an oblique nib. That's interesting, but it's too small a sampling to be statistically meaningful.

About six months ago, as research for a column I was preparing for Stylus, I analyzed a statistically meaningful sampling. This is what I wrote in that column:

QUOTE
In looking through 606 nib questionnaires from my clients, I find 78 left-handers, of whom 59 hold the nib straight at an average angle of elevation. This is the specification for a standard nib. Moreover, of these 59 people, 25 are overwriters. It would seem that most left-handers don't need left-handed pens after all.

This pretty well substantiates my point, I daresay. smile.gif

(Edited for typo)

Edited by Richard, 11 January 2007 - 22:05.

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#11 Bill

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 00:12

The years of Richard's nibmeistering and the survey make a powerful combination!! And my limited experience with modern and vintage obliques have shown that I'm just as well off with a regular stub or cursive italic.

Of course, Richard was not the only one who saw my jaw drop at the Ohio Pen Show when he ground a couple degrees of left obliquity on a cursive italic he had just finished for me. After I had two minor skips in a half page of test writing, he stood behind me to watch me write, then made the adjustment. The pen has been performing well since.

Richard can certainly clarify, but I believe the obliquity only helped with my slightly offset hand position. In other words, my hand lagged just a little behind my fingers rather than being exactly perpendicular to the line. Thus, it appeared that he improved the flow while at the same time there was no noticeable change to the "italic-ness" of the writing. It may have been an issue with that particular nib and the pen's flow characteristics, because my straight-grind Binder stubs and cursive italics have worked flawlessly. Anyway, it still seems like magic to me.

Bill

#12 Mike S.

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:31

If you plan on ordering a nib from John Mottishaw, ask to talk to Pat when you call. Pat herself is a left handed underwriter and can tell you from her own personal experience which of John's nibs work better for her and why. I have found Pat to be an invaluable resource (and a just plain wonderful person to talk to).

John Mottishaw's page has a good article on left handed writers:

www.nibs.com

Mike

#13 MarkVA1968

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 14:53

Mike S.,

Many thanks for the advice. I've ordered an Omas Paragon with a medium stub nib from Pat. She was/is an extremely pleasant person to deal with.

Thanks again.

Mark

#14 JRodriguez

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 16:23

I just want to add that it's wonderful to have these sorts of discussions as a resource for learning about the intricacies of writing. Thanks guys!