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Review: Joseph Da Luz Custom Nib Grind/noodler's Flex Konrad Acrylic

joseph da luz da luz daluz custom nib noodlers flex konrad titanium overfeed custom grind

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23 replies to this topic

#1 Intellidepth

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:35

Very long detailed review with large image files. Consider thyself prepared.

The disclaimer: no affiliation whatsoever. I requested and paid for this custom nib grind. This review is entirely my own opinion. YMMV. Etcetera.

 

Photo: Drawing

Totally amateur drawing with the Da Luz modded nib. (First ever drawing with a flex nib, go easy!)

fpn_1429439606__image.jpg

 

First Impressions

After seeing Joseph Da Luz’s (FPN name: FPVIBERIAN) custom nib grind work on Noodler’s flex nibs, I wanted one. My expectations were that it would be a fun nib, but possibly not on par with my favourite vintage Conklin Crescent Toledo #2 Gold Nib. I was wrong. This Da Luz modded nib in a Noodler’s Konrad (acrylic) has now taken first place in my tiny fountain pen flex selection. If you’re looking for your entry-level Spencerian fountain pen with great flex and modern fittings – this is it.

 

On arrival it was inspected, disassembled, flushed (it had been inked for nib trials), dried, then reassembled. I set the ebonite feed up in my usual position for a Konrad Acrylic – about 4mm back from the nib tip. I had wondered whether it would be difficult to get the titanium overfeed in place, but it wasn’t. Easy. Worked first time. (I’d taken a photo of the titanium overfeed’s positioning prior to disassembly, just in case.)

 

Inked it up, and… oh, my, goodness. Immediate joy. Better than anticipated in every way. Finished better than I had hoped for, wrote wider than anticipated, could write finer than anticipated, and was housed in a modern pen body I was already familiar with that could easily and affordably be replaced.


Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

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#2 Intellidepth

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:36

Nib

XXF to a solid 3mm wide. Steel Noodler’s flex nib, modded by Joseph Da Luz for increased flex with the addition of a handmade custom shaped titanium overfeed. I requested XXF. The max width I left up to him.

 

Wet

Very wet nib. Wettest fountain pen nib I own. Controlled release due to dual feed system (Noodler’s ebonite feed with the Da Luz handmade titanium overfeed).

 

Photo: The Three Nibs

Noodler’s Konrad unmodded, Da Luz modded, and vintage Conklin 14k Toledo.

fpn_1429439761__image.jpg

 

Photo: Nibs Under the Loupe

Noodler’s Konrad unmodded, Da Luz modded, and vintage Conklin 14k Toledo.

fpn_1429439805__image.jpg

 

Photo: Side Shots

Side shots of Noodler’s Konrad unmodded and Da Luz modded Nooder’s flex nibs.

fpn_1429439854__image.jpg

 

Photo: Nib Fine Line Comparison

Pilot Custom 912 Heritage Posting Nib 14k with Iroshizuku ink; Lamy Fine with Iroshizuku ink; Lamy medium with Noodler’s CMYK ink blend; Da Luz custom modded nib with Noodler’s CMYK ink blend.

fpn_1429439711__image.jpg

 


Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

#3 Intellidepth

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:37

Writes

Smooth as an unmodded Noodler’s Konrad flex nib, but is ground finer. When writing flexed it feels like an XXF nib. It currently supplies feedback. After I’ve used it for a few more weeks I might smooth it out at the glossy end of the spectrum as I love really, really smooth nibs (I didn’t place any specific request with Joseph Da Luz in this regard.) Downward strokes are smoother than the lightest upward strokes. Can be used upside down for even finer unflexed lines. It is better than the unmodded Noodler’s flex nib in this regard (less scratchy; finer line).

 

Flex

3mm max. I’d happily take it to 2mm regularly. I’m not concerned that I might spring this nib through accidental carelessness (this is a big plus when compared to my vintage nibs). I wouldn’t choose to flex it to the max all the time – it’s steel. Like any metal it has its limits. Maximum line variation is just slightly greater for this modded nib than my vintage gold dip nib (Aikin Lambert); just under twice as wide as my vintage Conklin Crescent #2 Toledo gold nib; and far more than my Waterman 32 ½ can achieve.

 

Pressure to Flex

Equivalent to my vintage Conklin Crescent #2 Toledo gold nib (which cannot flex anywhere near as wide). Less pressure than my Waterman 32 ½. Half the pressure (or less) than an unmodded Noodler’s flex nib. More pressure than required for my gold dip nib (vintage Aikin Lambert).

 

Unflexed

It is very sensitive to slight changes in pressure (more so than my vintage Conklin super flex but about the same as my Aikin Lambert dip nib), so a very controlled light hand is needed for fine lines, which will take practice.

 

Snap-back

This is a difficult one to call. When writing unflexed, or slightly flexed, snap-back is slow. A bit painterly. When writing at max flex, the snap-back is nearly as good as the vintage gold dip nib, which is the snappiest delight I own.


Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

#4 Intellidepth

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:38

Comparison to Vintage

In most ways the Da Luz nib is better, however the Conklin can achieve narrower lines during copperplate-style flexing due to reduced wetness (no overfeed). This is a fairly natural trade-off I think in a fountain pen setup (ie not dip nib). The Conklin can’t write as wide (nib and feed limitations). The Da Luz nib setup is wet pen equalling wider flex without railroading but also can equal thicker hairlines.

 

Photo: Stroke Tests

Comparing unmodded Noodler’s Konrad acrylic with flex nib (red and purple pen), Noodler’s Konrad acrylic with Da Luz modded nib (blue pen), and vintage Conklin Crescent with #2 Toledo gold nib (faded black/green BCHR). Inks are all Noodler’s CMYK ink blends of one sort or another (made with Noodler’s Yellow, Navajo Turquoise, Shahs’ Rose, Bulletproof Black).

fpn_1429439339__image.jpg


Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

#5 Intellidepth

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:39

Technique

I need to learn a new flexing technique to reduce the effect of the continuing wetness from the filled feed after returning from flexing (ie not flexing as much for as long on a stroke – slightly lowering the pressure partway through a stroke while allowing the excess ink to create the line edge). I like to write at small x-heights (2mm). As the x-height increases, this extra wetness doesn’t affect the fine lines after flexing quite as much.

 

Photo 2: Letter to a Pen Pal

This is page 3 of a 7 page letter. Shows how the nib performs at a 2mm x-height after several pages of writing in a flexed style when I’ve fallen into a rhythm. Noodler’s CMYK ink blend.

fpn_1429439475__image.jpg


Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

#6 Intellidepth

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:40

Finish

Titanium is neatly finished to a satin uni-directional finish. The cutaways on the steel nib are finished well.

 

The One Downside

The titanium overfeed touches the inside of the Konrad cap, so the last screw turn can’t be made to seal the pen. The nib itself is clear of the cap. The cap has a step-down inside near where the clip attaches for strength. I’m sure I could figure out how to modify/angle the step-down slightly to accommodate the extra 0.2mm that the titanium overfeed takes up. I’m just not quite prepared to try it yet. (It is possible that I have repositioned the titanium overfeed in a slightly different position to where Joseph supplied it – I’ll play with this next time I dismantle it.)

 

Price

Please check with Joseph Da Luz directly regarding cost (FPN name: FPVIBERIAN). The pen plus the Da Luz modded nib cost me around the same as my time-worn, greenish BCHR, cracked Conklin Crescent with #2 Toledo gold nib shown in the first photo (which I absolutely adored). So, basically, you get a brand new pen with a custom nib that performs much the same as a good-level Spencerian-oriented vintage fountain pen (with BCHR damage).

 

Regarding Joseph Da Luz as a Service Provider

Great communication, polite, professional, swift production, and went above and beyond with regard to pen requests. Was patient when an email was delivered unnoticed to my junk folder and I consequently didn’t reply.

 

Verdict

Of course I want another. I have that unmodded pen sitting here just begging to go on an overseas trip. I would recommend this nib to anyone interested in attempting any of the flexy styles of writing who wants a dual-use fountain pen rather than a dip nib. Will I stop obsessively looking for more Conklin Crescents with #2 Toledo gold nibs now? Yes. Will I stop saving for my pie-in-the-sky-dream $700 custom pen with Spencerian nib? Yes.

 

Thanks Joseph. Seriously awesome work at a price point I could actually afford, in a pen I like.


Edited by Intellidepth, 19 April 2015 - 11:58.

Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

#7 visvamitra

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:58

Impressive.



#8 RMN

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 14:23

Nice review!!

 

 

D.ick


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#9 wimg

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 19:30

Wow! Very nice indeed!

 

You have me looking for my savings now! :D

 

Warm regards, Wim


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#10 Tootles

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 20:44

Wow indeed! I have no idea of the price of a "time-worn, greenish BCHR, cracked Conklin Crescent with #2 Toledo gold nib" so that particular statement was of no use to me. I don't see any need to be coy on price - fess up! :D

 

Anyway, do we a have a slowly growing body of independent flex pen makers? Hope so.

 

And nice drawings intellidepth, enjoyed the review immensely!



#11 esterbrookj

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 22:10

Wow, I had never heard of Joseph Da Luz before, I'll have to keep him in mind. Thanks!

Great review, too. You have very nice handwriting.

 

-Evan



#12 TimTheZaj

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 02:41

Very nice indeed

#13 stevesurf

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 03:26

Very long detailed review with large image files. Consider thyself prepared.

The disclaimer: no affiliation whatsoever. I requested and paid for this custom nib grind. This review is entirely my own opinion. YMMV. Etcetera.

 

Photo: Drawing

Totally amateur drawing with the Da Luz modded nib. (First ever drawing with a flex nib, go easy!)

fpn_1429439606__image.jpg

 

First Impressions

After seeing Joseph Da Luz’s (FPN name: FPVIBERIAN) custom nib grind work on Noodler’s flex nibs, I wanted one. My expectations were that it would be a fun nib, but possibly not on par with my favourite vintage Conklin Crescent Toledo #2 Gold Nib. I was wrong. This Da Luz modded nib in a Noodler’s Konrad (acrylic) has now taken first place in my tiny fountain pen flex selection. If you’re looking for your entry-level Spencerian fountain pen with great flex and modern fittings – this is it.

 

On arrival it was inspected, disassembled, flushed (it had been inked for nib trials), dried, then reassembled. I set the ebonite feed up in my usual position for a Konrad Acrylic – about 4mm back from the nib tip. I had wondered whether it would be difficult to get the titanium overfeed in place, but it wasn’t. Easy. Worked first time. (I’d taken a photo of the titanium overfeed’s positioning prior to disassembly, just in case.)

 

Inked it up, and… oh, my, goodness. Immediate joy. Better than anticipated in every way. Finished better than I had hoped for, wrote wider than anticipated, could write finer than anticipated, and was housed in a modern pen body I was already familiar with that could easily and affordably be replaced.

 

 

This is gorgeous and a thanks from me as I hope more nib adjustment reviews find a home here!


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Steve Surfaro
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#14 Frank C

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 03:35

Beautiful pen and nice artwork. What ink did you use?


"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#15 Intellidepth

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 06:27

Beautiful pen and nice artwork. What ink did you use?


The blue is a Noodler's CMYK I call Jellyfish Aqua (needs a name otherwise I'll forget it). 2.5mL Noodler's Navajo Turquoise and 1 drop Noodler's Black (bulletproof). The bulletproof black adds a little more of the shady factor to the straight ink and takes the edge off its vibrancy.
Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

#16 Frank C

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 12:00

The blue is a Noodler's CMYK I call Jellyfish Aqua (needs a name otherwise I'll forget it). 2.5mL Noodler's Navajo Turquoise and 1 drop Noodler's Black (bulletproof). The bulletproof black adds a little more of the shady factor to the straight ink and takes the edge off its vibrancy.

 

Thanks for the information. The ink matches your pen well. 


"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#17 Intellidepth

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 00:51

I've been off-air for several days due to cyclonic winds and floods in our region.

 

Here's a belated link to a video of the type that inspired me to seek Joseph Da Luz's work.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=G7DODeMsbCc


Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

#18 ethernautrix

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 13:16

Thanks for tapping into my long-dormant pen covetousness, I think.

Wow, great review, fabulous pen!


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#19 radconsta

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 12:41

Excellent review, thank you! I will look him up.
Rad from Alabama_________________________

#20 FPVIBERIAN

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 06:29

Well, I finally did it.  My Website wherein I will offer the Noodler's Pens with flex and overfeed mods is....

 

flexynib.com


Edited by RMN, 08 July 2015 - 01:57.
deleted pens for sale... website as reaction can be allowed.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: joseph da luz, da luz, daluz, custom nib, noodlers flex, konrad, titanium, overfeed, custom, grind



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