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Bexley Corona - B - Summer Storm


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#1 watch_art

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 18:03

So this pen came in yesterday and I was quite struck by it. After getting my Jeb Nazca I'm not sure if I was excited as I should have been, but it's still a very nice pen, this Bexley. ;) Very.

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First thing I wanted to check out was the piston. I opened it and closed it a couple of times and it was quite a bit rougher than I expected. I figured maybe the seal just needs a bit of grease. No prob. I'll take it apart later and grease it up.

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I inked it up with some blue and made a few marks and WOW that nib is sexy smooth. Just a delight. Whether Binder had to do anything to it or not I don't know, but it's very very good. Probably the best B nib I've ever used. Well... I've got a Faber Castell I'm supposed to stub that's just dead sexy. It puts the Bex to shame, but daggum, it's a Faber Castell. Shouldn't it be near perfect? This Bex is the best B nib in my little collection and the best I've ever owned for sure. My Edison Herald Grande comes in a close second. But maybe that's due to ink differences...

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The pen is a great size. Perfect weight and balance for me. Every line and curve is smooth and feels good to my fingers. Nothing to complain about there. While examining the ink window, I noticed a tiny (TINY) gap between the barrel (binde?) and the window where they didn't meet up perfectly. Oh well. Nobody is perfect. :)

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It holds enough ink for me, even being a juicy wet broad. I can draw and write a bit through the day at school, and if I need to ink it up, I can do that at home in the evening. No worries there. Buf if you do LOTS of writing at work, you may want a bottle of ink with you. But that's with a broad nib. I've got it loaded up with Diamine Green Black right now as I'm not a huge blue person right now. Maybe later. ;)


Now for the piston. Hmm... how do you take it apart. I know the Lamy 2000 and the Noodler's pens come apart by unscrewing the knob a bit past a certain point and then pushing against the piston on the other side to get all the innards out. Bingo. That did it.

Now you may be saying "Are you crazy?!"
Haven't you read any of my other posts? Of course I am! :roflmho:

Here it is in pieces. I was surprised that the whole thing is just pressure fit in there.
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I thought the square shape of the rod was interesting. Maybe that was easier to machine than a rectangle? Dunno. It works though - but I think the brass to plastic meetup is the reason for the rough piston feel. The brass threads into that square hole against plastic turning things inside the white round thing. Those are all technical terms. :P

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Here's an angle to show a little pin that goes through the white plastic cylinder, holding something in place.

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And the back of the barrel is threaded. Were they anticipating a threaded piston unit? Hmm... the world may never know.

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So how does the thing stay put? I dunno. Magic I guess. :D

So how do I rate it?

8 out of 10. The nib is perfect, the shape and size and weight perfect.
The piston? A bit rough. Even after a good greasing. What a stinker. Hopefully mine is a fluke. Will it stop me loving this pen?
Heck no. I don't play with the piston, how silly! :P I write with the nib!

Now what are you waiting for!? Go buy one!

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#2 hari317

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 18:11

Superb, I have been wwaiting for someone to strip this pen down.

I guess the piston rod is square to force a linear motion only, stopping the helical motion. The white part is the anti rotation slot. I guess it is held onto the black knob assembly by the pin?
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#3 Delphideo

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 18:11

I've been planning to get one of these perhaps by the end of the year (no monies for nowPosted Image). I really do hope that the rough piston is just a fluke as I consider stiff pistons a major turn-off.
In some things in life it's better to take a Zen approach. If you think too much you won't achieve your goal, wheras if you don't think and let yourself go, it shall be achieved with ease. I find this helpful in writing, kendo and music.

#4 hari317

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 18:13

With the filler off the pen, are you able to unscrew the rear knob completely off the rest of the assy?, if not, then probably that pin is like a retainer clip that allows the knob plus its extention hollow nut "snout" to rotate but held captive in the white antirotation sleeve.

Edited by hari317, 27 August 2011 - 18:16.

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#5 777

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 18:15

Thanks for this watch_art. I was hoping to see a more "detailed" review of this pen. As always, very informative and honest - which I love about your reviews! :)

I really wish more companies would pick up on Pelikans threaded-piston design. I hate the knock-out pistons. Well, no I don't hate them, but they're a bugger.

I was just recently working on three piston fillers for different clients - all knock out types. No matter how much care you take knocking them out, you know you are slowly wearing the "grippy" things down. Eventually it won't fit tightly, and then what!?

Oh well, hopefully the rest of the pen will wear before the piston does... :)

I really want one of these now. :D

Thanks again watch_art!

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


Posted Image


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#6 watch_art

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 18:32

With the filler off the pen, are you able to unscrew the rear knob completely off the rest of the assy?, if not, then probably that pin is like a retainer clip that allows the knob plus its extention hollow nut "snout" to rotate but held captive in the white antirotation sleeve.


That's what I'm thinking. I wasn't about to try taking that pin out and breaking it down farther. I'm sure I'd have a bear of a time getting it back together.

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#7 hari317

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 18:36

That's what I'm thinking. I wasn't about to try taking that pin out and breaking it down farther. I'm sure I'd have a bear of a time getting it back together.


Ok. when you rotate the filler knob to extend the piston, does the knob move also axially out like it does on Pelikans/Mbs?
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#8 watch_art

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 18:40

That's what I'm thinking. I wasn't about to try taking that pin out and breaking it down farther. I'm sure I'd have a bear of a time getting it back together.


Ok. when you rotate the filler knob to extend the piston, does the knob move also axially out like it does on Pelikans/Mbs?


it does a little bit. When I had the unit out I had to hold the white bit to turn the knob and work the piston up and down.
When I put it back together, I just screwed the piston rod all the way in, and shoved it back into the barrel (carefully of course).

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#9 hari317

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 18:48

That's what I'm thinking. I wasn't about to try taking that pin out and breaking it down farther. I'm sure I'd have a bear of a time getting it back together.


Ok. when you rotate the filler knob to extend the piston, does the knob move also axially out like it does on Pelikans/Mbs?


it does a little bit. When I had the unit out I had to hold the white bit to turn the knob and work the piston up and down.
When I put it back together, I just screwed the piston rod all the way in, and shoved it back into the barrel (carefully of course).


That little bit of movement maybe equal to the clearance between the pin and the slot/groove for the pin cut on the hollow nut which is connected to the knob.

If it is indeed like this, then you must not extract the filler frequently by the "unscrewing the knob" method. because, it is through the small pin that the force is getting transmitted, to push the whole filler out.

I am guessing that the piston rod is actually a standard screw with four sides milled out. can you also tell how the seal has been attached to the rod? is it snap fit?
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#10 Brian C

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 19:28

So the piston isn't smoother than the Pelikans? Yup, I think i'll pass on this one. Does it really have anything to offer that the TWSBI doesn't?

Edited by heraclitus682, 27 August 2011 - 19:33.


#11 watch_art

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 19:50

If it is indeed like this, then you must not extract the filler frequently by the "unscrewing the knob" method. because, it is through the small pin that the force is getting transmitted, to push the whole filler out.

I am guessing that the piston rod is actually a standard screw with four sides milled out. can you also tell how the seal has been attached to the rod? is it snap fit?


I don't plan on taking it out ever again. I just had to see what it looked like in there. But I bet you're right about that little pin.
And I'd say yes about the seal. I thought it looked just like the seal on one of my cheap syringes. Same size and everything. Maybe they sourced some bits from medical companies?

So the piston isn't smoother than the Pelikans? Yup, I think i'll pass on this one. Does it really have anything to offer that the TWSBI doesn't?


Not on this one. It looks better than the TWSBI in my opinion, and writes better (at least until the new Bock nibbed TWSBIs came out). Uhm... other than that I dunno. It posts just like the TWSBI which is awful. Way up high on the filler knob. Silliness.

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#12 777

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 21:09

So the piston isn't smoother than the Pelikans? Yup, I think i'll pass on this one. Does it really have anything to offer that the TWSBI doesn't?


Honestly, I do agree with this somewhat. I like these Coronas, and they have colored ones (which TWSBI doesn't offer).

BUT - for $130.00ish - No way! I suppose the "all american made" makes it worth a bit more... I dunno. :|

Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.


Posted Image


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#13 Scriptorium Pens

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 21:10

The piston on my Summer Storm is smooth as can be. It's a fantastic pen for me.

Renée

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#14 tonybelding

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 21:10

So the piston isn't smoother than the Pelikans? Yup, I think i'll pass on this one.


For the record, my Corona has the smoothest and most effortless action that I've yet seen on a piston filler, including my Pelikan M200 and my two TWSBIs.


Does it really have anything to offer that the TWSBI doesn't?


Sure. . . It offers a bit more heft (because of the brass bit), better materials, a larger nib, more vintage-inspired styling in a choice of colors (not everyone is crazy about demonstrators), and gold nibs as an option. The Corona comes across as more of a luxury pen.

#15 plc123

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 21:16

Apologies in advance for going a bit off topic...but what is that stunning green pen???

Thanks for any info!
p-

#16 Brian C

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 21:26

Apologies in advance for going a bit off topic...but what is that stunning green pen??? Thanks for any info! p-

Ha! Shawn's favorite subject these days.

#17 Delphideo

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 21:28

That's watch_art's JEB Nazca. Here's his review.
In some things in life it's better to take a Zen approach. If you think too much you won't achieve your goal, wheras if you don't think and let yourself go, it shall be achieved with ease. I find this helpful in writing, kendo and music.

#18 tonybelding

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 21:29

BUT - for $130.00ish - No way! I suppose the "all american made" makes it worth a bit more... I dunno. :|


This kind of comment drives me nuts. :doh:

Don't think of the Corona as a TWSBI that some crazy company is trying to charge $130 for. Think of it as a Pelikan M800 that some crazy company is giving away for only $130.

Actually if you get a Corona with a gold nib (like the M800) then it's more like $295. But that's still close to $100 less than a M800 -- and whose fault is it that Pelikan don't sell M800s with steel nibs, anyhow?

As for the TWSBI. . . It's a crazy bargain at $50. If that's your standard for value, then pretty much every other fountain pen on the market is a rip-off, and the Corona shouldn't even be close to the first one you gripe about. I like my two TWSBIs and will probably get another one or two in the future, but I'm not going to sell off the rest of my collection and resort to never having anything but TWSBIs. :P

Plus, the TWSBI has a #5 (small) nib, is made of injection-molded plastic, and has had some problems with leaky pistons, cracked sections and tight caps. (Although, those problems are supposed to be fixed with the 540 model.) Plus, not everyone is crazy about demonstrators.

#19 watch_art

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 21:57

Glad it's only my piston that feels rough. Maybe once more of these get out in the world more people can chime in.

And thanks for posting the link to my green baby! :cloud9:
I've got a Dhualagiri center band (golden swirl) on the way. Should be a couple of weeks!

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#20 Scriptorium Pens

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 22:24

Glad it's only my piston that feels rough. Maybe once more of these get out in the world more people can chime in.

And thanks for posting the link to my green baby! :cloud9:
I've got a Dhualagiri center band (golden swirl) on the way. Should be a couple of weeks!


Arrrgh! More must-have pens! I already want more Edisons, and now you show me these incredible beauties.
:puddle:

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