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Visconti Ink Bath

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11 replies to this topic

#1 Wolftrack

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 19:11

Hi-

 

So, I'm new and I'm hoping you all can offer some help.  I started picking up pens this last year and, like my son with caterpillars, I seem to find them EVERYWHERE.  Also like my son and caterpillars, I can't leave them where I find them.  I hear their little voices and imagine them left to fend for themselves on the internet, in boutique pen stores or (gasp!) pen mills.  So far I have avoided the pen rescue booths that I am sure are set up on Saturdays outside pen stores, but it is only a matter of time before I bring home some sad-looking brown and white fella who's been beaten up a little and just needs a break.

 

Anyway -- not the point.  My first rescues were Viscontis.  One was a Pininfrina carbongraphite.  It's a stub nib and wrote great at first.  But then it went south on me.  Instead of a nice sweet multi-characteristic line, it dropped gushers.  Big, thick crappy lines with little to distinguish them from my 3rd grade writing samples (lines which Mrs. Pratt thoughtfully told my parents at parent-teacher conferences were "not yet satisfactory," thereby earning me a prohibition on watching "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "Happy Days" until improvement... which occurred some 10 years later).  It was a disaster.

 

Relief came -- oddly enough -- when the thing dried up.  Which happened every time I used it.  I'd seal it back up in its retractable little house, wait about a couple of hours, try it again and.... nothing.  Zip.  Nada.  Zilch.  No line at all.  Enough that Sergeant Schultz' knowledge would seem plentiful.  A quick rinse under water, an absorbent cloth and VOILA!  Back to writing....nice lines (but just for a while).  So now I have a pen that writes lousy, dries out, requires CPR to get started and I'm running out of absorbent cloth.  And then it ends where I don't want to be.  Any ideas?

 

Problem #2 -- I followed problem #1 with a purchase of Visconti's beautiful Jacques DeMolay set.  Also a stub, I've not used it (for obvious reasons).  Should I sell it?  I'm not a fan of wet and sloppy lines, so I don't want to throw money into fixing the unfixable, especially if that's just that nature Visconti.

 

Ideas?


Edited by Wolftrack, 17 April 2016 - 19:17.


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#2 Wolftrack

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 19:08

No one?



#3 Old_Inkyhand

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 19:30

Please be patient, some questions regarding the malfunctioning pens and repairs stay unanswered for a longer time than the others, because people read and think 'nah, I don't know how to fix it' and keep scrolling. Some competent individuals WILL finally get interested, I believe  :)

 

I don't know what to do, but I guess they will ask you to post some photographs, so you can go and take some in advance  :)

 

My Visconti is very nice, but I know the pain related to a misbehaved pen and unanswered questions. I hope everything will straighten out!


Edited by Old_Inkyhand, 18 April 2016 - 19:30.


#4 Wolftrack

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 20:07

Thanks!  Oddly enough, Mrs. Pratt used to say I was an impatient child.  I've been rushing to prove her wrong ever since, I think.


Edited by Wolftrack, 18 April 2016 - 20:08.


#5 zaddick

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 23:01

These are not stray pups. Did you buy them from a dealer? There should be a warranty.

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#6 FOUR X FOUR

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 23:16

Brilliant analogies between pens and puppies. If it's writing and then stops there must be trash in the tines or the feed. If it continues to do this even after a good thorough cleaning, you should contact Coles of London.😃😃

#7 welcmhm

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 20:04

I am very new to fountain maintenance and adjustment, so please take my advice with a grain of salt and understand the risk you take working on your own pens.  The most certain course of action would be to take them back to the dealer or contact the company or distributor for warranty service.  However, sometimes that's not the best option.  I found an old Visconti Homo Sapiens that belongs to my father that hadn't really ever been used, but it was in bad shape and barely wrote.  I was able to open up the tines to get the flow where I wanted it, and smoothed out the nib so that it writes magnificently, so it can be done, even by a novice.

 

With regard to the Pininfarina, it sounds like you have two problems.  The first problem you identified is the gushing nib, which sounds like the tines are spaced a bit far.  I have not yet adjusted the flow of a pen to make it less wet, but there are youtube videos showing how it is done.  Essentially, you will try to squeeze the two tines closer together to narrow the gap between them where they contact the page.  However, PLEASE do not use pliers or any other implements to do this.  It is delicate work.  You will also want to keep the tines aligned and not twisted.  Once you have decreased the space, realign them so that they are level.  The second problem, the lack of any ink flow at all, sounds like poor contact between the feed and the bottom of the nib.  Essentially, you want the nib sitting centered and tight against the feed.  I have seen a professional reset a Visconti nib of mine and the nib was placed on top of the feed and replaced securely into the collar.  The nib and feed were them placed over some steam to heat set the nib to the feed (essentially, the feed is heated slightly so that it softens and takes the shape of the underside of the nib, then when it cools, they are right up next to each other and the feed is even molded to the shape of your nib).  This can also be done with warm to hot (but I believe not boiling) water.  There are also youtube videos around demonstrating how to heat set a nib and feed.

 

Good luck getting your pen writing the way you like it.  With regard to the Jacques de Molay, it may or may not write exactly like the Pininfarina.  However, if you have access to a professional nibmesiter, I highly recommend seeing one.  The cost is small as compared to the cost of the fountain pens and they will be able to get your pens writing exactly how you want them to.



#8 gerigo

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Posted 21 April 2016 - 15:06

Wolftrack, appreciate that you tried to inject a little humor in your descriptions. But it proved a little hard for my simple mind to exactly understand your situation. You'd have to excuse me.

 

I do have 2 of the Pininfarinas, one in Carbongraphite and one in the newer Nanotube material. While I don't have the ultra wet nib you talked about, I do have problems with these pens drying out unless you use them with frequency. Although the pens are very beautiful, they have proven very problematic to the point I had to send both back to Italy for extended stays at the pen spa there.

 

There are a few problems with the pen as I have observed.

 

1. The nibs have to be oriented with the pen body. This is unfortunate because the nib has to be tightened down, otherwise not doing so will cause leaking and blobbing problems as the feed is not directly in contact with the converter. Of course tightening it down will cause the nib to be misaligned with the clip, which makes the pen pretty unsightly.

2. The feed is not the greatest design. There are many reported cases of faulty feeds that needs to be replaced. There is a famous video of a Visconti Typhoon that uses the exact same feed that literally blobs ink out of the nib and the entire pen, which is a power filler, will run dry in a few minutes.

3. Depending on how the nib is tuned, it can either be VERY wet or VERY dry. Because it's a stainless steel nib that has a much more structural cylindrical form, it is much harder to flex, bend and shape as compared with their Palladium nib. Both my Pinins are stubs and one is MUCH wetter and write with a much wetter line than the other. It's not the easiest nib to adjust because it's cylindrical and very stiff.

4. The pen dries out VERY quickly if you don't use it daily. Thank goodness its capacity is tiny with the converter, otherwise I would constantly be trying to revive the pen.

 

As for their Palladium nibs, I don't have the Jacques De Morney pen but I have many of their stubs. There is no doubt they are very wet writers. I have not experienced a dry Dreamtouch nib before. So if you like drier nibs, you'd have to send it in to a nib meister or avoid Viscontis.

 

Hope this is helpful.



#9 Wolftrack

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 05:22

Gerigo-

 

What a great response, thanks.  I feel less like a bad pen parent than before.  I did end up sending it back to Coles, and from there it is winging its way to Italy.  I wish they had a pen driver program -- say 3 weeks at Lake Como?   The perpetual drying out is wearing on me - -I can come back to a DuPont after weeks and pick up writing.  Sometimes this thing dries in hours.  

 

I do think I'm not going to risk keeping the DeMolay, though.   There's a way to sell that here, isn't there?

 

--- Wolf



#10 zaddick

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 07:39

After 30 days and 30 posts (not counting chatter) you can post a sale ad.

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#11 amberleadavis

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 04:17

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#12 amberleadavis

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 04:18

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Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

 

Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar  

 

Participate in the newest Inky TODs: 

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