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!