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Ok, So My "new" P-51 Is Really Clean, But It Still Writes Thin, What Now?


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35 replies to this topic

#1 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 19:38

And of course, this Would be needed by a perfectly fine Looking 51 Aero that *I* pointed someone to. Ack.

 

I usually take my Aeros apart and sonicate everything but the filler and cap, hit the collector and feed with a toothbrush and Roto-root out the breather tube including the side vent. I'll usually just floss the tines, I don't recall opening one up yet. Still, I've had to send a couple to Ernesto after that when they still weren't writing correctly.

 

Would those of you who have fixed this before a few times try and add some needed 411 here Please?

 

What would you say are the mostly like flow issues with an Aero 51 In Order of eaches likelihood of being the Main problem?

 

Beside each one, would you please place it's approximate % of being the main problem itself?

 

Of course, a nice long written out for us Procedure would be Greatly Appreciated. ;)

 

Failing that, can we at least have the prioritized list of what to check so we can search out the info ourselves?

 

Much thanks in advance.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl-see we all Really Are ignorant.  Just in different subjects.  



#2 TimGirdler

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 21:27

If you've flossed the tines and noticed that the are not too tight, here's where I'd go next:

 

1.  Make sure the feed, nib and collector are properly aligned with one another.  The wide channel of the collector needs to be at the 12:00 position.  Also, check to see if it has a place for the hard rubber plug and if the plug is missing.

 

If this is all properly done (and with you it is likely to be) then, look at this:

 

2.  The nib likely needs to be tuned.  Parker nibs--especially some "51" nibs--have a bit of a ridge along the slit.  This, in essence, turns the nib into an XXXXXXXF nib because there is no real proper writing pad.  So, a proper tuning would put a pad on that nib and it would likely work a good bit better.

 

That's it for now...gotta run.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim


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#3 Hooker56

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 03:09

Hey Tim,

 

Speaking of the 'ridges', next time you encounter this, post pictures if you can get any (if it's visible and discernible). I have two 51's that suffer what Bruce has described. Very thin flow. One's a F and the other an XF. Both are cleaned and flossed as Bruce described and properly aligned. I just kind of quit messing with them and put them in their beds. They do flow, but VERY thinly.

 

Thanks Bruce for the great questions!


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#4 TimGirdler

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 07:40

Hey Tim,

 

Speaking of the 'ridges', next time you encounter this, post pictures if you can get any (if it's visible and discernible). I have two 51's that suffer what Bruce has described. Very thin flow. One's a F and the other an XF. Both are cleaned and flossed as Bruce described and properly aligned. I just kind of quit messing with them and put them in their beds. They do flow, but VERY thinly.

 

Thanks Bruce for the great questions!

 

As I don't have the equipment to give a good close-up, perhaps a mental picture will work...

 

If you look in the mirror, imagine that you have no teeth (I know...goofy, but bear with me).  Your lips curl over your gums.  There is, essentially, no pucker at all and the area above your top lip and the area below your bottom lip form a fairly uninterrupted surface.

 

Now, look in the mirror an pucker your lips every so slightly (not as much as a kiss, per se).  Maybe even the natural, at-rest pucker is enough.

 

Anyway, the difference is this:  A well tuned nib has a fairly uninterrupted surface where the slit is neither puckered nor too far from the page (baby's bottom).  A nib that has a pucker, on the other hand, will always write very thinly because the ink never is drawn to the outer parts of the nib, away from the slit.  So, the lubrication of the ink is at a bare minimum.

 

To solve this problem, the pucker needs to be removed and the sharp edges have to be removed.  This is part and parcel with a nib tuning (according to the Binder method).

 

I hope the mental image is sufficient.  I'll look for ways, perhaps, to show a real image.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim


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#5 Flounder

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 13:58

Bruce, remove the hood and see if the flow suddenly improves dramatically. If so, the issue is nib/hood gap. I've had that before.


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#6 Hooker56

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 14:26

Tim,

 

I feel funny 'puckering up' for you, but the description was effective. One of my nibs is just as you described. I'll work on smoothing it this week when I have time and report back. Thanks again for your 'toothy' description.


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#7 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 17:06

Bruce, remove the hood and see if the flow suddenly improves dramatically. If so, the issue is nib/hood gap. I've had that before.

 

:headsmack:   Damn. As elementary as that is I should have thought about that myself. Thanks Flounder.

 

Of course, since it appears all the pros are skeered of turning us hamfisters aloose on those poor unsuspecting hoods with the knowledge of exactly HOW we're supposed to reset them, ;)   I guess I'll be happy with Knowing What's wrong but that I Still don't know How to fix it. 

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl



#8 Chi Town

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 02:37

Would it be as simple as putting a spark plug gauge, the long stemmed one, at 002"-003" between the tines a few times? Is this basically what we are talking about as far as the FIX?

Mike

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#9 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 03:16

That would get the tine spacing correct.

 

That has no effect on the tine to hood clearance.

 

Bruce in Ocala, FL



#10 pajaro

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 04:57

It writes thin . . . I wish I had one like that.  I find they all write too wet.  I end up turning them upside down.


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#11 TimGirdler

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 05:05

Would it be as simple as putting a spark plug gauge, the long stemmed one, at 002"-003" between the tines a few times? Is this basically what we are talking about as far as the FIX?

 

No....not necessarily.  As Bruce points out, it doesn't account for the relationship between the shell (hood) and the nib.

 

I've gapped plenty of "51" nibs that have been crunched together by the shell.  The fix of absolute last resort is to file out the inside of the shell.  This is not for the uninitiated or the faint-of-heart, and it is almost NEVER recommended to do.  There are other ways of dealing with the fit between those two elements....

 

But, the point is that the relationship between nib and shell is important.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim


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#12 Mike 59

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 09:33

Only have one '51' here, the previous owner is unknown to me, I bought it as 'not working', 3 years ago.

On trying it for the first time it did write, very dry and 'thin'.  Also it had no 'spring' to it, and it seemed the hood was pressing on the nib.

 It actually wrote a better line upside down, that gave me the idea that the nib was being 'pinned' to the feed by the hood.

 Long story short, weeks later having finally got the hood off, I did very lightly file the inside of the hood at the top, probably around 5 thou inch removed.

 Very aware this could have gone wrong but it wasn't useable as it was.

 Now I don't think it could write any better, for a UK wide nib (or wide medium), and under a loupe I can see the nib move up (just) as I press on paper.

 Have been using it like this since the mods, no complaints at all. 

   Just wrote a line, measured it at 0.7mm, with digital vernier.

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Edited by Mike 59, 09 June 2014 - 15:23.


#13 Chi Town

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 12:21

Ahhhh, now I get it......


Mike

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#14 Hooker56

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 18:53

 

 It actually wrote a better line upside down, that gave me the idea that the nib was being 'pinned' to the feed by the hood.

 

 

Seems like flipping the pen is an easy diagnostic test to determine if it might be the hood spacing as the upside-down pressure on the nib pushes it away from the hood slightly.


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#15 TimGirdler

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 20:23

But...  It may also be that your forcing the nib to contact the feed more closely.  I've had poorly writing "51" come through the shop and a heated and slightly bent feed (intentionally) fixed much. 

 

There's many things to trouble shoot, which is why the "51" is so much fun to fiddle with!

 

I find, most often, heating the hard rubber feed and adjusting that can fix many of the flow problems without having to touch the shell.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim


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#16 mhosea

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 20:28

But...  It may also be that your forcing the nib to contact the feed more closely.  I've had poorly writing "51" come through the shop and a heated and slightly bent feed (intentionally) fixed much. 

 

There's many things to trouble shoot, which is why the "51" is so much fun to fiddle with!

 

I find, most often, heating the hard rubber feed and adjusting that can fix many of the flow problems without having to touch the shell.

 

 

As this post showed up I was actually typing the question of whether heat-adjusting the hard rubber feed wouldn't be the thing to try before reshaping the hood in any way.  Thanks.


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#17 TimGirdler

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 20:58

 

As this post showed up I was actually typing the question of whether heat-adjusting the hard rubber feed wouldn't be the thing to try before reshaping the hood in any way.  Thanks.

 

Sorry! :)

 

Reshaping the shell should be an absolute last resort (as it is irreversible).  It is possible to reshape the shell with heat, though.  I've not tried it, mostly because I find heating the feed to be a better avenue.  If heating the feed didn't work, I'd try to heat the shell before going to the file.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim


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#18 Flounder

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 22:21

If the hood gap is found to be the cause, there's a few thing you can try instead of filing. The difference between too tight and just fine can be pretty minor.

 

You can try orientating the collector off from the usual fat channel up configuration, and see if the nib will take an infinitesimally different set that way. Likewise, inserting the nib & feed at a marginally different depth could be enough. Couldn't hurt to check the tines are horizontal; perhaps someone's had a clogged nib in the past, and stabbed it into the page in a fit of murderous frustration, bending them upwards.


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#19 Mike 59

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 22:45

  Not having seen any other '51's I would be interested to know if there is by design, a gap of a few thou above the nib, so that the nib can move under writing pressure?

 It seemed to me, that my pen had the shell pressing down on the top surface of the nib, and keeping the tine gap 'tight' all the time.

  It was not good to write with, and probably why I was lucky enough to be able to buy it.

   As many '51's are fine nibbed as well, maybe there is less metal at the front part of those nibs, and so they have more room to move. (Assuming the shell mouldings are the same for all nib widths.)

  I chose to very slightly file the inside face above the nib, as heating and moulding the shell was really not an option, I have no spare parts to choose from, if it went wrong.



#20 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 23:18

It is possible to reshape the shell with heat, though.  I've not tried it, mostly because I find heating the feed to be a better avenue.  If heating the feed didn't work, I'd try to heat the shell before going to the file.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim

 

Tim, is that your option because ebonite has a better heat memory than Lucite?

 

I wouldn't think it's a cost difference in event of failure as a feed and breather tube is about the same as a common hood.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl



#21 TimGirdler

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 02:15

 

Tim, is that your option because ebonite has a better heat memory than Lucite?

 

I wouldn't think it's a cost difference in event of failure as a feed and breather tube is about the same as a common hood.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

 

That's one reason.  Also, the hard rubber feed is MUCH more forgiving.  And, on top of it all, as you mention, it's not irreversible.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim


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#22 adyf

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:51

 

I find, most often, heating the hard rubber feed and adjusting that can fix many of the flow problems without having to touch the shell.

 

 

Is that usually to get a closer and more comfortable fit with the nib?



#23 TimGirdler

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 16:53

 

Is that usually to get a closer and more comfortable fit with the nib?

 

Generally, yes.  Over time, hard rubber feeds will tend to sag and the tines will tend to follow.  This is why, according to Richard Binder, modern pen companies' nibs are way too close on their out-of-the-box pens--they've studied vintage pens, but haven't allowed for the wear and tear of time.

 

Anyway, the hard rubber will snap back to its original shape and the marriage of the nib and feed will be much better.  And, as we all know, there isn't much sag possible in a "51" nib.  So, this helps to make a pen a more reliable writer.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim


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#24 adyf

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 16:55

 

Generally, yes.  Over time, hard rubber feeds will tend to sag and the tines will tend to follow.  This is why, according to Richard Binder, modern pen companies' nibs are way too close on their out-of-the-box pens--they've studied vintage pens, but haven't allowed for the wear and tear of time.

 

Anyway, the hard rubber will snap back to its original shape and the marriage of the nib and feed will be much better.  And, as we all know, there isn't much sag possible in a "51" nib.  So, this helps to make a pen a more reliable writer.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim

 

Thanks for the explanation Tim.



#25 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 18:05

 

Generally, yes.  Over time, hard rubber feeds will tend to sag and the tines will tend to follow.  This is why, according to Richard Binder, modern pen companies' nibs are way too close on their out-of-the-box pens--they've studied vintage pens, but haven't allowed for the wear and tear of time.

 

Anyway, the hard rubber will snap back to its original shape and the marriage of the nib and feed will be much better.  And, as we all know, there isn't much sag possible in a "51" nib.  So, this helps to make a pen a more reliable writer.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim

 

And now, for the $64 question.

 

Do you heat the feed Out of the collector or can it be done with the pen assembled?

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl



#26 white_lotus

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 19:54

I've been reading this thread with interest, learning what I can. But I admit I don't understand this idea of the feed "sagging" and how that would cause the 51's nib to press more tightly against the hood (above it) leading to the reduced flow. This is what I'm understanding the experts are discussing here. I presume I'm completely misunderstanding something.

 

Now maybe if the feed "sags" and presses against the hood (below) that somehow restricts the flow in the feed which restricts the flow to the nib.

 

Hopefully someone can explain this so I understand better. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.



#27 TimGirdler

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:04

 

And now, for the $64 question.

 

Do you heat the feed Out of the collector or can it be done with the pen assembled?

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

 

Always out of the pen.  Always disassembled.

 

There are too many other components that will be affected if it's done with the feed in the pen.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim


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#28 TimGirdler

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:12

I've been reading this thread with interest, learning what I can. But I admit I don't understand this idea of the feed "sagging" and how that would cause the 51's nib to press more tightly against the hood (above it) leading to the reduced flow. This is what I'm understanding the experts are discussing here. I presume I'm completely misunderstanding something.

 

Now maybe if the feed "sags" and presses against the hood (below) that somehow restricts the flow in the feed which restricts the flow to the nib.

 

Hopefully someone can explain this so I understand better. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

 

Sorry about misunderstanding and I fear I have participated in it...

 

In vintages pens with hard rubber feeds (NOT "51"s) the feed tends to sag and the nib tends to follow.  This happens over a fairly long period of time, however.  Modern pen makers look at the vintage pens, trying to copy them.  Not realizing the "sag factor" of the feed, they make nibs with the tines too close together.  Why?  When a feed sags and the nib follows, the tines get closer together at the tip.  So, modern pen makers think the tines have to be jammed together...

 

Now, fast forward to the "51".  Feeds can sag (the large majority of them are hard rubber).  The nib on a "51", though, usually won't.  On the "51" the nib isn't held in place by the feed, per se.  The nib is held in the collector (and so, for that matter, is the feed).  The tubular design of the "51" nib means that it will usually not sag with the feed, because the tubular design is typically stronger and more support is given to the tines by the very design of the nib.

 

But, in "51" feeds, there are some variations.  The early feeds do not have slits in them.  So, it is more important for the non-slitted feeds to be firmly against the nib.  The slitted nibs are, I think, a bit more forgiving.  So, in this case the feeds sag and withdraw from the nibs.  It's important to have the feeds re-engage with the nibs to have the flow work properly.

 

I doubt that a sagging feed will push the nib into the shell and I'm sorry that my comments (and others) gave that impression.

 

Blessings,

 

Tim


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#29 ac12

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 23:41

On one of my 51s, I changed from dry Cross/Pelikan ink to wet Waterman ink.

The increased ink flow of the Waterman ink got the ink line to look better.



#30 Mike 59

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 00:43

The feed on my 1958 (ish) '51' has 'sagged' away from the underside of the nib, needs a tweak there I'm sure, but the left tine of the nib was pressing against the shell so had no movement, the right hand tine could move slightly. 

 So two separate problems.   Without having any other detailed information about this nib and feed design, I would have thought that it is important to have a gap of (say) 10 thou all around the nib and feed where it leaves the hood/shell.   The nib design is tubular, and rigiid by nature, but a few thou of spring in the tines must be part of the design, and that no part of the nib touches the hood, which could affect the tine gap when the pen is in use.  (Which is mainly the problem I have been trying to sort out.)