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Twsbi Vac700: Titanium!


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9 replies to this topic

#1 sketchstack

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 22:08

I recently bought a Conid pen along with several nibs. One of the nibs is a Bock ‘Titan’ titanium nib. Rather than let the nib sit unused, I decided to tinker with my TWSBI Vac700. 
 
The process was very simple: pull the friction fit feed and nib from the unit and insert the new nib. On my particular Vac700, the nib and feed were extremely easy to remove. 
 
To my delight, the pen writes beautifully with the Bock Ti nib. No adjustment needed, no ink flow issues. Perhaps a slightly dry start every once in a while, but nothing to worry about. 
 
About that ‘flex’: 
 
All the reviews and videos I saw talked about how flexible or springy the Bock Ti nibs were. So when I got my first Conid with #8 Ti nib, I was surprised that it was not really flexible at all. 
 
That’s very different on the #6 Ti nibs —they have a lot of spring and flex compared to the #8. That’s not the first time two nib sizes have disparate performance. For example, I’m told Pelican M1000 and M800 nibs are very, very different experiences. So that’s what’s going on here. 
 
In summary: The nib swap was ultra simple, and the nib itself writes wonderfully. I can't get over how smooth and springy it is without being unreasonable for daily writing.  It’s almost like having a springy gold nib at half the cost (Bock gold are about $140 US whereas this nib is around $60 US). 
 

 

 

Edited by sketchstack, 31 December 2016 - 22:14.


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#2 pensinpictures

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 00:01

I totally hear you.  I have my TWSBI 580AL fitted with a Bock Titan #5 and it's really enjoyable.  It has a little flex when you depress it, some decent feedback, and looks great.  As you said, it can start a little dry sometimes, but it's such a step in the right direction from the standard steel nibs.

 

Strangely enough, I found the #8 in the Kingsize had a decent amount of flex and wasn't that stiff, but I totally agree: the smaller sizes have more nib flex.  Some have reported that they get more flexy over time, so I'm waiting to see.

 

Thanks for the review and the videos!



#3 sketchstack

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 06:39

Glad you enjoyed the videos.

 

I should perhaps clarify the comments on the #8. It's not that it's stiff in general, it's just not nearly as flexible as the #6 equivalent. The #8 Ti is still soft compared to steel (though to my knowledge there are no steel #8). 

 

Oddly enough both the #8 and #6 exhibit similar hard start characteristics. I wonder if it has to do with the surface properties of the alloy? It's not even really "hard starting"...it's more like "weak starting". There's a little ink but the line is faint. Versus a true hard start where there's nothing and then suddenly ink flows. 

 

 

 

 

 

Strangely enough, I found the #8 in the Kingsize had a decent amount of flex and wasn't that stiff, but I totally agree: the smaller sizes have more nib flex.  Some have reported that they get more flexy over time, so I'm waiting to see.

 

 



#4 Frank66

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 10:50

I have done a similar modification with a #6 EF Bock Titanium nib with a few of my pens and can attest to the superb semi-flexible writing experience of the Ti nib. I have not tried it in a TWSBI pen yet, but I have tried the Ti nib on a Kaigelu 316, a Jinhao x750 and x159 with very nice results. Happy New Year and thanks for posting.


- Kaigelu 316 Modification (250 #6 Bock Nib / Beaufort Ink Converter)
- Titanium Bock Nib - Kaigelu 316 - Beaufort Ink

- Bock Rollerball Nib In Jinhao 886 Pen - Beaufort Ink Converter

- No affiliation with pen industry, just a pen hobbyist.

- It matters what you write, only for us it matters what we write it with.


#5 pensinpictures

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 00:51

Glad you enjoyed the videos.

 

I should perhaps clarify the comments on the #8. It's not that it's stiff in general, it's just not nearly as flexible as the #6 equivalent. The #8 Ti is still soft compared to steel (though to my knowledge there are no steel #8). 

 

Oddly enough both the #8 and #6 exhibit similar hard start characteristics. I wonder if it has to do with the surface properties of the alloy? It's not even really "hard starting"...it's more like "weak starting". There's a little ink but the line is faint. Versus a true hard start where there's nothing and then suddenly ink flows. 

 

I hear you and I had the same thought.  Maybe it's the unfinished nature of the titanium?  I've noticed that ink tends to "stick" to the back of the nib, even when washed, unless it's soaked or cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.  It's possible that this's led to the "soft/weak" starting?



#6 sketchstack

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 16:36

I've noticed that sticking as well. I chalk it up to the unpolished matte finish. I'm not sure if that contributed to my starting issues, but I have noticed that switching inks made a difference. I went from pigmented Sailor Ink to Noodlers Teal and the situation has improved. Also it looks like my #6 F doesn't exhibited the issues quite as much as the #6 M. 

 

It's so nuanced that it could just be one of those things where certain inks are friendlier. I would spend time adjusting but it is nice and wet, and it doesn't seem to be over polished so I think I'll just leave it be. 

 

I'm still marveling over how much I like the Ti #6 --more so I think than the gold version that cost over twice as much!

 

 

 

I hear you and I had the same thought.  Maybe it's the unfinished nature of the titanium?  I've noticed that ink tends to "stick" to the back of the nib, even when washed, unless it's soaked or cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.  It's possible that this's led to the "soft/weak" starting?



#7 pensinpictures

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 16:51

I've noticed that sticking as well. I chalk it up to the unpolished matte finish. I'm not sure if that contributed to my starting issues, but I have noticed that switching inks made a difference. I went from pigmented Sailor Ink to Noodlers Teal and the situation has improved. Also it looks like my #6 F doesn't exhibited the issues quite as much as the #6 M. 

 

It's so nuanced that it could just be one of those things where certain inks are friendlier. I would spend time adjusting but it is nice and wet, and it doesn't seem to be over polished so I think I'll just leave it be. 

 

I'm still marveling over how much I like the Ti #6 --more so I think than the gold version that cost over twice as much!

 

I actually did something similar last night.  I drained the Noodler's Red-Black from the pen and filled it with Diamine Wild Strawberry.  The difference is incredible.  No more hard starts, no more sluggish writing.  That said, I ordered a gold Bock fine nib to test out how it holds out in the 580AL by comparison and will report back.



#8 sketchstack

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 06:41

Curious where you ordered the gold Bock? 

 

 

....

 

That said, I ordered a gold Bock fine nib to test out how it holds out in the 580AL by comparison and will report back.



#9 pensinpictures

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 15:54

fpnibs.com.  I've heard great reviews of the site, and chose to order their 18k gold #5 with ruthenium plating.  And I misspoke; it was a JoWo.  If you want Bock, I've used Beaufort Ink many times (for titanium, steel, and gold) and they do a great job.



#10 sketchstack

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 16:43

Nice, thanks. I've seen both of those sites and yes, they seem well regarded. 








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