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Pilot Plumix Question

pilot plumix itatlic nibs

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12 replies to this topic

#1 stelvask

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:12

I bought the Pilot Plumix recently on a bit of a whim, hoping to swap out of the nib in my Metro for the italic version in the Plumix.  Having cleaned my Metro over the weekend, I swapped the nibs, loaded the Metro (with the Plumix italic) with Kon-Peki and gave it a shot.  This is my first time using any sort of italic nib, and I've found that the writing experience is just... unpleasant.  The pen is skipping, hard starting, and worst of all it feels like writing on a chalkboard.  I tried it for about five minute before I had to set it down. I feel kind of bummed about this, since the writing looks amazing, but I can't use the pen like this.  I'm curious if anyone else has had a similar issue with the nib.  I understand that italic nibs can be scratchy, but this seemed really bad. Any suggestions?

 

- edited for clarity.


Edited by stelvask, 19 May 2015 - 03:32.


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#2 mhguda

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:20

What ink are you using? A lot depends on the ink and paper as well. Before definitely giving up, you might try another ink.

Also, did you flush the pen before using it?

I have two Plumixes, and my problem initially was the exact opposite to what you're experiencing: ink would creep out without any action from me. I had to fiddle around with how the nib and feed were seated in the pen. I use one with a converter and the other as an eyedropper.

Check too if the tines are aligned. Scratchiness can be caused by misaligned tines. There is a thread on the forum, Five bad things that happen with new pens... Read it, it gives much better directions for getting your pen to behave!

Good luck. I'd say don't give up yet, once you've tamed that Plumix, you have a wonderful pen.


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#3 stelvask

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:31

Ah, I don't think I was very clear on that in my post, I'll edit it to make it a bit more clear, but to answer your first few questions, I actually just swapped the nib out of the Plumix and put it into my Metro (which I had cleaned over the weekend).  I inked it with Kon-Peki - one I've never had an issue with.  Checking the tines was my next guess, but unfortunately I don't have my loupe with me at the moment.  I've seen that thread you're talking about, so I'll go take a look at it.  Thanks!



#4 mhguda

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:54

Are you using the feed from the Metro? Maybe there is a small mismatch. It's not an ebonite feed, IIRC, but maybe if you are careful you might try and heatset the nib and feed, using the hot water method? Or else swap out the feeds, too?

I've only just tried a Kon-Peki sample for the first time ever last weekend, and found it a nicely wet ink, so that can hardly be the cause of the problem... but maybe the nib is just a bit tighter in the section than the original nib was?

Just thinking out loud... so good luck!


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#5 Algester

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 04:03

it could be the nib it just set to "dry" plus its a medium crisp italic-ish nib

#6 Bounce792

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 05:09

I have found that keeping nibs and feeds together works for these lower-end Pilots.  I had an issue with a Parallel EF nib in my 78G (which had a Medium).  Swap the feeds and suddenly it works fine.  It is really strange.  Same thing when I got a Metropolitan with a Fine nib.  Had to keep the pairs together.  I don't know if anyone else has experienced this but 3/3 times this has solved my issues with hard starts.


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#7 Algester

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 05:53

huh there's no parallel nib that can fit the 78G what are you talking about...

#8 Bookman

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 06:57

I have three Plumixes.  Two were dry or dry-ish straight out of the wrapper.  The one that wrote perfectly became my reserve stub nib for my Metropolitans.  As to the other two Plumixes,  I worked a piece of brass shim back and forth between the tines of each for several seconds to open them up a little and increase the flow.


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#9 brunico

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 07:50

If there really is a problem with your italic nib skipping and hard starting when your other nib doesn't, this is easily fixable by opening up the tines a little or by aligning them. I haven't seen this problem in over a dozen Plumix nibs: they've all been smooth and reliable. In fact, with all the italic nibs I've had over the years, including countless cheapies, the only problem I had was with a Waterman nib that had a tiny burr on one side and could actually tear the paper (this is my definition of scratchy).

 

Italic nibs have to be held correctly - and consistently so - in order to work properly, and I think this is where most people's problems with them comes from. If you're unfamiliar with them, the Plumix, not being a wet writer, won't gloss over the difficulty you're having. Do make sure you're using the nib properly before you try anything that could make it worse.


Edited by brunico, 19 May 2015 - 07:52.


#10 stelvask

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 11:59

Thanks for the input. Mhguda, I did not swap the feeds as well, I'm not sure why though... I just flipped the nibs and left the feeds in the original pens.  I'm going to empty and clean both of the pens out and try again today. 

 

Brunico - when I was trying to look up the problem online before posting here I saw some pieces about the nib being held correctly.  I tried to experiment with holding it at different angles to see if it would correct the problem.  When it was hard starting changing the angle would get it writing again (so I assume I was holding it wrong most of those times) but the scratchiness never changed, regardless of how I held it.  I suppose I can't be 100% certain that I'm holding it correctly, but comparing it to pictures and videos online it seems (?) that it's correct.  I mean, I know the room for error on an italic is smaller than on a regular nib, but I hope it's not THAT small



#11 beanbag

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 04:17

1) keep the original feed and nib together

 

2) when you insert the feed, make sure that it is aligned exactly on center to the nib, because if it is rotated even a little bit out, it can push up on one of the tines

 

3) make very sure that the tines are aligned.  One other way to tell is to do pull strokes (to see if both tines are engaging), and do left strokes and right strokes.  They should feel exactly the same.  If going left feels scratchier, then that either means that the right tine is lower, or you are not holding the pen in the right alignment.

 

4) Oh yeah, pen alignment is very important when using an italic nib

 

5) You might just have to open up the tines for more flow.  In my case, I have to adjust the flow such that the words glisten wet for a few seconds.  Then the pen writes smoothly.

 

6) No, this is not going to feel as smooth as your Metro medium point.  The italic nib has no tipping material.

 

7) only after you made sure that the alignment is as good as its going to get, can you start doing the usual tricks like rubbing on glass, micro-mesh sandpaper, etc.

 

8) maybe you have to clean the nib and feed with a slightly detergent or degreaser solution, because if they get oily, they can be hydrophobic, which will cause ink flow issues.


Edited by beanbag, 21 May 2015 - 04:21.

 

 

 


#12 stelvask

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 13:21

Thanks a bunch for the info and tips, mhguda and beanbag.  The tines did not seem to be misalined, but after opening them up a tiny bit the flow improved.  Keeping the nib and feed together makes sense (I don't know why I thought I needed to swap only the nib, but there you have it).  There's still some scratchiness and a bit of a start-up issue, but the flow has improved.  Once it went from sounding like nails on a chalkboard to just having some feedback the performance is night and day.  All of my other pens have EF, F, or M nibs, and this was my first try with something italic/italic-like.  After writing out a few pages with it I'm questioning if I'm ever going to buy anything but a stub nib in the future.  I've bought a 1.1m for my TWSBI this morning after another bit of writing.  Thanks for your help!



#13 mhguda

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 16:24

Glad to hear your pen is performing better. Hopefully with practice and regular use the nib will settle into giving an even better flow.

Regarding the matter of keeping feed and nib together, in my experience it's not always necessary, but there seem to be cases where it's a good idea. It seems you have uncovered another such case; we should be thankful.


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