Many people have been extolling the extreme thin-thick contrast and the effortless flex of dip nibs, as well as
their ability to deal with nasty inks that would normaly clog any fountain pen. Yes they are difficult to
contol - those with no iridium that can achieve a minute hairline but can easily catch on the upstroke.
But you can practice and with the proper selection of paper they can perform miracles. But then, you have
to dip all the time. So here is an interesting alternative. I got it from Charles Ackerman as a result of a
"settlement" from an older trade. The concept is simple. It is essentially an eyedropper contruction
with a rudimentary feed that can fit a standard dip pen. There are also others that you can use a crowquill
with, or a speedball or a brush (http://www.ackermanpens.com/)
The pump is an elastic diaphragm to "coax" difficult inks such as viscous acrylic inks etc. The concept is interesting.
You can write with a dip pen without the need to dip all the time. I wrote the two pages below with less
than 1/3 of the ink that could fit in the pen. The thick lines really consume a lot of ink. The dip nib used here
was a Hunt 101 which we happened to discuss few days ago (here).
A slight disadvantage is that you need to match the feed with the viscocity of the ink. The feed has a simple
cylindrical central hole that starts from the bottom of the ink reservoir and bends to the side to meet the nib.
I got two feeds with the pen with two different levels of flow restriction. The acrylic ink definitely needed the
generous flow feed. Another artistic nib with low viscosity could probably use an even more restrictive feed.
I thought about why wouldnt we put a dip nib in a regular FP. First in most FPs the feed has a tight fit and
removal requires some effort. With the pump pen you just pull it and it gets out easily. Also an FP feed
would clog too easily with the difficult inks. Here the feed has a simple cylindrical shape (no channels etc.).
Of course this means that the ink flow is not as well regulated as it would be in an FP (especially with the
low viscocity inks). But with the high viscosity inks, this is not a problem.
The basic advantages and disadvantages are the typical ones for dip nibs. Great flex and contrast but difficult
upstrokes and splashing if one is careless. Dip pens can be used with unusual inks but they bend and corrode.
At least with the pump you get closer to the FP model in terms of ink supply.
At the end of the day you have to be as careful as with a dip nib either for catching on upstrokes or avoiding.
But you can write a lot because of the ink supply.
The verdict: A very interesting gadget if you like to play with dip nibs.
Edited by antoniosz, 07 April 2007 - 03:08.