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Philosophy Of Use For Functional "signature Pen", Any Recommendations?

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57 replies to this topic

#41 tmenyc

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 02:17

Good to know re: burping, ac12.  Thanks!  I'm learning that I have lots more to learn. 

Big, 

definitely a desk pen...AC is, per usual, right.  They are a little temperamental.  And, there is a specific method to filling them.  You need an empty jar next to your ink bottle.  Fill the pen completely with the eyedropper.  Keep the ink bottle open.  Holding the barrel open end up in one hand, start screwing the section into place.  As you turn it in, turn the pen over so the shortening of the pen forces ink out, back into the bottle.  This will create the proper internal air pressure.  And, you'll need a small jar of silicone, sold by every pen supplier, rub a little into the section threads before filling the pen, to seal the ink in.  Ink is really viscous stuff and finds its way through any unsealed opening.  

 

My Varuna is a very large pen, sort of like a cigar.  I use it as my signing pen at work because it would not get used otherwise except on my home desk, where my MB149 runs the show.  Blurping from that pen is an environmental incident, so I'm careful with its use.  All that said, I love the pen for signing and it gets regular use that way.  

 

Tim



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#42 Big_Kahuna

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 05:02

Hey Big, you might consider a Ranga pen that is set up for c/c and screw in nibs.  I am currently using a Ranga 3, a fairly large flat top ebonite pen that is threaded for JoWo nib units.  I purchased two nib units from fpnibs.com for the pen, one a fine and the other a stubbed M, which writes like a western B nib.  The stub is easier to maneuver than an italic and the JoWo nib writes fast and nicely wet.  And, the pen is not all that expensive.  Might be worth a look.  You can get the model 3C which has rounded ends if flat tops are not your deal.

 

The other consideration, of course, is to talk to one of the creative pen turners that hang around here.  They could build you exactly what you want - a bit more expensive but there is something to be said for getting exactly what you want.

 

Good luck in your quest!

 

Hi Kelly G,

 

I checked out the Rangas on Peyton Street Pens website.  Model 3 reminds me of a Duofold, and I love the look! I'll be sure to consider the Rangas for my "Desk Signature Pen" evaluation, which is my next project after this one.  I think the Standard International C/C system is probably not optimal for field use (my current SI C/C pens suffer cartridge detachment under shock) so I'm a little gunshy of them for this use case.  I'll also consider getting a custom pen down the road... I have been really pleased with my Edison Collier (Production line, not custom) and understand that Brian Gray makes some awesome custom pens.  Thanks for chiming in!



#43 Big_Kahuna

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 05:13

You might ask why Mark Twain really loved a sack Conklin over ED....or why when in 1912 Sheaffer made the small improvement...inventing the lever filled pen....ED went down hill in  a hurry.

Shaeaffer was easier and faster than Conklin in filling....and so much mess free vs ED filling.

 

ED...Eye droppers have a reputation of burping.

Is not worth having 'two/three days' of ink for burped on signatures....which is why Waterman reputedly invented his version of an EHi D.

 

Hi Bo Bo Olson,

 

I love hearing about the history of FPs!  Interesting to learn about the burping issue, as ac12 had mentioned.  Back in Mark Twain's day, the sac fillers must have been cutting edge technology.  Lever fillers were the next quantum leap.  Fast forward a century, and technology has advanced to the point that my kids type 110+ words per minute and text a thousand words per day using their thumbs on tiny cell-phone screens... but my junior employees have barely legible handwriting.  I'm fairly sure that technological advancement has had a few unintended negative side effects.



#44 Big_Kahuna

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 05:17

Big, 

definitely a desk pen...AC is, per usual, right.  They are a little temperamental.  And, there is a specific method to filling them.  You need an empty jar next to your ink bottle.  Fill the pen completely with the eyedropper.  Keep the ink bottle open.  Holding the barrel open end up in one hand, start screwing the section into place.  As you turn it in, turn the pen over so the shortening of the pen forces ink out, back into the bottle.  This will create the proper internal air pressure.  And, you'll need a small jar of silicone, sold by every pen supplier, rub a little into the section threads before filling the pen, to seal the ink in.  Ink is really viscous stuff and finds its way through any unsealed opening.  

 

My Varuna is a very large pen, sort of like a cigar.  I use it as my signing pen at work because it would not get used otherwise except on my home desk, where my MB149 runs the show.  Blurping from that pen is an environmental incident, so I'm careful with its use.  All that said, I love the pen for signing and it gets regular use that way.  

 

Tim

 

Hi Tim,

 

Thanks for the pointers!  I'm definitely warming up to the idea of an Indian Ebonite pen like the Varuna/Ranga.  I spend about a third of my time at my desk, a third of my time doing "management by walking around" (MBWA) and a third of my time at field sites.  So the idea of a dedicated desk signature pen makes just as much sense as a dedicated field/MBWA signature pen.  I'll be sure to keep the Varuna/Ranga on that candidate list! I'll probably start a new thread for that one in a few weeks.  Thanks again!



#45 Big_Kahuna

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 05:25

Update.  I received the Platinum 3776.  Inspected it, cleaned it, inked it and ran first functional test (and took photos of these items, may post them over the next few days if work doesn't engulf me).  Initial OpEval looks incredibly promising.  Line is thick and wet, even with a "dry" I-G ink like R&K Salix... This pen might be a veritable firehose with a wet ink like Iroshizuku Asa Gao.  NIb is ENORMOUS, smooth and came well aligned out of the box with no adjustment necessary.  Cartridge seats deeply and securely, much moreso than SI C/C.  Cartridge mouth is noticeably larger than SI C/C, so I wouldn't expect ink starvation issues.  Conducted raster test to check for skipping:  passed with flying colors. Will need to conduct functional testing for at least a 2-3 weeks (maybe longer) to see if performance anomalies or bothersome idiosyncratic issues arise.

 

***Edited to correct potato-tastic grammar*** 

"I'm an enginere... um... enginier... um... engi... I'm good at math."


Edited by bigkahuna, 01 March 2017 - 05:27.


#46 max dog

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 08:38

Nothing could serve better as a true signature pen than a Montblanc 149 or 146 with a broad nib. You should be able to find a good used one on ebay at a reasonable price. Pelikan M800 or Sheaffer Legacy Heritage and Waterman Carene, with those beautiful inlaid nibs, scream signature pens too.

Edited by max dog, 01 March 2017 - 08:43.


#47 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 12:07

:lticaptd:"I'm an enginere... um... enginier... um... engi... I'm good at math." :thumbup: 

 

Thank god for spell check.....iron typewriters were a real pain (you can not conceive how great a Selectric IBM typewriter was***).....in spite of White Out, and Eaton's Corrasable typewriter paper. (folks kept expecting a perfect paper....not one glued together with White Out.... I was a four thumb typist....still am.)

Still got half a box I bought new in the '70-80's.....great one sided shading fountain pen paper. Typewriter paper was always only sized on one side.....sadly it's a bleed through champ....don't feather though. a great paper for one sided writing.

 

*** Folks are still searching for such a keyboard on the very best computers....and not getting it.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#48 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 16:30

33190551935_39de4f064a_z.jpg

'Century Red' is just a mix I concocted to match the Bourgogne's finish. And the Music nib is in a mini-Sapporo...what a laugh...

#49 Big_Kahuna

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 17:27

Sailor Kenshin,

 

Thanks for the pic!  I appreciate the M-nib writing sample for scale and comparison.  I think that music nib is calling out to me...  



#50 Big_Kahuna

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 22:04

Status update:  I've been using the Platinum 3776 Century with Cosu (BB) nib for a couple of days.  Encountered an issue with about 1 cm of virga when attempting to write first thing in the morning, after having stored the pen upright (nib upwards) overnight.   After the ink starts flowing, there have been no problems with intermittent signatures written throughout the rest of any given work day.  Not sure if this virga is the same as hard-starting, so please let me know if I'm using the correct terminology.

 

Last night I stored the pen lying flat and attempted writing with it this morning.  No change in behavior observed, as the same thing happened (about 1cm virga).  It seems this pen does not care if it's put to sleep upright or lying down.

 

There is only one other nit to pick:  the grip section has faint sprue lines left over from the injection molding process.  These are barely visible and cannot be felt in normal use.  Apparently Platinum does not polish these out.  My Pilot pens do not show sprue lines, and I suspect Pilot polishes them out during their manufacturing process.

 

No other problems noted.  Inkflow with R&K Salix is pleasantly wet, and the Cosu nib draws a rich/robust line.  I'm really enjoying this pen.  It meets all the requirements for a field-capable signatory FP that I outlined in my original post.  At this point, I do not see a pressing need to procure the Sailor 1911 with Music nib... however, I'm giving this Operational Evaluation phase a couple more weeks before I make a decision.  The appeal of that music nib is undeniable, so I will surely consider it for the "Desk Signatory Pen" project that is forthcoming.



#51 tinto

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 23:35

I like the title of this post. It is like overthinking about signing, but that is what makes this hobby amusing, isn't?

 

I have some ideas about such a pen, and will answer following the decalog posed by OP.

 

 

"1.  Nib must be Western Broad or larger."

Western medium is fine to me. I have a rather tight handwriting, and broader nibs fill completely the rounds on closed letters.

 

"2.  I plan on using Iron Gall ink for this pen, primarily for water resistance and permanence."

Yes.

 

"3.  Pen must be Cartridge Converter format, and I plan to use cartridges filled via syringe."

I don't have a preference here. A signature pen doesn't need a huge ink capacity, in my opinion, so a piston filler is not a must.

 

"4.  Pen must be easily disassembled and cleaned."

Flusing is enough for me. 

 

"5.  Screw-on cap."

Here is where I disagree the most. I tried signing with screw-on cap pens (Pelikan, TWSBI), and found annoying to screw each time. Snap cap is the best (although retractable pens, like Pilot VP, seems a logical option, but price is my concern there).

 

"6.  Pen weight is not a concern."

It is just signing, so yes, this is not an issue.

 

"7.  Good basic ergonomics and balance, with a grip section diameter of at least 9.5 mm."

Same as 6 and 8.

 

"8.  Unobtrusive threads that don't chew my fingers badly."

Same as 6 and 7.

 

"9.  Professional appearance highly desirable."

Agree. Not necessary, but desirable. Taking put a funky pen in a rather formal situation and I could feel myself a little affected.

 

"10.  Under $150 if possible, but I've been known to spend lots more than I initially planned on things I really like."

For a pen that I would use occasionaly, cost is a thing. Actually, I'm looking around $40-$60 just for the situations describe in 6-8.



#52 Big_Kahuna

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 00:01

 

I like the title of this post. It is like overthinking about signing, but that is what makes this hobby amusing, isn't?

 

I have some ideas about such a pen, and will answer following the decalog posed by OP.

 

 

"1.  Nib must be Western Broad or larger."

Western medium is fine to me. I have a rather tight handwriting, and broader nibs fill completely the rounds on closed letters.

 

"2.  I plan on using Iron Gall ink for this pen, primarily for water resistance and permanence."

Yes.

 

"3.  Pen must be Cartridge Converter format, and I plan to use cartridges filled via syringe."

I don't have a preference here. A signature pen doesn't need a huge ink capacity, in my opinion, so a piston filler is not a must.

 

"4.  Pen must be easily disassembled and cleaned."

Flusing is enough for me. 

 

"5.  Screw-on cap."

Here is where I disagree the most. I tried signing with screw-on cap pens (Pelikan, TWSBI), and found annoying to screw each time. Snap cap is the best (although retractable pens, like Pilot VP, seems a logical option, but price is my concern there).

 

"6.  Pen weight is not a concern."

It is just signing, so yes, this is not an issue.

 

"7.  Good basic ergonomics and balance, with a grip section diameter of at least 9.5 mm."

Same as 6 and 8.

 

"8.  Unobtrusive threads that don't chew my fingers badly."

Same as 6 and 7.

 

"9.  Professional appearance highly desirable."

Agree. Not necessary, but desirable. Taking put a funky pen in a rather formal situation and I could feel myself a little affected.

 

"10.  Under $150 if possible, but I've been known to spend lots more than I initially planned on things I really like."

For a pen that I would use occasionaly, cost is a thing. Actually, I'm looking around $40-$60 just for the situations describe in 6-8.

 

Hi Tinto,

 

So to recap your "philosophy of use" framework, you are specifying a pen with Western Medium nib, intended for use with Iron Gall ink, cleanable via flusing, snap cap or retractable, professional appearance desirable, price $40-$60... no preference on filling method, pen weight, balance, grip section diameter, thread obtrusiveness or other ergonomic factors.

 

One candidate pen that you might consider is the Faber Castell Loom in Medium.  It meets your criteria including price.  The one I tried had a marvelously smooth medium nib and wrote exquisitely.

 

I've tried two IG inks in my Platinum 3776 now:  R&K Salix and KWZI Iron Gall Blue Black.  Both inks performed well and I've had no problems with either.  If you haven't tried one or both, I recommend them highly for fans of Iron Gall inks.



#53 tinto

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:24

Hi Tinto,

 

So to recap your "philosophy of use" framework, you are specifying a pen with Western Medium nib, intended for use with Iron Gall ink, cleanable via flusing, snap cap or retractable, professional appearance desirable, price $40-$60... no preference on filling method, pen weight, balance, grip section diameter, thread obtrusiveness or other ergonomic factors.

 

One candidate pen that you might consider is the Faber Castell Loom in Medium.  It meets your criteria including price.  The one I tried had a marvelously smooth medium nib and wrote exquisitely.

 

I've tried two IG inks in my Platinum 3776 now:  R&K Salix and KWZI Iron Gall Blue Black.  Both inks performed well and I've had no problems with either.  If you haven't tried one or both, I recommend them highly for fans of Iron Gall inks.

 

Thanks for summarising for me! Adding to that, stubs are nice, but they leave a mess with my signature, so boring ball-shaped western medium nibs are my thing.

 

Actually, Faber Castell Loom and Basic are high in my search. Currently I'm using a red Lamy Safari (that's contradictory with what I wrote, even more since I have a black matte and a shiny black safaris too). I think I will get a FC very soon.

 

Regarding IG inks: I have used R&K Salix and Scabiosa, Pelikan Blue Black and old Lamy Blue Black. Scabiosa and Pelikan are my favourites, but Scabiosa needs a wet nib to get a nice shading and colourful line (it was my go to ink for more than a year). I would like to try Akkerman and Platinum, but they are not available here (waiting for an order from web sellers, though).



#54 Inkdot

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 20:44

Piano black Lamy Accent Brillant, with gold nib, or black steel nib.

#55 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 21:50

P-51...slip on cap...nail nib...70+ years old and still going strong. The nibs were  narrower then, so a harder to find B will do just fine. You can't bend it. It is a classic...one of the 5-6 pens one 'must' have.

 

Most of us start here knowing nothing or next to it.

Richard Binder's Com, is the Bible of fountain pens; nibs, filling systems and good advice on inks. Should take about three days to read that.

Once 96 1/2% of all I knew came from that.

Now it's only 92 1/2%.... B) after seven years one should have learned something.

 

I live in Germany where vintage semi-flex and maxi-semi-flex pens are common...same with obliques from that era. So after a while....26 semi-flex....13-16 maxi-semi-flex and in both flexes some 13 obliques.

I have only a few US pens. There for I only have one Sheaffer, a Snorkel.

I have five of the basic Parkers.

Now only two Esterbrooks.........................a very sturdy, Very good looking pen...but twist top. Like the Snorkel, a must have pen.

Of course I have my cheap Wearever (my wife's really she likes the turquoise color...but I must confess, she's a pure ball point barbarian.. .....I did not have one of the pretty Esterbrooks of the '50's :angry:.

 

I don't think you are ready for semi-flex...I use to recommend getting one after having 4 pens for a while.

I think a B&EF in nail....EF for editing, B for fun. In I like shading inks, the old fashioned 'true' regular flex...which most pen companies had as regular issue into the mid '90's in M and F.

M is a most dissed nib width....in folks go wide or skinny from M.

 

Using MB Toffee, a shading ink with Regular flex nibs. (One of course needs 90g, laser paper.)

F was light with darker trails.

M was 50-50.... :yikes: Breaking my prejudice I'd picked up on this com.

B was dark with lighter trails.

 

The Golden Rule of fountain pens is to take your time. It costs less. Remember LA was not built in a Day.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 23 March 2017 - 21:51.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#56 Arkanabar

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 19:45

Update.  I received the Platinum 3776.  <snip> Cartridge seats deeply and securely, much moreso than SI C/C.  Cartridge mouth is noticeably larger than SI C/C, so I wouldn't expect ink starvation issues.  <snip>

Platinum's cartridges can be refilled with disposable polypropylene 3ml bulb pipettes.  Their converters have a rep for short lifespans, though this may stem from applying no silicone grease to the piston seal within, as I have one person reporting that doing so extended the converter's lifespan to at least typical.



#57 Big_Kahuna

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 21:15

Platinum's cartridges can be refilled with disposable polypropylene 3ml bulb pipettes.  Their converters have a rep for short lifespans, though this may stem from applying no silicone grease to the piston seal within, as I have one person reporting that doing so extended the converter's lifespan to at least typical.

HI Arkanabar,

 

Thanks for the info.  I'm currently refilling cartridges to keep the pen inked.  I have not even tried the platinum converter yet... but when I do,  I'll be sure to keep the piston seal adequately greased.



#58 Arkanabar

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 12:19

I have yet to bother with getting a converter for any of the three Platinum Plaisirs in my home. 

 

Don't overgrease that piston seal; a thin film of grease should be adequate.  Too much grease will cause problems.







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