I've just received a Mabie Todd model "Swan 1500" in clean used condition. It's a beautiful pen with what looks to be an OB nib, more semi-flex than flex, but that suits my writing style. I've filled the pen and it works well, but the feed is not a particularly tight fit in the barrel and slides up and down the nib. When I disassembled the pen I found a piece of blu-tack inside the barrel which may have been added by the previous owner to try and stop the feed moving.
This pen does not have the silver twist wire whereas other Mabie Todd 1500s do and I was wondering if the twist wire helped position the feed and regulate the flow of the ink to the nib bu pinning the feed in a suitable "sweet spot". Other posts have talked about the role of the twist wire as a agitator to possibly regulate ink flow or break surface tension to also regulate the flow of ink.
In playing around with the pen the actual position of the feed on the nib significantly alters the flow of ink - further up the nib (with the lower feed just covering the vent hole on the nib) produces a good flow. Moving the nib further down increases the flow to the point where the flow is more of a gush - too much ink is being transferred to the paper.
The nib seems to fit correctly into the barrel so the inside diameter of the barrel is probably about the right diameter for the feed
This raises a couple of questions for me about the pen:
1. Is the feed supposed to be a loose fit in the barrel? It takes no effort to move the feed in the barrel - friction against the nib seems to be what holds the feed in one place but there's not enough friction to stop the feed from moving. I need to be careful if I have to wipe ink from the nib, for example.
2. Does anyone have a source for the missing silver wire twist? Either original or pattern would be fine. I could get one made too (possibly a jeweler could do this and they should have access to the silver wire) if someone could post the dimensions and what the wire gauge might be.
Apologies for a lack of photos. It's late evening here in Australia and the light is not particularly suitable for nib closeup photography. I'll post some in the next day or so.