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Let's Talk Tachlis

flex flex nib vintage

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11 replies to this topic

#1 iRabb

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 21:25

Tachlis is a Hebrew word meaning practical, as in getting down to brass tacks.

 

1. I want a true flex pen that will give me that bouncy feel as I write.

 

2. I believe the above means I must go vintage. Is that correct? If not, please list my options before going to #3.

 

3. For the rest of the thread, we are going to say used, not vintage. Why?

 

4. With two in college and a third almost there, and a clergyman's salary, I might be able to buy a used pen, but I doubt I can afford a vintage pen.  :yikes:

 

With the above in mind, what makes and models should I look for that will give me that bouncy feel and be of good enough quality for daily use, but be at the very low end of used—ok, vintage—market? If you have suggestions on where to look for these makes and models, that would be very helpful as well.

 

Jeez Louise, this time last month a fountain pen was just that silver thing on my desk that I wrote with. 


Edited by iRabb, 22 December 2013 - 21:26.


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#2 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 23:02

Bouncy feel = semi-flex....German (or Swan,) Pelikan 140 (€50-70-80) or a Geha 790 (€25-35-40)...that is a bit more semi-flex than a '50's Sheaffer...perhaps as much as a '40's Wahl-Eversharp.... (For a bit more money a Osmia or Osmia-Faber-Castell with a nib with a diamond with a number in it, 2,3 or 4. (€45-90)

I have some 26.

 

 

Some 2-3 months after you get a semi-flex and have lightened up your hand you would be ready to go the next step up the flex ladder.

Bouncy feel + some nice flexibility = 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Pelikan 400NN (€70-110), some Swans..I have also a nice Wyvern. Osmia with a Supra nib. (have some 13-14)

 

With Osmia it don't matter if it is gold or steel...both are great and =.

These pens  only expand their tines 3 X a light down stroke, like a well mashed regular flex.

Semi-flex half of that pressure, 'flexi' 1/4th.

Semi-flex gives a nice comfortable springy + ride...slightly wet because of ease of tine spread.

 

True flexibility needing a real light hand.....some other day. One step at a time.

 

Obliques I recommend only German pens pre'66...which have some flex to give more line variation....next year? Though an OB in Semi-flex....is fine. My first semi-flex was a Pelikan 140 OB. :notworthy1: :puddle:

Vintage nibs run a bit narrower than modern....so it would be like a M-B of modern, a writing nib, not a limited signature nib.

Because of the flatter nib bottom, many of the vintage Pelikan, Geha, or MB are 'slightly' stubbish...but have a nice clean line. Modern nibs are wider and more blobby than  Vintage.

 

 

Modern springy nibs like the MB or the Falcon, don't have 3X tine spread. @ 2X tine spread with more tine bend than regular flex...not as much as semi-flex.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#3 iRabb

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 23:46

Bo Bo, this is a great summary! Thanks for taking the trouble to spell it all out!



#4 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 14:23

I want folks to know what they are missing, and to move up the flex ladder  instead of jumping into Easy Full Flex or wet noodles with out really being ready for them.

 

With a semi-flex one can write fast, can be used by the ham fisted and is a fun nib, that gives a bit of flare to one's writing with out doing anything extra.

The first letter and perhaps the last letter start or end a bit thicker than the other letters of the word.

 

One also has to learn to go up the price ladder.....€30-40 for something called a Geha (as good as Pelikan) or double that for a Pelikan 140...or find out what the hell is a Osmia or a Osmia-Faber-Castell.

 

I spent a lot of time bottom feeding...even when I knew I needed an Osmia, it was "over budget".....actually had I not been in 'The Pen of the Week in the Mail Club'...later pen of the month club. I could have afforded them before, when they were a bit cheaper.

Instant greed, instead of deliberate search for quality has it's price.

 

Some pens are going to need new gasket or cork or sac's. That must be figured in.

 

Still one is getting top of the line pens, for less than ....well where is your medium class start range?....$50 is actually too low....$100 is where I start the medium class for new pens. And you can get top of the line vintage for $50-100-125.

Make sure you join the Pen of the Quarter Club....that though takes a lot of will power for a noobie.....

 

By buying a pen every quarter, you have much time to figure out what filling system you want, how pretty you are going to pay for, and most important of all, what of the 45 nib width's and flex's do you now need.

 

Even bottom feeding in the pen of the week, was enough that I was not getting inks, much less the more important paper.

Writing is 1/3 nib width&flex, 1/3 paper and 1/3 ink; in that order.

 

You need both vivid monotone supersaturated permanent ink, and fun two toned shading inks, and good to better paper to scribble on.

I recommend buying a paper just for your printer 90g minimum (good enough to edit), and a better paper for fun and games.

Better paper can be bought for the price over regular paper of a couple cans of Coke or cups of Starbuck coffee.

Paper is where you ink dances.

I could have cut a year or so off my search for enlightenment and had better pens sooner, had I not done it the hard way.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#5 proton007

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 14:52

I'll go with Bo Bo's advice.

 

An Osmia is a good choice, and can be found for less than $100, but may be somewhat harder to repair if by chance you're sold a defective pen.

 

The Pelikan 140 or 400 is a good choice, much easier to find spares.


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#6 redbike

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 15:28

You could get lucky and pick up a vintage Waterman, like a Dauntless or Stalwart, on eBay for less than $50. Some of them have flexible nibs, though you need to look closely at the nib and make an educated (and lucky) guess about its flexibility.

 

Good luck.



#7 jar

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 15:58

Head on over to Mauricio Aguilar's site and devote a day to reading the material there.  He is a maven and mensch.


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#8 Paddler

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 16:06

Hang out at flea markets for the best deals. Go to the ones that meet weekly and will take a couple of hours to go through. Really squeeze the place for pens. Look in the boxes under tables. Look in the boxes full of old pencils. Look at everything. Leave no box unopened. I once bought a wooden pencil box that rattled. It cost me a dollar. Inside was a no-name fountain pen with enough flex to bounce your brains out. It is like writing with a pogo stick. Another time, I found a black, hard rubber pen with red wood grain. Super flexible nib. The filling lever was missing, but the J-bar was still in place. I walked to a coin dealer and bought a 1944 British thruppence that would fit the slot. I now have a coin filler that cost me 3 dollars.

 

There are lots of vintage pens out there and they are so inexpensive, the price is not worth haggling over.


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#9 Kaweco

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 18:57

...............

I have some 26.

.....................

 

Hi Olson

You actually have 26 Osmias? My congratulationes, this is really many!

Kind Regards

Thomas



#10 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 22:00

Thomas,

26 semi-flex pens.

Only @8-9 Osmia's- Osmia-Faber-Castell's. I do count three of my four Boehlers as Osmia's in they are the same model numbers&shape as the Osmia's and are later '30's pens. The two Boehler brothers split their firm Osmia in 1938.  I have a 'late '60's-early 70's Boehler too; it surprised me by having a semi-flex spade nib in an era I'd not expected semi-flex; nor semi-flex in spade nibs.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#11 inkstainedruth

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 22:25

What other people have said is right -- vintage doesn't necessarily cost more than modern.  I have a couple of Esterbrooks with (semi) flex nibs -- one has a 9128 (flexible EF) nib, and the other has a 9788 (flexible M nib.  Bought them both in Ebay auctions.  Paid about $30 US for one (plus an additional $20 to have the nib worked on by Mike Masuyama when I was at the DC pen show in August, so the nib no longer looks like an S...); paid about $35 for the other.  And those prices include shipping.  Although admittedly I've seen *just* the nib units listed for more than that.

For beginning semi-flex in new (as opposed to vintage) pens, Noodler's makes not too bad ones.  There are apparently some quality control issues in manufacturing, but I have 3 Flex Piston Creapers and 4 Konrads, and have been pretty happy with all of mine.  Now they're not going to have "wet noodle" nibs (which I gather means the nibs flex if you look at them cross-wise) but for the price they're not bad -- the most expensive one was the ebonite model Konrad, which was $40 instead of $20.  (I've also seen the video where Nathan Tardif, the man behind the Noodler's brand, replaced the nib in one of his pens for a cheap Speedball nib to get added flex.)

The most I've paid for a vintage pen (flex or otherwise, without having and repair/restoration work done on the pen is $80 for a Morrison ringtop with a filigree gold-filled overly).  And even with repair work, I haven't paid more than that for Parker 51s (of course, the 51s are all nails, but wonderful writers nonetheless).  So don't freak out about the potential price of vintage pens.  A tip that a friend of mine gave me is that even 3rd tier no-name pens could have really nice flexing nibs on them, but you'll never know unless you look at them.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#12 iRabb

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 22:37

Thank you all. This is very useful. Anyone who comes late to the thread, don't feel like I'm overwhelmed with information. The more the better. You folks are great—really helpful.

 

I finally figured out that € means Euros, and that the number that follows a € is, unfortunately for me, lower than the number that follows a $.

 

Such is life.  :gaah:







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