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Vintage Aurora 88: Major Railroading

aurora aurora 88 nib

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#1 paperballs

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 06:25

Ciao a tutti!

 

I bought a user-grade vintage Aurora 88 with Fine flex nib off of FPN Classifieds recently, but having serious nib issues.  It railroads like crazy any time I try to flex, and even a little when I don't.  I've tried Aurora Blue, Pelikan 4001 Black, Diamine Grey, and Sheaffer Skrip BB.  It doesn't seem to matter, because it still railroads.  I've unscrewed the nib section and soaked it overnight, to no avail.

 

Normal writing is generally fine, though there's still the odd occurence of railroading.  That said, with normal, non-flex writing, the super-soft nib lays a super-wet "Fine".  Given the softness and flexibility potential of this particular nib, if it didn't railroad I'd be in the presence of a wet noodle.  My questions to vintage Aurora 88 owners: Does your flex nibs on the 88s lay down a proper line of ink when flexed?

 

Now that I've tried the 88, I think it's too smooth, too soft for my liking.  I'm wondering if I should get a Firm nib, or just let it go to someone who understands the 88, or has experience fiddling with pens that don't write right away. 

 

Any thoughts or shared experience on the matter would be most appreciated.



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#2 DrRoger

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 07:57

My 88s don't like flex at all - they lay down a wet line when used normally but no flex at all without 'issues'. I know some folks get flex from 88s but I never have. The great thing about the 88 is that whatever ink I put in it, it's reliable and equal to the '51. Perhaps a nib craftsperson might be able to assist, but your idea re a firm nib is (in my opinion) a good option. Mind, as so many will doubtless say YMMV. R

#3 paperballs

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 21:26

DrRoger,

 

Thanks for your input.

 

So your 88 also railroads and gives issues when you try to flex it?



#4 tryphon

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 23:02

The first generation 88s (NIzzoli) came with flexible nibs. Unfortunately, they also came with finicky feeds and small collectors. These were changed in the K and P variants. Check what follows:

1. Make sure the nib is set tightly against the feed

2. Make sure you do not have a leaking piston or an air leak beween the barrel and the section (the threads need to be coated with section sealant (not silicone grease)

3. If 1 and 2 fail to resolve your problem, the feed has to be extracted and you need to adjust the flow valve. If you pen has been improperly repaired, the valve may be missing or misadjusted.

For user pens, choose model P 88s, as they are more reliable and less prone to having problems.

You can read my article on the classic 88 and derivatives here:  http://www.newpentra...rticleGA01.html


Edited by tryphon, 12 February 2015 - 23:04.


#5 paperballs

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 01:29

The first generation 88s (NIzzoli) came with flexible nibs. Unfortunately, they also came with finicky feeds and small collectors. These were changed in the K and P variants. Check what follows:

1. Make sure the nib is set tightly against the feed

2. Make sure you do not have a leaking piston or an air leak beween the barrel and the section (the threads need to be coated with section sealant (not silicone grease)

3. If 1 and 2 fail to resolve your problem, the feed has to be extracted and you need to adjust the flow valve. If you pen has been improperly repaired, the valve may be missing or misadjusted.

For user pens, choose model P 88s, as they are more reliable and less prone to having problems.

You can read my article on the classic 88 and derivatives here:  http://www.newpentra...rticleGA01.html

 

 

Thanks, tryphon, for your suggestions and for sharing your fanastic article.  I think I'll look into an 88P.  I don't have section sealant on hand, but I don't think it's any type of air leak, even though the piston mechanism needs lubrication.  I do think you might be on the mark about the collectors, though; it's when I start to flex the nib that it railroads.  A nib that can flex this much needs a much larger collector.

 

This might not be the right place, but would it be a simple job for me to go in and lubricate the piston seal with silicone?  I found one thread about taking apart the 88, but it's a dead link.

 

Much thanks for your help!



#6 tryphon

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 02:46

 

 

Thanks, tryphon, for your suggestions and for sharing your fanastic article.  I think I'll look into an 88P.  I don't have section sealant on hand, but I don't think it's any type of air leak, even though the piston mechanism needs lubrication.  I do think you might be on the mark about the collectors, though; it's when I start to flex the nib that it railroads.  A nib that can flex this much needs a much larger collector.

 

This might not be the right place, but would it be a simple job for me to go in and lubricate the piston seal with silicone?  I found one thread about taking apart the 88, but it's a dead link.

 

Much thanks for your help!

Lubricating the piston is a simple operation, just be careful when you unscrew the section from the barrel, as it is easy to crack the barrel by using too much force. Make sure you use heat! Use a hair drier and keep your hand near the area you are heating: if it gets too hot for your hand, it is way too hot for the pen!!! When you reassemble the pen, make sure to use a sealant on the threads. Do not use rubber cement or any type of glue. Section sealant (made bymixing rosin and castor oil under heat) is the perfect product. In a pinch, you could use shellac. Once again, make sure that the nib, which has two "wings" that keep it attached to the feed, is close to the feed: often the wings get loose and the nib moves too far from the feed, causing the problem you are experiencing. Be careful adjusting/bending the "wings" as they break off very easily (I know from personal experience!!!). Thanks for the kind comment  about my article!



#7 paperballs

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 03:26

Lubricating the piston is a simple operation, just be careful when you unscrew the section from the barrel, as it is easy to crack the barrel by using too much force. Make sure you use heat! Use a hair drier and keep your hand near the area you are heating: if it gets too hot for your hand, it is way too hot for the pen!!! When you reassemble the pen, make sure to use a sealant on the threads. Do not use rubber cement or any type of glue. Section sealant (made bymixing rosin and castor oil under heat) is the perfect product. In a pinch, you could use shellac. Once again, make sure that the nib, which has two "wings" that keep it attached to the feed, is close to the feed: often the wings get loose and the nib moves too far from the feed, causing the problem you are experiencing. Be careful adjusting/bending the "wings" as they break off very easily (I know from personal experience!!!). Thanks for the kind comment  about my article!

 

Thank you for the detailed suggestions.  Unfortunately, my FP "toolkit" consists of silicone grease and a brass shim.  The piston is going to need a more experienced hand.

 

I was able to push out the feed unit very easily, and was happy to see gunk clogging up the collector channels.  I used the shim to remove the residue and gave the ebonite unit a proper cleaning out with q-tips.  The nib also came off its feed easily and went back on just as well.  I also gave the main feed channel a good flossing.  Then I put it all together again, inked it up and tried writing.  MUCH improved, with less railroading, but it's still there.  Railroading aside, though, I've decided this nib is too soft and not fine enough for my handwriting size, and the railroading can't keep up with my writing speed.

 

But I'm going to keep an eye out for an 88P with a firm Fine, or Extra-Fine if luck will allow.

 

Thank you, again, tryphon!  You've been most helpful.







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