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Vanishing Point Nib Scraping On The Trapdoor?

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#1 mothy

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 15:20

Today I received my first and long awaited vanishing point :-)

I suppose curiosity got the better of me and I started inspecting how the mechanism works

I know that the feed makes contact with the door first and then the nib but as I was watching and pressing the clicker slowly I noticed that after the nib makes contact the tipping material presses forward and scrapes against the door (there's noticeable uncomfortable friction) is this normal?

Perhaps I'm a tad sentimental but I do see rightly or wrongly my fountain pens as forever items, Faithfull companions that lend permanence to the ethereal and form to thought.
I like to use the same pen for a very very long time with little repair needed, ideally I will go before the pen does. So this does concern me.

How are others experiences with this pen over the long term? Especially if the nib scrape is normal or present

The varies but I do generally handwrite most things and run through paper very fast especially in journals,drafting reports etc

#2 Beckwith

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 16:24

Do you mean the Pilot VP, or another retractable FP? I know that the Pilot is designed for the nib to open the door, not the feed. In theory the iridium tipping is hard enough for that friction not to be an issue - and I don't know anyone who has had a problem with the nib wearing down because of the mechanism.



#3 mothy

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 16:32

Yes the pilot :-)
As I searched the forums I did come across a post where it was claimed that the feed hits first and the nib contacts the door second due to the angle of the trapdoor relative to the nib, but nothing was mentioned on the sliding of the tipping material against the door and the noticeable friction that could be felt (although I was opening the door very slowly to observe)
it seems as though there is a channel in the door for the nib tipping to slide along?
I've not seen anyone mention the scraping though and was wondering if it was normal or a tolerance issue in the part sizing

#4 Algester

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 16:37

there are 2 capless versions the fermo and the decimo

fermo is the twist type retractable and decimo the ever loved click type

if your hitting the trap door you could probably unscrew the barrel a bit?



#5 Gaslight

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 16:42

I know that the feed makes contact with the door first and then the nib but as I was watching and pressing the clicker slowly I noticed that after the nib makes contact the tipping material presses forward and scrapes against the door (there's noticeable uncomfortable friction) is this normal?
 

 

No, don't know where this bit of information came from, but the nib first makes contact. There are two versions of the trapdoor mechanism (only real difference is the spring type) and from both I've seen x-rays here on FPN and it's pretty clear that the nib opens the door and the feed touches the door afterwards (when your VP is a wet writer you'll notice that the feed picks up the ink left on the door by the nib...)


Edited by Gaslight, 05 June 2014 - 16:42.

What a strange world we live in, where people communicate by text more than ever before, yet the art of proper handwriting is seen as a thing from the past.

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#6 mothy

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 17:09

Ah thank you for that :-)
Yes it is the standard clicker capless. I did have the section screwed together rather securely so perhaps that was contributing. It was just alarming to see and feel the writing surface abrading against the door like that and something I'm generally used to avoiding at all costs, but if that's normal it's a big relief to hear.

can anyone with one at hand confirm that noticeable friction between the nib tip and door is felt when clicked slowly?

#7 Gaslight

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 17:15

can anyone with one at hand confirm that noticeable friction between the nib tip and door is felt when clicked slowly?

 

So, I ran downstairs and got my VP and no... I don't feel any noticeable friction. Quite the opposite in fact, it's a very smooth sensation. But mine is a really wet writer and maybe the ink acts as a lubricant?


What a strange world we live in, where people communicate by text more than ever before, yet the art of proper handwriting is seen as a thing from the past.

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#8 mothy

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 17:35

Possibly, also realised that as a fine (and on the verge of extra fine even for Japanese nibs) writes about average or slightly on the dry side and a line that gives a 0.5 pencil a run for its money maybe even a .3 depending on the paper could have a lot to do with the feel as it's extended too

#9 kenmc

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 17:41

I have two VP's. I bought them both about the same time, around 2009/2010. I don't know if it was a production issue at this particular time or not, but both of them have had the same issue - ink leaking down the nib when you clicked it out. I sent the first one back for repair. I had to send it back to a place in Florida since the "reputable" FPN pen god (?) pen repairman that I bought it from can't work on them or replace it. They (the Florida repair place) said that the problem wasn't in the trap door part as I suspected but in the rear at the clicker part which seems illogical. They replaced it and  I have not had a problem since but use it sparingly. About a year ago the other one started doing the same thing. I don't think I will spend postage to have it repaired. Just chalk it up to "lesson learned" and stay away from any expensive Pilot pens.

What really puzzles me is that I know some people have had VP's for years, without problems I assume. I am inclined to believe the issue I have is a problem with a particular production time. It seems if that were the case they would have told me?


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#10 Algester

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 18:21

its basically some flaws of the mechanics as such Lamy Dialog also has the same problems... there's a reason why I don't want any gimmicks to my pens other than being a capped pen maybe ok the Elabo and Justus but eh... the Elabo looks a really fun pen to write with considering I'm rally liking PIlot's nibs


Edited by Algester, 05 June 2014 - 18:22.


#11 mothy

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 22:50

Hmm I do notice it defiantly sticks about the middle of the push (and if stopped there are the moved back and forth using the button slightly it makes the nib grind against the metal ) it's only really noticeable pushing the button very slowly but it does make me nervous to use it in case of damaging the nib.

#12 Moshe ben David

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 16:36

I have two VP's. I bought them both about the same time, around 2009/2010. I don't know if it was a production issue at this particular time or not, but both of them have had the same issue - ink leaking down the nib when you clicked it out. I sent the first one back for repair. I had to send it back to a place in Florida since the "reputable" FPN pen god (?) pen repairman that I bought it from can't work on them or replace it. They (the Florida repair place) said that the problem wasn't in the trap door part as I suspected but in the rear at the clicker part which seems illogical. They replaced it and  I have not had a problem since but use it sparingly. About a year ago the other one started doing the same thing. I don't think I will spend postage to have it repaired. Just chalk it up to "lesson learned" and stay away from any expensive Pilot pens.

What really puzzles me is that I know some people have had VP's for years, without problems I assume. I am inclined to believe the issue I have is a problem with a particular production time. It seems if that were the case they would have told me?

 

Just curious.  Were you running the pens with cartridges or the converter?  With the Namiki/Pilot cartridges Pilot recommends using the metal cartridge 'sleeve' supplied with the pen.  The idea being that the push button mechanism is pushing against the back of the cartridge and the sleeve prevents damage or 'unseating' of the cartridge from the feed; such damage could result in leakage.

 

I have 4 of these pens; I use cartridges in one; use the converters in the others.  Never had a problem with any leakage.


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#13 Moshe ben David

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 16:38

there are 2 capless versions the fermo and the decimo

fermo is the twist type retractable and decimo the ever loved click type

if your hitting the trap door you could probably unscrew the barrel a bit?

 

Actually, I think three versions.  The decimo is a slimmer version of the more widely sold click type.  Usually the decimo is not seen here in US.  And for those who look at older models, Pilot did have a 'faceted' design which preceded today's click type VP.


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#14 doggonecarl

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 19:11

I have yet to see a "The tipping material on my Vanishing Point nib has worn away" post. So I'll operate out of the assumption that Pilot has figured out how to make their pens last.



#15 sexauerw

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 22:34

The only time I've had any leakage in either of my VPs was when I put a Noodler's ink in them. It was one of the inks that was known to have a lot of nib creep. Quite a lot of it crept all the way out of the nib and into the trap door mechanism. Cleaning the pen and changing to a standard ink completely solved the problem for me.

 

I'm not knocking the Noodler's ink, I still use the same ink in other pens. It's just that creepy ink doesn't seem to be compatible with the Pilot VPs.


Edited by sexauerw, 10 June 2014 - 22:36.

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#16 yogalarva

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 00:56

I have had two VPs now - my first one definitely felt a little rough when being extended, but I sold it before I got too much use out of it so that's all I can say for that guy.  My second one felt a bit of the same way when I first got it, but now it extends butter smooth so I'm thinking that maybe there's just a "break in" period before the door gets easier to open.  I've also handled display versions at pen stores and those ones are really easy to extend, probably because it's been done thousands of times.  

 

Long story short, I wouldn't worry too much about it.  :-)  These things are often EDCs, so if the nib wearing down was an issue there would be more (aka, any) reports of it.


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#17 kenmc

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 13:38

 

Just curious.  Were you running the pens with cartridges or the converter?  With the Namiki/Pilot cartridges Pilot recommends using the metal cartridge 'sleeve' supplied with the pen.  The idea being that the push button mechanism is pushing against the back of the cartridge and the sleeve prevents damage or 'unseating' of the cartridge from the feed; such damage could result in leakage.

 

I have 4 of these pens; I use cartridges in one; use the converters in the others.  Never had a problem with any leakage.

I always use the sleve when I use cartridges. It's a bit difficult to explain the issue, but it's like a very excessive nib creap. I suspect it was a flaw in production at a certain production run and I just happened to get two pens from that same run. This didn't happen right at first, but it started on the one I use most first. It's a shame because the pens are great for taking notes in meetings and such where there are breaks between writing.


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#18 White Expressions

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 18:06

With how hard modern tipping material is, I'd be very surprised if the tipping wore out before the trap door. The spring and door material is more liable to break, material-wise, at that point. In all of the examples I've ever tested, I've never seen or noticed any such wear/resistance. Then again, I did pick the Dialog 3 over a VP...At almost 3x the price of an ordinary VP.

 

That said though,

 

its basically some flaws of the mechanics as such Lamy Dialog also has the same problems...

 

the Dialog 3 doesn't have the same issue - the ball valve/trapdoor completely retracts from the path of the nib before the nib comes in contact with it. On the other hand though, I suspect that it's because of this very valve that a lot of people experience dry-out issues.


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#19 Pentulant

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 15:42

Months ago, I had this problem with a VP that I bought from Goulet Pens. I could tell right away that the feel was different from my other VPs. Also, there was a sound.  Mr. Pentulant and I must have passed that pen back and forth a dozen times trying to figure out what the problem was ;)

 

In the end, we realized that the nib was pointing slightly downward. Rather than messing with it myself, I let Goulet customer service know. They had a new nib unit in the mail to me the next day along with return instructions for the original. 

 

The whole thing was fabulously handled and the pen is perfect :)


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