Just a rant... skip if you want to.
Yesterday I acquired a Sailor Professional Gear Medium as my second "big pen," alongside a Parker Duofold Fine. It was the replacement for my attention-w***** Sonnet. ("If you don't use me for 16 hours, I'll punish you by drying out.") As I'm very happy with my Sailor Sapporo since day one, I expected epic goodness of its bigger brother/sister.
I did what I would normally do: open the box, flush the pen (soapy luke-warm water, then clear water, thoroughly), and then I inked it. No dice. It wouldn't write. *ZILCH.* "Hm. Maybe I clogged it with iron gall ink sediment..." Flush, clean, dip the pen and write: still nothing. When pressing harder, the pen would suddenly start to write, but it was somewhat scratchy.
So, I cleaned it out again, and decided to take my 20x loupe to it.
- Right tine misaligned, a fraction of a millimeter downward.
- No slit: tines were completely clamped shut.
- Align tines.
- Separate tines like SBRE Brown shows in some of his video's on how to make a pen wetter.
Result of the next dip test:
- Pen would write, but it showed baby bottom behavior: hard starting and skipping as soon as pressure diminished.
So, lastly, I wrote a few number 8 and infinity signs on 12K micromesh paper, flossed the nib using a brass sheet, cleaned the nib thoroughly, and tried another dip test.
AAAH, normal writing! Finally!
I then refilled the pen, and did a normal writing test. It now writes as well and as smooth as my Sapporo (and Duofold). If I post the pen and then keep it between my thumb and index finger at the very end, I can drop the nib onto the paper, and drag the pen across. It will write under its own weight, as (IMHO) a good fountain pen should be able to do.
To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed that a company, famous for making 'the smoothest nibs ever created' sends out a pen that doesn't even put ink onto the paper right after unboxing. That's ridiculous. This is a pen costing almost €300 (at least in the Netherlands), and I shouldn't have to fix the nib myself. (This was fixing, not tuning, IMHO.)
It's fortunate that I restored a number of vintage pens and tinkered with a bunch of cheap Chinese pens (all are sold/traded by now), so that I do have the basic knowledge and experience to do small nib adjustments. I'm sure that any 'normal' customer would have sent this pen back within 5 minutes after unoboxing.
Edited by FloatingFountain, 15 June 2014 - 19:11.