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Proper Vintage Flex On The Cheap (Noodlers Konrad, Ranga Feed, Zebra Nib)

flex noodlers ranga zebra

20 replies to this topic

#1 Honeybadgers

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 02:03

All of these railroad/dry sections aren't there with a better ink (I am trying to get rid of the remainder of a visconti green ink sample I got to try with my divina metropolitan. I hate this stuff, it writes horribly. Waterman green and robert oster peppermint are far superior performers.) Also lease excuse my fast, nasty chickenscratch writing sample. If you want to write bigger (to the absolute max flex) and faster, simply put a piece of scotch tape over the nib and trim it to fit, and it'll overfeed the thing into low earth orbit.

 

Completely unmodified ranga feed. Even a chewed out noodlers feed simply doesn't flow this nicely. When I bought a ranga 3c from Mr. Ranga on ebay, I got a spare feed with the pen for free, so that was awesome! Essentially this does cost about $60 total, because you need to buy a konrad, a box of zebra comic G nibs, and a ranga pen of some sort, but you do get two pens out of it (and the ranga pens are really fun on their own)

 

The feed does extend a hair into the ink chamber of the noodlers konrad, but that may actually be why this thing just flows so well. It only loses maybe 5% of its ink capacity and nothing is harmed in the filling.

 

It does fit with the konrad inner cap, but I use this thing so often that I don't need it, and I hated the ink behind the cap, so I removed it. No drying out issues when used daily.

 

The only thing that you have to "modify" is very, very easily done with lots of room for error. Take a pair of wide pliers (not needlenose, wide enough to fit the whole base of the nib in the flat of the plier) and squeeze just hard enough until you feel it "give". A little more than that is just fine, but I find that as soon as I feel it "smoosh" the back of the nib the barest amount, it fits happily. While it is possible to simply jam the two in together, it makes fitment way more obnoxious and you actually save a lot of effort doing it this way.

 

Then line it all up as normal, I find it's easiest to insert by lining the nib and feed up with the gap of the nib lined up with the third slot on the feed, insert it until the nib bottoms out in the slot, and then gently slide the feed down until the first or second (really makes no difference) fin lines up with the slot on the nib.

 

I really quite like this nib, even for everyday writing. It lays down a lot of ink, so you can't really flex it wide if you need to change pages quickly, and some inks like noodlers golden brown can take TWENTY minutes to dry. Personally, I find the sailor jentle inks (souten, oku-yama, and yama-dori are my favorite) to have incredibly quick dry times along with a heavy amount of sheen that this pen REALLY showcases.

 

Line variation is insane, needlepoint (0.1) to 3mm, no risk of springing it unless you're literally trying to fold the nib in half, you get a box of 10 nibs for $10 so there's plenty of room for mistakes.

 

It's also great for sketching and drawing.

 

People say the nibs can rust. I have done that once, and it was only because I cleaned the pen and put it away without completely drying the nib and feed. With ink, I honestly haven't seen the nib rust yet, and the one in there has been daily writing for three months without a spot of rust.

 

With the noodlers feed, I've heard a lot of people having flow troubles, having to widen the channel and risk ruining the feed, needing to prime it regularly (I never have to prime this one, though when I used the nib in a jinhao x750 I did need to prime it every half page or so)

 

Also, one thing I haven't tried, but would suggest for that extra insurance against corrosion, is to just drop the money on the somewhat more expensive coated zebra comic G nibs. They do last longer in dip nibs, but I didn't have any to try in this application.

 

I take this pen with me wherever I go, it's an incredibly fun pen to scrawl with, puts fun, pretty headers on pages  at the beginning of class or new chapters in my notes, and has never failed to perform. Again, in this writing sample, disregard the railroading and dry spots, Visconti green is absolutely the wrong ink for this application. (also don't even think about trying noodlers polar colors, they will eat right through the paper with how heavy this pen lays it down!)

 

 

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Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


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#2 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:50

I can get similar with the 'Ahab Mod' two little half moons ground into the nib. Having some superflex nibs, the Ahab a 'hard' semi-flex pressure superflex nib, jumped maxi-semi-flex and landed at the first step of superflex, Easy Full Flex.

 

The T slice= wet noodle????

 

In one can push the 'Ahab Mod' Easy Full Flex to such widths.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 25 April 2017 - 08:51.

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.

 

 

 


#3 rwilsonedn

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 18:11

Why not just use the Zebra pen in a proper pen holder and dispense with the other stuff? The fountain pen and feed are just keeping the steel pen from working properly.

ron



#4 EagleLobes

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 00:28

I enjoy using my zebra g nib in an ebonite Konrad because I'm not at all about dipping - such drips! It's great to do it when it's necessary to use a nice shellac-ky ink, but for being able to have a great full flex, from ultra thin hairlines to BBB, on the go, the Konrad and the Jinhao are good for me. The Jinhao I have is a 450 and I don't really recommend because once the nib is in there, it's not coming out - if you're using the original Jinhao feed as in my situation anyway. I do want to try the "flex my mod" dremeling technique with the Noodler's nib, because the uranium tipping, for me, is far preferable to using the non-tipped G nib. However, I do want to try the G nib on an oblique nib holder and see if my Spencerian can be improved at all. (Probably not because heavy hands lol)

#5 Honeybadgers

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:17

Why not just use the Zebra pen in a proper pen holder and dispense with the other stuff? The fountain pen and feed are just keeping the steel pen from working properly.

ron

 

Because there is no need to refill? Also, fountain pen inks do not play nicely with dip pens, they are too watery.

 

I have done an ease my flex mod to the noodlers nib and it just doesn't have the insane snappiness that this has. It's a lot mushier. Also it doesn't get properly needlepoint thin.

 

Also the noodlers ease my flex mod still results in a much stiffer "semi flex" whereas the comic G nib is a proper wet noodle. It really is the closest thing you can get to a waterman 52 without the price.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 26 April 2017 - 05:30.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#6 Mauricio

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 18:52

For QUALITY affordable flex, your only guaranteed option is dip nibs, which have proven themselves for 150+ years. Other than dip nibs, QUALITY flex does not exist for less than $100. Period.


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#7 Emby

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 04:28

Thanks for this great review! I was just lamenting about not being able to afford a portable flex pen and saw this, much gratitude!

I have a nib creaper, I've read somewhere the gillott 303 will fit into it. Would the zebra fit in there as well? Very exciting.

#8 FarmBoy

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 04:32

What is vintage about a Noodlers Ranga anything?

 
San Francisco International Pen Show - They have dates! August 23-24-25, 2019 AND August 28-29-30, 2020. Book your travel and tables now! My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

#9 Feanaaro

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 05:04

I tried flattening the Zebra G nibs a bit with pliers to use in a Noodler's pen, but every time they ended up with the tines misaligned or spread (losing the hairline). In the end I bought a Desiderata Daedalus, so that the nib just fit in the default configuration.

 

Ranga nib holders with feed works well with Zebra G nib though. You still have to dip, but the feed gives you some ink autonomy.



#10 Honeybadgers

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:12

For QUALITY affordable flex, your only guaranteed option is dip nibs, which have proven themselves for 150+ years. Other than dip nibs, QUALITY flex does not exist for less than $100. Period.

So a dip nib is the only way?

Because last i checked, the nib in here is, in fact, a dip nib...

What is vintage about a Noodlers Ranga anything?  

It flexes as much, and as easily as any vintage wet noodle out there.

Why is this concept so difficult to understand?

It writes with as much flex as the most wet noodle you have ever used, basically never skips or railroads (like i said, the achilles heel of that writing sample was visconti green - i will happily post another with apache sunset if there are doubters) and is a reliable piston filling way of making a dip pen nib work with fountain pen ink in a normal, everyday package?

Tough crowd.

I tried flattening the Zebra G nibs a bit with pliers to use in a Noodler's pen, but every time they ended up with the tines misaligned or spread (losing the hairline). In the end I bought a Desiderata Daedalus, so that the nib just fit in the default configuration.
 
Ranga nib holders with feed works well with Zebra G nib though. You still have to dip, but the feed gives you some ink autonomy.

Glad you found an option, but if you want to give the stock feed another chance, dip it in near boiling water with the nib assembled and firmly press down on the tines. Heat setting the noodlers feed will make almost any nib work. I just ran into starvation, even with a chewed out feed. The ranga feed has broad, cut shoulders that hang onto ink when the flexing gets nuts

Thanks for this great review! I was just lamenting about not being able to afford a portable flex pen and saw this, much gratitude!

I have a nib creaper, I've read somewhere the gillott 303 will fit into it. Would the zebra fit in there as well? Very exciting.


Unfortunately no. I have two creapers, and one has a charlie nib swapped onto it, but the stock nib can actually flex nicely if you assemble it very shallowly and expose the entirety of the tines. The creaper is a #5 nib, and the konrad/ahab/neponset are #6.

I love the konrad, but if you want a more versatile workhorse, the ahab with a pack of 308 refillable cartridges (along with the freaking stupendous pegleg pump that fills to the last drop, if you fly, you can remove and seal the cartridges! They also hold a boatload of ink) and a nemosine or goulet nib for non flex, and a pack of zebra comics for flex.

If anyone wants to see another example or a video of the flexing, i am willing to break out the gopro. Just speak up. The one thing i cannot promise is good handwriting!

Edited by Honeybadgers, 27 April 2017 - 10:27.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#11 Mauricio

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 13:48

So a dip nib is the only way?

Because last i checked, the nib in here is, in fact, a dip nib...

 

Yes, for affordable QUALITY flex, a dip nib with its proper dip nib holder or oblique holder is your only viable option.

 

If you read other replies prior to mine, folks are mentioning the modifications with the dremel to the Ahab nib. Hence my response to enlighten them that none of those options is a viable one for affordable QUALITY flex. 


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#12 Gloucesterman

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 00:32

FYI, this quote is an almost complete quote fro the book, "Dune" by Frank Herbert.

P.S. Good scifi book in imho.

 

20170423_183418_zpsxbrkzi5f.jpg


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#13 PrestoTenebroso

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 03:24

Also the noodlers ease my flex mod still results in a much stiffer "semi flex" whereas the comic G nib is a proper wet noodle. It really is the closest thing you can get to a waterman 52 without the price.

 

Gee, I don't know. My pens are purpose-built for flex with a Zebra G, and I'm only asking $70. I did all the work for you, you just have to clean the nib and put it in. Not an advertisement, you should know I provide a much cheaper, less precious alternative to what you mentioned.



#14 Emby

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 04:26

If anyone wants to see another example or a video of the flexing, i am willing to break out the gopro. Just speak up. The one thing i cannot promise is good handwriting!


Yes. A video would be great!

Gee, I don't know. My pens are purpose-built for flex with a Zebra G, and I'm only asking $70. I did all the work for you, you just have to clean the nib and put it in. Not an advertisement, you should know I provide a much cheaper, less precious alternative to what you mentioned.

That's great! Nice looking pen!

What's the difference between using the liquid silicone grease vs the white plumbers tape to seal the threads on an eyedropper?

#15 PrestoTenebroso

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 06:00

What's the difference between using the liquid silicone grease vs the white plumbers tape to seal the threads on an eyedropper?

 

Success and failure.

 

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#16 pepsiplease69

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 14:51


What is vintage about a Noodlers Ranga anything?  


Maybe you want to wait about 50-60 years and ask me that same question?

#17 pepsiplease69

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 14:52

 
Gee, I don't know. My pens are purpose-built for flex with a Zebra G, and I'm only asking $70. I did all the work for you, you just have to clean the nib and put it in. Not an advertisement, you should know I provide a much cheaper, less precious alternative to what you mentioned.


+ (like a thousand)

I'm a total fanboy

#18 PrestoTenebroso

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 17:14

+ (like a thousand)

I'm a total fanboy

:-)



#19 Honeybadgers

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 05:46

 

Yes, for affordable QUALITY flex, a dip nib with its proper dip nib holder or oblique holder is your only viable option.

 

If you read other replies prior to mine, folks are mentioning the modifications with the dremel to the Ahab nib. Hence my response to enlighten them that none of those options is a viable one for affordable QUALITY flex. 

 

So are you implying that the ease my flex mod was not quality flex, or that my frankenpen wasn't cutting the jib? Because implying that a dip nib holder somehow is better makes less than zero sense. It's different, not better. Does it work better with india ink? absolutely. Is it cheaper? yep. Can it handle fountain pen ink? nope. Is it portable? nope. Does it have a reservoir that doesn't need constant dipping and filling? nope. 

 

So in some ways the dip pen in a traditional layout works great, in other ways mine is better. 

 

If we ever meet you're welcome to try my konrad out. Or you could just try it yourself, it's hardly difficult.

 

 

 

Gee, I don't know. My pens are purpose-built for flex with a Zebra G, and I'm only asking $70. I did all the work for you, you just have to clean the nib and put it in. Not an advertisement, you should know I provide a much cheaper, less precious alternative to what you mentioned.

 
your stuff looks awesome. But you're also sold out. My option is absolutely cheaper, ($5 pack of zebra nibs, $18 konrad, optional $35 ranga 3c that results in 3 pens) but at $70, I do think yours is a great deal and plan on buying one as soon as you're back in stock, so there's definitely no need to try to make a competition out of it. I'm glad someone is making an official, hassle free option for the zebra g, which is just a fantastic nib.
 
 
I use it every day. it works perfectly. it doesn't need priming. it doesn't need religious care as long as it's used. If you haven't tried it or bothered tuning it once you stuck a nib and feed together, please don't insist that it won't work, because this is proof, and you're just being a fountain pen armchair general.

Edited by Honeybadgers, 29 May 2017 - 05:55.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#20 rwilsonedn

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 19:02

 

 

So are you implying that the ease my flex mod was not quality flex, or that my frankenpen wasn't cutting the jib? Because implying that a dip nib holder somehow is better makes less than zero sense. It's different, not better. Does it work better with india ink? absolutely. Is it cheaper? yep. Can it handle fountain pen ink? nope. Is it portable? nope. Does it have a reservoir that doesn't need constant dipping and filling? nope. 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe a little more than zero. Dip pens can work just fine with fountain pen ink, although why you would want to use with them an ink that has been heavily compromised to meet the special requirements of fountain pens is rather a puzzle. People have been using portable dip pens since the middle of the 19th century without difficulty. And yes, dip pens have a reservoir that doesn't require constant dipping. It just happens to be external to the pen holder. The idea that dipping a pen is some sort of interruption or great imposition upon the writer is simply a misunderstanding.

Note that dip pens have survived for a century and a half. They were most widely used when people wrote much more than they typically do today, including spending an hour or two a day on correspondence and writing manuscripts and fair copies. Dip pens have shrugged off supposed replacement by fountain pens, ballpoints, rollerballs, felt-tips, voice-to-text apps, and a bunch of other clever ideas. They remain the choice of many people who make their livings through penmanship.

ron





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