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Twsbi 580 Nib/feed Problems


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#1 AAN

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 06:45

Greetings all, from sunny England.

I bought a TWSBI 580 with a broad nib about a week ago. I had fancied buying a TWSBI for a little while as, in spite of the problems with them, I liked the philosophy and utilitarianism. When the pen arrived I found I also really liked the look and feel of the pen, which was an unexpected bonus. I decided against flushing and filled the pen with Diamine Raw Sienna. The pen now looked fantastic with the ink in it's belly.

What a disappointment when I came to write. The flow was really very wet indeed, so wet that I felt I had little control over the pen. I was writing on my usual Clairefontaine 90g paper which is quite smooth, but this gushing flow was not something I had experienced before.
I persisted and after a page of A4 the flow began to dry a little, then skip, then stop. Not all the time but periodically.

Not being a nib-fiddler, I thought perhaps I'd got a dud nib or badly adjusted nib/feed combination, so I simply ordered another nib, this time a medium.

It arrived next day, same thing exactly, but with a very slightly finer line.
I really want to use this pen as I like almost everything else about it.
Anyone else experienced this?
Anyone got any solutions?
Sorry, forgot to mention that I did flush the pen and both nibs through after experiencing these problems.
Thanks for any insights
Andrew

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#2 amberleadavis

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 17:35

If you bought it from a retailer in Englad, contact that retailer asap and they will assist. One of the other threads had a special post from a British retailer and even as a Nevadan, I was a little scared not to contact them directly. (Just kidding about the fear factor).

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#3 Harlequin

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:53

And of course never rule out how much good an email directly to Philip at TWSBI will do for you regarding the first nib/feed, describing your issues. TWSBI hasn't built a reputation for excellent customer service for no reason, after all.

#4 AAN

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:06

Thank you both for your responses.

I bought the pen from Cult Pens, from whom I have bought far too many pens. I've only ever contacted them once about a faulty pen, and they were extremely offhand about it, telling me to contact the manufacturer directly. This was some years ago and the pen , a Pilot Bamboo, developed a crack in the top some time after purchase, so the situation was rather different. They tell me they are much more helpful now and I hope that is so.
Nevertheless, if I contact them it will be to return the pen and I'd really like to keep it and have it working, so I've contacted TWSBI in Taiwan directly for advice.

I'll let you know what the response is.

Still looking for remedies if anyone has any ideas...

Andrew

#5 jordanjay29

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 20:10

Let us know how this goes, I'm interested if you've gotten a response since the Big Board Boom.



#6 AAN

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 20:18

Thanks for your interest. Still no response at all from TWSBI, which surprises and disappoints me.
I packed the pen and spare nib up ready to return them to Cult Pens, but had second thoughts and decided to try to I prove things myself.
I found a useful YouTube video about tweaking TWSBI nibs and had a go. I've managed to make the flow a bit less wet, but it still skips and dries.
It's so frustrating: I really like he look and piston fill of the TWSBI, but I'm infuriated that it won't write well.
I think I'm going to have to sell it and keep away from TWSBIs until they can produce a pen that satisfies me.
Maybe they will reply yet, what do ou think?
Andrew

#7 jordanjay29

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 21:34

Thanks for your interest. Still no response at all from TWSBI, which surprises and disappoints me.
I packed the pen and spare nib up ready to return them to Cult Pens, but had second thoughts and decided to try to I prove things myself.
I found a useful YouTube video about tweaking TWSBI nibs and had a go. I've managed to make the flow a bit less wet, but it still skips and dries.
It's so frustrating: I really like he look and piston fill of the TWSBI, but I'm infuriated that it won't write well.
I think I'm going to have to sell it and keep away from TWSBIs until they can produce a pen that satisfies me.
Maybe they will reply yet, what do ou think?
Andrew

 

If you don't have overlarge hands, you should try the TWSBI Mini.



#8 watch_art

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 21:44

I was expecting you to say it's too dry.  I've seen many TWSBIs with dry dry nibs.

 

Too wet?  That's easy to fix.  Push one tine down and under the other.  Then push the other tine down and under the other.  Write in between each step.  Do this a couple times until flow is reduced.

 

Once you're happy, adjust the tines so they are even and the pen writes smoothly.

 

It should be that simple.  :)


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#9 msolok

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 22:01

AAN: I have a similar experience recently with TWSBI, which does make me very disappointed. I bought my pens (2x 580's and 1x VAC700) directly from TWSBI so they were my primary point of contact. I, basically, had 1 of the 580's flooding the page with ink AND skipping, a 580 with 1.1 stub which would sometimes write fine and others not at all, but also had skipping and starting issues. And the VAC700 was very dry and had skipping and starting issues.

 

So I contacted TWSBI and they replied within 24 hours to say that i should try squeezing the wings of the nib, and pressing down the nibs of paper to spread the tines and widen the gap. This, obviously, is a pretty barbaric way of doing nib adjustment (and in the video that TWSBI has released even results in the tines becoming misaligned), and would result in the 580 with the flooding nib to become even more unusable.

But, I gave it a try on the other 2 anyway, and made some adjustments on the nib that was flooding the page.

 

I have now spent HOURS trying to get these nibs to write perfectly, and they just won't. They all still suffer from constant hard starts (and we are talking if the nib is off the page for more than a second or 2 it will have troubles starting again, whether the cap was on or off) and stop writing mid sentence for a stroke or 2. It's also easy to see the feed struggling with the ink flow with longer stroke, as the ink starts to get very thin.

 

So, after having 0 luck with the nib adjustments myself (which is a concern, as I have setup and have over 20 Noodlers pens working perfectly with flexing and I have spent FAR less time tweaking and adjusting all those together than I have these 3 TWSBI's) I decided it was time to contact TWSBI again. Their response was simply to tell me to send the pens back to them in the US and they will adjust them for me. Now, this presents a real issue for me. I am in Australia so I would need to foot the bill for shipping to them. I have 2 real options for this; $30 for shipping which will take a couple of weeks and has no confirmed delivery or tracking or insurance, or $60 for shipping which will take a week and has confirmed delivery and insurance. Obviously the first option is not an acceptable option, as the package will simply go missing (as is Common with AusPost here in Aus), so shipping back to TWSBI will cost me $60. This means each of the pens would have cost me an additional $20 each (so $70 for the 580, $75 for the 580 1.1 Stub, and $108 for the VAC 700 (as you really need the VAC20 bottle to make full use of the pen)) and in all honesty the pens are NOT worth that much. Plus I could get new nib units for close to that price anyway.

 

So I emailed TWSBI again saying these additional shipping costs really aren't acceptable for pens which were faulty out of the box. I have said they simply aren't worth the additional cost of sending the pens back to them. I then only got silence from TWSBI. They have not replied back to apologize (in fact there was no apology in ANY of the emails from TWSBI for the pens being defective. That in itself is pretty poor) or to say they can't do any more, they have simply started ignoring me.

 

So I am left with 3 pens which write very poorly and clearly have issues. This is not the first time I have read about issues with the TWSBI pens (and the 580 in particular) having issues writing out of the box and having poor nibs, so clearly there is an issue here with TWSBI's quality control.

However they clearly also have issues with customer service as well. I hear people on FPN raving about how great their customer service is, but I have seen no evidence of that. What I have seen is TWSBI sending replacement parts for any defective ones that are reported, which any and all pen makers do. But they offer nothing additional over standard customer service, nor anything to rave about. They really offer simple, average customer service.

 

I have had better support from Lamy when I accidentally clogged one of my Safari's with some sludgy J Herbin ink. Lamy replaced the nib and feed for it, and sent me a bunch of inks to go with the pen. That's good customer service, but what TWSBI offer is not.

 

All up I would not buy a TWSBI pen again. They really need to cut down on the excessive packaging and spend the savings on some sort of QC which they currently seem to lack. There are, very simply, better pens out there for the price. Kaweco Sports trump the TWSBI's in just about every way other than ink capacity (however Kaweco ink carts are fairly inexpensive and are GREAT colours), and cost a fraction of what the TWSBI's do. The Noodlers pens are piston fillers with good ink capacities, flex nibs and variety of colours. And they are far easier to get writing well (if they don't out of the box) than TWSBI's, and are a fraction of the cost of the TWSBI's. You can get Sailor 1911m's from Japan for around the same price as a TWSBI VAC700, and the nibs blow the TWSBI's away. Sure, the converters have a smaller capacity than the TWSBI pens, but it's really a small price to pay for far greater pens.

 

 

The ink bottles, on the other hand, seem to be great. They look good, function really well and are nicely priced. I love the ink bottles and I will be buying some more of them in the future.


Currently collection:Lamy Safari's x5, Lamy Al Star's x3, Lamy Studio's x2, A Lamy 2000, Kaweco Sports/AL Sports x7, Noodlers pens (Konrad and Ahab) x10, Noodlers Konrad Ebonite x2, Hero 616 x10, Reform 1745 x10, Sailor 1911m x2, Sailor 1911 Realo x3, Sailor Pro Gear Realo x2, Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black, Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver, Visconti Opera Club Cherry Juice (M Dreamtouch Nib), Visconti Opera Elements x3 (Amber and Black with M Dreamtouch Nib, Blue with M Gold Nib), Visconti Homo Sapiens Steel Age Maxi, Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age, Montblanc 146 Le Grande... Plus I am sure I have forgotten some.


#10 msolok

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 22:50

I was expecting you to say it's too dry.  I've seen many TWSBIs with dry dry nibs.

 

Too wet?  That's easy to fix.  Push one tine down and under the other.  Then push the other tine down and under the other.  Write in between each step.  Do this a couple times until flow is reduced.

 

 

The main issue is with skipping and hard starts for both myself and AAN. The above method, while great for fixing wet writers, doesn't address the skipping and hard starts. I, in effect, did a similar thing to adjust my 580 which flooded the page, and while the flow of ink decreased and became more manageable the main issue is still the hard starts and shipping. That I have been unable to correct (and I think may be in part due to a poorly designed feed which is unable to provide a constant, adequate ink flow).


Currently collection:Lamy Safari's x5, Lamy Al Star's x3, Lamy Studio's x2, A Lamy 2000, Kaweco Sports/AL Sports x7, Noodlers pens (Konrad and Ahab) x10, Noodlers Konrad Ebonite x2, Hero 616 x10, Reform 1745 x10, Sailor 1911m x2, Sailor 1911 Realo x3, Sailor Pro Gear Realo x2, Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black, Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver, Visconti Opera Club Cherry Juice (M Dreamtouch Nib), Visconti Opera Elements x3 (Amber and Black with M Dreamtouch Nib, Blue with M Gold Nib), Visconti Homo Sapiens Steel Age Maxi, Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age, Montblanc 146 Le Grande... Plus I am sure I have forgotten some.


#11 J.R.

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 23:09

I have only the TWSBI Mini, but toss out what I did to cure the skipping and stopping issue.  Mine was NOT wet, ever, and I flushed it twice with dish soap and water, before ever trying it with ink.  So, I fussed and messed with it, and tried flushing twice again, with no luck.

 

Then, I got some really fine 32 AWG copper wire, doubled and twisted it, and reamed out the feed with the nib unit off the pen.  I didn't actually see anything come out, but whatever it was disappeared and the Mini has been writing fine for several months now.

 

You might try this as a last resort.  I hope it helps.

 

Good luck,

J.R.



#12 msolok

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 01:30

J.R.: Thanks for the advice. I have cleaned the pen numerours times, and each time I have used a soft Toothbrush to scrub the feed and ink channel. I have also used a bit of wire (I think, can't exactly remember what) the last time I was cleaning the pen to make sure the ink channel was clear. It does not appear to have helped, but I didn't really move it through the channel very hard. I might give it a bit more of a go.


Currently collection:Lamy Safari's x5, Lamy Al Star's x3, Lamy Studio's x2, A Lamy 2000, Kaweco Sports/AL Sports x7, Noodlers pens (Konrad and Ahab) x10, Noodlers Konrad Ebonite x2, Hero 616 x10, Reform 1745 x10, Sailor 1911m x2, Sailor 1911 Realo x3, Sailor Pro Gear Realo x2, Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black, Sailor 1911 Sterling Silver, Visconti Opera Club Cherry Juice (M Dreamtouch Nib), Visconti Opera Elements x3 (Amber and Black with M Dreamtouch Nib, Blue with M Gold Nib), Visconti Homo Sapiens Steel Age Maxi, Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age, Montblanc 146 Le Grande... Plus I am sure I have forgotten some.


#13 watch_art

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:03

The feed should be fine - I reckon your nibs have a bit of baby bottom if they're not starting well enough.  You could hit the nibs against an arkansas stone (wet stone) or some 1000 grit wet or dry auto sandpaper, and rough them up a bit, then try writing with them.  All you want to do is remove a little bit of the tipping so the slit comes into contact with the paper better.

 

Maybe somebody in Australia can offer to help?  I would, but I'd hate them to get lost over the Pacific.


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#14 AAN

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 06:15

Many thanks for your replies. I'm sorry, Msolok,that you've had the problems you have had, but I must admit it makes me feel better that I'm not alone in suffering this.
Like you I've cleaned the feed very many times so, unless there is a faulty batch of feeds out there the problem must lie with the nib itself.
I've basically written my pen, spare nib and TWSBI off as useless, so I think I'll try to grind out any baby's bottom that may be present, as I've got nothing to lose: an unreliable pen is a waste of space.
It's the disappointment that hurts really. I like the look and the idea of the TWSBI and can't believe it can fall so far short of reasonable expectation.

#15 Strombomboli

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 16:15

This topic is quite interesting to me, since I came here because my TWSBI 580 with 1.5 mm nib always starts out as a very wet writer, but soon becomes a dry writer. So I turn the piston knob a little bit, just to see a drop of ink developping under the nib, turn it back, and, voilà, it's a wet writer again--for half a page or so.

 

Has anybody an idea of what to do about this? I'd be most grateful, because I am very much in love with this pen at the moment, as well as with the ink, which is Noodler's Cactus Fruit. Could it be the ink which is causing this problem? In this case, I would cope with the pen's behaviour, but otherwise, I'd be happy to fiddle with the pen.

 

Greetings from Berlin,

 

Iris


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#16 watch_art

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 16:21

I think the stubs will need some feed modification.  I'm going to get one and play with it and post my results...


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#17 AAN

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 17:12

I've tried three different inks in mine, but the pen behaves as badly with all of them:

Waterman Florida Blue

Diamine Raw Sienna

Diamine Brilliant Blue

I've used these three in many other pens without any trouble. In the TWSBI they all start wet then dry up.

Andrew

#18 RLTodd

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 17:45

Had a lack of low issue with a 700.

 

Ran water with a drop of dish soap through it twice, no joy.

 

Removed the nib (a 1.1 i ) from the feed and ran a razor blade down the channel.

 

Now it works as it should.

 

IMHO, a very nice, well made pen, with one of the smoothest nibs I have ever used.  BUT, I think they need to work on their  QC.  Not everyone who buys these pens knows how to tune a nib.


YMMV

#19 amberleadavis

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 17:57

The FPN contact for TWSBI is Speedy.


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Fountain pens are my PREFERRED ADVANCED COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas.

 

#20 AAN

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 18:25

Had a lack of low issue with a 700.
 
Ran water with a drop of dish soap through it twice, no joy.
 IMHO, a very nice, well made pen, with one of the smoothest nibs I have ever used.  BUT, I think they need to work on their  QC.  Not everyone who buys these pens knows how to tune a nib.


Nor should they know. Consumers have the right to expect goods that ar of merchantable quality, that means fit for the purpose for which they are offered for sale. TWSBI doesn't offer them as ornaments or projects to be worked on, but as writing instruments.

As I said in my original post, I really like the idea of TWSBI. I like the idea of the pen. I'm sure it's not their intention of TWSBI to disappoint customers, not least because they are very unlikely to ever go near the company again.

Wouldn't it be nice if TWSBI felt able to respond?

Andrew






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