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Stipula Etruria's Cracked Nib Collar


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#1 shahrincamille

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:58

Last year I had posted in the FPN LE pens' forum regarding the cracked nib/feed collar in my Etruria Stelle di Notte

Posted Image


The nib end of the collar had became completely avulsed from the rest of it, while the body of the collar itself was full of cracks (only visualisable under magnification) which leaks. I suspect that rubber O-ring was responsible for that detached piece if one were to screw in the collar into the section with too much torque. In my case I had never removed the collar, nib or feed, so I suspect it was overtightened at the factory itself.

And I only noticed this AFTER I had received the pen back after sending it over to Stipula/ Etruria s.r.l. RIGHT AFTER receiving it after much anticipation, as the piston had failed right out of the box (causing Diamine Majestic Blue to leak out over the piston filler knob end all over my table and ruin a magazine):gaah:

That collar was unsalvageable but Wim was kind and gracious enough to send me a replacement collar - for which I'm eternally grateful to him :cloud9:

I had never seen this happen to any of my other > 250 pens with exception of a Stipula Pinocchio, and I swore (then) - no more Etrurias for me after this.

But somehow the pen grew on me. It was perfectly balanced, the size was just right and the ergonomics - sculpted just right for my hand. I find that I keep reaching for that pen more often than it should, or deserved :thumbup:


So when Susanna had this Etruria Ambrosia on close-out, it was just too irresistible for me. I bought the converter version this time around, mindful of my previous experience with the piston-filler variety. True enough, this beauty was just as nice as its FPN cousin, albeit a bit lighter in weight due to the converter filling mechanism.


Now the thing is I initially used this pen with a few spare Montegrappa cartridges I found lying around, while waiting to fill it with Conway Stewart Bodmin ink which I had ordered from Niklas Dahl of NPI but had not arrived yet then. Now I'm a bit of an OCD type :P, whenever possible I would take apart the pen and thoroughly wash it before changing inks or putting the pen away for long-term storage. So I did just that, filled the Ambrosia with the Bodmin which had then just arrived, and noticed through the translucent celluloid section - a black stain from that ink on the inside of the section :doh:


I promptly unscrewed the nib/feed collar from the section, took out the 10X Belomo loupe, and to my horror, the same leaky cracks on the Ambrosia's collar with a partially-avulsed nib end. This time it's 100% my fault, as silly me must've overtightened the collar while putting the pen back together after washing it :bonk:


I decided to take matters into my own hands - went out to a nearby grocer, bought a small tube of UHU all-purpose adhesive, disassembled the pen again and washed out all traces of ink. Dried the collar thoroughly, applied the glue to the cracks with a toothpick, and waited for the glue to thoroughly set (last time I tried doing that with the above-mentioned Pinocchio many years ago, I was too impatient and ended up permanently gluing the nib/feed collar to the section - which leaked a bit after that :gaah:) Then I dabbed some silicone sealant over the spots where I had applied the UHU glue, then slowly screwed it in into the section, this time without the O-ring. After that I inserted the nib and feed, had them aligned and adjusted, then applied a thin layer of silicone sealant at the gap between the collar and the section in order to prevent ink from seeping in during filling. All these, of course, were done with frequent checking using the loupe.

It's still just a few days, but so far no leaks seen (yet). And to confirm it, this afternoon I had the nib/feed collar unscrewed from the section and yes - no leaks :thumbup:. Keeping my fingers crossed now :P



Moral of the story :

1. Try not to unscrew the nib/feed collar from the Etruria if possible. The nib and feed can be changed by pulling them right out as is the norm with Bock-supplied nibs.

2. If you really need to have the collar removed, do it gently and when putting it back together, DO NOT screw in the collar together with the O-ring; screw in the collar in as much as possible, THEN only put in the O-ring in the remaining gap between the collar and the section, and after that tighten in gently and stop on resistance.

3. Under no circumstances must excessive force/ torque be applied.

:P

:doh:

:bonk:

:gaah:

:bawl:



Shahrin B)

#2 hari317

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:53

Thanks for sharing. It appears from the pictures as if the collar has disintegrated, look at the rough surface into two areas. Perhaps a materials problem?

#3 shahrincamille

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:55

Thanks for sharing. It appears from the pictures as if the collar has disintegrated, look at the rough surface into two areas. Perhaps a materials problem?


I suspect so :hmm1: . The plastic looks brittle and I had never seen a collar from another brand with such brittleness. Could it be storage issues since I doubt Etruria make their own collars?

Anyway, that picture was from last year. The pen that I had repaired I had received just last week, but the material's brittlessness (and extent of 'injury') looks remarkably similar to the one pictured :hmm1:


Shahrin B)

#4 framebaer

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 14:51

The good news is that nib unit is a standard Boch or Schmidt unit. Sorry I don't remember which.

Just buy a steel nib unit and then swap out your stipula nib/ feed( actually the feeds are identical) to get the new collar. Threading should be same.

I suggest Richard Binder, but i'm sure there are others, who sell nib units and should have one that fits.

Edited by framebaer, 11 February 2013 - 14:53.

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#5 wimg

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 00:56

Thank you for relating your story.

I have been explaining for a few years now that people should indeed rather pull the nibs and feeds from their Stipulas, as indeed generally the collar breaks, and that is th eleast of the problems :).

This after I had to try and salvage a completely destroyed custom nib (duopoint 18 degree medium LOB / small to medium stub, ground by myself actually)), a broken feed, collar stuck in the section, and damaged section. All of this because too much force was applied by the owner and a "friend" to try and unscrew the nib unit (nib / feed / collar / O-ring), not once, but several times, even using pliers.

The problem of stuck collars may be caused by several factors.
One of them is just caked ink. Ink is a fluid, and as a result it will go, like any fluid, where it shouldn;t and where nobody expects it to go. Next it dries out. Repeat thsi cycle a few times, and we end up with a stuck collar, or even stuck feed and nib. This effect may be worsened by the type of material the pen is made of. Celluloid is an example of this, as it does shrink a little with age, making the collar sit too tight for removal without special instruments.

BTW, I do have spare collars / feeds, so if anybody needs any, do contact me backchannel.

Warmest regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
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#6 wimg

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    Stip Etruria nut :)

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:02

The good news is that nib unit is a standard Boch or Schmidt unit. Sorry I don't remember which.

Just buy a steel nib unit and then swap out your stipula nib/ feed( actually the feeds are identical) to get the new collar. Threading should be same.

I suggest Richard Binder, but i'm sure there are others, who sell nib units and should have one that fits.

Not entirely correct. The Stipula feed is a design by Etruria S.r.l., the company which manufactures Stipula pens, and is made especially for Stipula pens by Bock (and in the past by a little company annexed by Waterman, after which production of the Stipula feeds had to be sourced somewhere else).

The nib itself is also not a standard Bock nib. It is made to design of Etruria S.r.l. as well. The only things standard are the collar and the O-ring.

BTW, I have nib units and parts which fit perfectly ;).

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
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#7 wimg

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:05


Thanks for sharing. It appears from the pictures as if the collar has disintegrated, look at the rough surface into two areas. Perhaps a materials problem?


I suspect so :hmm1: . The plastic looks brittle and I had never seen a collar from another brand with such brittleness. Could it be storage issues since I doubt Etruria make their own collars?

Anyway, that picture was from last year. The pen that I had repaired I had received just last week, but the material's brittlessness (and extent of 'injury') looks remarkably similar to the one pictured :hmm1:


Shahrin B)

No, that is certainly not typical. The lip on the collar (which holds the O-ring in place between collar and section) is very thin, so it needs care when screwing in the nib unit, but from my experinece, these collars only disintegrate or crack when treated with too much force.

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
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#8 raging.dragon

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:25


The good news is that nib unit is a standard Boch or Schmidt unit. Sorry I don't remember which.

Just buy a steel nib unit and then swap out your stipula nib/ feed( actually the feeds are identical) to get the new collar. Threading should be same.

I suggest Richard Binder, but i'm sure there are others, who sell nib units and should have one that fits.

Not entirely correct. The Stipula feed is a design by Etruria S.r.l., the company which manufactures Stipula pens, and is made especially for Stipula pens by Bock (and in the past by a little company annexed by Waterman, after which production of the Stipula feeds had to be sourced somewhere else).

The nib itself is also not a standard Bock nib. It is made to design of Etruria S.r.l. as well. The only things standard are the collar and the O-ring.

BTW, I have nib units and parts which fit perfectly ;).

Warm regards, Wim


I've recently acquired a pair of Stipulas and I noticed a few subtle differences between their nibs and feeds and stock Bock units. Thus I suspected their nibs and feeds were non standard. It's good to have confirmation of this.

Edited by raging.dragon, 16 February 2013 - 04:26.


#9 wimg

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 21:31

I've recently acquired a pair of Stipulas and I noticed a few subtle differences between their nibs and feeds and stock Bock units. Thus I suspected their nibs and feeds were non standard. It's good to have confirmation of this.

:D

It is very well possible that Bock also sells these to others, and their nibs and feeds are generally exchangeable, just that the Stipula ones in principle are produced specifically for Etruria S.r.l., to their design and specifications indeed.

This is one of the reasons why Stipula nibs behave the way they do, with their very good springiness, unlike many other nibs :). It is unfortunately also one of the reasons why the range of nibs is severely limited these days - the pricing by the nib manufacturers for special nibs, which they essentially are, is just too high with current gold prices and minimum quantities required for production. This is even true for titanium nibs.

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
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