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Ebonite Feed Cures My Visconti Homo Sapiens!

visconti homo sapiens ebonite feed wetness

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#1 XtianApi

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 23:12

I have always thought the Visconti Homo Sapiens was one of the most beautiful pens ever, not to mention the lava material being so unique.  I’ve always wanted one and finally got it.  However, I knew I could have a problem with inconsistent ink flow and wetness, because so many others had.

I ordered the pen and it was shipped to Mike Masuyama to grind a .9mm Cursive Italic from the broad.  Mike does wonderful work, but when I got the pen it was so wet I couldn’t use it on anything but super ink proof papers.  Plus, the ink had no character, it was just super dark lines the crinkled the pages.  You could actually see the surface tension of the ink bowing up off of the page.  Every now and then it would just start dripping ink.  I sent it back to him and he tried his best to dry it out.

He said the issue was the spacing between the feed and the nib, which sounded right.  For a few months I barely used the pen.  This was awful because the pen is so nice, doesn’t have to be babied, and fits my hand so well.

Last night I took the nib and feed out and was amazed by how poorly the nib and feed fit together.  You couldn’t even hold the feed centered on the nib.  It was like they weren’t made for each other.  So, I took the feed out of my Noodler’s Konrad and cut a slit in it, to match the slit in the barrel of my Visconti.  Then I inserted the nib and ebonite feed into the pen.

The feed pushed the tines of the nib apart a little bit.  So, I boiled some water and dipped the nib and feed in for 30 seconds.  I pulled the pen out and used a towel to squeeze the nib and feed and held it there until it cooled off.  The tines were no longer pushed apart.  I had successfully heat set an ebonite feed into my Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Maxi!

I have been using the pen for the last 24 hours regularly and it is awesome.  The flow is perfect.  I get shading, decent dry time, and super consistent flow.  Another side benefit is I am able to control how soft the nib feels.  I like soft nibs, but with my rather sharp italic, I always felt that the nib was a little too soft for anything but the best paper.  I set the feed pretty close to the tip of the nib and it has added a little more support and stiffened it up a bit. 

For anyone disappointed with the extreme wetness and inconsistency of their Visconti Homo Sapiens, you may want to consider installing an ebonite feed which, in my opinion, should have always been there.  Ebonite does not repel ink and cause it to bead up like plastic does, lending to consistent flow.  If anyone has any questions or anything let me know.  I am not a nibmeister or a professional, however I can grind my own nibs, but for special pens I still defer to the masters.  In other words, I think that this is something most people can do.  The hardest part is cutting out the slit so the ebonite feed fits, but a dremel really helps with that.  If you mess it up, you haven’t hurt your pen.

Also, I have not altered the original plastic feed, nib, or barrel of the pen, so I can return it to stock form if I need to.  Thanks for reading!

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#2 Randal6393

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 01:13

Very pretty! Of course, you have a new ebonite feed on order to put your Konrad back in service, right? Gotta keep everything working. Replacement feeds for the Konrad and the Ahab may be ordered from Goulet Pens (www.gouletlpens.com).

 

Welcome to FPN! :W2FPN: You are the type of member we love to see -- taking ideas and giving positive feedback to us all.

 

Enjoy,


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From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?
 


#3 Downcelot

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 02:08

Nicely done! Congratulation on your modification :D. It does look nicer imo. Yes plastic feed works but plastic feed is never the same league as ebonite feed. if you are a pen maker and you decide to sell pen for 400+ msrp, please give us ebonite feed standard!



#4 XtianApi

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 04:47

Nicely done! Congratulation on your modification :D. It does look nicer imo. Yes plastic feed works but plastic feed is never the same league as ebonite feed. if you are a pen maker and you decide to sell pen for 400+ msrp, please give us ebonite feed standard!


Thanks for the reply!
For sure , this ebonite feed looks very simple yet substantial and capable, like a tool.
Its weird that there are so many plastic feeds in these pricey pens. Is it possible these companies don't know how much better ebonite is, or what a strong selling point it is? Or is it that most of their market are business types who aren't addicted to these soul tickling instruments? It seems like a no brainer to include it.

#5 XtianApi

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 05:03

Very pretty! Of course, you have a new ebonite feed on order to put your Konrad back in service, right? Gotta keep everything working. Replacement feeds for the Konrad and the Ahab may be ordered from Goulet Pens (www.gouletlpens.com).
 
Welcome to FPN! :W2FPN: You are the type of member we love to see -- taking ideas and giving positive feedback to us all.
 
Enjoy,


Thanks for the welcoming words. I wondered if I should post or not.

Of course a new feed will be ordered. I buy the untiped nibs that Nathan of Noodler's did a video on and make all types of italics, stubs, obliques, etc. So I certainly need my konrad functioning. I am working towards some new exotic nib styles, which is so fun and exciting.

Didn't mean to ramble, but noone I know will listen to me about fountain pens, haha.
Thanks

#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 10:57

Ebonite had to be cut...making it expensive. It is the better feed.

Plastic feeds are just pressed into a form and done....cheap.

 

Congratulations on fixing your pen and showing us what to think about.

 

In I tend to only chase vintage pre '66 German pens I do get the ebonite feed....and don't pay enough attention to the benefits of ebonite that I should.


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.

 

 

 


#7 aardvarkbark

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 13:17

How did you remove the nib and feed?  I have yet to do that on any pen and would rather not experiment.  TIA for the guidance.



#8 opus7600

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 14:39

Just followed your lead.  Cutting the slot in the Noodler's feed was the hardest part, really.  Everything else was a cinch, and it is definitely an improvement to a pen I had previously only felt usable with iron-gall inks.



#9 XtianApi

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 23:57

Ebonite had to be cut...making it expensive. It is the better feed.

Plastic feeds are just pressed into a form and done....cheap.

 

Congratulations on fixing your pen and showing us what to think about.

 

In I tend to only chase vintage pre '66 German pens I do get the ebonite feed....and don't pay enough attention to the benefits of ebonite that I should.

 

Thats right, I didn't think about that.  I think I remember Nathan saying these feeds are cut by hand in India.  On a 20 dollar pen though, obviously Visconti could have afforded it, haha.  Selfish pen company.  Since the other night I've been thinking about cutting my own ebonite feeds for a lot of my pens, or at least cutting down Noodler's feeds to size.  Many of my other pens would need a narrower feed.

 

On the other hand, my Pilot pens, with plastic feeds, have such amazing consistency and flow.  They are perfectly tuned to what I like, so obviously plastic can do that job.

 

How did you remove the nib and feed?  I have yet to do that on any pen and would rather not experiment.  TIA for the guidance.

 

Short answer: It is friction fit, and just pulls out, but it is tough the first time.  Long answer below.

 

That is an interesting story, because I was doing it wrong at the start.  So, you can see those two little slots, like a tool can go in to remove the nib unit.  I assumed that nib unit had to be taken out like that.  I did it a while ago to put some silicone grease around it, to prevent the section from sweating ink, like some people have reported.  The problem is, you have to put it in pretty tight to prevent leaking, and I don't have the tool.  So I would squeeze the whole thing tightly and twist.  It works without damage, but you torque the heck out of the nib and need to straighten it.  

 

It turns out, you don't have to remove that at all.  The nib and feed is friction fit and just pulls out!  Unless your section leaks ink, I don't see a reason to unscrew the collar.  I just use a piece of rubber, one of those jar openers, clamp down, and yank.  I didn't believe it because I pulled pretty hard on it, but just pull harder and it will come out.  Just make sure you don't slip and bend the tip.  Grip it as close to the section as possible and squeeze a good amount when you pull.

 

Thanks

 

Just followed your lead.  Cutting the slot in the Noodler's feed was the hardest part, really.  Everything else was a cinch, and it is definitely an improvement to a pen I had previously only felt usable with iron-gall inks.

 

Really!!! That is so cool that someone did it!  I was hoping someone would try it.  What did you cut the slit with?

 

Luckily, because it is ebonite, you can cut the slit not quite big enough and it will expand when you slide it in. (that's what she said)

 

That is so cool.  I'm still excited about mine.  It is like a new pen.  I used it at work on less than great paper and it was well behaved!

 

Thanks.



#10 XtianApi

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 00:43

There is one thing I am worried about.  The feed, in my opinion, could be a little wider for this nib, so I am wondering if there will be issues with getting the flow started after sitting a day or so.  I'll have to observe over the next week, see if there are any drying up issues.



#11 StrawberryJam

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 22:59

This sounds amazing. XtianApi, would you be able to post a tutorial/picture guide on how to do this? I have one or two Viscontis that I can easily see myself making this modification on since I have always complained that they are 'too gushy'.


Current Wishlist:

Visconti, Visconti, and...more Visconti! (And some ST Duponts too). (Ok fine, getting on the Omas and Montblanc trains now too. Toot toot.) (And maybe on the Montegrappa one too, but only for the Miyas.) 


#12 XtianApi

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 18:28

This sounds amazing. XtianApi, would you be able to post a tutorial/picture guide on how to do this? I have one or two Viscontis that I can easily see myself making this modification on since I have always complained that they are 'too gushy'.


For some reason I didn't get an alert about your post.
I can do a tutorial, but there are some challenges. My camera (phone) has a scratched lens, so it's cloudy. Also, I don't have another feed to alter, but I can still go through the motions, showing pictures and drawings. I'll work on it.

#13 TheOtherBart

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 02:23

This is interesting to me as I just sent my Homo Sapiens Steel to Mike a couple of months ago in the hopes he could stem the gushing flow of ink.  I bought the pen to commemorate a special occasion, and chose that one largely because of the feel and look of the material, but I'm going to be disappointed if I can't actually use the thing.  I have my fingers crossed that it comes back to me more well behaved.



#14 StrawberryJam

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 14:09

For some reason I didn't get an alert about your post.
I can do a tutorial, but there are some challenges. My camera (phone) has a scratched lens, so it's cloudy. Also, I don't have another feed to alter, but I can still go through the motions, showing pictures and drawings. I'll work on it.

 

Thank you so much for taking this on! In the meantime I am going to go see about buying some ebonite feeds. :)


Current Wishlist:

Visconti, Visconti, and...more Visconti! (And some ST Duponts too). (Ok fine, getting on the Omas and Montblanc trains now too. Toot toot.) (And maybe on the Montegrappa one too, but only for the Miyas.) 


#15 XtianApi

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 11:12

This is interesting to me as I just sent my Homo Sapiens Steel to Mike a couple of months ago in the hopes he could stem the gushing flow of ink.  I bought the pen to commemorate a special occasion, and chose that one largely because of the feel and look of the material, but I'm going to be disappointed if I can't actually use the thing.  I have my fingers crossed that it comes back to me more well behaved.


That is exactly my story. With the plastic feed, with certain inks, it was okay,but not okay for any old paper. If the nib gets the slightest hair or paper fiber on it, it firehoses. I know other nibs will also, but it seems to get stuck in this soft nib easier.

The ebonite feed is not magic, but it is pretty nice. If it was made for this nib, I think it would be a little bit wider.
I want to find feed blanks, and carve one specifically for the Visconti. Once perfected, I could supply them to FPN members. Maybe even send some to Mike. But he may not be up for that, because it isn't officially supported.
I am a ways off though. Right now the flow is great then stops after a page or so. It starts right back up again, but still unacceptable. I think I know why. The width of the nib is allowing for more air returning up, than ink is flowing down. I have some more noodlers feeds coming. I want to cut the slit more narrow,and am looking for some blanks. If I have to, I can make feeds out of solid ebonite.

#16 XtianApi

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 11:15

Strawberry jam, sorry about the delay, seems like everyone is sick. I have the pictures taken, just need to write it up.

My phone lense us scratched, so they are cloudy, but I hope to have a dslr soon.
Thanks

#17 StrawberryJam

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Posted 18 February 2015 - 19:47

Strawberry jam, sorry about the delay, seems like everyone is sick. I have the pictures taken, just need to write it up.

My phone lense us scratched, so they are cloudy, but I hope to have a dslr soon.
Thanks

 

Everyone is getting sick in this crazy weather, I hope you all feel better. Thanks again for taking this project on -- I am sure it will be a great resource for all of us!


Current Wishlist:

Visconti, Visconti, and...more Visconti! (And some ST Duponts too). (Ok fine, getting on the Omas and Montblanc trains now too. Toot toot.) (And maybe on the Montegrappa one too, but only for the Miyas.) 


#18 stephanos

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 00:27

Simple and effective! Thank you for an excellent 'field-fix'.



#19 Pendel

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 18:43

I just bought some feed stock from Richard Greenwald's store:

http://www.richardlg...tock-p-613.html

Thanks for your post XA. It encouraged me to go and buy some Noodlers feeds from Anderson pens, so I can try them as replacements for some crappy plastic Bock feeds in my Danitrio Takumi, as well as the plastic feed in my Franken Taccia Curukova with a vintage keyhole Waterman Red nib in it.

:-)


#20 XtianApi

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 18:48

I just bought some feed stock from Richard Greenwald's store:

http://www.richardlg...tock-p-613.html

Thanks for your post XA. It encouraged me to go and buy some Noodlers feeds from Anderson pens, so I can try them as replacements for some crappy plastic Bock feeds in my Danitrio Takumi, as well as the plastic feed in my Franken Taccia Curukova with a vintage keyhole Waterman Red nib in it.

:-)


That is awesome. I'm so happy there are people doing this. I plan to ebonite-ize a few more of my pens.





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