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Twsbi: In Case You Have Problem With Your Twsbi Pen

by speedy

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191 replies to this topic

#21 Gloucesterman

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 18:46

I think I will wait and see how this all works out.

 

Overall, I have heard very positive thinks about the TWSBI and was was seriously at which ones I wanted to buy. After reading the back and forth here, I hesitate to spend the money until there is some positive resolution. It seems to me that the negative attention from the experience noted here has cost TSWBI considerably more than the $60.00 in possible shipping cost.

 

My thought would be that TWSBI would either say they will reimburse shipping costs or simply send new pens.

 

It definitely seems to be poor judgment as to how the company is handling this situation. :roller1: :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash:


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#22 msolok

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 22:00

Hi AAN. I am glad you have been able to sort out the issue with your retailer. It sounds like the best solution as TWSBI don't seem to be coming to the party. For TWSBI to miss 2 emails from yourself and not address any of your problems here (although they clearly know about them) is really poor.

 

I have heard so many good things about TWSBI's service, but I simply don't see it from our dealings. In all honesty looking at the reports of TWSBI's good service, it all seems to revolve around TWSBI agreeing to send replacement parts for faulty pens. Sorry, but this is not good service, it's simply a company filling their obligations to their product.

 

After I sent TWSBI a response last week I waited 2 days and got no further response. So I emailed again asking what was happening with my email, and got a response pretty quickly saying they replied tot he email to the wrong email address (how that could be done, I have no idea). They have, at this stage, offered to send a replacement 1.1 Stub and advised to unscrew the VAC700 end cap to fix the skipping issue (which I already do). No mention of my M nib on the 580 which doesn't work.

 

Waiting for more replies at this stage. I am at least getting somewhere with the Reps, which is good, even if at this stage they have only agreed to replace 1 nib (or solve 1/3 of my issue).


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.


#23 msolok

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 22:02

So I have heard back from TWSBI again.

 

I did as Speedy told me and I contacted the TWSBI Taiwan support email. After not getting a response for 2 days I contacted them again. I then got a response (and the response was for the US email as the Taiwan support had passed me back to them. Nice pointless running around there TWSBI) saying that they had somehow responded to the wrong email address (no idea how) and told me they would send me a replacement 1.1 Stub nib. I then asked about the other nibs and I waited for a response, which didn't come.

 

So I emailed them again yesterday asking what was happening. I then got another response from the US based email. In this email I have been told:

 

'A lot of times, there isn't anything wrong with the unit, just needs a slight tweak'. Sorry TWSBI, but if it needs a slight tweak there is something wrong.

 

'It is near impossible for one person  to have issues with three pens from us'. So, I'm a Liar? I have pictures in my review of the TWSBI pens that indicate otherwise.

 

'We check and double check each pen before leaving the factory'. Uh Huh, a fair few people around (on both this forum and other forums) report issues with your nibs out of the factory. So your QC is not good, and your checking and double checking seems to be failing fairly consistently.

 

'At times someone might land a pen that might've slipped out of the factory with a finicky nib, however, for someone to get 3 pens with nib issues, that's lower than 1 percent'. Interesting. These figures are based on what? Sounds like one of the many stats that are simply made up on the spot to me.

 

Now, in fairness to TWSBI they have offered to pay for some of the shipping costs, but I honestly have no desire to deal with them after these emails. The emails I have gotten from them have been, at best, poor. I am apparently the bad guy for receiving poor quality goods. I have received a lot of poor service in my time, but TWSBI's has got to be some of the worst.

 

So, clearly TWSBI have no desire to rectify the issues they have, so I have decided to take a look myself. I used my Digital Camera to zoom in on the nib and what I found was each nib seems to have a bit of a baby's bottom. The nib on the VAC700 had the least, and the M nib on the 580 was the worst. I then got each of the nib units and filled a sink with hot water. I then submerged the nibs in the hot water and kept them there for a couple of hours.

I then dried the nibs, put them back on the pens and made sure ink was flowing. I then got some very fine sand paper (being in Aus with such a low percentage of FOuntain pen usage, tools for fountain pens are VERY hard to get a hold of) and gently rubbed the nibs on it, a couple of times in each direction. I would then test on paper.

 

After doing this for each of the pens, I now have pens with nibs that work far more in a far more reliable manner. Now, I have not had a huge amount of time to test each of the nibs, but from my testing so far the hard starting and skipping is totally resolved. The nibs are nice and smooth on the paper, although the 580 M nib has more feedback than the others.

 

So, after this entire rigmarole with TWSBI I finally have working pens. I had to fix them myself, and TWSBI support was pathetic, but at least they are working.

 

Are the pens worth everything I have been through? Not in a long shot.


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.


#24 K. Cakes

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 22:29

So I have heard back from TWSBI again.

 

I did as Speedy told me and I contacted the TWSBI Taiwan support email. After not getting a response for 2 days I contacted them again. I then got a response (and the response was for the US email as the Taiwan support had passed me back to them. Nice pointless running around there TWSBI) saying that they had somehow responded to the wrong email address (no idea how) and told me they would send me a replacement 1.1 Stub nib. I then asked about the other nibs and I waited for a response, which didn't come.

 

So I emailed them again yesterday asking what was happening. I then got another response from the US based email. In this email I have been told:

 

'A lot of times, there isn't anything wrong with the unit, just needs a slight tweak'. Sorry TWSBI, but if it needs a slight tweak there is something wrong.

 

'It is near impossible for one person  to have issues with three pens from us'. So, I'm a Liar? I have pictures in my review of the TWSBI pens that indicate otherwise.

 

'We check and double check each pen before leaving the factory'. Uh Huh, a fair few people around (on both this forum and other forums) report issues with your nibs out of the factory. So your QC is not good, and your checking and double checking seems to be failing fairly consistently.

I have two pens from TWSBI, both had scratchy nibs right out of the box, one so bad it cut into paper and made the usually well behaved Vert Empire feather on every paper I tried it on.  Both also cracked within a few weeks of use, having only a fill or two and never been taken apart, and the piston on one broke.  The cap on the other one also won't screw on properly, it seems the threads aren't lined up.

 

I've never had issues with other pens, and both of those were used very lightly (or not at all) before the problems occurred so I highly doubt it had anything to do with my misuse. So, with my limited experience I would have to say it is most certainly not impossible for someone to have issues with three separate pens. And I don't know if I believe they check every pen right out of the factory let alone double check.

 

The more I look at their pens the more I appreciate the design, the nib choices are fantastic, and the price point for their filling systems is highly desirable for this student.  But I haven't had the absolute best experience with them.


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#25 colrehogan

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:25

I sent TWSBI an email Saturday night and have yet to hear back from them. If I don't hear back soon, I will send the retailer an email indicating that I haven't heard back from TWSBI and see if they can do anything for me.
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#26 msolok

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:39

I sent TWSBI an email Saturday night and have yet to hear back from them.

 

There seems to be a common theme here.

 

Sorry to hear you are having issues as well colrehogan. I will cross my fingers for you that the retailer can do something.


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.


#27 wikeh2004

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 08:47

My experience with TWSBI customer service has been excellent. When I heard they had made improved 540 sections, I asked Philip at TWSBI USA and he sent me replacement ones right away. When I had problems with my dry writing and skipping Vac700, I sent it back to them and they replaced the nib and feed. Ditto when they announced that they had made improvements to the feed of the Vac700. I asked about it and they sent me a new one. I have nothing but good things to say about their responsiveness and service.

 

I think some of the dry writing issues some people have reported must be due to ink. I tried a new bottle of Diamine Teal with some of my pens, including a TWSBI Diamond Mini and they all showed symptoms of dry writing. If I switch back to Waterman or Parker, the pens perform better. If I have any other problems, I'm confident that TWSBI will try to resolve them. Hard to say that about every pen company.



#28 nomadhacker

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 14:53

It seems that a lot of times when I hear about Australia in these matters, they always get shafted on the shipping.  Really sorry to hear that.  (Also it seems like the dollars absorb a lot of water on the way over there so by the time they wash up on shore, the price in Australian dollars has reached about double what it is in Europe or Stateside.  At least on some things.)

 

If I'm reading this thread (and the prior one) right, your biggest issue (aside from the hard starting on the pens) is the shipping back to them.  They suggested sending regular shipping, but you requested the enhanced shipping tracking with insurance, which is twice as expensive.  They have since offered to split this shipping cost with you?  I don't know about others here, but that seems as reasonable as anyone else I've come across when it comes to international shipping.  And more than most.  

 

I understand your point of view that you have a problem and you just want it fixed.  It always feels bad when things don't work like you expect they would.  But each time back and forth in your exchange you've posted they offer more and more to make it better.  

 

So far they've offered to both fix all your pens for free, and to split the cost of insured international shipping with you (which would about cover the regular international shipping cost).  That seems really reasonable to me.

 

I'm really sorry you've been having trouble with your pens and I'm sorry it's been such a pain getting them fixed.  


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#29 AAN

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 17:06

Just to tie up the loose ends of my TWSBI experience: I emailed them a third time, this time with the subject "unanswered emails". After a couple of days they replied to say that they had not received either of my two previous emails and requesting that I resend the email. I did this with a lengthy explanation of how my retailer (Cult Pens) had sorted out the problem for me to my satisfaction. They then replied saying that if I sent them the pen and spare nib, by registered mail, they would repair them for me.

I replied, reiterating that I didn't need a repair, but just wanted them to be aware of the problems I had had with two nibs. I thought it would be useful for them to know this from someone who wasn't asking for anything except a receptive ear.

Unfortunately, I think there was a language barrier that wasn't successfully overcome, but I hope that, one way or another, TWSBI have got the message that their quality control is such that a customer can get two nibs or pens that are both faulty, as another poster has had TWSBI say this was impossible.

I'm just very glad that Cult Pens (no affiliation) did the decent thing by me. I'd be reluctant to buy another TWSBI after my experiences though. It's a shame, they have what would be a very attractive offering, but sadly, my experience indicates that the reliability just isn't sufficiently good at the moment.

Deepest sympathy to all those still wrestling with TWSBI.

#30 msolok

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 21:50

It seems that a lot of times when I hear about Australia in these matters, they always get shafted on the shipping.  Really sorry to hear that.  (Also it seems like the dollars absorb a lot of water on the way over there so by the time they wash up on shore, the price in Australian dollars has reached about double what it is in Europe or Stateside.  At least on some things.)

 

If I'm reading this thread (and the prior one) right, your biggest issue (aside from the hard starting on the pens) is the shipping back to them.  They suggested sending regular shipping, but you requested the enhanced shipping tracking with insurance, which is twice as expensive.  They have since offered to split this shipping cost with you?  I don't know about others here, but that seems as reasonable as anyone else I've come across when it comes to international shipping.  And more than most.  

 

So far they've offered to both fix all your pens for free, and to split the cost of insured international shipping with you (which would about cover the regular international shipping cost).  That seems really reasonable to me.

 

Yeah, we are the 'lucky' country here. Almost everything in Australia costs more than the rest of the world, to the point that it is usually cheaper for us to buy overseas and pay huge shipping costs to Australia. Apparently the world views Australia as a giant money pinata, and if they keep smashing us money will simply fall out.

 

The issue which I have with standard shipping is the chances are they simply won't arrive. Our National Courier is Australia Post and you take a huge gamble that things will arrive.

Recently I had my old work mail me some paperwork from their office to my office (all within the same Suburb). The letter took a week to arrive, and when it did it was an empty envelope as someone had stolen the contents.

I sent a parcel from one capital city to another via express post. The flight between these cities is, at most, 90 minutes, and to drive takes about 10 hours. The parcel did not leave the post office where I dropped it off for over a week, and then took 5 days in transit to the other city. When it arrived the box was ripped and torn, and the contents damaged. Lucky there was insurance on it. SO all up it took 2 and a half weeks for the package to make a 10 hour trip and it didn't make it alive. Postage from Japan takes about 4 days.....

 

In the end I fixed the issue myself. No reason I should have needed to, but I did. TWSBI's approach was to tell me to contact the USA email, then tell me to contact the Taiwain email, who, as they barely spoke any English, passed me back to the USA email. No apology was ever given for the state the pens arrived to me in, and it wasn't until I started pointing out the threads here that they offered to pay part of the postage (but that was only after going back on their offer to simply send out replacement nibs).

Their overall reaction to me was to simply assume I was lying and that their QC is perfect. They were unable to accept that someone could receive faulty goods from them. At the end of the day, TWSBI expects their customers to stump up the costs of their QC and do their Beta testing for them (as that is what the 530 and 540 pens were, Beta products with issues. Hasn't been long enough yet to determine in the same is true of the 580 but I can see a few area's where there is the potential for them to fail).

 

If people are happy with TWSBI and are happy to send faulty goods back to them at their own costs, fine. But that doesn't mean TWSBI has good customer service.


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.


#31 Rosser

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 00:08

With reference to the above post: any customer who has bought a pen in the UK should contact their retailer. This is your statutory right under the Sale of Goods Act.

 

I have fixed lots of TWSBI pens for customers including barrel replacements, piston mechanism repairs (some customers are a little, how shall we say, "hasty" in their approach to disassembly), freeing stuck piston seals, nib adjustments, feed/collar replacements and general cleaning and servicing etc. If you have a problem with a pen you have bought from us please do get in touch.

 

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I can vouch for The Writing Desk's excellent service on a TWSBI problem  :thumbup:



#32 Harlequin

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:27

I do just want to remind everyone, as it was posted in the reply above this one, that it seems in the UK the retailer is required by law to repair/replace/refund stuff like this if the manufacturer doesn't.  Someone in the UK will I'm sure clarify that on a more specific level.  It just seems that an idea of the shop or retailer being "the good guy" versus the manufacturer being "the bad guy" may unwittingly being posited here.  I'm sure if a retailer could refuse to help someone, like they can in other parts of the world, some would.  I don't say that to cast aspersions on any of the wonderful shops that have been named thus far in this thread, but just to remind everyone.



#33 AAN

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:41

I think it is a tenet of contract law in any jurisdiction that the contract entered into when purchasing an item is that the goods will be fit for purpose and of reasonable quality. If you buy from a manufacturer, your contract is with them. If, like me, you buy from a retailer, the contract is with that retailer.

The people who have real problems here are those who bought direct from TWSBI. Very hard to enforce one's contractual rights in a foreign jurisdiction.

Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.

#34 Harlequin

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:29

If I am understanding your meaning correctly, AAN, that isn't necessarily the case here.  If I were to buy something from a store and it turns out to be a manufacturing default (such as faulty nibs), then the store is under no obligation except by their own rules to refund/repair/replace my merchandise.  Not by a national law, anyway.  Now, obviously it would be staggeringly stupid for the retailer to NOT do it 99% of the time, as it would cost them far more than just one sale or the lost revenue.  But I can think of several products where it is a standard disclaimer on the part of the retailer that if anything is wrong with the product that the manufacturer needs to be contacted directly.

 

Frankly, I think I would like it better the way it seems to be in the UK.



#35 Fabienne

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:49

I have 5 TWSBIs  and the first two 540's cracked multiple times, the mini is great, and the 580 broad nib skipped badly. In each case TWSBI responded as quickly as humanly possible, replaced everything which was not performing and more! I am sorry about the problems in OZ. That is a shame and I don't understand why it should be.  Overall, they may have done what so MANY companies do: rushed to production with inherent flaws in the product thinking that there would not be as many problems as there were...THAT is a common approach and a dangerous one for a new company. The only response is to repair/replace all of the errors one at a time and that is costly. But as far as this American is concerned, for all the flaws and trouble TWSBI has a BOSS product and one which oddly enough has captured the #1 spot in my pen collection. I suspect that TWSBI will change their approach to R&D and production and we will all be happy in the future. In the meantime, Philip and Speedy are models of how to behave when things are not headed in the right direction. I am a retailer and I look up to them when I am feeling a bit uncharitable (and honestly that does happen believe it or not). Again, I am sorry that the Aussies didn't get 100% satisfaction however, that isn't the story around the globe. I am a great TWSBI piston fill fan.



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#36 honza

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 19:28

If I were to buy something from a store and it turns out to be a manufacturing default (such as faulty nibs), then the store is under no obligation except by their own rules to refund/repair/replace my merchandise.  Not by a national law, anyway. 

 

Yep, in EU the opposite is true. For example in my country, there is a compulsory two year (minimum, can be longer) warranty when selling to a private person (under civil law). The retailer is obliged to deal with all warranty issues, however the manufacturer is not (though he may have a relevant clause in his contract with the retailer).  The end customer is not any way required to use authorized repair centres for warranty repairs, if he does not want to. The retailer is the only contractual partner of the end customer, and needs to sort things out himself. Moreover within the first six months, if there is a fault with the item you bought, it is by law assumed that it was there at the time of purchase, unless the retailer is able to prove otherwise.



#37 nomadhacker

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 22:38

 

 

If people are happy with TWSBI and are happy to send faulty goods back to them at their own costs, fine. But that doesn't mean TWSBI has good customer service.

I'm happy with any company that would do as many free repairs and replacements as they do -- even for user error damages.  I rarely find a company over here in the states anyway, that does so without having to pay the shipping charges.  I shipped a pen to TWSBI and one to Stipula.  Both of them I paid the shipping out to them.  (TWSBI got the pen back to me within the week.  I still -- 2 months on -- haven't received my pen back from Stipula).  Some companies actually charge return shipping back, which I haven't experienced yet myself, but have heard of.  Usually this is not a big deal for customers here in the States, and probably the EU I'd assume.  About 5 bucks to ship to TWSBI in California here in the states.  Or to Yaffa or whoever handles Stipula's pens.  I have not dealt with a pen company yet that paid my shipping to get them the item to repair.

 

I understand your frustration with the Australian Post being added to the mix if they're as bad as you say.  And I'm sorry if it's left a bad taste in your mouth.


http://stubblefield.me Inks Available for Sample Exchange: Noodler's Black, Blue Black, Apache Sunset, Private Reserve Black Cherry, Sherwood Green, Tanzanite, Velvet Black, De Atramentis Aubergine, J. Herbin Lie de The, 1670 Rouge Hematite, Bleu Ocean, Lamy Turquoise, Rohrer & Klingner Salix, Sheaffer Skrip Blue-Black, OS Red Rubber Ball, Parker Quink Blue (India version)


#38 KennethMoyle

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 14:01

I have a Vac 700 with two nibs - EF and 1.5mm italic - which I am trying very hard to love.  But they are both skippy and false-startsome, even with the piston open.

 

Philip from Twsbi suggested that I squeeze the sides of my nibs and then press down firmly on a piece of paper, the point being to open things up.  It's helped a bit, but I still can't rely on the pen.

 

 

EF nib prior to squeeze-and-press ....

  http://www.math.mcma...p test EF 1.pdf

 

... and after ...
  http://www.math.mcma...p test EF 6.pdf

 

 

And the 1.5mm italic after three rounds of squeeze-and-press ....

  http://www.math.mcma...est 1.5mm 1.pdf

I decided to carry *only* my Vac 700 today, but I'm just about ready to reach for the emergency Pilot Varsity I keep in my briefcase.


Edited by moylek, 22 May 2013 - 14:03.

---
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#39 Strombomboli

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 21:46

Thank you for the scans! I worked on my 580 with 1.5 mm nib in the suggested way, and I inserted a razorblade between the tines to open them up. My TWSBI still dries up ever so often, but it doesn't skip. I suggest the razor blade treatment!

 

With the number of fountain pens grew the need to have a razor blade handy, so this is part of what I have at hand now when sitting at my desk; it helps with most pens and I developped a perverse liking of working on a nib with a razor blade.


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#40 KennethMoyle

KennethMoyle

    Vintage

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 23:23

Thank you for the scans! I worked on my 580 with 1.5 mm nib in the suggested way, and I inserted a razorblade between the tines to open them up. My TWSBI still dries up ever so often, but it doesn't skip. I suggest the razor blade treatment!

 

With the number of fountain pens grew the need to have a razor blade handy, so this is part of what I have at hand now when sitting at my desk; it helps with most pens and I developped a perverse liking of working on a nib with a razor blade.

 

Well, I will try that next ... and make some before-and-after scans :)

I'm loathe to spend the money to ship the nibs back, and just as loathe to give up on loving my Vac 700.


---
Kenneth Moyle
Hamilton, Ontario






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