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Seeking Reliability

yard-o-led london uk reliable small barrel gold nib

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#21 Fakie



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Posted 12 February 2014 - 15:45

Vintage pens are more fragile and are no longer in production.

It is not wise to lend them to neophytes because they might ruin a beautiful piece of manufacturing and history with their carelessness. Some vintage pens have flex nibs, and people might overflex it and damage the nib. This is especially true if they use a lot of force to write. However, if it's another fountain pen user experienced with vintage flex, I'd probably have no qualms lending them my vintage pens.


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#22 ColourFingers


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Posted 12 February 2014 - 15:56

Hello Abicadabra,
Firstly I'm really impressed with the level of customer service you received from Yard o Led. That kind of service is a very rare thing nowadays.

Secondly I'd try a different cartridge first I've never had a problem with Parker Quink or WH Smith cartridges.

Thirdly Coombe Stationers on Coombe Road in Raynes Park SW London has a very good range of Fountain Pens judging by their window. It's on the right hand side in the little parade down the slip road. I've yet to go in there though. Of course that's if you do get your refund.

Also may I say that you have a beautiful use of language and I wish you every success in your studies with your new pen.

Edited by DavidDecorator, 12 February 2014 - 16:00.

#23 Abicadabra


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Posted 12 February 2014 - 20:17

Also may I say that you have a beautiful use of language and I wish you every success in your studies with your new pen.

I can't tell you how lovely this is to hear! It really brightened up a rainy day :) Also Coombe is not far from my family home at all, so thanks so much for that recommendation. 

I'm very grateful for all this advice from everyone. What a lovely community! I managed to pop into town after uni, just before the shops closed, to get some ink. I flushed out the pen again and put through the Waterman ink. It showed slight promise (it kept flowing when the water had a tinge of ink to it, which I don't think happened before), but to no avail unfortunately. The flow stopped completely soon after the mark on paper was visibly pigmented. I've ordered some ammonia and Rapidoeze from Amazon, and I'll await those and see how they go.

When I was in the shop I also bought a Lamy 045, as I hadn't realised that they made slimmer pens and it really took me. It seemed like a good idea (perhaps for everything but my purse...) to get a reasonable pen that I like writing with whilst the whole saga plays out, especially after I've noticed my writing hand hurting at the end of long days of pressing hard to write with non-fountain pens. I'd still like to either replace or get working the really lovely pen, but it's nice to have something to write with. They only had the display one in stock, but she didn't think anyone else had tried it out, so I got it for £25 with some cartridges thrown in. It's nothing like the wonderful Yard-o-led, of course, but I am really impressed with it and I'm so happy that I picked it up! So nice to be back to using a FP.

The lady in the shop was very sweet and interested in the whole thing, as John Lewis (a major UK department shop, from where I actually purchased my pen originally) has just stopped selling Yard-o-led. She said that she particularly recommended Cross pens, and they tend to be slim. I don't think anyone's mentioned them here. Is there a reason? Anything I should be wary of?  

Thanks again for so many helpful comments,


#24 ac12


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Posted 12 February 2014 - 23:56

How slim a pen are you looking for?

Here are a few slimline pens in order of size.

  • The Cross Classic Century is quite thin at 8.1mm barrel diameter, compared to other contemporary pens. 
    The downside to this pen is it ONLY takes the slim Cross cartridge. 
    No one makes an ink converter for it, so to use bottle ink, you have to use an ink syringe to put the bottle ink into into a used cartridge.  While this is more of a bother to do, it is not that much more difficult.  I do that right now with one of my pens that also does not take a converter.
    Cross has other pens, but none as slim as the Classic Century.
  • Cross Spire.  This is the predecessor of the Classic Century and the same size.
    This line of pens has been discontinued, but you can still find the pens listed in various sites. 
    The gold spire is quite a nice looking pen.
  • The old Parker Classic has a 9.5mm barrel diameter and 8.5mm grip diameter.
    Parker uses their own cartridge, but also has an ink converter so you can use bottle ink (I use bottle ink in my Classic).
    Tip, the older Parkers have thinner nibs than the current Parkers.  A Parker Fine nib is similar to a Lamy Xtra Fine nib.
    The Classic is no longer produced, so you have to look for one on the used market or eBay.
  • The old Parker 180 is the predecessor to the Classic, and same size as the Classic.
    It has a 2 sided nib, Fine & Broad or XtraFine and Medium.  So it is like having 2 pens in one.  Although the smaller side of the nib is not as comfortable to use as the wider side.
    It has a few quite nice laquer, gold and silver finishes.  The cost of the special laquer, gold and silver pens are usually over $100 USD on eBay.
    The 180 is also no longer in production, so you have to use the used market or eBay to get one.
  • The Lamy cp1 has a 9.6mm barrel diameter and 8.8mm grip diameter.
    I think they have black and platinum versions of the cp1.
    I think this is similar to your Lamy 045.  I can't find diameter specs for the 045.
  • The Parker 88 has a 10.5mm barrel diameter.
    The 88 is out of production, but I see it listed on Amazon.
  • The Parker 95 is about 10.5mm barrel diameter.
    The 95 is out of production, but I see it listed on Amazon.
  • The Parker 45 is about 11.5mm widest barrel diameter.  The diameter size of the 45 is sort of misleading because the pen tapers to the nib and to the end, so depending on where you hold it, you will probably not be holding the widest 11.5mm part of the pen.
    And the hood/section of the 45 Flighter is plastic, not metal.  Only the barrel and cap of the flighter are metal. 
    The term "flighter" refers to the finish of the pen, brushed stainless steel.  This is a nice and durable finish, I like it.
    Some of the gold finishes are quite nice.
    The Parker 45 is also out of production, so also used market or eBay.

There are others, but as you can see, most of the slimline pens that I know about are out of production.


I personally would NOT take a nice/expensive pen to school, even if it is med school vs. undergrad.  The chances of loss or theft is too great for me to chance it.  And the thought of loosing a special/sentimental pen scares me.  I would keep it at home and just use it there.  I would use something less expensive, like your Lamy 045 at school.

Edited by ac12, 12 February 2014 - 23:58.

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#25 Ghost Plane

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 01:11

Okay, let a YoL owner pop in. I've had 5 of them over the years, 3 Grands, 1 Viceroy so old it needed the original section replaced, & an Imperial Dragon. I've had section leaks a few times, but they're normally generous, wet writers and some of the least finicky pens regarding ink that I know.

Not being familiar with the pocket, I'm wondering if there's something about the design that's causing the ink to dry in the pen to clog it. My nibs are favorites and swift writers for long sessions of note taking, so you might see if you can borrow a standard-sized Viceroy, which is still a narrow pen (width of a #2 pencil) before giving up on the brand.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: yard-o-led, london, uk, reliable, small barrel, gold nib

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