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#1 Siv

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:39

A couple of years ago I decided that the perfect Nakaya for me was a decapod twist in kuro-tamenuri with a BB stub. The kuro-tamenuri is my favourite finish on a Nakaya as it really shows the difference between the inner and outer colours but not many pens show the finish well. That's where the decapod comes in - the perfect vehicle for tamenuri. When Nakaya released the twist version, I knew I had to have one. Around the same time, Okami put a pic of her Nakaya with a Mottishaw BB stub and one look at her handwriting and I was smitten.

It took a while though before I actually placed an order - I actually ordered a desk pen in a distracted mood which fortunately, in the cold light of day, I switched to the pen I really wanted. The order was placed in August, the Kanji sorted in September and the pen finally arrived last week.

This is a daily user for me (hence the clip) and I'm really quite pleased with the nib performance.

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Of course there is no such thing as perfection. The nib is Ruthenium plated and when it was ground to a stub, for some reason it was also ground on the top removing the plating and showing gold. I really dislike gold trim and this gold peek upsets me. Also, the nib and clip were supposed to be Ruthenium plated but they seem far to shiny to be so... Should I send it back?

Edited by Siv, 18 January 2013 - 17:23.

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#2 Koyote

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:18

Personally, I think the gold tones look better with the pen's finish than silver tones would look. But hey, it's your pen.

#3 Pelikan_FP

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:49

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I really like the look of your Nakaya however, if you are not completely satisfied with a pen in this price range, I'd send it back and see if it can be done to your expectations.
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#4 mbradley

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:26

Stunning Pen. I tend to fret over things of little consequence, working on that. Sometimes I can't leave well enough alone. If you truly want the Ruthenium I would send it back, it is as you know a completely different look. I think Ruthenium looks best on bluish or dark wintry colors. The gold does look good on this pen.


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#5 Osquest

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:42

I've been looking at the Nakaya and sorry to hear about your issues. It sounds like you thought long and hard about the pen to get. For that effort and price, if it was me I'd send it back if it wasn't what I wanted or if the nib wasn't perfect in function and appearance.

#6 Nikolaos

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 15:45

Beautiful Nakaya! Congratulations

#7 mirosc

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 15:56

Should I send it back?


You have placed an order and specified your wishes. And paid money that you have earned with many hours of your life.
I think you should get what you have agreed upon with the company.
Just talk to them, explain your problems - I don't think that this is a matter you couldn't resolve in a civilized way.

I'm not so enthusiastic about the Decapod Twist, but you really managed to photograph it in such a way that I'm really starting to like it :-)
Greetings,
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#8 Siv

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 17:23

I need to make a correction. Now that I have compared it to my long piccolo with Rh clip, I can see that the clip and nib certainly are Ruthenium. Now the only thing I'm fussing about is the top of the nib. Here's a pic - am I being unreasonable?

Posted Image

Edited by Siv, 18 January 2013 - 17:28.

Posted Image
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#9 hari317

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 17:38

I need to make a correction. Now that I have compared it to my long piccolo with Rh clip, I can see that the clip and nib certainly are Ruthenium. Now the only thing I'm fussing about is the top of the nib. Here's a pic - am I being unreasonable?

IMO, no. You must demand that the job be redone on a fresh nib with no cosmetic implications of the job.

#10 JLS1

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 18:54

I need to make a correction. Now that I have compared it to my long piccolo with Rh clip, I can see that the clip and nib certainly are Ruthenium. Now the only thing I'm fussing about is the top of the nib. Here's a pic - am I being unreasonable?


One question that hasn't been asked yet is: how does the pen write for you?

If you find that this pen is just an average writer AND the gold bit on the nib is distracting whenever you write, then yes, I would bring it up w/John and the Nibs.com crew. Based on what I've heard about them, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to work something out to your satisfaction.

IMHO, a great part of the writing experience is how the nib performs. So if the pen w/the current nib is a fantastic writer (in your opinion), I would be more hesitant to get it swapped out with another nib that would be aesthetically perfect but might not give you as much happiness/satisfaction when you write.

#11 Koyote

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 19:29


I need to make a correction. Now that I have compared it to my long piccolo with Rh clip, I can see that the clip and nib certainly are Ruthenium. Now the only thing I'm fussing about is the top of the nib. Here's a pic - am I being unreasonable?


One question that hasn't been asked yet is: how does the pen write for you?

If you find that this pen is just an average writer AND the gold bit on the nib is distracting whenever you write, then yes, I would bring it up w/John and the Nibs.com crew. Based on what I've heard about them, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to work something out to your satisfaction.

IMHO, a great part of the writing experience is how the nib performs. So if the pen w/the current nib is a fantastic writer (in your opinion), I would be more hesitant to get it swapped out with another nib that would be aesthetically perfect but might not give you as much happiness/satisfaction when you write.


+1. If it wrote well, I wouldn't mess with it. Though I am betting that if you get a replacement nib from Mottishaw, that one will also write well.

#12 Silent Speaker

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 21:21

Personally, I think the gold tones look better with the pen's finish than silver tones would look. But hey, it's your pen.

I agree.
I am curious however on how specifically a rose gold trim would suit a nakaya with kuro-tamenuri. Too much red?

#13 gary

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:49

one of the sites specifically notes that some plating will be removed in a re-grind.

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#14 kpfeifle

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 18:13

If the nib was plated after the regrind...I would say get it redone, but my understanding is the nibs are all plated in Japan. That being the case, I'm not sure how you could touch it with a grinding wheel and not have a little of the gold show through...just my two cents.
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#15 Siv

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 19:47

But educate me as to why the top of the nib is ground when it has nothing to do with the writing surface?
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#16 ethernautrix

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 20:25

Hooray! Another Nakaya!

I believe the entire point is polished afterward for overall smoothness. Also, I write with the other side of my Nakaya nibs (particularly the ruthenium-plated M), so maybe there's that consideration.

I don't think the flash of gold would bother me too much. I can see how it might initially, but then the bother of sending it back would activate my lazy gene, and I'd think, "Oo! A flash of gold! How neat!" Or... I don't know. I guess I don't let a lot bother me too much. I'm not saying you shouldn't let it bother you. If it does, it does. Then you should contact John and ask him about it. If you still want a completely plated nib, no gold showing through, then send it back with those explicit instructions.
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#17 jde

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:40

Sorry to read of your disappointment, Siv. I don't know the mechanics of grinding,
and really only JM can speak to his technique.

Long ago, I had a series of stubs made by another master nib person, and had the same experience: the
gold was exposed through the plated nibs. The stubs were superb, though. I took it to understand that
regrinding plated nibs means some plating will come off. "Unreasonable" to expect otherwise? Maybe.
It's more that you didn't expect it because no one pointed out the risk to you.

We don't all read the fine print all over the websites, but I believe it's there somewhere. Concur with others to just talk to JM about it. He wants you to not regret your purchase, I'm sure.

P.S. Gorgeous pen with stunning kanji!

Edited by jde, 20 January 2013 - 14:59.

 
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#18 marie9999

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 14:52

Congratulations on a beautiful pen and thanks for the lovely photos!

... the Kanji sorted in September...

What is the translation on the Kanji?

is a daily user for me (hence the clip) and I'm really quite pleased with the nib performance.

Woohoo! Isn't it great when a nib matches your writing style? I own some beautiful pens that will never be in my normal rotation until the nibs are adjusted...

course there is no such thing as perfection.

How true!

Should I send it back?


Contact www.nibs.com and see what they suggest... but I just found that my OMAS Milord Maroon Resin with Ruthenium Trim nibs.com that was customized by John to a cursive italic has a tiny spot of gold showing through on it that I had never seen until I just looked for it. I will try to photograph but it will be difficult. (And for purposes of full disclosure, while I love this pen and the way it makes my handwriting look... I can not use it when I am tired, pen position and rotation must be exact and I can not use on papers that other nibs have no problem with...)

So sorry for your disappointment - it has been a long wait. Please let us know what the folks at CFP suggest.

#19 Painterspal

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 16:22

But educate me as to why the top of the nib is ground when it has nothing to do with the writing surface?


Actually, it does. To create the flattened chisel shaped tip of an italic or stub nib a nibmeister would usually grind both the top and bottom of a nib. Because of this it's almost impossible to prevent the gold showing through on plated nibs that have been reground. I don't consider this a fault - it's just an inevitable part of the process. If you don't like it, the only way to avoid it is to specify a plain gold nib, or at least one that isn't plated near the tip.

There are two reasons why the nib is ground on both sides. One is that on a normal nib, the tipping material forms a kind of ball shape on the tip and the top is usually slightly raised as a consequence. If you leave this unground only the base is properly flat. The top will have a curved (domed) shape that doesn't look right aesthetically, and may mean that the nib does not write quite so crisply either. At the very least, you'd wish to grind this flat. The other reason has to do with the angle of the writing surface and the crispness of the line. If you take all the material of the bottom, the angle of the writing surface is less acute in relation to the base. This tends to produce writing with less crisp transitions between thicks and thins. By cutting the top at a slight angle too, a better, crisper nib will result. However, it's always good to discuss the angle that you hold the pen with a nibmeister so that they can grind the nib to suit your particular preferences.

I have examples of this within my own collection. For instance the Danitrio factory stubs are flat on top but are ground relatively conservatively underneath, resulting in a nib that writes nicely, suits a range of writing styles, but doesn't produce the crispness or line variation that John achieves by grinding both the top and bottom. Johns nibs are clearly thinner than a typical factory stub when viewed from the side and this maximises the qualities you want in an italic nib.

Edited by Painterspal, 20 January 2013 - 16:26.

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#20 Painterspal

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 16:29

I meant to add that your pen looks wonderful and I completely agree, the Decapod shows off the finish to perfection.
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#21 NedC

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 17:34

Find an ink that is very prone to nib creep and you'll never notice that little gap in the plating;)

#22 reprieve

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 22:58

I just checked my nibs. I have two rose gold nibs (B and BB) that have been reground to italics, as well as a ruthenium soft medium that was reground to a stub; they all show the plating underneath just like yours does. I have never noticed it until now--I only looked for it after seeing this post. All of my nibs write extraordinarily well, and I think they all look quite nice, too, even with that little bit of plating missing at the tip.

As for whether or not you should send it back... well, only you can decide that. If it truly bothers you (and I do understand why it might), I think you should contact John and see about getting a new nib. You should be able to enjoy your pen without something constantly niggling at the back of your mind.

#23 sadiemagic

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 23:44

Just checked my own Nakaya, a Blue Dragon portable cigar, with the BB ground to a stub by John Mottishaw. There is a tiny bit of gold showing on the top as well.

Doesn't bother me, not even sure I ever noticed it before this thread. The pen writes like a dream. Didn't want a gold nib, wanted a white metal to complement the cool color of the blue-green dragon.
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#24 Dillo

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:41

Hi,

This is one of the issues with rhodium plating or nib plating. Any nib work done will disrupt any plating that is there. When you get nib work done, not only is the bottom ground, the top is also ground. In my shop, when I do grinds like this, I clean the surface well and replate the disturbed spot to restore the look of the pen. The problem comes with gold-plated steel nibs. There are so many colors of gold plating, and simply replating it will put a spot on the nib of a different color that would be noticeable since the eyes are so sensitive. What I do is carefully grind so as not to disturb the plating on the main body of the nib so that only the top of the tipping ball is silver and is polished to a mirror-like finish. This makes for a nib that looks more "professionally done." This works because the steel and the tipping are both of a similar color, so we don't see what we see with the gold nib.

Finish work on nibs is extremely important. One can't have scratches on odd parts. Everything has to be polished and look clean and perfect. In my early nib repair days, I wasn't as nit picky about these things (If I did a nib for you in the past and it wasn't well finished, I'll take care of it for you. Send it back to me), but for quite some time now, I consider it a high priority to make everything look polished. One should be proud enough of their work to take a picture of it with a good macro lense and post the picture on the wall in a large size. To my knowledge, Richard Binder of all people is very careful with how his nibs are finished. Greg Minuskin is another person who is also careful with this. These are things that are very important and need to be looked at. That said, I'm really wondering what is the best route for you to go with replating. I do rhodium, but I don't have as much experience redoing the other finishes that Nakaya uses on their nibs. I certainly don't know what shade Nakaya is using for their rose gold nibs. We don't want a shade mismatch.

Personally, if I had a ruthenium nib that was done that way, I would probably replate the entire nib to make it match. I don't have a source for ruthenium plating solutions and other things though. While I wish I could possibly help you all with that, I'm not sure I can. If you are like me, I can certainly see why you would be bothered with such a thing. I think it's a big deal.

Dillon

Edited by Dillo, 21 January 2013 - 05:43.

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#25 mallymal1

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:28

Just to go back to the pen...it is beautiful. Can I ask what the Kanji says?

#26 Newjelan

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:34

I think your pen is absolutely beautiful. *swoon

#27 larsbj

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:31

Just checked my own Nakaya, a Blue Dragon portable cigar, with the BB ground to a stub by John Mottishaw. There is a tiny bit of gold showing on the top as well.

Doesn't bother me, not even sure I ever noticed it before this thread. The pen writes like a dream. Didn't want a gold nib, wanted a white metal to complement the cool color of the blue-green dragon.


Same with my Naka-Ai B stub from JM purchased last october. Have noticed it but never really paid any attention to it.

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#28 TDL

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:25

I have a Blue Dragon with a broad nib ground to cursive italic by JM, Ruthenium. I have just looked closely and cannot see any gold showing, but that might be just my eyesight. I suggest calling Nibs.com and having a chat.

Edited by TDL, 02 February 2013 - 11:26.

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#29 Siv

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 17:04

I feel like I need to post an update here. Is this pen perfect? Nope. But it hasn't left my hand in the last 3 weeks. It's a part of my kit & routine and the imperfection is becoming part of its character.

What I'm trying to say is that this pen is not going back and you'll probably find it in my pocket when I go cold.
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#30 JustinJ

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 17:48

I feel like I need to post an update here. Is this pen perfect? Nope. But it hasn't left my hand in the last 3 weeks. It's a part of my kit & routine and the imperfection is becoming part of its character.

What I'm trying to say is that this pen is not going back and you'll probably find it in my pocket when I go cold.



I found that my Decapod Twist grew on me. I was not overwhelmed with the pen at first, but found myself using it everyday. It is now one of my fountain pens that I would not sell. It is definitely a keeper for me. It reminds me of a lightweight agile sport car. It is the pen that I reach for when sitting down to do a puzzle, crossword or another relaxing task.