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Just Received My Twsbi Vac 700


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#121 SamCapote

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 17:04

I received mine over the weekend and didn't even test it. Entirely too large and uncomfortable in my hand. It would have been fine if the grip was smaller, but just wasn't going to work for me unfortunately. Back it went.


Sorry to hear that, but now I'm actually excited to get it in my man hands. I like MB 149, Duofold, Pelikan M1000, Nakaya Cigar Long, etc.

Edited by SamCapote, 09 May 2012 - 17:05.

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#122 PeterBeoworld

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 18:22

Received mine from the Writing Desk - as usual superb service, good packaging and much quicker than I had expected. Filled with Kon-Peki, it is not bad at all - no ink clumping as seen above though I do find it a little dry - it doesn't keep up with my upstrokes! I'll be looking out for my feeler gauges!
Very comfortable to use - I had been concerned about the section step - and just the right size for me - I use it non posted. The nib is very firm but I am used to more vintage nibs. Is in my jacket pocket next to my Onoto Nickelby - ironically an Onoto without a plunger fill!

#123 Surnia

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 18:26

So, uh, I've used mine for about two days now.

First, my faithful sidekick, Cinnamin, had trouble with hers (the sapphire) refusing to write. (Yeah, she's in the same office so I assume it's an Amber problem). We reinked it. What she HATES is that the ink looks like it's separating. (The ink isn't actually separating, but it is spotting along the plastic like hard water spots). I'm assuming that this is the nature of the vacuum fill. What say you all?



Posted Image


Too much silicone grease =p

It happens when the gaskets/seals are over-greased and the excess gets left along the inside of the barrel. Just actuate the mechanism a few times, and it should clear up.
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#124 Amandaa

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 19:48

Interesting. I've yet to find a pen that I find uncomfortable at all let alone to the point I wouldn't use it.


Me either, this is a first for me. But I do use my pens not just stare at them and I didn't want it sitting around. Plus I do have smaller hands :)



I received mine over the weekend and didn't even test it. Entirely too large and uncomfortable in my hand. It would have been fine if the grip was smaller, but just wasn't going to work for me unfortunately. Back it went.


Sorry to hear that, but now I'm actually excited to get it in my man hands. I like MB 149, Duofold, Pelikan M1000, Nakaya Cigar Long, etc.


Hehe! It's a good sized pen thats for sure! It wasn't so much the length for me, just too much grip section for my small fingers to handle. Hope it suits your man hands! :)

#125 amberleadavis

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 00:40


So, uh, I've used mine for about two days now.

First, my faithful sidekick, Cinnamin, had trouble with hers (the sapphire) refusing to write. (Yeah, she's in the same office so I assume it's an Amber problem). We reinked it. What she HATES is that the ink looks like it's separating. (The ink isn't actually separating, but it is spotting along the plastic like hard water spots). I'm assuming that this is the nature of the vacuum fill. What say you all?



Posted Image


Too much silicone grease =p

It happens when the gaskets/seals are over-greased and the excess gets left along the inside of the barrel. Just actuate the mechanism a few times, and it should clear up.


Posted Image Thank you!!

Now, how do I "actuate the mechanism" ???Posted Image
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#126 ticoun

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 02:20



So, uh, I've used mine for about two days now.

First, my faithful sidekick, Cinnamin, had trouble with hers (the sapphire) refusing to write. (Yeah, she's in the same office so I assume it's an Amber problem). We reinked it. What she HATES is that the ink looks like it's separating. (The ink isn't actually separating, but it is spotting along the plastic like hard water spots). I'm assuming that this is the nature of the vacuum fill. What say you all?



Posted Image


Too much silicone grease =p

It happens when the gaskets/seals are over-greased and the excess gets left along the inside of the barrel. Just actuate the mechanism a few times, and it should clear up.


Posted Image Thank you!!

Now, how do I "actuate the mechanism" ???Posted Image

Empty the pen, then pull and push the plunger a few times. It should clean those spots in no time.

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#127 novarider

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 03:56

So are these having skipping issues? Should I wait to order one?

#128 MiloWilo

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 14:21

Just had confirmation from purepens.co.uk that my Vac 700 Sapphire is on its way! Apparently they have just had their shipment. I am worrying that I ordered the wrong colour now tho! The smoked looks so nice, may have to get another one, or just the whole set!

#129 amberleadavis

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:00




So, uh, I've used mine for about two days now.

First, my faithful sidekick, Cinnamin, had trouble with hers (the sapphire) refusing to write. (Yeah, she's in the same office so I assume it's an Amber problem). We reinked it. What she HATES is that the ink looks like it's separating. (The ink isn't actually separating, but it is spotting along the plastic like hard water spots). I'm assuming that this is the nature of the vacuum fill. What say you all?



Posted Image


Too much silicone grease =p

It happens when the gaskets/seals are over-greased and the excess gets left along the inside of the barrel. Just actuate the mechanism a few times, and it should clear up.


Posted Image Thank you!!

Now, how do I "actuate the mechanism" ???Posted Image

Empty the pen, then pull and push the plunger a few times. It should clean those spots in no time.



THANK YOU!

Do you think the extra grease may be what's causing it to stick? The sapphire stops writing even though it has ink. It's like it's a vacuum.


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#130 Surnia

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:56

THANK YOU!

Do you think the extra grease may be what's causing it to stick? The sapphire stops writing even though it has ink. It's like it's a vacuum.


Just making sure, you're opening up the vaccuum seal before you write, right? xD

otherwise, you can always do a detergent flush (ear bulb syringe, get a small bowl and mix 3-4 drops into water. use the syringe to flush through the feed a few times, then repeat with water to flush all detergent out) through the feed and see if it helps.

If THAT doesn't work, try a different ink, it could be surface tension from that particular ink that's stopping it from writing (the TWSBIs are a bit more susceptible, the 530/540 at least).
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#131 Ernst Bitterman

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 19:57





So, uh, I've used mine for about two days now.

First, my faithful sidekick, Cinnamin, had trouble with hers (the sapphire) refusing to write. (Yeah, she's in the same office so I assume it's an Amber problem). We reinked it. What she HATES is that the ink looks like it's separating. (The ink isn't actually separating, but it is spotting along the plastic like hard water spots). I'm assuming that this is the nature of the vacuum fill. What say you all?


{That picture}


Too much silicone grease =p

It happens when the gaskets/seals are over-greased and the excess gets left along the inside of the barrel. Just actuate the mechanism a few times, and it should clear up.


Posted Image Thank you!!

Now, how do I "actuate the mechanism" ???Posted Image

Empty the pen, then pull and push the plunger a few times. It should clean those spots in no time.



THANK YOU!

Do you think the extra grease may be what's causing it to stick? The sapphire stops writing even though it has ink. It's like it's a vacuum.


I'll insult slightly by asking if you've eased off the shut-off valve. Then I'll possibly commiserate, as mine was acting the the same way when filled with Diamine Prussian Blue. Apparently mine hates that ink; I've tried Pelikan Royal Blue and black in it, with much better results (although I'm still considering opening the slit a mite).

edit, in response to what I find is now the immediately preceding message- you know, given the frequency this sort of thing happens, I'm just going to compose these messages and let the other person who's typing the same thing at a slightly faster rate do the actual posting. :rolleyes:

Edited by Ernst Bitterman, 10 May 2012 - 19:59.

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#132 Zanshin

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 20:52

So are these having skipping issues? Should I wait to order one?


Experience seems to be variable. Mine was awful out of the box, very dry, inconsistent ink flow, extremely poor starter and yes, when it decided to write, it skipped plenty. It took me a while but I've got it working nicely now, smooth but still not 100% skip free although it doesn't happen often. I have a medium nib and it's not as wet as the 540 medium but I think just a littler smoother, at last.

Maybe TWSBI will improve their quality control so we can all get a more consistent experience and make it worth waiting. It depends how much you want one I guess.
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#133 novarider

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 21:48

Is the VAC 700 reliable enough to be a Daily Writer? I use a Waterman Phileas in F now (its not fancy but it works first time, EVERY time)It's a tad wet for my use and just a little bit scratchey.

Will the VAC 700 in XF be smoother than what I currently use or maybe the F? I want smoother and just a tad (not much tho) drier than my Phileas.

#134 Scylax

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 23:38

I can't compare with the pen you mention, but the EF nib on my Vac is very smooth compared to any non-TWSBI EF nibs I have. It's not that wet either. Obviously I have no idea whether it will last for years as a daily writer but I can't see why not. I'm certainly hoping mine will be!

#135 Bill Wood

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 23:59

The 540 is a dry writer with both medium nibs. I suggest that the 700 is the same way. Feeler gauges and a light flossing with acetate makes a world of difference. Try it on the 700 and you'll be very happy I'm sure. Sounds like a big pen. Perhaps I won't have to post ;)

#136 photobadger

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 00:47

I'm struggling with this pen. On one hand I love the look, the weight, the overall feel and the smoothness of the nib. On the other hand I'm having major startup and skipping issues. I have done the back off by two turns to no avail and at one point just pulled the vac back to squirt some ink out of the nib. It wrote then, but soon stopped again. It's going to depress me to have to return it.

#137 SteveE

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:19

A couple of points:
1. I find that with my 700 I have to not only unscrew the filler knob, but also pull it back slightly, until I feel it "unlatch." Then ink flows normally. If I just unscrew the cap, mine doesn't lift the plunger far enough to enable enough ink to flow to keep up with the nib.
2. I have a medium nib. At first it wrote well but was too dry for my liking. Somewhere I found a video in which Speedy shows how to squeeze the shoulders of the nib together, toward the feed, to slightly open the nib slit. He uses pliers, I used my fingers. It opened my nib up just enough to become a gloriously smooth, wet medium writer with nary a skip on any stroke.

The pen writes very well, doesn't look bad, but I find the need to open the ink valve just a bit more "fiddly" than I'm used to with any other pen I have. (And I have lever fillers, button fillers, a bulb filler, a pump filler, lots of c/c pens, many piston fillers and even a couple of ED's.)

Of course, this is just mu $.02. YMMV

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#138 amberleadavis

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 04:35

Thanks All!

I haven't had the problem yet (which other posters will tell you is a first) this time it's the faithful sidekick's pen (we have coordinating ink accoutrements).



So, to answer the questions....

Cin's is the Sapphire filled with Diamine Apple Green (she's had Diamine Apple Green in both times this issue has happened).

Describe "laying off" - I've tried pulling the little plunger but it ends up being easier to just empty and refill. Which is making her crazy.

She's insisting that it must be returned and then I will be back with the clear 540 because you know that the amber 540 is yellow and not "amber" so I can't be caught dead accessorizing with a "non-amber Amber pen. And I don't think our insurance policy covers chromotherapy.

Edited by amberleadavis, 11 May 2012 - 04:36.

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#139 liapuyat

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:58

I've had mine a couple of days, a Sapphire Vac 700 in M. I filled it with Binder Burgundy (1:1 Waterman Purple to Sheaffer Skrip Red). It wrote off the bat without skipping, but made a slightly drier/thinner line than the M nib in my Smoke 540. If later on I find I want it slightly wetter, I'll tweak it. So far it writes well enough for me.

I find that the nib and section fit in the 5ml ink sample vial like the Goulets sell ink samples in. If I fill it about 2.5ml full, and put the nib and section in, the ink level is deep enough for a single plunge fill (half the reservoir) without spilling ink. I suppose if I wanted to totally fill the reservoir I'd have to invert, release air, plunge and fill again (and a third time, if necessary). The only thing is I'd have to make sure the ink level is at the 2.5ml mark each time I do that. Fortunately I like changing inks, so I don't really require a full reservoir.
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#140 Surnia

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 16:08

So, to answer the questions....

Cin's is the Sapphire filled with Diamine Apple Green (she's had Diamine Apple Green in both times this issue has happened).

Describe "laying off" - I've tried pulling the little plunger but it ends up being easier to just empty and refill. Which is making her crazy.

She's insisting that it must be returned and then I will be back with the clear 540 because you know that the amber 540 is yellow and not "amber" so I can't be caught dead accessorizing with a "non-amber Amber pen. And I don't think our insurance policy covers chromotherapy.


Would she be willing to switch inks? sounds like its a surface tension problem...

You can try adding a VERY small amount of detergent (fraction of a drop if you can) to a single fill, and see if it helps. However, it will make the ink feather more, and be slightly wetter.
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#141 Vshin

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 18:27

There is a LOT of silicone grease coating the inside of the pen and perhaps a little may have found its way into the feed/tube. I recommend flushing with water and a couple drops of dishwater detergent. Make sure you actuate the plunger briskly to push any particles out.

These Bock nibs are also hard as a nail and the tines are pressed very tight. It's so hard that I can't increase wetness using the traditional method of pulling them with my fingers. I wound up force-flexing the nib a bit to widen the tines and now it flows very well.
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#142 novarider

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 18:34

Do you still let this pen dry after flushing it before filling with ink? If so how? Do you take it apart?

#143 imahawki

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 23:25

I had my first real mess with this pen... I filled it with Rouge Hematite without flushing it first and it kept running dry/stopping, even on copy paper which normally sucks ink out of the pen. Likely oil/grease in the feed from manufacturing which is why I should have flushed it as a new pen. But any way, after flushing I tried to fill it from a sample vial because the opening in the RH bottle is so small. I got ink all over. On my kitchen counter, some on the floor, all over the pen, and all over my hand (like a LOT) which after washing was bright magenta. I probably won't fill this with any ink where the pen won't fit well in the bottle going forward and really want to get a couple of the test tube fillers when they come out.

#144 SamCapote

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 00:36


So are these having skipping issues? Should I wait to order one?


Experience seems to be variable. Mine was awful out of the box, very dry, inconsistent ink flow, extremely poor starter and yes, when it decided to write, it skipped plenty. It took me a while but I've got it working nicely now, smooth but still not 100% skip free although it doesn't happen often. I have a medium nib and it's not as wet as the 540 medium but I think just a littler smoother, at last.

Maybe TWSBI will improve their quality control so we can all get a more consistent experience and make it worth waiting. It depends how much you want one I guess.


The 540 is a dry writer with both medium nibs. I suggest that the 700 is the same way. Feeler gauges and a light flossing with acetate makes a world of difference. Try it on the 700 and you'll be very happy I'm sure. Sounds like a big pen. Perhaps I won't have to post ;)


All these problems being reported....but shouldn't all pens work perfectly out of the box? I keep hearing in other threads that TWSBI always works perfectly out of the box. The irony is pungent.

Since I have been the one speaking up most about the posting issue, I compared my Vac700 posted with my Pilot 823 posted. While better than the 530/540, the Vac700 still has a back heavy imbalance making it irritating for longer uses if posted.

However, the bigger VAC700 issue which I REALLY do not like is the amount of the abrupt circumference step-down from the barrel to the section, and then again from the section threads (that the cap screws onto) to the smooth part of the section. The drop-off edges of these two locations are very sharp and scrape against your finger in a way I have not experienced with any other fountain pen. The 530/540 does not have this sharp edges issue. I cannot recommend this pen as a result.

I
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#145 novarider

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 00:48

According to some people on this Site if a pen writes one word it works correctly. Doesn't matter if it skips after that it still "worked". I just went through this discussion in another thread. Imo a pen SHOULD write properly out of the box. It shouldn't need the tines separated in order to flow properly it should just work.

#146 Lady Spencerian

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:09

I had my first real mess with this pen... I filled it with Rouge Hematite without flushing it first and it kept running dry/stopping, even on copy paper which normally sucks ink out of the pen. Likely oil/grease in the feed from manufacturing which is why I should have flushed it as a new pen. But any way, after flushing I tried to fill it from a sample vial because the opening in the RH bottle is so small. I got ink all over. On my kitchen counter, some on the floor, all over the pen, and all over my hand (like a LOT) which after washing was bright magenta. I probably won't fill this with any ink where the pen won't fit well in the bottle going forward and really want to get a couple of the test tube fillers when they come out.


You are not alone. I made a fine old mess too - even getting ink on the little brochure with the filling diagrams. First, I had the same difficulty getting the pen far enough into the small opening of the ink bottle. Having finally succeeded in filling the pen (without getting ink all over myself), I stupidly twisted the nib unit instead of the knob at the top of the plunger to allow the ink to flow. :headsmack: The ink flowed all right! Apparently, I don't speak diagram. Quite a traumatic experience for a gal who normally fills her pens with a syringe and rarely spills a drop.

Pen, me, and the counter cleaned up, the pen writes pretty nicely, but is a bit dry and prone to the skipping that others have mentioned. I remember having similar woes with the 530 for the first few fills. It should all settle out.

#147 liapuyat

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:13

Fortunately mine doesn't skip, it just writes a dry (but very acceptable) line.
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#148 tonybelding

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:54

All these problems being reported....but shouldn't all pens work perfectly out of the box? I keep hearing in other threads that TWSBI always works perfectly out of the box. The irony is pungent.


Realistically? Many new pens sold today aren't adjusted for correct ink flow -- the most common problem being that they're too dry. You're going to run into that with a lot of the mass-produced fountain pens, particularly (it seems to me) the ones that come with German-made nibs. You can dodge the issue if you buy from a nibmeister who adjusts them individually before shipping, such as Richard Binder. Otherwise it's just going to be a roll of the dice.

I have two TWSBIs plus one spare nib unit. Two out of those three nibs were dry (though usable, not actually skipping) and needed adjustment. The last Monteverde that I got (another inexpensive pen with a German-made steel nib) required the same. So did my Pelikan M200. It just goes with the territory, apparently.

To be fair... It's easier to increase flow than decrease it, so it makes some sense for the manufacturers to err on the side of dryness. Also, there's a lot of crummy paper out there in the world today, and a dry-ish pen won't bleed and feather as badly on it.

#149 Vshin

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:14

I have never had a single fountain pen work perfectly out of the box. All of them required some adjustment to the nib to flow properly. This is normal as far as I can tell, unless I happen to be the unluckiest pen customer on the planet.
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#150 Zanshin

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:24


All these problems being reported....but shouldn't all pens work perfectly out of the box? I keep hearing in other threads that TWSBI always works perfectly out of the box. The irony is pungent.


Realistically? Many new pens sold today aren't adjusted for correct ink flow -- the most common problem being that they're too dry.


And therein lies the problem. What is the prime function of a pen? In fact what's the sole function of a pen? To put ink on a page. Nothing else.

I could understand if a cheap Chinese pen that only cost £5 including shipping all the way from China didn't write perfectly out of the box, but for a pen that cost best part of £70 not to work out of the box is pretty much an insult to the customer. I'm not talking about being a little bit dry. I'm talking about being utterly unfit for purpose without a considerable amount of effort from the purchaser.

What if TWSBI made lawnmowers? They'd have the shape, the styling, the colour scheme that everyone told them they preferred. But what's that blunt steel bar in the box? "Oh that's the blade. We cut it to the right length but thought we'd let you, the customer, grind it, shape it and hone it yourself to get the cut you prefer." Hmmm.

I like the way TWSBI as a company operate, with their involvement of the pen community, the open and transparent way they have dealt with manufacturing problems, use of social media etc,. Speedy and co have read all the right Marketing textbooks, but they seem to have forgotten the fundamentals. To ship out a product that plain doesn't work is just wrong at the most basic level.
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